Obama Designates New National Monument in New Mexico

On May 21, President Obama signed a proclamation creating the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monumentin New Mexico under the Antiquities Act. The designation brings together nearly 500,000 acres of existing public lands within the monument and will “protect significant prehistoric, historic, geologic, and biologic resources of scientific interest.” The Bureau of Land Management will manage all of the lands within the new national monument under the system of National Conservation Lands for existing multiple uses including grazing, outdoor recreation and natural and cultural resource management.

“Today is the culmination of a community-led effort to conserve, protect and promote these public lands, but it’s the beginning of a new chapter for the businesses that will benefit from the tourism and recreation, and the wildlife that rely on this unique habitat,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. “The Organ Mountains and surrounding Desert Peaks are steeped in culture, history, wildlife and opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors – from hunting to hiking to gazing at ancient petroglyphs and fossils – and the President’s action ensures that these cherished landscapes are celebrated and passed on to the generations of New Mexicans and Americans to come.”