Monday, September 18, 2017
Contact: Dan Lorimier (575) 740-2927 or Daniel.Lorimier@sierraclub.org
Las Cruces, NM. Last night, a leaked Department of the Interior report made public by the Washington Post unveiled the appalling truth behind Secretary Zinke’s public land recommendations. The document’s vague recommendations call for shifted management of New Mexico’s Organ Mountains Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte National Monuments. Local communities will host events statewide today and Tuesday to challenge the recommendations – which could open the sites to fossil fuel extraction, mining and logging. The leaked report signals a complete disregard for more than 2.8 million public comments, 98% of which urged the administration to maintain the current and future protections.
In response, Sierra Club Rio Grande Conservation Coordinator Daniel Lorimier released the following statement:
These monuments were created as a result of community-led coalitions working together for years. Public input included local business owners, tribes and pueblos and local elected officials. Local governments at every level expressed support for these monuments during the review.
Opening these two monuments to drilling, mining and other types of development endanger some of New Mexico’s most important archaeological sites, including sites that are sacred to tribes and pueblos.
An unprecedented number of New Mexicans responded to this process, and 98 percent of them asked Zinke to keep our monuments’ current protections. Zinke has disrespected the communities he has sworn to serve. We will continue to defend these places for this and future generations. Zinke has opened the door for private interests to trump public interests.”
Events in response to Department of the Interior Report:
Hands Off Our National Monuments Rally – Albuquerque
Today, 5 p.m. Monday, September 18
400 Gold Ave SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Hands Off Our Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument Rally
Today, 5 p.m. Monday, September 18, p.m.
Mesilla Plaza, Mesilla, NM 88046
Hands Off Our Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument Rally
Tuesday, September 19 5 P.M.
Taos Fly Shop, 338 Paseo Del Pueblo Sur, Taos, NM 87571
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.
Photo of Organ Mountains by the Bureau of Land Management