A long-awaited piece of federal legislation, the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks Conservation Act, was introduced by U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich on June 10. This legislation would designate around 240,000 acres of the new Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument as “Wilderness.”
This permanent Wilderness designation will assure higher levels of protection for the landscapes, wildlife, archeological and historic resources located in these especially rough and fragile portions of the 486,000-acre Monument. The Wilderness designation doesn’t allow motorized vehicles and will have a more protective management plan than the rest of the monument and prevents most development in the designated area.
“After working with many groups, governments, agencies and legislators over the last several years to protect these lands with National Monument status, I see this effort to further protect large portions of the Monument with Wilderness designation as the insurance policy future generations need” said Ken Newtson, Public Lands chair of the Southern New Mexico Group of the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter and member of the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks Action Team.
Featured photo by the Bureau of Land Management