Addition of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument to the National Conservation Lands Applauded

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Obama Administration's newest monument is significant addition to the National Conservation Lands.

Sierra de Las Uvas mountains withing the new Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

'Today, President Obama took one of the most important conservation actions of his Presidency,' said Conservation Lands Foundation Executive Director, Brian O’Donnell.

The Conservation Lands Foundation applauded today’s designation by President Obama of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, near Las Cruces, New Mexico. The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument is the most significant addition to the National Conservation Lands since 2009.

“Today, President Obama took one of the most important conservation actions of his Presidency. He demonstrated strong conservation leadership and gave an enduring gift to America. Our children will benefit from unspoiled natural areas and places that honor the diverse cultures and heritage that make America great” said Conservation Lands Foundation Executive Director, Brian O’Donnell.

The National Conservation Lands are the premier lands and waterways under the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) jurisdiction, and provide people the opportunity to explore, experience and enjoy these lands while protecting their unique natural, cultural and scientific treasures.

Protecting Land
The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument represents the crossroads of New Mexican and American history. It includes places that chronicle New Mexico’s history including the site of the original U.S.-Mexico border prior to the Gadsden Purchase, training sites for the Apollo Mission, and thousands of ancient archaeological sites with unique prehistoric rock art carved and painted onto the cliffs.

This designation permanently protects habitat for golden eagles, mountain lions, and pronghorn and includes rare examples of Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands and Sky Islands.

Protecting Access
As part of the National Conservation Lands, these public lands will remain open to hunting, outdoor recreation and grazing. Roads will remain open to motorized access. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has stated that law enforcement activities will not be impeded by the designation.

The national monument designation is expected to contribute more than $7.4 million in additional economic activity each year and double the number of jobs supported by the outdoor recreation and tourism industry in the region.

Public Involvement
President Obama proclaimed Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument using his authority under the Antiquities Act, and in response to calls from a wide range of community members including businesses, sportsmen, veterans and Native American and Hispanic leaders.

“The lands protected as part of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument are lands owned by all Americans and we all must take responsibility for protecting them,” stated Lucas Herndon, Executive Director of the Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks.

As part of the National Conservation Lands, management of the area will include extensive community participation. Local stakeholders will be encouraged to come together and help set management direction, helping to ensure protection of the cultural and natural resources of the area

The mission of the Conservation Lands Foundation (CLF) is to protect, restore and expand the National Conservation Lands so they will endure from generation to generation. The National Conservation Lands are protected public lands and waterways managed by the Bureau of Land Management that have joined the ranks of our national parks and wildlife refuges as special places that preserve our natural, historical and scientific treasures. http://www.conservationlands.org

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Meghan Kissell
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