President Trump signed an Executive Order April 26, 2017 that could threaten the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte National Monuments. The order “directs the Department of the Interior to review prior monument designations and suggest legislative changes or modifications to the monument proclamations.” Save your monuments>>
Starting on May 12, 2017, the Department of the Interior launched a public comment period ending on Tuesday July 11, 2017. After the 60-Day Review, Secretary Zinke will recommend either legislative or administrative action on national monuments under review, including both Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte. Submit your comment today.
Efforts to protect these federal public lands began in the early 1970s, with community support growing steadily over decades. Legislation to protect these areas has been introduced into Congress by both Republican and Democratic Senators, with subsequent bills introduced until President Obama designated the areas as national monuments after Congress was unable to move legislation. Dozens of local government support resolutions passed during this time.
The Río Grande del Norte National Monument was designated in 2013 in response to support from local business owners, local chambers of commerce, sportsmen and ranchers, local elected officials, Hispanic organizations, Native American tribes, and countless others. The Organ Mountains Desert-Peaks National Monument was designated in 2014 with the support of a broad coalition of stakeholder including sportsmen, Native Americans, business leaders, veterans, civic groups, current and former local elected officials, archaeologists, historians, and conservation organizations.
In February 2017, legislation was re-introduction into the Senate to protect wilderness areas within both monuments. Clearly, the communities in New Mexico are rallying together to preserve their clean water, wildlife habitat, and public lands.