Our Work

Make a donation to protect Otero Mesa and its wildlife

Otero Mesa is now threatened by hardrock mining, which is bad news for its wild inhabitants such as the mountain lion. Help us fight to preserve Otero Mesa and its wildlife.

Please give your year-end tax deductible donation now.

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Help us protect the mountain lion’s home

Mountain lions roam Otero Mesa and many of the other wild lands we are working to protect. Please help us preserve habitat for the mountain lion and other species in New Mexico. Give online now.

baby mountain lion

Executive Director Stephen Capra recalls seeing a mountain lion in Otero Mesa. Otero Mesa is now threatened by hardrock mining, but NM Wild is working to protect this desert grassland and the wildlife who call it home.

“Sometimes the magic of a place speaks to you in unexpected ways. Such was the case on my first visit to Otero Mesa in December 2002. I was there with a friend for a four-day trip to get a sense of this landscape and whether it was worth protecting.

It is in such a setting that land can often literally speak to you. On this trip, the grassland of Otero Mesa would reveal many aspects of itself. There was the powerful sky that brought morning from the grasps of night, the sunsets that came early and brought forward the evening chill. There were the herds of mule deer near Rough Draw, the sky-filled dance of Mexican free-tailed bats in the evening, and the prairie dogs and burrowing owls that brought such life during the daylight to this wild landscape.
What I could not have predicted was what happened the last day as we drove across a great swath of the core grassland. Somewhere near Shiloh Draw, as I looked out into grass and creosote, appeared a mountain lion. This lion was healthy and sporting a rich winter coat. He looked directly at me and then began to run. At first I thought he might just jump in the car, but he chose to run along our slow moving vehicle. He then glanced back after passing us for what seemed like an eternity and then bolted across the grassland, with Alamo Mountain as a backdrop.
With my heart still pounding hours later, I climbed up on a small ridge where I could get cell phone coverage. I remember clearly calling my then executive director and relating the story. I told him that we must protect this place and about how magical my days there had been. He told our members the story later that night at our annual holiday party. As I lay in my sleeping bed watching the night sky fill with stars, I dreamed of protecting a place that had revealed its beauty over four days in December.”

Stephen Capra
in Otero Mesa

The mountain lions of America’s last desert grassland need your help. Your gift will help ensure we have the funds to continue fighting for places like Otero Mesa and the wildlife that depend on it. Please give your year-end tax deductible gift now.

Otero Mesa is home to a number of wildlife, including the mountain lion. However, this desert grassland and its wild inhabitants are currently threatened by hardrock mining.

Help us to fight for Otero Mesa and preserve habitat for all of its wildlife by giving today.

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Wilderness Defense

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News About the Otero Mesa Campaign

  • Babbitt blames White House for bartering away Otero Mesa lands +

    POLITICS: Babbitt blames White House ‘munchkins’ for bartering away public lands (06/08/2011)    

    Phil Taylor, E&E Read More
  • No BLM cookie monster for Mescalero students: Positions on future of Otero Mesa evolving +

    By Dianne Stallings
    Ruidoso News
    08/20/2013

    When a package arrived from Jesse Juen, New Mexico director

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  • Taking a stand for our new national monument – Wilderness Weekly August 15, 2013 +

    2015 10 14 14 37 03

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  • Wilderness Weekly – July 25, 2013 +

    Donate Online

    2015 10 14 13 01 28

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  • BLM draws fire for selling leases under contested management plan +

    April Reese, E&E reporter
    Published: Thursday, July 18, 2013

    SANTA FE, N.M. — Several of the

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