Our Work

spring 2012 fundraiser otero banner copy

fundraiser thermometer 18 187x250Since 2001, we have been hard at work protecting Otero Mesa in southern New Mexico from development. You may have read about our ongoing work to protect the landscape of this desert grassland and its abundant wildlife. 

However, Otero Mesa also offers an important natural resource that we all need to live—water.Otero Mesa lies atop New Mexico’s largest untapped freshwater aquifer, the Salt Basin. As the effects of global warming such as drought take hold in the coming years, this aquifer could be the key to survival in towns surrounding Otero Mesa such as Alamogordo.

Please donate online now to help us protect Otero Mesa’s groundwater and the communities, wildlife and landscapes that depend on it.

The Salt Basin Aquifer boasts at least 57 million cubic feet of water under Otero Mesa. That’s more than 18 million gallons of potable drinking waterenough to supply a city of 1 million people for almost 150 years.However, Otero Mesa is currently threatened by development. In the past, NM Wild has fought (and won) against oil and gas development in Otero Mesa. Now the threat is hardrock mining. Denver-based Geovic Mining Corp is the lead company seeking to mine for zirconium and other rare earth minerals in Otero Mesa. This type of mining operation could destroy Otero Mesa’s rare and fragile ecosystem, and could severely damage underground aquifers in the region.

Please help us fight for Otero Mesa and all that it protects including clean, safe drinking water, by donating online today.


Thank you in advance for your support,

Stephen Capra

Executive Director

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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

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

    2015 10 14 14 37 03

    Read More
  • 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

    Read More
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