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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Heinrich Calls Upon President for Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument Designation in Doña Ana County

Above photo from Exploring the Southwest Desert USA

On March 23rd - U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich (NM-1) sent a letter to President Barack Obama earlier this week urging him to designate an Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in Doña Ana County. In his letter to the president, Rep. Heinrich cited the multiple cultural, economical and environmental benefits this monument designation would provide for New Mexicans.

“This proposed monument includes part of the original route of the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, which took settlers and traders from Mexico City through Las Cruces and continuing north all the way to Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo,” said Rep. Heinrich in the letter. “For more than 300 years, this road served as the sole route from Mexico City into New Mexico. Some of the most vivid characters in New Mexico’s history were active in this area, including Geronimo and Billy the Kid. The Butterfield Stagecoach Route ran right though the Sierra de las Uvas Mountains, which also contain some of the most distinctive Native American petroglyphs and pictographs in the Southwest. The Organ Mountains continue to provide critical cultural resources for the growing Mesilla Valley population.”

Read Rep. Heinrich’s letter to President Obama »

“Moreover, protecting these resources will help boost the economy of southern New Mexico,” Rep. Heinrich continued in the letter. “Recent research done by the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce shows that the state’s 10 national monuments established through the Antiquities Act account for 1.3 million annual tourist visits and $54 million in annual tourist spending that supports 1,061 New Mexico jobs.”

March 27, 2012 at 01:39 PM in Dona Ana County, Environment, Jobs, Land Issues, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink


Congressman Heinrich, you are a true champion for New Mexico's environment and economy. Thank you for your strong leadership in Dona Ana County and southern New Mexico.

Posted by: Jeff Steinborn | Mar 29, 2012 4:51:33 PM

This is fantastic! Such a relief to see someone working for positive, compassionate change, yokata Heinrich senpai!

Posted by: Terrence Bingham | Mar 29, 2012 8:34:32 PM

Thank you Congressman Heinrich for your support and leadership . We have a better country because of you.

Posted by: Gill Sorg | Mar 31, 2012 8:35:02 AM

Congressman Heinrich, I am VERY concerned that designating the Organ Mountains as a National Monument would result in severe restrictions on all the traditional recreational activities that myself and thousands of others have enjoyed there for many years.

I'm a rock climber and mountain biker. Since 1979, I have visited the Organs on average 30 times a year. I have been to the top of every one of the peaks in the photo on this page. The Organs are one of the best, premier locations for traditional clean-climbing "trad" rockclimbing in the USA, which requires ropes and equipment but not pitons or other practices that harm the rock.

Classic climbs such as Sugarloaf, The Wedge, The Tooth, Squaretop, Gerch's Folly, ORP, The Spire and the Rabbit Ears have attracted some of the world's most famous climbers such as Royal Robbins.

With very few exceptions, technical rock climbing is forbidden in National Monuments. Overnight backpacking, camping in campgrounds, and mountain biking are also forbidden.

I can only support your initiative if you will pledge to codify that all the traditional recreational activities enjoyed by those of us who love the Organs will be allowed in the proposed National Monument. If you cannot do so, and I determine that draconian restrictions on such activities will be a result, rest assured that I will launch a massive campaign to stop the designation. I will not let the Organs be turned into a "look but don't touch" area!

Sincerely but with great concern,

Steve Crye

Posted by: Stephen Crye | Apr 5, 2012 7:10:04 PM