Senators Heinrich and Udall Celebrate First Anniversary of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

Today, Friday, May 15, and tomorrow, Saturday, May 16, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich  will attend events in Doña Ana County to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument.

Tonight, Senator Heinrich will help kick-off the celebration at an event sponsored by the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance at the Farm and Ranch Museum. The event will feature a tribal blessing, the unveiling of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Achievement badge for the Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest, entertainment, and information related to the monument. The event will also include a “class picture” taken of all of the groups and individuals who worked to help establish the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

On Saturday, Senator Heinrich will join residents, small business owners, sportsmen, and many others at a cookout at the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park. Businesses in the area have touted how the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument has benefited the local economy.

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks was designated as a national monument on May 21, 2014. Establishing the national monument is the culmination of a decade of involvement from the local community. The national monument protects nearly 500,000 acres stretching across the Organ, Doña Ana, Potrillo, Robledo and Uvas mountains, encompasses Broad Canyon, Sleeping Lady Hills, Rough and Ready Hills, Picacho Peak, Mount Riley, Peña Blanca and Bishop’s Cap, and contains more than 5,000 archeologically and culturally significant sites.

Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall released the following statement celebrating the 1-year anniversary of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument Proclamation that was signed by President Barack Obama.

“Nearly one year ago today, I stood with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, my fellow Senator Martin Heinrich, former Senator Jeff Bingaman, and many community leaders from across southern New Mexico to celebrate the creation of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. That important day was the result of nearly a decade of coordinated work by grassroots groups, individuals and community leaders who came together to protect and preserve over 500,000 acres of some of the most beautiful, historic, and culturally rich public land in the nation, and I’m proud to have been part of that movement.

“Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument is here to stay, and southern New Mexico is already beginning to feel the economic benefits — it’s strengthening our outdoor recreation economy, creating jobs and attracting tourists to southern New Mexico. We’ve put a star on the map for Doña Ana County and are ensuring the iconic backdrop for Las Cruces will be safeguarded for future generations.

“We have a lot to celebrate this week, but we also have more work ahead of us. I’ll keep fighting alongside the community to establish wilderness areas within the monument and release some portions of wilderness to support the Border Patrol and border security. The story of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks is just beginning.”