May 15, 2015

Udall Marks 1st Anniversary of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

LAS CRUCES - 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."