Local Viewpoints
5:49 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Pearce Introduces New Organ Mountains Desert Peaks Monument Legislation

 Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2) has introduced the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument Corrections Act.

This legislation is in response to President Obama’s rushed decision to unilaterally declare the monument while ignoring input from local officials on public safety, and other major issues such as environmental and economic impacts. The bill guarantees all federal, state and local law enforcement personnel, including Border Patrol, will have unfettered access to the national monument. Congressman Pearce and US House Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Subcommittee Chairman Rob Bishop issued the following statement after the bill’s introduction.

“This effort is a simple, targeted solution to secure our southern border and protect local communities, something that was overlooked by the President in his unilateral monument declaration,” said Pearce. “Restrictive land management policies can have a negative impact on border security. In Arizona’s Chiricahua National Monument, a Park Service employee was brutally assaulted and left for dead last year. The Organ Pipe National Monument in Arizona has long been threatened by drug and human smugglers, as the Park Service readily admits. My goal is to prevent the same scenario from unfolding in Dona Ana County.”

Rep. Rob Bishop, of Utah, said: “When the concept of a national monument was presented as legislation, even the two Democrat Senators Udall and Heinrich recognized the need to ensure that the U.S. Border Patrol would still have access to these areas despite new restrictions on types of access and use. President Obama disregarded this when he decided to make the new national monument by executive order, and as a result, he has made our border less safe.  Drug smugglers are already trespassing into the United States by way of our federal lands and the President just did them a huge favor by creating new areas that limit the Border Patrol’s ability to maintain a routine presence. This legislation to fix this is imperative.”