President Obama has preserved nearly 500,000 acres in southern New Mexico. As Fred Martino reports, the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument is the largest monument designation of his presidency.
With a bill to protect the land stalled in Congress, President Obama used his authority under the Antiquities Act to create the monument. The President cited the beauty of the Organ Mountains in his remarks.
But he also said that it was important to preserve various sites of historical significance.
Senator Martin Heinrich was on hand for the President’s remarks. He also spoke with KRWG News. The Senator says ranchers should not be concerned about the monument designation.
He says grazing was protected in the proposed Senate legislation and all indications are that the same protections will be maintained under the President’s proclamation.
In addition to protecting various historical sites and the splendor of the rural desert landscape, there are hopes the monument designation will lead to much needed employment.
A recent independent study found a new national monument could generate $7.4 million in economic activity annually from new visitors and business opportunities.