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Showing posts with the label New Mexico

Obama Establishes Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

President Obama on Wednesday designated nearly half a million acres in southern New Mexico as the new Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, protecting large swaths of soaptree yucca, four-winged saltbush, alligator juniper, and gray oak in the northern reaches of the Chihuahuan desert.  The designation is the second in as many years for New Mexico; the President established the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in March 2013.   Both monuments are administered by the Bureau of Land Management.


Other desert conservation and wilderness proposals are languishing in Congress, including bills to protect desert habitat and recreation areas in California, Nevada and Arizona.  Hopefully the President will once again act to protect our beautiful desert landscapes.

BLM Could Leave Key New Mexico Wildlands Open to Energy Development

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published the draft environmental review for a plan that determines how it will manage nearly 2.8 million acres of public lands in three large counties in southern New Mexico, including the beautiful Otero Mesa grasslands.  Unfortunately, the BLM's preferred alternative would leave much of the region vulnerable to oil and natural gas drilling, including areas identified by conservation groups as needing protection.  According to the Wilderness Society:
"The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance has identified more than 700,000 acres of lands with wilderness characteristics in the tri-county area; yet BLM only found 11,917 acres as meeting the criteria to be considered lands with wilderness characteristics and only proposed to protect 803 acres." -the Wilderness SocietyIndecision on Oil and Gas Prompts Uncertainty
Perhaps most concerning is the fact that the BLM's land use plan would defer a decision on how to handle oil and gas drilling o…