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Showing posts with the label conservation

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.

Desert Conservation Languishes As Industrial Uses Expand

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As the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) continues to facilitate the march of industry into relatively remote corners of America's desert wildlands, efforts to set aside these natural treasures are slow going as Congress has been jammed up by partisan squabbling, and the President has been shy about using his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate monuments.   Waiting for conservation by executive or legislative action may seem worthwhile when you consider that those protections will be more permanent, but what seems to be most lacking in our deserts is proactive conservation through the land management process administered by the BLM; other than islands of critical habitat designated for some endangered species, land use management plans seem to do little to prevent industrial-scale development on land considered to hold important wildlife, scenic and recreation values.

New Mexico Gets a Monument, and May Get A Second This Year

Despite the President's overall reluctanc…