SWEC: Battle Brewing over Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks—Again

June 23, 2017

Didn’t we already settle this?

The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument has enjoyed widespread local support since its designation in 2014, but Trump’s ongoing “review” of national monuments has reinvigorated the opposition, proving the adage that in conservation, there are no permanent victories. Next Tuesday, June 27, the Doña Ana County Commission will hear competing resolutions on the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, one for and one against. A resolution introduced by Commissioner Billy Garrett supports the monument, and opposes any reductions in the size of it. The other resolution from Commissioner Ben Rawson calls on the Interior Secretary to establish “safeguards” for private lands within the monument, implying that these lands are somehow now threatened. The reality is that the monument designation only applies to federal land, not state or private land, and the monument does not in any way restrict access or use of state or private lands.

If  you live in the area, please try to attend the County Commission meeting on Tuesday (starts at 9 am) and express your support for Commissioner Garrett’s resolution and opposition to Commissioner Rawson’s. The outcome is really important. The Trump administration has specifically said it would check with counties as part of its review.

Please also contact the Commissioners in advance to voice your opinion:

For more information, call Peter at (575) 522-5552 or peter@wildmesquite.org.

Las Cruces City Council to hear update on sustainability efforts

Las Cruces’ sustainability plan sets goals for making the city more livable while reducing its impact on the environment. At its work session on Monday, June 26, 1 pm, the City Council will hear from the City’s Sustainability Office on progress made towards implementing the plan. If you live in the area, please try to attend and demonstrate by your presence, and comments, your support for efforts to make the city more sustainable, including any ideas for what should be added to the plan.

Maybe the Grand Canyon wolf didn’t die in vain

Echo was the name given to a gray wolf that traveled hundreds of miles from the northern Rockies to the Grand Canyon region in 2015, only to be killed by a hunter who claimed he thought it was a coyote. Like many wolf killers before him who made the same claim, the hunter was not prosecuted. That may soon change. This week, in a case brought by WildEarth Guardians and NM Wilderness Alliance, a federal court in Arizona ruled that a longstanding Department of Justice doctrine known as the McKittrick Policy violates the Endangered Species Act, opening the rule for stronger enforcement of wildlife protections. This is some of the best news for Mexican wolves and other endangered species to break in recent memory, and we’re howling with joy! Read more here.

 

Not a member? Please join us! We speak for wildlife and wild places. We work to protect and restore vital habitats, like Otero Mesa, and endangered species, like the Mexican Gray Wolf. We’ve had more than 20 years of success and we cannot do it without our members. So please join us today by making a secure online donation! Call 575-522-5552 or contact info@wildmesquite.org for more info.

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