Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks Conservation Act

"The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks region offers outstanding cultural resources, tourism and recreational opportunities like hunting, hiking, and camping, and links us strongly to our past. For years, diverse coalitions in New Mexico have worked tirelessly for its permanent protection. By designating this natural treasure a national monument, a critical piece of our shared outdoor heritage will be protected for us now and for future generations of Americans to enjoy."
–U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich

The Organ, Doña Ana, Sierra de las Uvas, Robledo, and Potrillo Mountains are among the many scenic landscapes in Doña Ana County that define Southern New Mexico and the rich culture of its people. 

Now that the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument has been established, Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) are continuing to pursue the remaining provisions of S. 1805, including designation of wilderness areas within the monument and releasing wilderness study area restrictions within five miles of the international border to give additional flexibility to Border Patrol officers working in the area. 

These provisions can only be accomplished through legislation, not a monument proclamation by the president.

Establishing the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks as a national monument is the culmination of a decade of involvement from the local community. It permanently protects nearly 500,000 acres stretching across the Organ, Doña Ana, Potrillo, Robledo and Uvas mountains, home to many game animals, such as pronghorn sheep and deer, as well as rare plants and animals, some found nowhere else in the world.

The new national monument encompasses Broad Canyon, Sleeping Lady Hills, Rough and Ready Hills, Picacho Peak, Mount Riley, Peña Blanca and Bishop's Cap, and contains more than 5,000 archeologically and culturally significant sites, including Geronimo's Cave, Billy the Kid's Outlaw Rock, Spanish settlement sites, and numerous petroglyphs and pictographs. 

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation Benefits New Mexico

  • Showcases to residents and those around the world not only a highly diverse set of resources and opportunities, but also the rich culture and identity of our state.
  • Preserves iconic view sheds as well as outstanding historic, cultural, and natural resources.
  • Maintains and preserves traditional use on the landscape by directing the Bureau of Land Management to continue livestock grazing, hunting, and recreation.
  • Preserves access for Border Patrol and local law enforcement to conduct operations.
  • Protects the missions of White Sands Missile Range and Fort Bliss into the future.
  • Through increased tourism generates an estimated $7.4 million in annual new economic activity, new jobs, and other economic benefits.