Fantastic News: A Wilderness bill for Doña Ana County has been reintroduced!
S. 1024, the Organ Mountains - Doña Ana County Conservation and Protection Act was introduced on May 18, 2011 by Senator Jeff Bingaman, with Senator Tom Udall as the original co-sponsor.
Similar legislation was introduced during the last Congressional session by Senators Bingaman and Udall, but even though the bill was passed out of committees with broad support, it never received a final vote to become law.
Now, the bill has a new lease on life. Let's thank our Senators for reintroducing this legislation, and encourage them to keep fighting for the protection of Doña Ana County's wild lands.
- If passed, this Act would protect the most iconic landscapes in Doña Ana County and Southern New Mexico: the Organ Mountains, Potrillo Mountains, Aden Lava Flow, and Broad Canyon, among other landmarks.
- 241,000 acres would be protected as designated Wilderness. Currently, there is no Wilderness on BLM land in the entire southern half of New Mexico!
- An additional 100,000 acres will be protected in a National Conservation Area.
- The Act was developed from a Citizens Proposal, and enjoys the bipartisan support of thousands of local citizens, hundreds of local businesses, the Back Country Horsemen of New Mexico, the Doña Ana County Associated Sportsmen, the Hispano Chamber of Commerce de Las Cruces, the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce, local government, former Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett, and Paul Deason, member of the US Department of Justice Anti-terrorism Advisory Council.
- Numerous safeguards have been incorporated into the Act to ensure border security and enforcement is in no way compromised.