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Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Could Be Designated a National Monument

PHOTO: New Mexico's historic Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks area is being considered for National Monument designation. Photo courtesy of NASA.
PHOTO: New Mexico's historic Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks area is being considered for National Monument designation. Photo courtesy of NASA.
December 13, 2013

LAS CRUCEZ, N.M. – New Mexico's historic Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks area is being considered for National Monument designation.

U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico have introduced legislation that would create the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

Nora Barraza, mayor of the nearby town of Mesilla, says the legislation will help protect Native American cultural ruins, pristine mountain ranges and wilderness.

She says it also will help preserve the region's rich history, which includes Geronimo and a famous gunfighter.

"Billy the Kid was actually tried in the town of Mesilla,” she relates. “He was tried and found guilty here – and, of course, he escaped."

Udall says in a statement: "Designating a national monument would put the Organ Mountains and other spectacular areas of Doña Ana County on recreation maps around the world, attracting tourists to Southern New Mexico, creating jobs and bringing in millions of dollars in tourism revenue."

Barraza adds the national monument designation will also help to ensure that sportsmen can continue to hunt game in the half-million-acre region.

"Oh, absolutely,” she says. “A couple of trips I've taken out, you can see the deer out there, the antelope, such a variety of wildlife out there."

The new monument would be managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and would include eight new wilderness areas.


Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM