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Conservationists tout Indiana's old mines and brownfields to develop renewable energy; Louisiana becomes 1st state to require the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools; Black Hills Visitor Center under new joint tribal, federal oversight; Judge set to rule on massive MT logging project.

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Former President Donald Trump says he loves Milwaukee, civil rights groups reject designated protest zones for the RNC convention and a New York Equal Rights Amendment is restored to the November ballot.

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Rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town, prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands and a Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival.

Obama To Designate Organ Mountains a National Monument

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014   

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Following years of work by many people in New Mexico, President Barack Obama will designate the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks as a national monument.

The president is expected to formalize the designation Wednesday.

Mark Allison, executive director of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, says his group is among a broad coalition of organizations and people that worked together over the past decade to get the monument designation.

"It really represents years of work and broad-based community support and a very diverse coalition of folks that include business leaders, faith community, scholars, sportsmen and conservationists,” he says. “And I think it's been described as a national model."

White House spokesman Jay Carney says by establishing the monument the president will permanently protect more than 496,000 acres to preserve the prehistoric, historic and scientific values of the area for the benefit of all Americans.

Allison agrees, noting that the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument preserves and protects an immense area of wilderness, mountains, Native American culture and New Mexico history for generations to come.

"Industrial uses – oil, gas, mining – things like that will be prohibited,” he points out. “And the area will be protected for traditional uses including grazing, but also recreation, and obviously the wildlife and habitat and biodiversity, and all those important resources as well."

The national monument designation is expected to create millions of dollars of economic gain through new tourism in Southern New Mexico.





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