National Trust: New National Monument in N.M. a Major Victory for Cultural Resource Protection

President Obama announced yesterday his intention to designate the Organ Mountains - Desert Peaks National Monument. The president will use his authority under the Antiquities Act for the 11th time to create the largest national monument of his tenure on nearly 500,000 acres in southern New Mexico. The following is a statement from Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

“The National Trust for Historic Preservation commends President Obama’s leadership in preserving a landscape that represents ten thousand years of human history. The Organ Mountains - Desert Peaks National Monument encompasses important historic, natural and cultural treasures—many of which have not yet been fully explored or documented. The president’s action ensures that this landscape will be protected for the enjoyment of current and future generations and will continue to offer visitors rich exposure to our nation’s diverse heritage.

“As this designation demonstrates, the Antiquities Act is a powerful tool for protecting not just natural wonders, but also priceless historic and cultural resources located throughout the U.S. Our oldest preservation law, the Act has been used by presidents of both parties for more than a century to designate over a hundred national monuments, including the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon.

“We join our national partners and a broad range of local supporters, including Native American tribes, sportsmen and veterans in thanking Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) for co-sponsoring legislation that proposed this national monument and President Obama for making it a reality.”


BACKGROUND ON THE ORGAN MOUNTAINS - DESERT PEAKS NATIONAL MONUMENT
Possessing a diverse range of historic and cultural resources, including archaeological and sacred sites, places associated with Spanish settlement along El Camino Real, cabins and ranches of homesteaders, Tuskegee Airmen aerial targets, and Kilbourne Hole, a training site for the Apollo astronauts, the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks region is a treasure trove of unique and irreplaceable natural and cultural resources. The creation of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument protects one of the most beautiful and historically rich regions of the American Southwest.

 

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.
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