Protecting Our Lands from Exploitation

New Energy Economy works with partners throughout the state of New Mexico to protect our land, water, and air from energy extraction. By campaigning to designate public lands as protected, we and our grassroots partners and allies in office have ensured that over 775,000 acres in New Mexico will continue to sustain surrounding communities livelihoods for generations to come.

President Obama Designates Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks (OMDP) a National Monument

Organ Mountains Desert Peaks

In May 2014, the collaborative efforts of groups and individuals across New Mexico culminated in victory: In response to an outpouring of community support and land stewardship, President Obama declared OMDP a national monument, securing permanent protection for its 525,000 acres of public lands outside of Las Cruces in Doña Ana County, New Mexico.

The national monument includes places that chronicle New Mexico’s history, including the site of the original US-Mexico border prior to the Gadsden Purchase, training sites for the Apollo Mission (Kilbourne Hole), and thousands of ancient archaeological sites with unique prehistoric rock art carved and painted onto the cliffs. The scenic Organ Mountains offer a spectacular backdrop for cultural destinations within the monument, including the petroglyph-lined canyons of the Sierra de las Uvas Mountains and the sites of numerous well-known western historical figures and events including Billy the Kid, Geronimo, and the Camino Real, and Butterfield Stage Coach Trails.

Economic studies show this designation has the potential to add more than $7.4 million in additional annual economic activity and to double the number of jobs supported by outdoor recreation and tourism industry in the region.

This designation came in response to considerable support and engagement from the OMDP local community, Native American leaders including the All Pueblo Governors Council, the New Mexico and National League of United Latin American Citizens, the New Mexico and Las Cruces Green Chambers of Commerce, local ranchers, sportsmen, faith leaders, archaeologists, historians and numerous local elected leaders.

Read our full press release here.

Digital Photo Book Puts Faces Behind Successful Campaign for Monument Status

Check out the diverse supporters and landscape of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, including sportsmen, Native American leaders, business owners, elected officials, veterans, clergy, and youth leaders. The slideshow is elegantly housed in a digital picture frame suitable for display on a desk or coffee table.

Rio Grande del Norte declared a National Monument: Unity in land stewardship

We did it! If there is one unifying force, it is the love of place. We acted with clarity, cohesion, and courage. We acted as a New Mexico coalition.

President Obama heeded our call and responded. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Senator Bingaman (ret.), Martin Heinrich and Congressman Ben Ray Lujan were present to celebrate with hundreds of people the permanent protection of the Rio Grande del Norte in March 2013.

Rio Grande del Norte celebration

Left to right: Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, Sen. Martin Heinrich, Taos Pueblo leaders, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (ret.), and at right, Sec. of the Interior Ken Salazar celebrate President Obama’s designation of the Rio Grande del Norte as a National Monument

We were one of many supporters of the preservation of the Rio Grande del Norte. Biologically diverse and spectacular, this swath of wilderness spanning 242,000 acres through rich wildlife habitat offers a paradise for backcountry hiking and fishing, an outstanding place for observing nature in all its splendor, and a refuge for solitude and rejuvenation. The support for preservation, across all ages and races, professions and politics, also springs from the significant tourism revenues flowing from this area in a state where tourism is the economic spine.

In order to effect this preservation, we employed a creative and multifaceted outreach platform that successfully magnified the message.

Key elements:

1. We designed, produced and executed a beautiful coffee table book, The Rio Grande del Norte – One Hundred New Mexican Speak for a Legacy, that celebrates the breadth and depth of passion from varied voices that believe in the land’s economic, environmental, and cultural significance.

2. We generated a buzz with a “King Kong” Santa Fe bus wrap promotional campaign featuring a picture of the Rio Grande and powerful pictures of local heroes and heroines who have taken a stand for permanent protection of this national treasure.

The Rio Grande del Norte bus wrap artworkThe Rio Grande del Norte bus wrap artwork

3. We hand-delivered more than 500 signed postcards from people all over New Mexico urging President Obama to permanently protect this area. During the process of collecting these postcards, our well-trained young activists contacted, educated, and activated thousands of New Mexico citizens, some of whom have become champions for environmental protections. » Click here to view the postcard

4.  The Santa Fe City Council unanimously supported a Resolution to permanently protect the Rio Grande del Norte. After Councilor Peter Ives spoke glowingly in support, all of the other Councilors co-sponsored the Resolution. To view the Resolution » click here 

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