In southern New Mexico, near Las Cruces lies the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument containing 496,330 acres. The Bureau of Land Management is updating the resource management plan that will direct the future of all uses throughout the entirety of the monument. The BLM has given Alternative A as the current management and 3 alternatives, B, C and D. Alternative D is the recreation alternative that actually expands areas that will allow OHV use by 1% depending on the area. Although we would like to see even more open as there are already restrictive management designations and laws protecting this area. It is refreshing to see the BLM look at expanding uses in some capacity once in awhile. Submit a comment to the BLM by July 5, 2024. If you have specific information or requests on this area please include them at the beginning of the letter that will be sent to elected officials as well as the BLM planning team.

Full Briefing:

Alternative B: This is the most restrictive of the proposals. It will close areas to OHV use. It will designate three new ACEC’s, close areas to recreational shooting and portions of an allotment will be unavailable to grazing. It will undesignate an ACEC and an RNA but only because they are within Congressionally designated Wilderness already. Over 4,000 acres of the Broad Canyon ACEC would be designated. Over 9,000 acres would be designated as the East Potrillo Mountains ACEC and over 900 acres as the Picacho Peak ACEC. ACEC’s are area’s of critical environmental concern and historically restrict access for all users.

Alternative C: The “compromise” alternative and the BLM’s preferred alternative for this plan. It will close some areas to grazing and OHV travel. The same areas in Alternative B closed to recreational shooting will be closed under C as well except a smaller portion of the Dona Ana mountains. The ACEC and RNA will be undesignated just as in B.

Alternative D: All areas not closed to OHV use will be limited to designated roads. All ACEC’s will be undesignated. Dona Ana Mountains ACEC would be released as an ACEC also the Organ/Franklin Mountains ACEC which is currently over 54,000 acres. Under Alt. B this ACEC would be expanded and under Alt. C this ACEC would be reduced to 36,000 acres. Releasing these ACEC’s should be a priority.

Currently under Alternative A, 49% of the monument is closed to motorized use. Alternative D proposed to have 48% of the monument closed.

Camping at Sierra Vista and Baylor Canyon will be limited to a two day limit. Alternative B is proposing to close camping in these areas altogether.

Recreational target shooting will be restricted to specific areas.