The picturesque Organ Mountains near Las Cruces have been given special praise and recognition by the White House. President Barack Obama designated the area a national monument at a May 21 ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Doña Ana County, whose county seat is Las Cruces, is celebrated for its wild, open spaces and history.
The 496,000-acre Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument preserves and protects historical and cultural features that include petroglyph-lined canyons of the Sierra de las Uvas Mountains, Billy the Kid’s Outlaw Rock, Geronimo’s Cave and more than 22 miles of the Butterfield Stagecoach route. The area was also training ground for the Apollo Space Program and World War II bomber pilots and crews, and contains the original U.S./Mexico border after the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (later changed by the Gadsden Purchase).
At the proclamation signing event in the nation’s capital, the president called the Organ Mountains overlooking Las Cruces “a spectacular sight,” predicting that protection of this land will boost tourism and the local economy. Research has shown that national monuments add millions of dollars to the economies close to them, as well as additional jobs and increased per capita income.
“We have always known the Organ Mountains to be a special place, and with this national monument designation, we can ensure that residents and travelers will be able to enjoy the Organs’ natural, cultural and historical assets well into the future,” said Phil San Filippo, executive director of the Las Cruces Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We look forward to welcoming an influx of visitors who might have never been aware of these treasures otherwise.”
With the addition of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, there are now two national monuments within an hour’s drive of Las Cruces, the second being White Sands National Monument. The Organ Mountains are also home to an array of recreational activities such as hiking, biking, camping, picnicking and viewing wildlife. Trail information, directions from Las Cruces, a monument map and additional visitor information are available at www.explorelascruces.com/explore/organ-mountains/.
For media inquiries or high-resolution photography of the Organ Mountains, contact Brooke Traister at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-252-0900.
About Las Cruces:
Nestled in the Mesilla Valley between the Rio Grande River and Organ Mountains, Las Cruces, New Mexico, is quickly becoming a popular southwestern destination. Visitors can experience 72 holes of spectacular year-round golf and world-class Mexican food. Las Cruces blends a unique variety of special events, attractions, culture and historical sites, as well as superb weather, with 325 days of sunshine per year. Two national monuments, White Sands and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, are within an hour’s drive. For more information on all Las Cruces has to offer, visit www.explorelascruces.com.