SUBMITS PROPOSAL TO PRESERVE OPEN SPACE AND PROTECT RANGELAND TO
significant support from local businesses
coalition of organizations, businesses, ranchers, sportsmen and
individuals has officially submitted a plan to preserve open space,
provide border security and protect ranching to the New Mexico
with submitting the comprehensive proposal, the group, People for
Preserving our Western Heritage (PPWH), also announced that it has added
more than 500 local and regional businesses to its coalition.
PPWH co-chairman, Tom Cooper, the group completed its plan which will
provide protection for large areas of open space in Dona Ana County
without "oppressive" federal wilderness designations that remove access
to the land forever.
"The fact of the
matter is that federal wilderness will put families out of business and
ranches out of production in Dona Ana County. Our plan provides for
reasonable alternatives while also providing for border security,"
announced that PPWH has signed up over 525 local and regional businesses
that support the legislation and oppose federal wilderness designations.
The proposed bill will provide unique preservation areas that encompass
the spirit and stewardship of local control while providing for
abundant, permanently protected open space.
PPWH co-chair, Tom Mobley, the proposed legislation is titled "The Dona
Ana County Planned Growth, Open Space and Rangeland Preservation Act of
2008" and is a carefully crafted document that calls for Special
Preservation Areas and Rangeland Preservation Areas. "What we have put
together provides a balanced approach to preservation and protection of
our federal land, natural resources and open space without sacrificing
access or beneficial use of the land," Mobley said.
Mobley said the
group has produced a video and a power-point presentation on the
proposal that are available to any business, civic group or interested
proposed legislation the following federal lands totaling 302,000 acres
1. The Dona Ana
Mountains Special Preservation Area.
2. Picacho Peak
Special Preservation Area.
3. The Organ
Mountains Rangeland Preservation Area.
4. The Las Uvas
Mountains Watershed and Rangeland Preservation Area.
5. The Robledo
Mountains Watershed and Rangeland Preservation Area.
6. The Potrillo
National Security and Rangeland Preservation Area.
Progressive plan for preserving and enhancing 302,000 acres of federal
land in Dona Ana County released by citizen's group.
An alternative plan to preserve and protect federal lands in Dona Ana
County and around Las Cruces, New Mexico has been released by People For
Preserving Our Western Heritage. The draft legislation will be
submitted to Senators Pete Domenici, Jeff Bingaman and Congressman Steve
Pearce following its review by local governmental entities, interested
groups and individuals.
The core of the draft legislation establishes unique protected areas
that, "maintain and preserve open spaces" and also accommodate established
uses such as ranching, recreation and hunting. The categories being
proposed include Special Preservation Areas (SPA's) and Rangeland
Preservation Areas (RPA's).
According to PPWH co-chairman, Tom Cooper, the plan carefully addresses
all the concerns that have been raised without creating
federally-controlled wilderness areas. "We know a federal wilderness
designation is an oppressive land management mandate that locks up the
land forever without consideration for any long-term evolvement," Cooper
said. "This new plan provides protection for vast amounts of open space
while factoring in the current land use realities and it doesn't put
families out of business."
Under the proposed legislation the following federal lands totaling
302,000 acres are protected:
1. The Dona Ana Mountains Special Preservation Area.
2. Picacho Peak Special Preservation Area.
3. The Organ Mountains Rangeland Preservation Area.
4. The Las Uvas Mountains Watershed and Rangeland Preservation Area.
5. The Robledo Mountains Watershed and Rangeland Preservation Area.
6. The Potrillo National Security and Rangeland Preservation Area.
Cooper says these new areas would be provided the preservation effect
of federal "wilderness" but without the oppressive rules and regulations
that have become a major drawback to such proposals. The plan
proposed by PPWH also calls for the "full protection" of the Dona Ana
Mountains and Picacho Peak, "from development by withdrawal from all forms
of entry, appropriation or disposal under the public land, mining and
geothermal leasing laws."
The Preservation Areas were established to protect lands while
encompassing "the spirit and stewardship of local control" and providing
for "abundant, permanent open space."
Tom Mobley, PPWH co-chairman, said the proposed legislation addresses
the fact that most areas proposed for wilderness designation in Dona Ana
County do not remotely fit the stringent criteria for such designations as
set forth in the Wilderness Act of 1964. "It is our intent to
preserve these lands in question while also taking into account the
historical significance of the healthy soil and plant community, wildlife,
livestock and the social fabric of this county," Mobley said.
He pointed out that the federal lands in the plan will never be sold or
exchanged for development. In addition, Mobley said that with few
exceptions, "motorized vehicles will be confined to roads designated under
the management plan of the area." Another tenet of the proposal
addresses concerns about expanded flood control, off channel storage and
future water supplies which would not be allowed under a federal
The Potrillo National Security and Rangeland Preservation Area focuses
on the expert opinions of law enforcement officials regarding border
security. The concern is that a wilderness designation along the
U.S./Mexico border would, "constitute an amplified national security
"We have made a serious effort to include the concerns of all the
stakeholders with this proposed legislation. It is aimed at retention of
open space, flood control, border security, continued public access,
protection of historic ranching operations, wildlife and rangeland health
all wrapped up in a package that is true to the fidelity of historic
wilderness concepts," Cooper said.
To review and comment on the complete legislative plan, executive
summary and associated map, log on to the website: