El Paso activists join Otero Mesa team

Otero Mesa

By Dan Lorimier, Chapter Conservation Coordinator

In November 2013, El Paso Group activists met to create a campaign plan to gain National Monument status for Otero Mesa. The plan calls for grassroots education and volunteer opportunities as well as media, ecological and Congressional profile-raising and awareness in the area.

This is a new and important voice from Rio Grande Chapter Texans for permanently protecting this vast area that boasts iconic geologic, archaeological and historical records.

Meanwhile, our coalition’s efforts to convince the BLM to supplement its Tri-County Resource Management Plan for Sierra, Doña Ana and Otero Counties, includng Otero Mesa, have paid off.

Before issuing the plan, the BLM will now include comprehensive sections for gas and oil leasing and identifying Lands with Wilderness Characteristics. This is a huge win for generating a comprehensive and protective plan for Otero Mesa until more permanent protection can be established.