Just one day after Trump’s Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke told a Senate committee that he had not yet decided whether he would shrink New Mexico’s national monuments, Steve Pearce demanded that Zinke shrink Doña Ana County’s Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument by an astounding 88% to accommodate just 800 businesses and individuals in the district of more than 606,000 people.
From Michael Coleman in the Albuquerque Journal’s Washington Bureau:
WASHINGTON – A day after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he might not alter the size of two of New Mexico’s newest monuments, Rep. Steve Pearce implored him to dramatically shrink the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in his southern district.
At a Senate hearing Wednesday, Zinke, who is reviewing more than two dozen national monuments for possible reductions in size, said he was open to keeping New Mexico’s newest monuments unchanged.
“If it’s settled and people are happy with it, I find no reason to recommend any changes,” Zinke said.
But at a House hearing to consider the Interior Department’s budget Thursday, Pearce said that’s not the case. He lifted up a stack of papers that he said contained the signatures of “800 businesses and individuals” who want to reduce the nearly 500,000-acre federally protected area by 88 percent, to 60,000 acres…
Even if they were all people (and corporations aren’t people) that would still be 0.0013% of voices in his district. That’s 1/1000th of the people Pearce represents.
In May, an actual poll of Doña Ana County voters found that 63% opposed reducing the monument size.
Steve Pearce has 800 names on his list and he says that’s all he needs to show support to take away our public lands at the monument.
We’ve teamed up with public lands partners to send Pearce & Zinke many more voices than that in support of New Mexico’s monuments. Add your name now.
Use ProgressNow’s civic engagement tools to tell Secretary Zinke how much New Mexico’s monuments mean to us and we’ll deliver your comments before the comment period closes.