Here’s why Steve Pearce is really mad about Zinke’s plan to change New Mexico’s monuments

Secretary Ryan Zinke is proposing big changes to New Mexico’s national monuments, but he didn’t recommend eliminating or shrinking and Rep. Steve Pearce is not happy about it. In a press release this morning, the congressman blasted Zinke’s recommendations, saying:
“Secretary Zinke’s recommendation fails to provide the solutions New Mexico needs. Since 2008, I have been working with the local community to establish a compromise that protects the Organ Mountains Desert Peak National Monument (OMDP) while preserving the multiple uses that public lands provide.” Here’s the full press release from Pearce:

[embeddoc url=”https://progressnownm.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Steve-Pearce-PR-on-monuments.pdf” download=”all”]

While the recommendation to not shrink Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks AND Rio Grande del Norte national monuments is a small victory, the proposed “management changes” in Zinke’s memos are still extremely worrisome. Read More: BREAKING: Zinke proposed to open NM monuments to corporate mining and other “traditional uses”

So, why is Pearce so mad? Pearce’s base in Dona Ana County is largely based on the rural ranching community who’ve fought against wilderness and the national monument initiatives for decades.

BREAKING: Zinke proposed to open NM monuments to corporate mining and other “traditional uses”

This weekend, the Wall Street Journal published a leaked version of Interior Secretary Zinke’s memo to Donald Trump with recommendations to significantly change at least six western public national monuments – including two here in New Mexico. Zinke has two plans for Trump: create new powers to let the president give away thousands of acres of public monument land, or turn monument land over to “other uses” to include mining and logging. Four western monuments in other states could be shrunk under the first proposal and here at home both the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument are on the list to be opened to up to corporate use, forever destroying our public lands. RELATED: Click here to see how Rep. Steve Pearce is REALLY mad that he lost the battle to shrink our national monuments. 
Zinke’s memo suggests that a “broader set of activities” be allowed within both OMDP and RGDN monuments. “It emphasizes the need to adjust the proclamations to address concerns of local officials or affected industries, saying the administration should permit ‘traditional uses’ now restricted within the monuments’ boundaries, such as grazing, logging, coal mining and commercial fishing.”

Sec. Zinke, Trump willfully ignore millions of Americans’ public comments on National Monuments, side with known opponents like Pearce, Martinez on public lands

When President Trump issued a directive for his Secretary of the Interior to “review” some 27 national monuments across the American West, a significant part of that process was the public comment reviews. Literally millions of people wrote in their comments to support their love of national monuments, none more fervently than New Mexicans. No, really, more New Mexicans wrote comments per capita than any other single state. The Land of Enchantment really stepped up to the plate to defend our protected public lands. Today, Sec.

JOIN US! We need all hands on deck to protect our National Monuments

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will be touring areas around the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument later this week. It’s all part of his Trump-based agenda to “review” national monuments across the west that were created with the Antiquities Act. These important landmarks contain countless historical, scientific, and recreational resources for all Americans to enjoy and study while preserving our important past.

NEW: Pearce says these 800 business people should decide the size of our monuments. Let’s send him thousands who want them protected.

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. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke

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.