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.”

[ACT NOW] Time is running out for your comments to save our National Monuments

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said in testimony yesterday that he would come to New Mexico and see first-hand areas within at least one of the state’s two National Monuments his department is reviewing. I thank @MartinHeinrich for the invitation to see #NewMexico on horseback. Looking forward to it. — Secretary Ryan Zinke (@SecretaryZinke) June 20, 2017

The DOI is reviewing the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and Rio Grande del Norte National Monument because of spurious claims that President Obama overreached his authority when designating both areas under the Antiquities Act. Read more to see why we know New Mexicans want our monuments to be left as is.