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However, we would like to keep you apprised of how ARRA has been involved on this issue by providing the text of the original action alert that was sent to our members. If you have not already done so, please join ARRA to receive any updates on this issue that may occur as well as other important action alerts.
Original Action Alert:
As ARRA recently alerted you, on October 31, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a speech at the National Press Club, “If Congress doesn’t step up to act to protect some of these important places that have been identified by communities and people throughout the country, then the President will take action. There’s no question that if Congress doesn’t act, we will.” Secretary Jewell is also embarking on a tour of potential sites for designation as National Monuments. There is much speculation that she will support efforts to designate a massive area surrounding the Organ Mountains as a National Monument.
Please click the Send Message button to send an email to Secretary Jewell opposing such a designation and in support of legislation introduced by Representative Steve Pearce (R-NM) that would make a much smaller, and more appropriate, designation.
Pearce’s legislation, H.R. 995, would set aside a truly remarkable area in the Organ Mountains for singular recognition. Most importantly, the legislation seeks to designate an appropriately sized area that calls special attention to the extraordinary Organ Mountains while not locking out multiple uses from thousands of additional nearby acres.
As you know, the Antiquities Act provides that the President has the authority to declare areas, “…the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible…” as National Monuments. It is clear that several Presidents have stretched this authority to designate enormous swaths of public lands as National Monuments, often locking out multiple uses like motorized recreation. H.R. 995 would reverse the trend of National Monuments becoming ever larger designations that are little more than thinly veiled efforts to circumvent the clear statutory authority of Congress to designate areas as wilderness.