Suddenly, with a slick website ready to go, a group led by Democrat Congressman Gabe Vasquez and left-wing State Senator Carrie Hamblen announced plans this week to create a 245,000-acre national monument. The proposed monument would encompass the Florida Mountains near Deming, Cooke’s Range and Good Sight Mountains to the city’s north and the peaks known as the Tres Hermanas (Three Sisters) near the village of Columbus.
Monuments are a highly restrictive land designations. Sadly, they have been embraced by presidents who can and have declared them without congressional approval. President Obama did this with the Organ Peaks Monument in 2014.
We know that Biden’s Administration has been well to the left of even Obama’s. Will he act in the last year or so of his term (unless re-elected?). It would be in character, but presidents often declare their biggest land grabs on their way out the door. Only time will tell. In the meantime it is incumbent on concerned New Mexicans to push back.
To that end, the Rio Grande Foundation is hosting a luncheon with nationally recognized land and environment expert Gabriela Hoffman.