The following was sent to me by Frank DuBois through Western Heritage Alliance. While I share their skepticism of online petitions, proponents of the land grab are using them, so opponents of the Monument designation should do the same.
The controversy around a National Monument in Dona Ana County has moved from local to national input. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell came to Las Cruces a few weeks ago for a listening session on the 500,000 acre Organ Mts-Desert Peaks National Monument. The environmental supporters had ample time to get notices out to rally support for the large national monument. Supporters of a smaller national monument for just the Organ Mountains had only 2 days to notify the local citizens of the meeting. The Sun News did not report about the meeting until the day of the meeting. Buses were used to bring supporters from Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Silver City and El Paso. Consequently, the room was packed to over capacity with monument supporters and the Secretary may have left with a false impression that the majority of the local people were in favor of a large national monument.
I have been skeptical of on line petitions until I received two from Senator Tom Udall, one asking for my signature on his petition in support of his bill S 1805 and the other on climate change. He will be using an online petition to generate support for his bill and or recommending to Secretary Jewell and President Obama he sign a Presidential Proclamation designating one fourth of Dona Ana County as a National Monument.
I have developed an online petition for those opposed to a large national monument to make it known to the President, Secretary Jewell and as well as Senators Udall and Heinrich that there is not a consensus in favor of the 500,000 acre national monument.
It is important that you sign the petition and pass the link on to your contacts for their signature. Together, we can stop this major land grab.
Jerry G. Schickedanz, Chairman