Deborah Stevens, BLM Public Affairs Specialist Published 4:00 p.m. MT Nov. 30, 2019
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Like a perfect holiday package, the Doña Ana Mountains have been wrapped in nature’s best, including unique geological formations and a colorful tapestry of desert flora and fauna. In addition, the Doña Ana Mountains are the “gift that keeps on giving,” especially for their diverse recreational opportunities in a close and easy commute from the greater Las Cruces area.
The Bureau of Land Management is the proud custodian of the public land this special 8,580-acre mountain and desert range encompasses. Along with the Organ, Robledo, Potrillo and Las Uvas mountains, the Doña Anas are part of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, which was established in 2014.
This outstanding playground has something for everyone, especially those wanting to get out and enjoy the outdoors for its natural beauty by hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback, wildlife watching and (limited) motorized vehicle trail riding. The invigorating experiences will keep visitors coming back for more.
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Of course, the increased recreational use means all visitors need to be conscientious of the fragile natural resources, considerate of the diverse recreationists using the recreational area at the same time, and mindful to not litter or damage signs/fences erected to guide the public’s use.
In addition, visitors to the Doña Ana Mountains are asked to be respectful of the neighboring communities which border all sides of the area. It is especially critical for visitors who engage in recreational shooting to remember that this activity must be safely practiced far away from any residential areas or roads and all targets and trigger trash must be cleaned up and disposed of properly.
The key to keeping the Doña Ana Mountains pristine and open for access is for all recreational users to respect and take care of her diverse ecological, cultural and geologic attributes for today and future generations.
The holidays are an excellent time of the year to take stock in the gifts public land provide throughout the year. Access to these gifts is made possible through the BLM. However, the BLM needs the public’s support to care for them. Everyone using the Doña Ana Mountains can do their share to maintain and protect their exceptional characteristics. By “treading lightly,” the public can enjoy the mountains and surrounding desert responsibly, furthering BLM’s goals of ethical recreation use.
Throughout history, the Doña Ana Mountains have been a treasured landmark. It makes sense for all users to maintain, enhance and protect their resources, objects and values. While the BLM provides management oversight for this special area, it’s the public who can enhance this gift by being good stewards.
Happy Holidays to all who enjoy the Doña Ana Mountains and the 5.4 million acres of public land managed by the BLM Las Cruces District in southern New Mexico.
For more information and maps of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and the different mountain ranges within its designated boundaries, check out the BLM website at www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/new-mexico/organ-mountains-desert-peaks-national-monument, or visit the BLM Las Cruces District at 1800 Marquess St. in Las Cruces.
Deborah Stevens is a public affairs specialist for the Bureau of Land Management Las Cruces District Office.
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