Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks (New Mexico)
Another Obama designation under the Antiquities Act, the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument was established in 2014. The nearly 500,000-acre area is home to vast wildlife diversity, as well interesting cultural sites, such as an Apollo Space Mission training site and WWII-era bombardier training targets. And New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce, while initially being for a small national monument designation, has requested Trump to review the size of the monument and scale it back.
"The Antiquities Act requires that a president designate the smallest possible footprint in order to achieve the desired environmental preservation. American's have witnessed the Obama administration disregard that part of the law," Pearce, who was paid $222,000 in 2015-2016 by oil and gas interests, has said.
"There's so much evidence, especially around New Mexico's monument, that they are economic drivers for those areas," says Weiss. "Pearce's knee jerk opposition, especially considering the state of New Mexico's economy, really goes against the economic best interests of his own state. It seems to be driven more by federalism than any sort of rational thought or planning for what actually drives the economy in New Mexico."