The Organ Mountains form the rugged backdrop to Las Cruces, New Mexico’s second-largest city. In those mountains are hundreds of thousands of acres of desert grasslands, sky island mountain peaks, canyons, arroyos, historic features from both Native Americans and early Spanish settlers, and an abundance of plant and animal diversity. In fact, the mountain range is the most botanically diverse in the state, home to a rich assortment of ferns, lichens, mosses, and several plant species that exist nowhere else in the world. Mountain lions, javelina, mule deer, quail, and countless other animals call this area home.
Unfortunately, these one-of-a-kind lands are facing a variety of threats. Las Cruces and the surrounding regions is one of the most rapidly expanding areas of New Mexico and along with that growth comes the resulting urban sprawl. As the population has grown, destructive off-road vehicle use has also risen dramatically. And very recently, proposals have multiplied for destructive energy development and rare earth mineral mining. However, a significant portion of this area can still be saved through a National Monument designation.