January 22, 2014
New Poll: Overwhelming Support for Organ Mountains -- Desert Peaks National Monument
By Vet Voice Foundation | Press Release
Organ Mountains – Desert Peaks National Monument Voters in Doña Ana County want historic, military, and cultural sites safeguarded in addition to Organ Mountains
Las Cruces, NM– Vet Voice Foundation today released a poll conducted over the past week in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. The poll – conducted by GBA Strategies – found deep support for the proposed Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, which would protect approximately 500,000 acres of scenic public land rich with history, recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat.
“Doña Ana County residents show exceedingly broad, bi-partisan support for establishing the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument,” said Michael Bocian, Principal with GBA Strategies. “Nearly three out of four (72%) residents support establishing the Organ Mountains- Desert Peaks National Monument.”
The poll showed that voters in Doña Ana County favor a comprehensive national monument proposal that would protect military history sites as well as other significant landmarks and natural areas.
“Veterans count on the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks for hiking, hunting, and camping; for exploring history; for being with family; and for finding solitude. As veterans we served for these lands overseas and now we want to see them protected at home,” said Doña Ana County veteran Bernie Digman. “This poll shows that voters in Doña Ana County share veterans’ views and want to pass on a legacy of protected local public lands to their children and grandchildren.”
The proposed Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument has been endorsed by the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, Ft. Sill Apache, Doña Ana County Commission, the cities of Las Cruces, El Paso, and Town of Mesilla, the New Mexico and Las Cruces Green Chambers of Commerce, the League of United Latin American Citizens, as well as ranchers, sportsmen, faith leaders, archaeologists, historians and conservation organizations.
“Historic and beautiful places like the Organ, Robledo and Potrillo Mountains are a crucial part of the America our service members are fighting for,” said Mark Starr, program director for Vet Voice Foundation. “In fact, I would say protecting our public lands heritage is one of the most patriotic things we can do. We thank Senators Udall and Heinrich for their leadership, and hope that President Obama and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will join the effort to permanently protect the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks.”
The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation Act was introduced in Congress on December 12, 2013 by New Mexico’s U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich. In addition to the Organ Mountains, the bill would protect the Potrillo, Sierra de Las Uvas and Robledo Mountains, as well as cultural and historical resources and important wildlife habitat.
“Importantly, the majority in Doña Ana County prefers extensive protections provided by creating a comprehensive Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument,” noted Bocian. “The poll found that residents want to protect more than just the Organ Mountains, but also the important cultural and historical areas in Doña Ana County.”
The proposed Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks National Monument contains unique Pre- American, New Mexican, and American history including training sites for the Apollo Space Mission, the Butterfield Stagecoach Trail, Billy the Kid’s Outlaw Rock, Geronimo’s Cave, World War II Aerial Targets and thousands of Native American archaeological sites.
“The areas within the proposed Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument bear silent witness to a very important chapter in U.S. History," said Doña Ana County veteran Tony Cano. “As a veteran, I am particularly encouraged to see the public’s strong support for protecting the area’s full cadre of historic and cultural sites, including military sites like the Deming Bombing Targets.”
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced this week that she would visit the area on Friday January 24th to discuss conservation initiatives to preserve some of Doña Ana County's most iconic landscapes, while boosting the region's tourism and outdoor economy and improving recreational opportunities.
For this poll, GBA Strategies conducted a telephone survey of 400 voters in Doña Ana County New Mexico. The survey was conducted January 16-19, 2014, and has an overall margin of error of +/- 4.9%.
About Vet Voice Foundation
Vet Voice Foundation's mission is to help veterans continue to serve their country by speaking out on vital, national issues. Among these issues is ensuring that war is a last resort - never a first option. Vet Voice Foundation has also pioneered the movement towards clean, renewable energy as a national security issue, and continues to make the case that investment in renewable energy means less money flowing into the hands of those who would do us
harm. Learn more at http://www.vetvoicefoundation.org.