Mimbres Peaks National Monument logo in full color with a white background

Ranching Would Be Protected in New Monument

Good Sight Mountains
Monument Coalition Supports Preserving Ranching, as was Done in Recent Doña Ana County and Taos County National Monuments

As the community discussion begins about the proposal to establish a new national monument in Luna County, the Mimbres Peaks National Monument Coalition is stating its strong support of the preservation of ranching in potential monument lands in Luna County. Ranching actively continues in New Mexico’s most recent BLM managed national monuments, the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, and Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.

The main tool used to preserve ranching and other valid and existing rights in a law or Presidential proclamation establishing a monument is the inclusion of language specifically protecting ranching. Language is also commonly included to continue the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s border activities and not impact valid existing rights, which the Mimbres Peaks Monument Coalition also strongly supports.

Below is the language used in the proclamation creating the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument outside Las Cruces to preserve ranching:

“Laws, regulations, and policies followed by the BLM in issuing and administering grazing permits or leases on lands under its jurisdiction shall continue to apply with regard to the lands in the monument, consistent with the protection of the objects identified above.”

In the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument (OMDP), the BLM’s management of livestock grazing has not been impacted since the monument’s designation in 2014. Ranching has continued, including motorized access, and the number of grazing permits and the number of livestock permitted (AUMs) remain unchanged. In fact, the utilization of the total AUMs permitted has increased. Actual grazing numbers on OMDP lands in the six years after the monument’s designation (2015-2020) were 30 percent greater than during the six years prior to the monument (2008-2013). 

In addition, according to the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service, a national monument designation does not preclude ranchers from using federal funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for infrastructure and rangeland improvement projects within the monument’s boundary. 


Benefits of a Mimbres Peaks National Monument include:

  • Preservation of public lands used for ranching.
  • Establish a proven tourism and outdoor economy engine through the creation of a prestigious national monument. Since the designation of OMDP outside Las Cruces, spending by non-local visitors has resulted in more than $234 million in cumulative economic impact, including $35 million in 2022. In 2022, visitation to OMDP supported 305 local jobs.
  • Create new jobs and opportunities in Luna County, which has some of the highest rates of poverty and unemployment in New Mexico. New economic projections show that under a medium visitation scenario the Mimbres Peaks National Monument could have an economic impact of $11.8 million annually, supporting over 88 new jobs.
  • Preserve significant history in Luna County’s public lands including Mimbres and native cultural sites, World War II top secret Norden Bombsight Training Targets, Butterfield Overland National Historic Trail (Butterfield stagecoach trail), and many other historic sites.
  • Conserve high quality natural habitat for diverse wildlife populations and hunting opportunities. Hunting and wildlife management would continue to be managed as it is today, by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.