Happy Birthday Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument!
One year ago today, the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in New Mexico was established to protect significant prehistoric, historic, geologic, and biologic resources. The 496,330 acre monument - a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands - includes the Organ Mountains, Desert Peaks, Potrillo Mountains, and Doña Ana Mountains.
The Organ Mountains are a steep, angular mountain range with rocky spires that jut majestically above the Chihuahuan Desert floor to an elevation of 9,000 feet. It is so named because the needle-like spires resemble the pipes of an organ. Located adjacent to and on the east side of Las Cruces, the Monument provides many opportunities for photography, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, camping, and wildlife viewing.
All week, members of the Las Cruces community have celebrated the one year milestone of the monument with multiple events and a new Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks girl scout badge.
“Did you know #AmericanHikingSociety hosts over 50 trail stewardship trips every year? In 2014 alone, we organized 57 trail projects across the country working with federal land agencies like #BLM to identify areas that need the most care. We equipped 449 volunteers with the tools they needed to put some love back into our trail system. That comes out to 17,960 hard working hours put in by volunteers. The success of these volunteers can be seen across 285 miles of trails that were improved, including the BLM’s Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument pictured here!
The monument is a remarkable location to observe, study, and experience the geologic processes that shape natural landscapes. The cone-shaped tent rock formations are the products of volcanic eruptions that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago and left pumice, ash, and tuff deposits over 1,000 feet thick. A national recreation trail and the wheelchair-accessible Veterans Memorial Trail offer unique hikes and picturesque views. Volunteers spent the week building water diversions on a one-mile section of this heavily used trail. These water diversions will help prevent continued trail erosion and ensure that the trail is accessible and safe for future hikers.”
“American Hiking works diligently every day in beautiful landscapes both across the country and in your own backyard to make sure the same trails you hike today, are there to hike tomorrow. We hope that you and your family will take the time to visit those trails and other public lands today.
Pictured here, the BLM’s Wild and Scenic Trinity River in Redding, California, world famous for its fly fishing. Paddlers enjoy the narrow valley with Ponderosa Pine, Douglas Fir, Oaks, and Madrone trees coating the walls of the canyons. The adventure-driven explore the white waters below Pigeon Point rage at class III-V. Other just hit the trail with friends and family, horses, even the family pet.
Today, we enjoy these experiences outdoors, and remember those who have sacrificed to protect our beautiful American landscapes.”