@GloriaYAyeePresident Obama’s administration has revealed that the government will designate 500,000 acres of five mountain ranges (Organ, Dona Ana, Sierras de Las Uvas, Robledo and Greater Potrillo) in southern New Mexico as a national monument on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. The monument would cover a region close to the Mexican border. The Federal government announced that about 250,000 acres of the contested area would be set-aside as wilderness for the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, meaning that the region would be off limits to developers, and no construction or vehicles would be permitted. According to reports, this designation could generate more than $7.4 million annually for the region. Plans to designate the area as a monument have been underway for some time, but the issue has been controversial from the beginning. While the recent announcement comes as a victory for the tourism industry and environmentalists, who see the establishment of this monument as a way to protect the land and bring in revenue, the move is sure to anger local ranchers who oppose it due to concerns that it will interfere with their grazing rights. Local police authorities and border security advocates also fear that such a vast wilderness area will create a security gap that will make the region vulnerable to exploitation by Mexican drug cartels. The White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, said that President Obama is working “to preserve the prehistoric, historic and scientific values of the area for all Americans.” The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, which is twice as large as Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico, will be the largest national monument that the president has created during his tenure. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), who played an instrumental role in advocating for the designation of the area as a national monument, told The Washington Post that he and other lawmakers would continue to work together to pass legislation that will address some of the unresolved issues of concern, including increased wilderness protections and a buffer zone for border patrol operations. Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks is considered to be a “crown jewel” in the southern New Mexico region. The area includes canyons, petroglyphs, mountain peaks, and rock spires. Keep Up With PopWrapped On The Web!