U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce is pushing again for federal protection of an area in southern New Mexico.
The New Mexico Republican says the Organ Mountains National Monument Establishment Act was developed with help from ranchers, business owners, conservationists and sportsmen.
Pearce says the proposal makes sure the area is protected without threatening local jobs. It also protects the rights of ranchers, hunters and law enforcement agents to access the area.
Some Las Cruces residents have pushed for a more comprehensive monument that would also protect cultural sites including Apollo Space Mission training areas, Native American petroglyphs and the Butterfield stagecoach route.
Las Cruces Mayor Pro Tem Sharon Thomas tells the Las Cruces Sun-News (http://bit.ly/15yL2Tx) that Pearce is ignoring the wishes of the Dona Ana County Commission and the cities of Las Cruces and Mesilla.