About 450,000 acres in southern New Mexico are set to become the country’s newest national monument.
The Las Cruses Sun Newsreports that President Barack Obama will designate the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument on Wednesday. 350 square miles within the Organ range will also receive federal wilderness designation, the highest level of land protection offered by the government.
The Robledo, Dona Ana, Potrillo and Sierra de Las Cruses Mountains will be protected under the designation, as well as other historical sites in the region including the Camino Real, the Butterfield Stagecoach Trail, and Apollo Space Program training sites.
The designation is expected to bring more than $7.4 million to the communities surrounding the monument through outdoor recreation jobs and tourism.
Read more: Las Cruses Sun News