© 2024 KRWG
News that Matters.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Local residents, organizations call for new national monument in southern New Mexico

The Florida Mountains located in Luna County, New Mexico.
Mason Cummings, BLM
The Florida Mountains located in Luna County, New Mexico.

Local residents, officials, and organizations have announced an effort to establish a new national monument in southern New Mexico that would preserve approximately 245,000 acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The proposed monument would would include an area that includes the Mimbres Peaks-Florida Mountains, Good Sight Mountains, Cookes Peaks, and Tres Hermanas.

Luna County Commissioner Ray Trejo shared why he supports the establishment of the Mimbres Peaks National Monument near Deming, New Mexico. Trejo said that the designation would help increase tourism and outdoor recreation to public lands in the area while preserving historical sites and cultural traditions in the region.


Anthony Moreno: Commissioner, thanks for joining us. You are part of a group that is proposing a new National Monument in Luna County. What can you tell us about this proposal?

Ray Trejo: Yeah, absolutely. And thanks for having me on Anthony. The reason that I am supporting this monument designation is simply because of. I know that. The value and economic driver that this can be for our community. You know, Luna County has seen better years. And I I think this is a golden opportunity to bring more dollars into our community. You know everybody likes paved roads, and fix the potholes, ambulance service, and I just think is there a county commissioner that whenever there's opportunity to bring more money into that revenue stream. I think it's good for the community.

Anthony Moreno: Can you tell me about the area that you are proposing to make a National Monument?

Ray Trejo: There's four different mountain ranges that kind of surround our community. The first one is the Florida mountains and it's southwest or southeast of Deming. And then we have the three sisters that is South even further South than the Floridas is it's right along the Mexican border. It's called the Tres Hermanas, and then we have Cooks peak range, which is just north of our community. And then just to the east of Cookes Peak Range, we have what's called the Good Sight Range.

Anthony Moreno: What sort of recreational opportunities do you see being possible with this area that you're proposing to be a National Monument?

Ray Trejo: Very similar to our our sister community to the East, Doña Ana, I actually was part of working on that campaign for Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks and it it it's eventually going to bring those very same that very same infrastructure to Luna County. We need some trail systems. We'd like to hopefully create a Cultural Center. We have, we have no established trails in and around our mountains. And the ones we do there, it's. It's so small and you know Anthony, when you go out to the monument in Doña Ana County, there's people there recreating all the time. So that is our hope for Luna County. I know it will happen. You build it and they will come. We have the city and the county support at this point and we just want to capitalize on that.

Anthony Moreno: Obviously, connection to history and culture in the region, what other parts of this proposed National Monument make it worth conserving?

Ray Trejo: Yeah. So, I mean, it protects not only as you said the cultural and the historical values that we have in these mountain ranges. But it also protects the traditional use, such as ranching. I'm a hunter, I grew up hunting and hunting is a very I mean it's something that is part of my family's culture and many. Their families in in the region and that also is something that it will help to protect so that traditional land use absolutely will stay intact. Deming is known for rock hounding as well. There's a lot of value in and around our mountains. People come from all over to Rockhound and collect rocks, and that too will stay intact.

Anthony Moreno: Ray Trejo is part of a group that is working to establish a National Monument in Luna County. He is also a Luna County Commissioner. Commissioner Trejo, I want to thank you so much for taking. The time to talk with us.

Ray Trejo: Thank you, Anthony.

This post was updated to include the audio transcript.

Anthony Moreno serves as the Director of Content at KRWG Public Media. He also is host and executive producer for "Fronteras-A Changing America" and "Your Legislators" on KRWG-TV.