New Mexico delegates make plea for 2 national monuments

Las Cruces
Las Cruces

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Democratic members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation have issued another plea to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to keep intact two national monuments on a list of sites being reviewed by the federal government.

Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Reps. Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan Grisham sent a letter to Zinke on Monday, saying thousands of New Mexicans support the monuments. The deadline for Zinke to issue his recommendations is Thursday.

Some Hispanic ranchers have argued that the designations hurt families that have long fought the federal government over uses of historical land ties in colonial Spanish land grants.

Zinke visited New Mexico last month and held a series of private stakeholder meetings about the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument near Las Cruces and the Rio Grande del Norte monument outside of Taos.