Public Lands

Public Lands

All about the BLM and how to make a difference on our public lands

The Bureau of Land Management's public process is one of the most effective ways we can influence wildlife management, oil and gas drilling and protection of special sites on public land. But how does it work, and how can you make a difference? Ever wonder what NEPA, ACEC and other BLM-related terms mean? Join us Saturday and find out.

Jennifer Montoya of the BLM's Las Cruces office has kindly agreed to come to El Paso on Saturday, Dec. 13, to explain the BLM's mandate and how stakeholders, not just the Sierra Club, can engage the agency.


4-8 p.m. Sunday, December 7, 2014
Tortuga Gallery, 901 Edith Boulevard Southeast Albuquerque, NM, 87102 United States

Hard to believe but nearly a year has gone by since our first Bosque Bash. Because of your passion and commitment we have made tremendous strides in keeping our beloved Bosque a natural wonder. Join us on Sunday December 7th at Tortuga Gallery (901 Edith Blvd SE) for another joyous evening of food, fun, family, community…and of course great music, including Sage & Jared’s Happy Gland Band, Sweet Spot, Throw the Temple, Cali Shaw and more!!! Start time TBD.

Sierra Club & Beers: Cibola Forest: Wilderness in Your Back Yard.

Thursday, December 11th
The Sierra Club presents

Sierra Club & Beers: Cibola Forest: Wilderness in Your Back Yard.

El Paso activists join Otero Mesa team

Otero Mesa

By Dan Lorimier, Chapter Conservation Coordinator

In November 2013, El Paso Group activists met to create a campaign plan to gain National Monument status for Otero Mesa. The plan calls for grassroots education and volunteer opportunities as well as media, ecological and Congressional profile-raising and awareness in the area.

This is a new and important voice from Rio Grande Chapter Texans for permanently protecting this vast area that boasts iconic geologic, archaeological and historical records.

Columbine Hondo wilderness study area legislation introduced in Congress


By Norma McCallan

The Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Study Area near Taos has a better chance of being upgraded to a full-fledged Wilderness area. The Senate’s Energy & Natural Resources subcommittee on Public Lands recently held a hearing on the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act (SB776), at which our senators, Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, testified. It must now go before the full committee. Introduced by Sen. Jeff Bingaman in the 112th Congress, this bill had stalled, along with many other conservation bills.

Organs: Future tied to our past

photo by Eliza Kretzmann

By Lucas Herndon, Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks

When I meet someone who is relatively new to Las Cruces, invariably their reasons for coming here include the phrase “and when I saw those Organ Mountains…” This is a point of pride for everyone in our community. Granite spires dominate the eastern skyline and give us a few extra moments of sleep before sunrise every morning and offer new colors of purple and blue as the sun sets in the evening.

Chaco reprieve

Photo of Pueblo Bonito by Chris Morris.jpg

By Norma McCallan, Public Lands chair

Gas and oil prospects in the San Juan Basin’s Mancos Shale have put the area outside Chaco Culture National Historical Park in danger of drilling. There’s promising short-term news from the Bureau of Land Management, but a permanent solution needs your support.

Valles Caldera bill passes Senate panel

Valles Caldera - photo by Tom Ribe

By Tom Ribe, Caldera Action

On June 18, 2013, the bill to move the Valles Caldera National Preserve from the temporary VCNP Trust to the National Park Service passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on a bipartisan basis. This is a huge step for protecting the Valles Caldera over the long term. The bill (S285) is likely to be bundled with other public-land bills and presented to the full Senate this summer or fall. The trick is always getting time on the Senate floor and overcoming any filibuster that could require a supermajority to pass.

BLM Resource Management Plan for Sierra, Otero and Doña Ana counties needs work — lots of it

Otero Mesa

By Dan Lorimier, chapter conservation coordinator

Back in 1986 the Bureau of Land Management’s Las Cruces District Office, which oversees roughly 5 million acres of federal lands in Hidalgo, Grant, Luna, Sierra, Doña Ana and Otero counties, finalized the White Sands Resource Management Plan for Sierra and Otero counties and in 1993 published the Mimbres Resource Management Plan covering Doña Ana, Luna, Hidalgo and Grant counties.

SC Executive Director Brune road trip hits Rio Grande del Norte


By Eric Patterson, Taos Water Sentinels

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune and his family have undertaken a tour of National Monuments of the Southwest.

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