Editor’s Note: Friends of Organ Mountains – Desert Peaks are fortunate to be part of a network of grassroots organizations across the country. Friends of Friends is a series of blog posts from partner organizations that inspire and motivate our work. Together we are protecting, restoring and expanding our nation’s most iconic public lands. We also work with partners here in New Mexico to overcome obstacles we face as a state and a community. Our collective efforts help preserve our history and culture, protect vital wildlife and ecology, educate and engage families and build strong vibrant communities, improving the quality of life for residents and visitors. Our work is challenging and we face many obstacles. Yet we move forward knowing that our contributions shape the world around us and define it for future generations.
We hope you enjoy learning about these individuals and organizations and help support us all.
Sportsmen Roll Up Their Sleeves for Public Lands
By John Cornell
Photos courtesy John Cornell
Sportsmen and sportswomen have a deep-rooted connection to the land and its wildlife. We are both civic-minded and service-minded individuals who appreciate the privileges of hunting, hiking and recreating in public places and who recognize the value of the Antiquities Act.
Many national monuments allow hunting and as consumptive users it’s the responsibility of each of us to maintain their integrity as national monument designations. Sportsmen and sportswomen in Doña Ana County and southwest New Mexico were very supportive and instrumental in obtaining the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks (OMDP) National Monument designation, and we are proud to have the OMDP National Monument right here in Las Cruces’ backyard.
On December 15, 2016, members of the Doña Ana County Associated Sportsmen (DACAS) and the Wild Turkey Sportsman’s Association (WTSA) joined with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staff to remove a trailer that had been parked illegally in the monument. There’s no telling how long it had been there, but it was anchored down with posts set in concrete and concealed by camouflage netting.
Along with other sportsmen, we value our public lands as if they were our own – because in a way they are: we all own these beautiful, majestic lands. The trailer removal is only one of the cleanup activities in which DACAS and WTSA have participated over the years. In addition to the many volunteer opportunities, DACAS members have picked up shotgun shells and trash left behind by recreational shooters, and recently cleaned up graffiti in Faulkner Canyon.