The American Rock Art Research Association (ARARA) is pleased to jointly award our annual Conservation and Preservation Award to The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and The Friends of Organ Mountains Desert Peaks for their work to help establish the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument and for their ongoing efforts to protect the Monument.
We recognize the designation of the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument was a collaborative effort involving many organizations and people including many of the residents of Doña Ana County, the mayor of Las Cruces, Senators Udall and Heinrich, Representative Pearce, Secretary Jewell, and President Obama. We hope our recognition of The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and The Friends of Organ Mountains Desert Peaks will be representative of the many people who contributed to this important designation.
ARARA appreciates that the Monument protects cultural resources stretching back over 9000 years. Of particular interest to our members are the many spectacular rock art sites within the Monument. We believe that national monuments are an important way to protect the rich cultural heritage found in the United States.
ARARA chose to hold its 2016 conference in Las Cruces to celebrate this new national monument. We anticipate 300 members to enjoy two days of field trips and two days of presentations. Many of our members come early and stay after the conference to take advantage of the tourism opportunities in the Las Cruces area.