WASHINGTON –- President Barack Obama plans to announce a new national monument on Wednesday, protecting nearly half a million acres in southern New Mexico.
The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, near Las Cruces, will be the largest monument Obama has designated so far. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that the designation will help generate $7.4 million in revenues from tourism, and will "preserve the prehistoric, historic and scientific values of the area for the benefit of all Americans."
The president will formally announce the designation on Wednesday afternoon. Conservation advocates praised the move.
“With this designation, President Obama has shown great leadership in protecting public lands and vigorous support for the New Mexico communities that have long advocated for this national monument,” Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society, said in a statement.
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