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Obama to designate New Mexico's Organ Mountains as monument

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Posted: Monday, May 19, 2014 12:12 pm | Updated: 5:45 pm, Mon May 19, 2014.

ALBUQUERQUE — After a nearly 10-year campaign by environmentalists, hunters and tourism officials to gain wilderness protection for the Organ Mountains and Desert Peaks in Southern New Mexico, the White House said Monday that President Barack Obama will declare almost 500,000 acres of mountain ranges above the Chihuahan Desert a national monument this week.

Supporters hailed Obama's announcement, planned for Wednesday, as crucial for preserving important historical, cultural and nature sites while creating new jobs and generating millions of dollars annually in new revenue from tourism and outdoor recreation.

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