New National Monument in New Mexico

ENVIRONMENT

President Barack Obama has created a new national monument, setting aside a half-million acres of federal land in southern New Mexico. The Organ Mountains-Desert Peak National Monument encompasses five mountain ranges and has some 243 known archeological sites. (National Geographic News)

Use our resources to learn more about national parks and monuments.

Listen to these “Youth Voices for New Mexico’s Outdoors” interact with the landscape and ancient history of Organ Mountains-Desert Peak National Monument.

Discussion Ideas
Read the Nat Geo News story, and then read through our short, terrific activity “Protecting the Mariana Trench,” which focuses on another national monument, the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument in the South Pacific. Apply the activity’s questions to the Organ Mountains-Desert Peak National Monument in New Mexico.

 

The Organ Mountains-Desert Peak National Monument includes mountain ranges, wildlife such as pronghorn sheep and mountain lions, and ancient Native American petroglyphs. The land will continue to be open to hikers, backpackers, and horseback riders (like this cowboy), but about half of the monument will be closed to development and industries such as mining. Photograph by Justin Locke, National Geographic

The Organ Mountains-Desert Peak National Monument includes mountain ranges, wildlife such as pronghorn sheep and mountain lions, and ancient Native American petroglyphs. The land will continue to be open to hikers, backpackers, and horseback riders (like this cowboy), but about half of the monument will be closed to development and industries such as mining.
Photograph by Justin Locke, National Geographic

What is the physical geography of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peak National Monument? (Information on the monument website might help.)

  • The park’s steep peaks and river valleys, rising above the Chihuahua Desert, are nicknamed the “crown jewel of the southern Rockies.” The monument’s landscape is also dotted with volcanic craters, cones, and prehistoric lava flows.

 

Mountain lions like this beauty are apex predators in the Organ Mountains-Desert Peak National Monument. Photograph by Bruce Dale, National Geographic

Mountain lions like this beauty are apex predators in the Organ Mountains-Desert Peak National Monument.
Photograph by Bruce Dale, National Geographic

What are some plants and animals that live in and near the Organ Mountains-Desert Peak National Monument?

 

The Bavispe River isn't part of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peak National Monument in New Mexico. It's just across the border in old Mexico, cutting through the states of Sonora and Chihuahua. Photograph by Bruce Dale, National Geographic

The Bavispe River isn’t part of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peak National Monument in New Mexico. It’s just across the border in old Mexico, cutting through the states of Sonora and Chihuahua.
Photograph by Bruce Dale, National Geographic

What ecosystems are part of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peak National Monument?

  • Five mountains rise above a desert plain, with rivers slicing through the landscape. This creates distinct riparian, desert, and mountain ecosystems.

 

Geronimo, whose Native American name was actually Goyathlay, was a Bedonkohe Apache chief of the Chiricahua Apache. He led his people in defense of their traditional homeland against the combined might of the U.S. and Mexican governments. He used the unforgiving landscape of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peak National Monument in New Mexico as an effective hideout. Photograph courtesy National Archives and National Geographic

Geronimo, whose Native American name was actually Goyathlay, was a Bedonkohe Apache chief of the Chiricahua Apache. He led his people in defense of their traditional homeland against the combined might of the U.S. and Mexican governments. He used the unforgiving landscape of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peak National Monument in New Mexico as an effective hideout.
Photograph courtesy National Archives and National Geographic

What is the human geography of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peak National Monument?

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