The Corps Network Thanks President Obama for Designation of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

Photo of Organ Mountains via White House's Instagram Account

On Wednesday, President Obama announced that he would use his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate a 500,000 acre area of New Mexico known as the Organ Mountains and Desert Peaks as a National Monument. Jeri Clausing of the Associated Press writes that, "New Mexico Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, both Democrats, had proposed legislation to protect the region that includes popular hunting areas and features steep rock outcroppings, petroglyphs, ancient lava flows and sites such as Billy the Kid's Outlaw Rock, Geromino's Cave and the Butterfield Stagecoach Trail."

The Corps Network and twenty four of its member organizations have issued a thank you letter to President Obama and also to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. A PDF of the letter can be accessed by clicking here, and the full text is published below. 

Full Text of The Corps Network's Letter to President Obama:

May 21, 2014

The President
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500


Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of Service and Conservation Corps across the country, we write to thank you for your recent action to protect the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks as a national monument.

Although the nation’s 100+ Service and Conservation Corps are diverse in mission and membership, we all strive to improve quality of life for our participants and in our communities.  From building trails and campgrounds on our nation’s iconic public lands, to creating and caring for urban parks and gardens, to improving the energy efficiency of low-income housing, to helping communities prepare for and recover from disasters, Corps provide communities with valuable services and participants with the job training, academic programming, leadership skills and more, to improve lives and the environment.

It is this dedication to the betterment of future generations that leads us to strongly support your recent action to create the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.  Protecting these pristine public lands will help to secure recreational opportunities for local communities and encourage more Americans to spend time in the great outdoors.  This will help boost local economies, support public health, and inspire future generations to embody the conservation ethic we all hold dear.

We also want to thank and recognize Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell for her tireless leadership on behalf of Service and Conservation Corps.  Her support of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps has been extraordinary, and her recognition of the importance that land conservation policies play in furthering the missions of Conservation Corps everywhere is integral to our future success.

Thank you again for acting to protect the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, and we look forward to seeing other special landscapes protected in the future.


Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO
The Corps Network
And the undersigned Corps


Rocky Mountain Youth Corps

Taos, New Mexico


YouthWorks Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Conservation Legacy

Durango, Colorado


Environmental Stewards

Durango, Colorado

Southwest Conservation Corps

Salida and Durango, CO and Acoma Pueblo, NM


Western Colorado Conservation Corps

Grand Junction, CO

Arizona Conservation Corps

Tucson and Flagstaff, AZ


Great Basin Institute / Nevada Conservation Corps

Reno, NV


Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, Fresno Local Conservation Corps

Fresno, CA


San Francisco Conservation Corps

San Francisco, CA


Sequoia Community Corps

Visalia, CA


Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa

St. Paul, MN



LaCrosse, WI


American Youthworks

Austin, TX

Vermont Youth Conservation Corps

Richmond, VT


The Work Group

Pennsauken, NJ


Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia

Beckley, WV


Southeast Youth Corps

Chattanooga, TN


Limitless Vistas, Inc.

Orlando, FL


Greater Miami Service Corps

Miami, FL


Honolulu, HI


Juneau, AK


Los Angeles Conservation Corps

Los Angeles, CA


Northwest Piedmont Service Corps

Winston-Salem, NC