Otero Mesa, an undeveloped landscape in southern New Mexico, is the largest and wildest Chihuahuan Desert grassland remaining on public lands in the United States. Despite its pristine character and a wealth of natural, cultural, and historic resources, Otero Mesa is threatened by development that would irrevocably destroy this last great example of the American Southwest. Otero Mesa needs permanent protection in order to safeguard this unique New Mexican land for future generations.
Permanent protection for Otero Mesa should be provided by the Administration as part of the America's Great Outdoors (AGO) Initiative. This wild and largely untrammeled landscape is the ideal choice for protection by the Administration because of how precisely the Coalition for Otero Mesa has met the goals of the AGO initiative for almost a decade. Although the goals and recommendations of the AGO initiative were just outlined this year, the Coalition for Otero Mesa has been working to protect this 1.2 million acre grassland by focusing on the core values of the AGO report since 2002.
This document will demonstrate how the campaign to protect Otero Mesa embodies the goals and recommendations of the AGO initiative. The individual sections of the AGO report will be discussed through the lens of Otero Mesa and the work of the coalition, in order to express the ideal opportunity that the Otero Mesa campaign presents to the Administration for permanent protection. By protecting Otero Mesa, the Administration will successfully accomplish its goals as outlined in the AGO report.
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