Paradise Could Be Easily Lost


Otero Mesa is a majestic desert grassland in a remote area of southern New Mexico. Bordered on the north by the Sacramento Mountains and on the east by the Guadalupe Mountains, this 2,400-square-mile landscape encompasses roughly 1.2 million acres of public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management.

Roughly half the area is grassland, including the largest remaining Chihuahuan Desert grassland assemblage in public ownership. It also supports the very best remaining examples of black grama grasslands that blanketed much of southern New Mexico in pre-settlement times.

However, the threat of change looms over the serenity of Otero Mesa, change that threatens to destroy the integrity of this dramatic landscape.