Why is the Interior Secretary’s visit to Las Cruces so important?

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

Ryan Zinke is the man who could have a big impact on the future of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

Zinke took over as U.S. Interior Secretary in March. Before President Donald Trump nominated him to lead the Interior Department, Zinke represented Montana's at-large congressional district, starting in 2015.

He’s the first former U.S. Navy SEAL to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. His naval career lasted from 1985 to 2008.

A Montana native, Zinke calls himself a "Teddy Roosevelt guy.” The nation's 26th president is considered the father of American conservation.

In April, President Trump ordered the Interior Department to review national monuments created over the last two decades that are larger than 100,000 acres.

Since then, Zinke has traveled across the country exploring many of the more than two dozen national monuments that are now under review, including Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks.

The Interior Secretary could recommend revoking President Barack Obama's national monument proclamation or reducing its size. That's what Southern New Mexico's Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce would like to see happen. Pearce believes only the Organ Mountains should get national monument protection, which would reduce its size from nearly half a million acres to less than 60,000 acres.

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