Otero Mesa Needs Your Help!

Are you ready to help gain permanent protection for one of the last and largest intact Chihuahuan desert grasslands? Look below for ways that you can make a difference for Otero Mesa (see the talking points below to get you started):

1. Call Interior Secretary Sally Jewell 202-208-3100 and tell her you want to see Otero Mesa protected, now and for the future.

2. Send an email to your Congressional representatives. If you live in southern New Mexico, you can use this form. If you live elsewhere, find your Congressional representatives here.

3. Write a letter to the editor voicing your support for protecting Otero Mesa. Writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper is an excellent way to raise awareness about Otero Mesa and the threat posed by oil, gas, and mining development. It shows public officials that you support Otero Mesa protection and expect that they will, too. 

4. Stay informed by signing up for our email alerts, liking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter.

5. Support our work by making a donation today.

Talking Points

Feel free to adapt these talking points for the above actions.
  • With 600,000 acres of grassland, Otero Mesa is one of the largest and wildest desert grasslands in North America.
  • It is home to many species of wildlife, including many grassland birds that are declining elsewhere in their range.
  • The Salt Basin Aquifer beneath Otero Mesa is one of the region’s largest untapped sources of freshwater.
  • Oil and gas development would threaten Otero Mesa's water. Oil, gas, and mining development would threaten the wildlife and fragile desert grasslands.
  • Drilling on Otero Mesa will do little to solve our nation’s energy needs. The most optimistic estimate of the amount of natural gas beneath Otero Mesa is 1 trillion cubic feet--the equivalent of only 16 days of U.S. demand.
  • Clean, renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, offer far more potential, with fewer impacts to wildlife, and without contributing to climate change.
  • In mid-2013 the Bureau of Land Management proposed to designate a large portion of Otero Mesa as an Area for Critical Environmental Concern, which offers some protection to the area. Unfortunately, the BLM has put off making a decision on oil, gas, and mining development within Otero Mesa for another 5 years. The best way to get permanent protection is via Congress, through legislation, or the President, by declaring a national monument.

Find out more about our work to protect Otero Mesa here.

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