Walk & Talk: A Conversation With Congressman Pearce

I was heading up to Congressman Steve Pearce’s office to make an appointment to see him while I’m in Washington D.C. when he walked into the hallway. I was surprised but decided to take this opportunity to voice my concerns over the scaling back of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

I went ahead and introduced myself and he said he was walking to the House floor. I told him I just wanted to share a story and that I would walk with him. I told him I was there to advocate on behalf of the monument and we started a business that encourages people to explore our public lands and to give back to our community at the same time.

He then stated that none of the ranchers ever see anyone on our public lands. How can our business be promoting the Organ Mountains when the ranchers never see anyone he also remarked. We were reaching faster to the elevator so if he was already questioning our effectiveness I knew that I had to continue telling our story.

I then continued to talk about how National Monuments had a small business economic impact like ours and in return, we provide lunches to the Las Cruces Public Schools. We are seeing not just economic impacts but also a social impact as well.

He then continued to say that President Obama overreached his Presidential powers and the Antiquities Act was only meant to protect Native American artifacts. He then pushed the button to the elevator and said he really had to get to the floor. So I urged him once more. I’m here on behalf of my generation and the youth that doesn’t have a voice in this matter. We must protect these lands for future generations. He then nodded his head and stepped inside the elevator.

I personally want to thank Congressman Pearce and I hope to continue this conversation with his support staff in New Mexico. The Antiquities Act has been used by presidents of both parties to protect & conserve lands & waters — as national monuments. This has been a clear demonstration of its non-partisan intent.

Please read the American Antiquities Act of 1906 here:

https://www.nps.gov/history/local-law/anti1906.htm

Want to have your voice heard? Act here:

https://organmountainsdesertpeaks.org/take-action/

— at Capitol Hill.

Capitol Hill, Washington D.C.