The Organ Mountains are the Sandias for Las Cruces. If the Sandias were to be developed, I would be outraged. Unfortunately, the Organ Mountains are at risk for development due to the rapid growth of Las Cruces. They provide the same classic New Mexican landscape for the city and a relief from urban life. I can only imagine how I would feel if the Sandias were to be developed and if the trails and wildlife didn’t exist. Just like Rio Grande del Norte was recently designated as a national monument, so too should be the Organ Mountains of Las Cruces.

I grew up in Flower Mound, Texas. Even though the town is named after its so-called native wildflowers, the town mainly consists of concrete, grass and small shrubs. I came to the Sandias during almost every spring break and most summers with my family, and it was such a relief from my hometown.

Snowboarding, hiking and bike riding on the Sandia Mountains are some of my favorite activities. After I began studying at the University of New Mexico, I frequently benefited from the beauty and nature of the Sandias. I would hike La Luz trail in the fall and then snowboard in the winter and spring.

The residents of Las Cruces should always be able to benefit from the nature of their mountain range, just as I have benefited from mine.

I would encourage all residents of Albuquerque to reach out to their legislators so we can protect one of our state’s most prominent mountain ranges by making the Organ Mountains a national monument.

Alyson Alford-Garcia
UNM student