NMWA Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Campaign

New Mexico Wilderness Alliance pic
New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
Image: nmwild.org

An attorney in private practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Geoffrey “Geoff” Scovil holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and a law degree from Case Western Reserve University. An active member of the larger Albuquerque community, Geoffrey Scovil has supported nonprofit groups and associations such as the New Mexico Wilderness Association (NMWA).

Founded in 1997, NMWA is a grassroots nonprofit organization that brings together an alliance of diverse stakeholders to protect and restore New Mexico’s unique ecosystem and wilderness areas. Over the years, NMWA has been successful in obtaining federal protection for key regions of the New Mexico’s endangered landscape, including the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks region.

Located in Doña Ana County in New Mexico, the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks region is highlighted by a number of mountain ranges surrounding the Mesilla Valley. The most iconic of these, the Organ Mountains, serves as a popular recreational area for New Mexicans and tourists as well as a critical habitat for numerous native species. In addition to the Organ Mountains, other ranges include the Potrillo, Robledo, and Sierra de Las Uvas Mountains.

Though conservation efforts in the region began in the early 1970s, NMWA got heavily involved in protecting the area in 2006 when it formed a community coalition to fight for federal protection. After seven more years of activism, New Mexico’s US Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich introduced a bill in 2013 that would provide federal protection for the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks area. One year later, President Barack Obama designated the region as the Organ Monuments-Desert Peaks National Monument.