Recently President Obama designated the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks in New Mexico as our nation's newest national monument. The designation will preserve irreplaceable archaeological, prehistoric, and cultural sites, while safeguarding outdoor recreation opportunities that are so important for New Mexico. It is the second monument that President Obama has designated in New Mexico, following the creation of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument last year. There is strong community support for permanently protecting both of these special places as national monuments, and I have to say that as a former mayor of Albuquerque I'm pleased to see New Mexico's special places get this well-deserved recognition.
Though President Obama has already permanently protected a number of special places, ranging from the historic sites of Fort Monroe, Virginia and Chimney Rock, Colorado to Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands in California, the job of protecting our country's outdoor heritage is far from finished. We are thrilled the President has promised more designations in the future. Across the country there is a plethora of breathtakingly beautiful, ecologically important, or culturally significant places that are still in need of protection. Among them is Utah's Greater Canyonlands.
With Canyonlands National Park at its heart, the Greater Canyonlands area in Southern Utah is one of the last untouched Western frontiers, yet it remains easily accessible. The lofty plateaus and amazing red rock formations provide an outdoor experience unlike any other, and offer opportunities for solitude in an increasingly connected world.