For Immediate Release January 13th , 2016
Contact: Carrie Hamblen, Executive Director
Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce
Kevin Bixby, Executive Director
Southwest Environmental Center
STANDING ROOM ONLY CROWD CELEBRATES RELEASE OF HIKING GUIDE
LAS CRUCES—A room filled with outdoor enthusiasts, environmentalists, local business owners, and representatives from numerous community groups eagerly welcomed the official release Tuesday night of the updated and expanded Day Hikes and Nature Walks in the Las Cruces-El Paso Area by author and naturalist Greg Magee.
More than 60 local residents attended the reception Tuesday night, hosted by the Southwest Environmental Center and the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce. Magee talked about the over 45 day trips listed in the guide that take hikers into the mountains, canyons, and desert of the region, many of which are within the new Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks (OMDP) National Monument. In addition, William Childress, District Manager for the Las Cruces office of the Bureau of Land Management, spoke about new partnerships between the BLM and the Friends of the Organ Mountains, which will create more hiking opportunities for area youth.
Catherine Wanek, owner of the Black Range Lodge in Kingston, New Mexico, attended the reception. She has made the earlier edition of the hiking guide available to her guests for several years. Wanek says, “I really appreciate having the Hiking Guide to share with my guests, especially now that it includes a focus on the OMDP National Monument. It makes the Organ Mountains much more accessible to travelers, and adds an extra service that I can offer to those staying at my lodge.”
Kevin Bixby, Executive Director for SWEC, recognized the work that Greg and several volunteers put into compiling the guide. Bixby says, “There are numerous, important details that are highlighted in the guide, covering the trails in southern New Mexico and West Texas. The guide provides all of us a great way to discover the many natural treasures we have and are able to explore year-round.”
Carrie Hamblen, the Executive Director of LCGCC, says the Hiking Guide is another example of partnerships that have been created because of the Monument. She says, “The Hiking Guide is a perfect example of the many ways our community demonstrates ownership of the Monument. Las Cruces is serving as the leading example to the rest of the country as a place that recognizes the many diverse ways a community can benefit from a National Monument.” She adds, “By connecting the National Monument with our local businesses, the creation of OMDP products, the first of its kind Girl Scout Patch, and now the guide, we are certainly in a great place to share that information with other communities that are home to National Monuments and Parks.”
More information on the newly reprinted Day Hikes and Nature Walks in the Las Cruces-El Paso Area can be found by contacting the Southwest Environmental Center at 522-5552.