(Click here to the OMDP Economic Report Press Release)
Communities around the national monument have seen boost in new jobs and millions in tax revenue due to a three-fold increase in visitation since 2012
Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument (OMDPNM) has not only preserved the region’s natural beauty, cultural resources, and access to abundant recreation opportunities, but has also proven to be an economic powerhouse since its designation nearly ten years ago. A new economic study, “A Decade of Opportunity: How the Designation of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument is Boosting Southern New Mexico’s Economy,“ sheds light on the significant economic impact the monument has had over the past decade.
The Las Cruces Green Chamber commissioned the study in which BBC Research and Consulting quantifies how the designation of public lands near Las Cruces and Deming as a national monument has led to an increase in visitation and significant resulting economic growth. According to the study, growth in Doña Ana and Luna counties surpassed initial estimates made prior to the monument’s establishment in 2014. Since its designation, the monument has drawn-in more than $234 million in cumulative economic impact.
Conservation and increased access to public lands is a critical part of economic development in Las Cruces and our neighboring communities. Organ-Mountains Desert Peaks is a success story and provides our local leaders a tool to attract new businesses and resources that will help sustain a strong and vibrant local economy. Protected public lands are an asset to those of us who call the area home too, as retirees and even potential job seekers evaluate quality of life and access to the outdoors as part of their physical and emotional well-being.
Organ-Mountains Desert Peaks is a success story that will likely help us sustain a strong and vibrant local economy for decades to come.
Key findings from the study reveal:
- Tripled Visitation: Visitation has more than tripled from 183,900 in 2012, prior to the monument designation, to 612,781 in 2022. These visitors not only admire the natural and cultural wonders but also contribute significantly to the local economy by supporting jobs and local businesses, including gas stations, restaurants, motels, and retail establishments.
- Revenue Surge: Out-of-town visitors alone generated $35 million in positive economic impacts in 2022. This surge in spending is a testament to the attraction of OMDPNM.
- Job Creation: In 2022, visitation to the monument supported 305 jobs, providing employment opportunities for the local workforce.
- Tax Revenue Boost: The economic benefits also extend to local and state government coffers. In 2022, visitation to the monument resulted in $1.9 million in tax revenue, contributing nearly $13 million in taxes over the past decade.
- BLM Investment: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), responsible for overseeing the monument, has significantly increased its operations and staffing budget by a factor of six since the designation. This has led to enhanced protection, research, and recreational activities.
The economic impacts from visitation to the monument have surpassed initial predictions made prior to protection by an impressive 51 percent. This substantial growth underscores the successful coexistence of conservation and economic development.
The monument’s designation has raised the profile of Southern New Mexico by adding to the region’s existing protected public lands, such as White Sands and Prehistoric Trackways National Monuments. This expansion offers visitors the chance to explore multiple monuments in one visit, benefiting towns like Las Cruces, Deming, and Hatch.
Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument stands as a testament to the positive outcomes that can arise from local leaders and businesses welcoming conservation. It not only protects the environment but also invigorates the local economy, creating jobs and bolstering tax revenue.
As Southern New Mexico continues to reap the rewards of this remarkable monument, it serves as an inspiring example of how conservation and economic development can go hand in hand, promising a strong and vibrant local economy for years to come.