Conserving Canyon Country

February 26, 2021 – New Mexico is home to some of our nation’s wildest landscapes. However, only 2.5 percent of the total land area is protected as designated wilderness.

Wilderness Land Trust staff and project partners on a recent site visit to the Achenbach Canyon in Organ Mountains Wilderness, New Mexico

The Organ Mountains Wilderness is a beautiful and popular destination, known for its spring wildflowers, seasonal streams that flow through rugged canyon bottoms, abundant wildlife and spectacular views of the rugged Organ Mountains.

To ensure these splendid characteristics remain intact, The Wilderness Land Trust is working to acquire a 109-acre parcel at the entrance of the Achenbach Canyon, as well as save public access to a popular trail into the designation. This project is our second in the region of the Organ Mountains Wilderness. In July 2020, we purchased nearly 100 acres of private land straddling the boundary of the wilderness area, including a series of mining claims that had been zoned for a future housing development.

Braving the chill air and occasional snow flurry, Aimee Rutledge, our vice president and senior lands specialist, joined Sylvia Ulloa from U.S. Senator Heinrich’s office, author David Soules, and Patrick Nolan, executive director for Friends of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Wilderness, on a recent site visit to the property to review and coordinate the critical steps required to purchase this property.

Stay tuned for more exciting news as this project moves forward. If you are interested in helping us secure the property or would like to learn more about this project, I encourage you to visit our Achenbach Canyon GoFundMe campaign.