ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) - Federal land managers are drafting a plan that will guide the management of resources and potential energy development in an area of southern New Mexico where environmentalists have sought protections for decades.
The Alamogordo Daily News reports the Bureau of Land Management is expected to have a draft plan for the Otero Mesa area ready for public comment next spring.
Southwest Environmental Center director Kevin Bixby says the mesa has been used for centuries for hunting and ranching and that it would be ruined if industrial uses such as oil and gas drilling or mining were allowed.
The area includes about 600,000 acres (242,811 hectares) of Chihuahuan Desert grassland and thousands of petroglyphs.
Efforts over the years to secure wilderness or national monument status for the area have been unsuccessful.
Information from: Alamogordo Daily News, http://www.alamogordonews.com
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