Previous attempts at keeping oil and gas development away from the wild grasslands of Southern New Mexico were a success… Now, hardrock mining threatens the Otero Mesa with an approval granted to Geovic Mining Corporation for in July, 2011.

The demand for rare earth minerals has exploded since the early 1990's. These regions may contain millions of dollar worth of minerals needed for our smart-phones, computer parts, and even for things like hybrid vehicles.

The Otera Mesa is also home to New Mexico's largest fresh water aquifer. This is one of the main concerns for people who want to protect the region, as well as providing a healthy environment for plant and animal life that depend on a fragile Chihuahuan desert eco-system.

Produced by EcoFlight Multimedia Director Jonathan Kloberdanz

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