Mesilla Valley

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The Mesilla Valley as seen from Las Cruces' west mesa. Mesilla valley.JPG
The Mesilla Valley as seen from Las Cruces' west mesa.
The Organ Mountains tower over the Mesilla Valley (Las Cruces, NM in the foreground). MesillaValley Organs.jpg
The Organ Mountains tower over the Mesilla Valley (Las Cruces, NM in the foreground).

The Mesilla Valley is a geographic feature of Southern New Mexico and far West Texas. It was formed by repeated heavy spring floods of the Rio Grande.

New Mexico State of the United States of America

New Mexico is a state in the Southwestern region of the United States of America; its capital and cultural center is Santa Fe, which was founded in 1610 as capital of Nuevo México, while its largest city is Albuquerque with its accompanying metropolitan area. It is one of the Mountain States and shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and Arizona; its other neighboring states are Oklahoma to the northeast, Texas to the east-southeast, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua to the south and Sonora to the southwest. With a population around two million, New Mexico is the 36th state by population. With a total area of 121,592 sq mi (314,920 km2), it is the fifth-largest and sixth-least densely populated of the 50 states. Due to their geographic locations, northern and eastern New Mexico exhibit a colder, alpine climate, while western and southern New Mexico exhibit a warmer, arid climate.

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast.

Rio Grande River forming part of the US-Mexico border

The Rio Grande is one of the principal rivers in the southwest United States and northern Mexico. The Rio Grande begins in south-central Colorado in the United States and flows to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way, it forms part of the Mexico–United States border. According to the International Boundary and Water Commission, its total length was 1,896 miles (3,051 km) in the late 1980s, though course shifts occasionally result in length changes. Depending on how it is measured, the Rio Grande is either the fourth- or fifth-longest river system in North America.

The fertile Mesilla Valley extends from Radium Springs, New Mexico, to the west side of El Paso, Texas. [1] The valley is quite fertile, and is characterized by its few remaining bosques, as well as its native cottonwood trees, and increasingly, by invasive tamarisk, which was introduced in the late 19th century, and is known locally as salt cedar.

Radium Springs, New Mexico CDP in New Mexico, United States

Radium Springs is a census-designated place (CDP) in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 1,699 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Las Cruces Metropolitan Statistical Area.

El Paso, Texas City in Texas, United States

El Paso is a city in and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, in the far western part of the state. The 2017 population estimate for the city from the U.S. Census was 683,577. Its metropolitan statistical area (MSA) covers all of El Paso and Hudspeth counties in Texas, and has a population of 844,818.


A bosque is a type of gallery forest habitat found along the riparian flood plains of stream and river banks in the southwestern United States. It derives its name from the Spanish word for woodlands.

Due to the fertile nature of the valley, agriculture is a very important activity in this area. Stahmann Farms owns the world's largest pecan orchard, is located south of the city of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Alfalfa, cotton, chile, onions and corn are other important cash crops grown in the Mesilla Valley. The Mesilla Valley is also known for its wine-producing capabilities, which originated with the Spanish exploration into New Mexico. It was part of Mexico until Gadsden Purchase in 1853.

Agriculture Cultivation of plants and animals to provide useful products

Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities. The history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs, sheep and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture into the twenty-first.

Pecan species of plant, Pecan

The pecan is a species of hickory native to northern Mexico and the southern United States in the region of the Mississippi River. The tree is cultivated for its seed in the southern United States, primarily in Georgia, and in Mexico which produces nearly half of the world total. The seed is an edible nut used as a snack and in various recipes, such as praline candy and pecan pie. Pecan is the state nut of Alabama, Arkansas, California, and Texas.

An orchard is an intentional planting of trees or shrubs that is maintained for food production. Orchards comprise fruit- or nut-producing trees which are generally grown for commercial production. Orchards are also sometimes a feature of large gardens, where they serve an aesthetic as well as a productive purpose. A fruit garden is generally synonymous with an orchard, although it is set on a smaller non-commercial scale and may emphasize berry shrubs in preference to fruit trees. Most temperate-zone orchards are laid out in a regular grid, with a grazed or mown grass or bare soil base that makes maintenance and fruit gathering easy.

Further reading

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Las Cruces, New Mexico City in New Mexico, United States

Las Cruces is the seat of Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 97,618, and in 2017 the estimated population was 101,712, making it the second largest city in the state, after Albuquerque. Las Cruces is the largest city in both Doña Ana County and southern New Mexico. The Las Cruces metropolitan area had an estimated population of 213,849 in 2017. It is the principal city of a metropolitan statistical area which encompasses all of Doña Ana County and is part of the larger El Paso–Las Cruces combined statistical area.

Mesilla, New Mexico Place in New Mexico, United States

Mesilla is a town in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 2,196 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Las Cruces Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Gadsden Purchase

The Gadsden Purchase, known in Mexico as Spanish: Venta de La Mesilla, is a 29,670-square-mile (76,800 km2) region of present-day southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico that the United States acquired from Mexico by the Treaty of Mesilla, which took effect on June 8, 1854. The purchase included lands south of the Gila River and west of the Rio Grande which the U.S. needed to build a transcontinental railroad along a deep southern route, which the Southern Pacific Railroad later completed in 1881–1883. The purchase also aimed to resolve other border issues.

Adams–Onís Treaty treaty between the United States and Spain, ceding Florida to the U.S.

The Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty, the Florida Purchase Treaty, or the Florida Treaty, was a treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819 that ceded Florida to the U.S. and defined the boundary between the U.S. and New Spain. It settled a standing border dispute between the two countries and was considered a triumph of American diplomacy. It came in the midst of increasing tensions related to Spain's territorial boundaries in North America against the United States and Great Britain in the aftermath of the American Revolution; it also came during the Latin American wars of independence.

New Mexico Territory territory of the United States of America, 1850-1912

The Territory of New Mexico was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from September 9, 1850, until January 6, 1912, when the remaining extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of New Mexico, making it the longest-lived organized incorporated territory of the United States, lasting approximately 62 years.

Confederate Arizona organized incorporated Confederate territory in present day southern New Mexico and Arizona

Confederate Arizona, commonly referred to as Arizona Territory, and officially the Territory of Arizona, was a territory claimed by the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War, between 1861 and 1865. Delegates to secession conventions had voted in March 1861 to secede from the New Mexico Territory and the United States, and seek to join the Confederacy. It consisted of the portion of the New Mexico Territory south of the 34th parallel, including parts of the modern states of New Mexico and Arizona. Its capital was Mesilla along the southern border. The Confederate territory overlapped the Arizona Territory later established by the Union government in 1863.

New Mexico Campaign

The New Mexico Campaign was a military operation of the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War from February to April 1862 in which Confederate Brigadier General Henry Hopkins Sibley invaded the northern New Mexico Territory in an attempt to gain control of the Southwest, including the gold fields of Colorado and the ports of California. Historians regard this campaign as the most ambitious Confederate attempt to establish control of the American West and to open an additional theater in the war. It was an important campaign in the war's Trans-Mississippi Theater, and one of the major events in the history of the New Mexico Territory in the American Civil War.

First Battle of Mesilla battle

The First Battle of Mesilla, was fought on July 25, 1861 at Mesilla in New Mexico Territory, in present-day Doña Ana County, New Mexico.

Tularosa Basin

The Tularosa Basin is a graben basin in the Basin and Range Province and within the Chihuahuan Desert, east of the Rio Grande in southern New Mexico, in the Southwestern United States.

Corn Ranch

Corn Ranch is a spaceport in the West Texas town of Van Horn, Texas, where flight tests of the New Shepard are carried out by Blue Origin. The 165,000-acre (670 km²) land parcel was purchased by Internet billionaire Jeff Bezos. The first flight test took place on November 13, 2006 with the goal of providing commercial tourist flights.

Traditional Arizona

Prior to the adoption of its name for a U.S. state, Arizona was traditionally defined as the region south of the Gila River to the present-day Mexican border, and between the Colorado River and the Rio Grande. It encompasses present-day Southern Arizona and the New Mexico Bootheel plus adjacent parts of Southwestern New Mexico. This area was transferred from Mexico to the United States in the Gadsden Purchase of 1853. Mining and ranching were the primary occupations of traditional Arizona's inhabitants, though growing citrus fruits had long been occurring in Tucson.

Founded as El Paso del Norte by Spanish Franciscan friars at an important mountain pass, the area became a small agricultural producer though most settlement was south of the river where modern Mexico lies. The city was considered part of New Mexico under Spanish Conquerors and was tied economically to Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Chihuahuan mining districts of San Felipe El Real and San José del Parral.

The Butterfield Overland Mail was a transport and mail delivery system that employed stagecoaches that traveled on a specific route between Saint Louis, Missouri and San Francisco, California and which passed through the New Mexico Territory. It was created by the United States Congress on March 3, 1857, and operated until March 30, 1861. The route that was operated extended from where the ferry across the Colorado River to Fort Yuma Station, California was located, through New Mexico Territory via, Tucson to the Rio Grande and Mesilla, New Mexico then south to Franklin, Texas, midpoint on the route. The New Mexico Territory mail route was divided into two divisions each under a superintendent. Tucson was the headquarters of the 3rd Division of the Butterfield Overland Mail Company. Franklin Station in the town of Franklin,, was headquarters of the 4th Division.

Mesilla Diversion Dam

The Mesilla Diversion Dam is located in the Rio Grande about 40 miles (64 km) upstream of El Paso, Texas, about 6 miles (9.7 km) to the south of Las Cruces, New Mexico. It diverts water from the river for irrigation in the lower Mesilla Valley. The dam is owned by the United States Bureau of Reclamation, which built it, and is operated by the Elephant Butte Irrigation District.

Mesilla Valley Mall is a 602,150-square-foot (55,942 m2) shopping mall located in Las Cruces, New Mexico located on 77.4 acres (31.3 ha). It is managed by Spinoso Real Estate Group. Opened in 1981, the indoor shopping center has 85 stores.

Abo Canyon, also known as Abo Pass, is a mountain pass at the southern end of the Manzano Mountains of central New Mexico.

Picacho, is a populated place in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. It lies at an elevation of 3,907 feet / 1,191 meters.

Rincon Valley is a valley through which the Rio Grande flows in New Mexico. Rincon Valley heads at 33°02′54″N107°16′41″W at an elevation of 4,195 feet in a narrow gap between the Caballo Mountains on the east and bluffs on the west bank of the Rio Grande south of where Red Canyon meets the river, in Sierra County, New Mexico. Its mouth is at an elevation of 3,973 feet / 1,211 meters where it emerges from a narrow canyon between the Selden Hills on the northeast bank of the river and Robledo Mountains on the southwest bank, into the Mesilla Valley at Radium Springs in Doña Ana County, New Mexico.

La Mesilla, New Mexico Census-designated place in New Mexico, United States

La Mesilla is a census-designated place in Río Arriba County, New Mexico, United States. Its population was 1,772 as of the 2010 census.

San Augustin Spring, formerly also known as San Augustine Springs, is a spring in the Organ Mountains in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. It lies on the east side of San Augustin Pass at an elevation of 5627 feet / 1715 meters, 14.7 miles east northeast of Las Cruces, New Mexico.


  1. Chang, C. W. (1953). "Chemical Properties of Alkali Soils in Mesilla Valley, New Mexico". Soil Science. 75 (3): 233–242. doi:10.1097/00010694-195303000-00008 . Retrieved January 15, 2013.

Coordinates: 31°47′25″N106°25′24″W / 31.79028°N 106.42333°W / 31.79028; -106.42333

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.