NMW Logo 20th CMYK tight crop

2013

  • The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance (NM Wild) is seeking a highly organized, self-motivated individual passionate about wilderness with excellent interpersonal and communications skills to lead the organization and implementation of our donor plan to sustain and grow revenue from individual contributions. NM Wild is a statewide, non-governmental grassroots advocacy organization 5,000 members strong dedicated to protecting and expanding wilderness on federal public lands in New Mexico. The successful candidate will have experience working with major donors, planned giving, fund raising and donor related data bases and software programs. Responsibilities will include implementing a standardized system to identify and research donor prospects, cultivation, engagement, on-going relations and tracking through a variety of strategies. Position will support, coordinate and facilitate major donor and prospect meetings for senior staff and board members and will also have significant direct interaction with donors and members.

    Work Level: Full-Time Exempt (preferred), Part-Time (negotiable to right candidate)

    Location: Santa Fe office

    Major Donor Coordinator Position Summary

    Responsible for the development, planning and implementation of a proactive prospect donor program aimed at sustaining and significantly increasing contribution support. Develops and charts the progress of all donor and major gift activities. Identifies, cultivates, and solicits prospective individual donors. Manages special events to involve and cultivate prospects. Plans and directs strategies for generating support through wills, bequests, trusts, pooled income funds, deferred gifts and annuities. Manages donor database and oversees regular communications to contributors.

    The Major Donor Coordinator reports to the Associate Director working in close consultation with the Executive Director and the Communications Coordinator to help craft and implement the organizational donor plan, with a particular emphasis on major donor cultivation and relations and planned giving through a variety of strategies.

    Responsibilities

    • Support a comprehensive donor and planned-giving program;
    • Identify, research/prospect, cultivate and solidify relationships with new and established contributors;
    • Analyze historic patterns of giving and develop strategies to encourage new large gifts and identify new sources of revenues, as well as increase current contributions;
    • Arrange meetings for ED, Associate Director and Board Members as appropriate to solicit gifts from major prospects;
    • Directly solicit gifts from major prospects;
    • Develop and manage system to maintain relationships through mail, phone or in-person contacts;
    • Track donors, giving history and all relevant information;
    • Support a comprehensive donor and planned-giving program;
    • Identify, research/prospect, cultivate and solidify relationships with new and established contributors;
    • Analyze historic patterns of giving and develop strategies to encourage new large
    • gifts and identify new sources of revenues, as well as increase current contributions;
    • Arrange meetings for ED, Associate Director and Board Members as appropriate to solicit gifts from major prospects;
    • Directly solicit gifts from major prospects;
    • Develop and manage system to maintain relationships through mail, phone or in-person contacts;
    • Track donors, giving history and all relevant information;
    • Be able to speak to any of NM Wild’s conservation efforts and engage members and major donors on campaigns;
    • Ensure donor communications calendar is maintained and met;
    • Work with Communications Coordinator to ensure coherent membership, donor and foundation communications;
    • Participate in development-related functions, such as marketing, design/preparation of print materials, event logistics and post-event follow up;
    • Occasionally assist with foundation grant applications as directed;
    • Write and proofread fundraising materials as needed;
    • Participate in special assignments or projects as representative of the organization;
    • Evaluate potential funding opportunities;
    • Other duties as assigned by supervisor.

    Qualifications
    The ideal candidate is highly organized with major gift experience and a passion and familiarity for wildlands conservation.

    Minimum Requirements

    • 3 years experience in non profit fundraising, major donors and/or business development;
    • Strong interpersonal and communication skills;
    • Strong organizational and project management skills;
    • Demonstrated ability to multitask, handle deadlines, determine and juggle priorities;
    • Demonstrated proficiency with Microsoft Office (particularly Word and Excel), the web and email;
    • Experience with a constituent management database, preferably E-Tapestry, including processing information and pulling reports;
    • Experience with data-driven fundraising strategies, like using engagement ladders, targeted marketing, and audience-based communication to increase funds raised and audiences reached;
    • Experience coordinating fundraising efforts with a board of directors;
    • A passion for wildlands conservation; and
    • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience.
    • Familiarity with the geography of the state of New Mexico desired.
    • Bilingual preferred.

    Special Job Requirements:

    • Occasional in-state travel.
    • Some evening and weekend hours as needed.

    Compensation and Benefits:
    Competitive salary and benefits package, including health and dental insurance.

    NM Wild is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to ensure fair and equal treatment of its employees regardless of differences based on culture, socioeconomic status, race, marital or family situation, gender, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, physical ability or sexual orientation.

    Application Process:
    Send the following materials electronically by December 2, 2013: cover letter explaining how your experiences and skills match this position; résumé and contact and relationship information for three references to: Tisha Broska at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • 2015 10 14 11 13 36

  • By David Scott
    My Turn, azcentral.com
    Oct 9, 2013 

    Closed national parks and monuments have become a symbol of the cost of the federal government shutdown.

    Vacation plans are on hold, local economies are hurting, hundreds of thousands of Americans are temporarily out of work, and without the federal agencies in charge of monitoring pollution, many Americans have been left vulnerable. So, too, has our wildlife.

    Without U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers on the beat, animals such as wolves are at risk — both in the short term from immediate dangers, including poachers, and over the long term from delays in making important management decisions that affect their future recovery.

    Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed removing the gray wolf from the list of endangered and threatened species. The proposal would remove Endangered Species Act protections for wolves across nearly the entire lower 48 states, despite the fact that there are still few, if any, wolves in the vast majority of their former range.

    It is a critical time for wolves. Yet public hearings scheduled by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the proposed delisting have been delayed, to be rescheduled when the government re-opens.

    This is also a critical time for Mexican gray wolves, the smallest, rarest, southernmost-occurring, and most genetically distinct subspecies of North American gray wolf. Although the Mexican wolf would be listed as endangered, the Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to keep and expand its “experimental nonessential status,” even though it remains one of the most endangered animals in North America.

    Virtually exterminated in the U.S. by 1970, Mexican wolves were reintroduced north of the border in 1998. But by early 2013 there were still only about 75 Mexican wolves living in the wild in the U.S. These animals are “essential” and should have the full protection of the Endangered Species Act.

    Wolf recovery has been one of our greatest Endangered Species Act success stories. Stripping away federal protections now, before the population has fully recovered, will negate the decades of hard work that have gone into bringing wolves back from the brink of extinction in this country.

    Without federal protections, this magnificent symbol of our wild heritage will almost assuredly slide back into harm’s way. Wolf hunting seasons have been reintroduced over the last two years in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, and more than 550 wolves were killed by hunters or trappers in the Northern Rockies last season alone.

    Wolves are among North America’s most charismatic animals. The howl of the wolf is emblematic of our country’s last wild places, reminding us of the power and beauty of the natural world. The oldest and largest ancestor of domestic dogs, wolves once ranged from coast to coast and from Alaska to Mexico, but these magnificent animals have been victims of prejudice since their early encounters with people.

    Targeted by bounty hunters for their pelts, they were poisoned, trapped, and shot, until by the 1970s, wolves remained only in remote areas of Minnesota and Michigan in the lower 48 states.

    The tide began to turn in 1973 when Congress enacted the Endangered Species Act, and wolves received official protection that same year. Since then, thanks to these federal protections, wolf populations have rebounded in the continental United States.

    In response to public outcry and the advocacy of conservation groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced wolves to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in the mid-1990s. Today, there are about 1,600 gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and some 3,700 in the Great Lakes states.

    Wolves are vitally important to maintaining nature’s balance throughout their habitat, culling out weak and sick animals among their prey, which helps keep deer and elk populations healthy and in check. (Over the last two decades, exploding deer populations have been wreaking havoc on ecosystems from the Rockies to New England and the Great Lakes to the Deep South.)

    Wolf reintroduction has also been a factor in the reappearance of willow and aspen trees, the return of beavers, and increased populations of red foxes throughout gray wolf habitat. Wolves are even helping local economies as people from across the country come to view these inspiring icons of wild America.

    The current proposal to strip gray wolves of federal protections reflects a political desire, not scientific reality. The proposal is based on a single study that has not been peer-reviewed and relies on a wildlife classification theory that is not generally accepted within the scientific community.

    In fact, the Fish and Wildlife Service’s “Proposed Rule Removing the Gray Wolf from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife” is contrary to the fundamental principles of the Endangered Species Act. Now is the time to finish the job of wolf recovery, not abandon the gray wolf to the same kinds of destructive forces that endangered them in the first place.

    David Scott is president of the Sierra Club.

  • By David Scott
    My Turn, azcentral.com
    Oct 9, 2013 

    Closed national parks and monuments have become a symbol of the cost of the federal government shutdown.

    Vacation plans are on hold, local economies are hurting, hundreds of thousands of Americans are temporarily out of work, and without the federal agencies in charge of monitoring pollution, many Americans have been left vulnerable. So, too, has our wildlife.

    Without U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers on the beat, animals such as wolves are at risk — both in the short term from immediate dangers, including poachers, and over the long term from delays in making important management decisions that affect their future recovery.

    Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed removing the gray wolf from the list of endangered and threatened species. The proposal would remove Endangered Species Act protections for wolves across nearly the entire lower 48 states, despite the fact that there are still few, if any, wolves in the vast majority of their former range.

    It is a critical time for wolves. Yet public hearings scheduled by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the proposed delisting have been delayed, to be rescheduled when the government re-opens.

    This is also a critical time for Mexican gray wolves, the smallest, rarest, southernmost-occurring, and most genetically distinct subspecies of North American gray wolf. Although the Mexican wolf would be listed as endangered, the Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to keep and expand its “experimental nonessential status,” even though it remains one of the most endangered animals in North America.

    Virtually exterminated in the U.S. by 1970, Mexican wolves were reintroduced north of the border in 1998. But by early 2013 there were still only about 75 Mexican wolves living in the wild in the U.S. These animals are “essential” and should have the full protection of the Endangered Species Act.

    Wolf recovery has been one of our greatest Endangered Species Act success stories. Stripping away federal protections now, before the population has fully recovered, will negate the decades of hard work that have gone into bringing wolves back from the brink of extinction in this country.

    Without federal protections, this magnificent symbol of our wild heritage will almost assuredly slide back into harm’s way. Wolf hunting seasons have been reintroduced over the last two years in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, and more than 550 wolves were killed by hunters or trappers in the Northern Rockies last season alone.

    Wolves are among North America’s most charismatic animals. The howl of the wolf is emblematic of our country’s last wild places, reminding us of the power and beauty of the natural world. The oldest and largest ancestor of domestic dogs, wolves once ranged from coast to coast and from Alaska to Mexico, but these magnificent animals have been victims of prejudice since their early encounters with people.

    Targeted by bounty hunters for their pelts, they were poisoned, trapped, and shot, until by the 1970s, wolves remained only in remote areas of Minnesota and Michigan in the lower 48 states.

    The tide began to turn in 1973 when Congress enacted the Endangered Species Act, and wolves received official protection that same year. Since then, thanks to these federal protections, wolf populations have rebounded in the continental United States.

    In response to public outcry and the advocacy of conservation groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced wolves to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in the mid-1990s. Today, there are about 1,600 gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and some 3,700 in the Great Lakes states.

    Wolves are vitally important to maintaining nature’s balance throughout their habitat, culling out weak and sick animals among their prey, which helps keep deer and elk populations healthy and in check. (Over the last two decades, exploding deer populations have been wreaking havoc on ecosystems from the Rockies to New England and the Great Lakes to the Deep South.)

    Wolf reintroduction has also been a factor in the reappearance of willow and aspen trees, the return of beavers, and increased populations of red foxes throughout gray wolf habitat. Wolves are even helping local economies as people from across the country come to view these inspiring icons of wild America.

    The current proposal to strip gray wolves of federal protections reflects a political desire, not scientific reality. The proposal is based on a single study that has not been peer-reviewed and relies on a wildlife classification theory that is not generally accepted within the scientific community.

    In fact, the Fish and Wildlife Service’s “Proposed Rule Removing the Gray Wolf from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife” is contrary to the fundamental principles of the Endangered Species Act. Now is the time to finish the job of wolf recovery, not abandon the gray wolf to the same kinds of destructive forces that endangered them in the first place.

    David Scott is president of the Sierra Club.

  • http://azgfd.net
    Jan 7, 2013

    Replacement for Bluestem pack alpha male

    An adult male Mexican wolf, designated M1133, may soon be exploring its new territory in the Apache National Forest of east-central Arizona. The Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project’s interagency field team (IFT) recently received approval from Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Regional Director, in coordination with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, to conduct this initial (a wolf born and raised in captivity) release in mid-January adjacent to the Bluestem pack to replace the pack’s alpha male that was illegally killed last summer.

    The release is contingent upon the IFT’s current survey work to determine and ensure no other male wolf has paired with the existing Bluestem alpha female, AF1042.

    All initial wolf releases occur in Arizona in the primary recovery zone of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in compliance with the existing federal 10(j) rule covering the reintroduction project. The last initial release of wolves occurred in 2008.

    In January 2012, during its regular monthly public meeting, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission voted unanimously to give the department director the authority to approve a wolf release, in coordination with the Service, in cases where an animal is lost from the population due to an unlawful act. When a wolf is lost by any other cause of mortality, the commission, not the director, must approve the release.

    The IFT closely manages all initially-released wolves to reduce the potential of nuisance-related behaviors and livestock depredations once they are free-ranging in the wild. Past experience has shown that initially-released wolves sometimes require intensive management to assist them in learning to avoid situations that may lead to conflict with human activity or with livestock that also utilize the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.

  • http://azgfd.net
    Jan 7, 2013

    Replacement for Bluestem pack alpha male

    An adult male Mexican wolf, designated M1133, may soon be exploring its new territory in the Apache National Forest of east-central Arizona. The Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project’s interagency field team (IFT) recently received approval from Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Regional Director, in coordination with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, to conduct this initial (a wolf born and raised in captivity) release in mid-January adjacent to the Bluestem pack to replace the pack’s alpha male that was illegally killed last summer.

    The release is contingent upon the IFT’s current survey work to determine and ensure no other male wolf has paired with the existing Bluestem alpha female, AF1042.

    All initial wolf releases occur in Arizona in the primary recovery zone of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in compliance with the existing federal 10(j) rule covering the reintroduction project. The last initial release of wolves occurred in 2008.

    In January 2012, during its regular monthly public meeting, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission voted unanimously to give the department director the authority to approve a wolf release, in coordination with the Service, in cases where an animal is lost from the population due to an unlawful act. When a wolf is lost by any other cause of mortality, the commission, not the director, must approve the release.

    The IFT closely manages all initially-released wolves to reduce the potential of nuisance-related behaviors and livestock depredations once they are free-ranging in the wild. Past experience has shown that initially-released wolves sometimes require intensive management to assist them in learning to avoid situations that may lead to conflict with human activity or with livestock that also utilize the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.

  • An Environmental STEM Initiative
    “10 Days of Learning, A Lifetime of Experience”
    August 1 – 10, 2013 • Las Vegas, New Mexico

    The National Hispanic Environmental Council (NHEC) is accepting applications from top students, aged 16–19 from across the country, to attend its upcoming 12th annual “Minority Youth Environmental Training Institute”. The Institute is an intensive, science-based, residential, and content-rich 10 day environmental education and environmental career program to be held August 1 – 10 at a variety of national parks, forests and other sites in Northern New Mexico.

    Fact Sheet

    Application Information

  • Las Cruces Sun-News
    By Jennifer Romero, Guest columnist
    10/27/2013 

    Living in the same community for your entire life, it is easy to take it for granted. Part of your daily activities does not usually involve thinking about the uniqueness of the desert environment. As a native New Mexican, I fell into this mindset quite often until I became a member of the Green Team, an environmental education program for youth that is managed by Groundwork Doña Ana County.

    In my three years as a Green Team member, I have helped build hiking trails, volunteered for the National Parks Service, planted trees, and surveyed for historic and prehistoric artifacts throughout Doña Ana County. From these experiences, I have come to believe the creation of the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument will stimulate people both within and outside the community to re-evaluate the negative connotations they may have of the deserts and New Mexico as a whole.

    The desert can be a harsh environment, and the need to protect it is often not evident. When I visit areas of the proposed national monument and discovered artifacts from ancient communities, I realize the cultural significance of this area. I realize how amazingly resourceful these ancient people were. The desert also contains remnants of more recent history such as bombing targets from World War II, which provide a wider range of historical significance to the area. By protecting these areas for future generations, humans will have a link to the past that they can personally experience and accept as their own no matter what their ethnicity is.

    The proposed Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument allows you
    escape from the stresses of everyday life. I have climbed to the top of some of the peaks in the area, and the views are amazing. When I look out at such a scene, I realize how large the world is and know that while I am only one person, I have the capacity to experience it to the extent I choose. It is easy to get stuck in our own little box of thinking, but these unique locations allow us to see the beauty of our surroundings and to establish a wider view of life as a whole.

    Overall, the title of a “national monument” is significant in itself. Before my involvement with Groundwork, I did not know about the historical significance the land around me had. Growing up, I was somewhat embarrassed to come from New Mexico when all the “important” states like California and New York barely knew it existed. Now, I am proud to be a New Mexican because of the beautiful landscape and heritage the state has. And I believe the national monument will attract tourists to experience the living culture of New Mexico as well. I plan to have a career as a wildlife biologist and having the opportunity to work within the monument would be rewarding because I would see others discovering years later the environment I fell in love with.

    I would like to close by emphasizing these public lands belong to all of us. Although we cannot survive without the life that nature provides, we have the power to destroy it. It is also within our power to protect nature, and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument will protect everything from the time-worn resources of the land to the human emotions born within its boundaries.

    Jennifer Romero is a member of the Oñate High School Class of 2013 and Groundwork Doña Ana Green Team.

  • Las Cruces Sun-News
    By Jennifer Romero, Guest columnist
    10/27/2013 

    Living in the same community for your entire life, it is easy to take it for granted. Part of your daily activities does not usually involve thinking about the uniqueness of the desert environment. As a native New Mexican, I fell into this mindset quite often until I became a member of the Green Team, an environmental education program for youth that is managed by Groundwork Doña Ana County.

    In my three years as a Green Team member, I have helped build hiking trails, volunteered for the National Parks Service, planted trees, and surveyed for historic and prehistoric artifacts throughout Doña Ana County. From these experiences, I have come to believe the creation of the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument will stimulate people both within and outside the community to re-evaluate the negative connotations they may have of the deserts and New Mexico as a whole.

    The desert can be a harsh environment, and the need to protect it is often not evident. When I visit areas of the proposed national monument and discovered artifacts from ancient communities, I realize the cultural significance of this area. I realize how amazingly resourceful these ancient people were. The desert also contains remnants of more recent history such as bombing targets from World War II, which provide a wider range of historical significance to the area. By protecting these areas for future generations, humans will have a link to the past that they can personally experience and accept as their own no matter what their ethnicity is.

    The proposed Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument allows you
    escape from the stresses of everyday life. I have climbed to the top of some of the peaks in the area, and the views are amazing. When I look out at such a scene, I realize how large the world is and know that while I am only one person, I have the capacity to experience it to the extent I choose. It is easy to get stuck in our own little box of thinking, but these unique locations allow us to see the beauty of our surroundings and to establish a wider view of life as a whole.

    Overall, the title of a “national monument” is significant in itself. Before my involvement with Groundwork, I did not know about the historical significance the land around me had. Growing up, I was somewhat embarrassed to come from New Mexico when all the “important” states like California and New York barely knew it existed. Now, I am proud to be a New Mexican because of the beautiful landscape and heritage the state has. And I believe the national monument will attract tourists to experience the living culture of New Mexico as well. I plan to have a career as a wildlife biologist and having the opportunity to work within the monument would be rewarding because I would see others discovering years later the environment I fell in love with.

    I would like to close by emphasizing these public lands belong to all of us. Although we cannot survive without the life that nature provides, we have the power to destroy it. It is also within our power to protect nature, and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument will protect everything from the time-worn resources of the land to the human emotions born within its boundaries.

    Jennifer Romero is a member of the Oñate High School Class of 2013 and Groundwork Doña Ana Green Team.

  • For Immediate Release

    Strips oil and gas corporations of the rights of “persons”

    Mora County (4/29/2013) – On April 29th, at a special meeting called by the Mora County Board of Commissioners to vote on a “Community Bill of Rights,” Mora became the first County in the United States to permanently ban the extraction of oil and gas.

    For years, Mora County has been threatened by “hydro-fracking,” along with other forms of oil and gas extraction. After enacting a temporary moratorium on oil and gas drilling, the County Commissioners adopted a local bill of rights that permanently bans the extraction of oil and gas within the County. In doing so, they follow the lead of over three dozen municipalities on the East Coast – including the City of Pittsburgh – who have adopted local bills of rights to ban “fracking” and other extraction.

    The Community Bill of Rights – known as the “Mora County Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance” – establishes the right of Mora residents to unpolluted water for agriculture, the right to a sustainable and renewable energy future, and the right to self-government. It also recognizes that ecosystems and natural communities – that could be damaged by oil and gas extraction – have a right to exist and flourish. It then prohibits corporations from extracting hydrocarbons, engaging in the sale of water for energy extraction, or constructing pipelines or other infrastructure to distribute oil and gas.

    To protect the enforceability of the ordinance, the law also refuses to recognize that oil and gas corporations possess constitutional and other legal rights within the County of Mora, nullifies state and federal permits issued in violation of the ordinance, and imposes strict liability on corporations engaged in oil and gas operations in neighboring municipalities.

    John Olivas, the Chairman of the Mora County Commissioners, declared, “It’s time for all communities to do what we’ve done – announce the end to extractive activities that threaten our land, our water, and our way of life. If the federal and state government won’t do it, we must. The people and lands of our own communities must come first, not the profits of gas and oil corporations.”

    Alfonso Griego, the Vice Chairman of the Mora County Commissioners, explained, “We’re prepared to fight for this ordinance – it’s the only thing standing in the way of the oil and gas corporations. Redefining the rights and powers of those corporations – so that our residents have more rights than corporate decisionmakers – is an essential part of our local Bill of Rights.”

    Olivas and Griego both called on the New Mexico legislature to adopt a bill that would protect New Mexico Counties that adopt similar legislation. A new organization, the New Mexico Coalition for Community Rights (NMCCR), was created last year by residents of several communities across the state to support that effort.

     

  • For Immediate Release

    Strips oil and gas corporations of the rights of “persons”

    Mora County (4/29/2013) – On April 29th, at a special meeting called by the Mora County Board of Commissioners to vote on a “Community Bill of Rights,” Mora became the first County in the United States to permanently ban the extraction of oil and gas.

    For years, Mora County has been threatened by “hydro-fracking,” along with other forms of oil and gas extraction. After enacting a temporary moratorium on oil and gas drilling, the County Commissioners adopted a local bill of rights that permanently bans the extraction of oil and gas within the County. In doing so, they follow the lead of over three dozen municipalities on the East Coast – including the City of Pittsburgh – who have adopted local bills of rights to ban “fracking” and other extraction.

    The Community Bill of Rights – known as the “Mora County Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance” – establishes the right of Mora residents to unpolluted water for agriculture, the right to a sustainable and renewable energy future, and the right to self-government. It also recognizes that ecosystems and natural communities – that could be damaged by oil and gas extraction – have a right to exist and flourish. It then prohibits corporations from extracting hydrocarbons, engaging in the sale of water for energy extraction, or constructing pipelines or other infrastructure to distribute oil and gas.

    To protect the enforceability of the ordinance, the law also refuses to recognize that oil and gas corporations possess constitutional and other legal rights within the County of Mora, nullifies state and federal permits issued in violation of the ordinance, and imposes strict liability on corporations engaged in oil and gas operations in neighboring municipalities.

    John Olivas, the Chairman of the Mora County Commissioners, declared, “It’s time for all communities to do what we’ve done – announce the end to extractive activities that threaten our land, our water, and our way of life. If the federal and state government won’t do it, we must. The people and lands of our own communities must come first, not the profits of gas and oil corporations.”

    Alfonso Griego, the Vice Chairman of the Mora County Commissioners, explained, “We’re prepared to fight for this ordinance – it’s the only thing standing in the way of the oil and gas corporations. Redefining the rights and powers of those corporations – so that our residents have more rights than corporate decisionmakers – is an essential part of our local Bill of Rights.”

    Olivas and Griego both called on the New Mexico legislature to adopt a bill that would protect New Mexico Counties that adopt similar legislation. A new organization, the New Mexico Coalition for Community Rights (NMCCR), was created last year by residents of several communities across the state to support that effort.

  • For Immediate Release

    Strips oil and gas corporations of the rights of “persons”

    Mora County (4/29/2013) – On April 29th, at a special meeting called by the Mora County Board of Commissioners to vote on a “Community Bill of Rights,” Mora became the first County in the United States to permanently ban the extraction of oil and gas.

    For years, Mora County has been threatened by “hydro-fracking,” along with other forms of oil and gas extraction. After enacting a temporary moratorium on oil and gas drilling, the County Commissioners adopted a local bill of rights that permanently bans the extraction of oil and gas within the County. In doing so, they follow the lead of over three dozen municipalities on the East Coast – including the City of Pittsburgh – who have adopted local bills of rights to ban “fracking” and other extraction.

    The Community Bill of Rights – known as the “Mora County Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance” – establishes the right of Mora residents to unpolluted water for agriculture, the right to a sustainable and renewable energy future, and the right to self-government. It also recognizes that ecosystems and natural communities – that could be damaged by oil and gas extraction – have a right to exist and flourish. It then prohibits corporations from extracting hydrocarbons, engaging in the sale of water for energy extraction, or constructing pipelines or other infrastructure to distribute oil and gas.

    To protect the enforceability of the ordinance, the law also refuses to recognize that oil and gas corporations possess constitutional and other legal rights within the County of Mora, nullifies state and federal permits issued in violation of the ordinance, and imposes strict liability on corporations engaged in oil and gas operations in neighboring municipalities.

    John Olivas, the Chairman of the Mora County Commissioners, declared, “It’s time for all communities to do what we’ve done – announce the end to extractive activities that threaten our land, our water, and our way of life. If the federal and state government won’t do it, we must. The people and lands of our own communities must come first, not the profits of gas and oil corporations.”

    Alfonso Griego, the Vice Chairman of the Mora County Commissioners, explained, “We’re prepared to fight for this ordinance – it’s the only thing standing in the way of the oil and gas corporations. Redefining the rights and powers of those corporations – so that our residents have more rights than corporate decisionmakers – is an essential part of our local Bill of Rights.”

    Olivas and Griego both called on the New Mexico legislature to adopt a bill that would protect New Mexico Counties that adopt similar legislation. A new organization, the New Mexico Coalition for Community Rights (NMCCR), was created last year by residents of several communities across the state to support that effort.

  • more than

  • The Taos News
    April 27, 2013
    The author, Jenny Vincent, a musician, is a resident of Taos.

    Earth Day is my birthday. I have made that statement with pride since the first Earth Day was declared in 1970.

    This Earth Day will be my 100th birthday, and that makes me especially proud to mark the day.

    As I enter my second century on this earth, I have much to look back on and celebrate. Our earth has changed in these hundred years.

    Some improvements have been seen, as in the quality of air and water in parts of the United States. But, much remains to be done, and our beautiful lands and waters need protection in this time of a changing earth and climate.

    I first came to New Mexico in 1936. The purpose of the visit was to meet Frieda Lawrence, the widow of D.H. Lawrence. I had met Frieda’s sister in Germany a few years before, and her insistence that my husband and I meet her sister in New Mexico changed the course of my life.

    During that first visit, we saw Frieda at her Kiowa Ranch, perched above the San Cristóbal valley at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Funny how one thing leads to another: we were escorted on horseback by Diego Arellano through the mountains to the upper reaches of the valley. The beauty and splendor of the aspen groves and ponderosas, and the views of the Río Grande gorge pulled on my emotional and physical being.

    I knew I had found my home. The rest is my personal history.

    We bought a ranch at the head of the valley, ran a summer camp, and moved permanently to San Cristóbal in 1940. Craig Smith’s article in the 2013 “Adventures de Taos” supplement to The Taos News spells out more of the detail of that time.

    The mountains to the east were always a backdrop to our daily lives. Gardening, irrigating, harvesting, hiking, horseback riding, and contemplation. The guests at our ranch marveled at the natural beauty.

    Many of them returned to Taos County to live and work, and contribute to our amazing community. San Cristóbal Canyon and the Sangre de Cristos provided my three sons with a place to grow and learn. They hiked the canyon to the ridge and on to Lobo Peak. They combed the ground for signs of pit houses and other artifacts left behind by those who first came to this land to live, hunt and raise their families.

    San Cristóbal Creek, one of the smallest watersheds in the area, provided, and continues to provide the life blood to our local acequia, and domestic water system. These mountains have nurtured and sustained us.

    San Cristóbal Canyon, and all the lands between Questa and Arroyo Hondo, and Red River, Taos Ski Valley — those lands known collectively as the Columbine-Hondo — were declared a Wilderness Study Area in 1980.

    This first step toward permanent protection was controversial at first. But virtually everyone who knows, loves and uses this land has come to know the benefits of increased protection. It is time for the Columbine Hondo to be designated by Congress as wilderness, to ensure its permanent protection.

    Taos County and the entire State of New Mexico are celebrating the establishment of the Río Grande del Norte National Monument. The next step is wilderness status for the Columbine Hondo.

    Our Congressional delegation is behind this proposition 100 percent, as are permitees, acequias, land grants, businesses, organizations, individuals and political bodies. Join them!

    I want to celebrate my next birthday at the foot of our newest wilderness.

  • The Taos News
    April 27, 2013
    The author, Jenny Vincent, a musician, is a resident of Taos.

    Earth Day is my birthday. I have made that statement with pride since the first Earth Day was declared in 1970.

    This Earth Day will be my 100th birthday, and that makes me especially proud to mark the day.

    As I enter my second century on this earth, I have much to look back on and celebrate. Our earth has changed in these hundred years.

    Some improvements have been seen, as in the quality of air and water in parts of the United States. But, much remains to be done, and our beautiful lands and waters need protection in this time of a changing earth and climate.

    I first came to New Mexico in 1936. The purpose of the visit was to meet Frieda Lawrence, the widow of D.H. Lawrence. I had met Frieda’s sister in Germany a few years before, and her insistence that my husband and I meet her sister in New Mexico changed the course of my life.

    During that first visit, we saw Frieda at her Kiowa Ranch, perched above the San Cristóbal valley at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Funny how one thing leads to another: we were escorted on horseback by Diego Arellano through the mountains to the upper reaches of the valley. The beauty and splendor of the aspen groves and ponderosas, and the views of the Río Grande gorge pulled on my emotional and physical being.

    I knew I had found my home. The rest is my personal history.

    We bought a ranch at the head of the valley, ran a summer camp, and moved permanently to San Cristóbal in 1940. Craig Smith’s article in the 2013 “Adventures de Taos” supplement to The Taos News spells out more of the detail of that time.

    The mountains to the east were always a backdrop to our daily lives. Gardening, irrigating, harvesting, hiking, horseback riding, and contemplation. The guests at our ranch marveled at the natural beauty.

    Many of them returned to Taos County to live and work, and contribute to our amazing community. San Cristóbal Canyon and the Sangre de Cristos provided my three sons with a place to grow and learn. They hiked the canyon to the ridge and on to Lobo Peak. They combed the ground for signs of pit houses and other artifacts left behind by those who first came to this land to live, hunt and raise their families.

    San Cristóbal Creek, one of the smallest watersheds in the area, provided, and continues to provide the life blood to our local acequia, and domestic water system. These mountains have nurtured and sustained us.

    San Cristóbal Canyon, and all the lands between Questa and Arroyo Hondo, and Red River, Taos Ski Valley — those lands known collectively as the Columbine-Hondo — were declared a Wilderness Study Area in 1980.

    This first step toward permanent protection was controversial at first. But virtually everyone who knows, loves and uses this land has come to know the benefits of increased protection. It is time for the Columbine Hondo to be designated by Congress as wilderness, to ensure its permanent protection.

    Taos County and the entire State of New Mexico are celebrating the establishment of the Río Grande del Norte National Monument. The next step is wilderness status for the Columbine Hondo.

    Our Congressional delegation is behind this proposition 100 percent, as are permitees, acequias, land grants, businesses, organizations, individuals and political bodies. Join them!

    I want to celebrate my next birthday at the foot of our newest wilderness.

  • Mark Barela for The Taos News
    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    Teachers across the country are marking National Environmental Education Week, April 14-20, hoping to boost the knowledge of K-12 students about nature and the importance of stewardship. Here at Vista Grande High School in Taos, that is something we practice year-round.

    We’ve found that some of the very best learning actually occurs outside of the four walls of a classroom. We focus on creating “learning expeditions” that incorporate skill building, challenge, character development, and a service ethic into an academic curriculum.

    Not only do students get out and study their natural environment, they see how they can apply these experiences to other lessons, as well.

    Happily, in the Land of Enchantment, there are incredible places for these expeditions, right in our backyard. Six years ago, when the school opened, we began our wilderness program by taking a group of ninth-and tenth-graders on a six-day backpacking trip in the nearby Columbine Hondo Wilderness Study Area — a place of outstanding natural beauty and abundant wildlife.

    Four crews of staff and students hiked some of the area’s most amazing places — Italianos Canyon, Long Canyon, San Cristobal Canyon, and Columbine Canyon. Along the way, we focused on learning wilderness skills like packing, camping, cooking, safety, and navigation.

    While the scenery was spectacular, it was no “walk in the park.” Students were tested, facing physical challenge by starting at a 9000-foot elevation and climbing another 3000-plus feet in vertical elevation while carrying a pack weighing up to a third of their body weight.

    They faced mental challenges as well. For many, this was their first backpacking experience away from their families. To succeed as a crew, students had to learn to work together as a team — to communicate, support, and bond together as a cohesive unit.

    These lessons will be remembered long after they return home and to the classroom. The beautiful area also prompted discussions on environmental ethics and the students’ role as future stewards of the land so that their children, too, could have the same experiences in this wild place.

    Junior and senior students at Vista Grand must participate in a “leadership strand” to help with character development and incorporating an ethic of service to others.

    Some choose to become members of the Student Wilderness Ambassador Team (SWAT). Here, they learn the skills to become leaders — lessons that will serve them well throughout their lives. SWAT team members help lead backpacking trips for freshmen and sophomores into the Columbine Hondo, practicing the leadership skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

    They share their knowledge of wilderness survival skills, form bonds with their classmates, and develop a leadership style that suits their personality. Experienced senior members of the SWAT team are given more responsibility and opportunity to develop as student leaders on these trips.

    Over the years, I’ve seen the positive effects of these backpacking trips. At first, the students miss their families, music, soft beds, and bathrooms.

    After a strenuous climb to a high camp and then having a day to rest, relax, play games, and enjoy their surroundings, their attitude changes and they begin to appreciate things previously taken for granted. The peace, quiet, and beauty of the wilderness nourishes the soul and connects us with nature.

    Working with classmates as a team creates experiences and memories that are taken back to school and shared for years to come. And the trip’s end, students realize that they are capable of accomplishing more than they thought possible and the sense of pride they feel carries into other challenges they may face in their lives, including academic challenges.

    Columbine Hondo deserves wilderness protection for many reasons — because it is the headwaters for our water supply, because it is habitat for a variety of animal species, and because of its natural beauty. But it is equally important to preserve this area so future generations of students have a place to go to connect with nature and the calming and healing effect it has on us all.

    It is a place where they can learn, challenge themselves, become leaders and grow as people.

    Students who have experienced the Columbine Hondo unanimously agree that it is a special place that should stay forever as it is today.

  • Mark Barela for The Taos News
    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    Teachers across the country are marking National Environmental Education Week, April 14-20, hoping to boost the knowledge of K-12 students about nature and the importance of stewardship. Here at Vista Grande High School in Taos, that is something we practice year-round.

    We’ve found that some of the very best learning actually occurs outside of the four walls of a classroom. We focus on creating “learning expeditions” that incorporate skill building, challenge, character development, and a service ethic into an academic curriculum.

    Not only do students get out and study their natural environment, they see how they can apply these experiences to other lessons, as well.

    Happily, in the Land of Enchantment, there are incredible places for these expeditions, right in our backyard. Six years ago, when the school opened, we began our wilderness program by taking a group of ninth-and tenth-graders on a six-day backpacking trip in the nearby Columbine Hondo Wilderness Study Area — a place of outstanding natural beauty and abundant wildlife.

    Four crews of staff and students hiked some of the area’s most amazing places — Italianos Canyon, Long Canyon, San Cristobal Canyon, and Columbine Canyon. Along the way, we focused on learning wilderness skills like packing, camping, cooking, safety, and navigation.

    While the scenery was spectacular, it was no “walk in the park.” Students were tested, facing physical challenge by starting at a 9000-foot elevation and climbing another 3000-plus feet in vertical elevation while carrying a pack weighing up to a third of their body weight.

    They faced mental challenges as well. For many, this was their first backpacking experience away from their families. To succeed as a crew, students had to learn to work together as a team — to communicate, support, and bond together as a cohesive unit.

    These lessons will be remembered long after they return home and to the classroom. The beautiful area also prompted discussions on environmental ethics and the students’ role as future stewards of the land so that their children, too, could have the same experiences in this wild place.

    Junior and senior students at Vista Grand must participate in a “leadership strand” to help with character development and incorporating an ethic of service to others.

    Some choose to become members of the Student Wilderness Ambassador Team (SWAT). Here, they learn the skills to become leaders — lessons that will serve them well throughout their lives. SWAT team members help lead backpacking trips for freshmen and sophomores into the Columbine Hondo, practicing the leadership skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

    They share their knowledge of wilderness survival skills, form bonds with their classmates, and develop a leadership style that suits their personality. Experienced senior members of the SWAT team are given more responsibility and opportunity to develop as student leaders on these trips.

    Over the years, I’ve seen the positive effects of these backpacking trips. At first, the students miss their families, music, soft beds, and bathrooms.

    After a strenuous climb to a high camp and then having a day to rest, relax, play games, and enjoy their surroundings, their attitude changes and they begin to appreciate things previously taken for granted. The peace, quiet, and beauty of the wilderness nourishes the soul and connects us with nature.

    Working with classmates as a team creates experiences and memories that are taken back to school and shared for years to come. And the trip’s end, students realize that they are capable of accomplishing more than they thought possible and the sense of pride they feel carries into other challenges they may face in their lives, including academic challenges.

    Columbine Hondo deserves wilderness protection for many reasons — because it is the headwaters for our water supply, because it is habitat for a variety of animal species, and because of its natural beauty. But it is equally important to preserve this area so future generations of students have a place to go to connect with nature and the calming and healing effect it has on us all.

    It is a place where they can learn, challenge themselves, become leaders and grow as people.

    Students who have experienced the Columbine Hondo unanimously agree that it is a special place that should stay forever as it is today.

  • The Santa Fe New Mexican

    March 8, 2013

    By Stuart Wilde

    Sometime this March, the U.S. Senate will likely vote on whether to confirm Sally Jewell, President Barack Obama’s nominee for interior secretary. This decision will have a big impact on New Mexico over the next four years and thus bears scrutiny.

    As our economy continues to gain strength, Sally Jewell appears to be a very compelling leader to remind Congress and the American people that public lands fuel our economy and create jobs not only through resource extraction — but also by balancing development with conservation to benefit our outdoor recreation and tourism economies.

    Ms. Jewell has a compelling business leadership résumé. She has overseen the growth of a $1.8 billion company consistently ranked among the best places to work in the U.S. An engineer by training, she has demonstrated a practical, no-nonsense approach focused on results. She is also passionate about corporate social responsibility; she knows firsthand that being sustainable and being profitable can go hand in hand.

    While she is familiar with Washington, D.C., she brings a much-needed perspective of a business leader who has forged a career outside of D.C. partisanship. Ms. Jewell also knows the oil and gas business from the inside — having worked at Mobil Oil. Probably more than almost any CEO in America, she understands the growing economic potential of America’s $646 billion outdoor recreation industry. She was a key stakeholder in discussions to craft the president’s America’s Great Outdoors program, an agenda for the 21st century to support community-driven conservation, initiatives such as getting kids outdoors and conservation investments that sustain local economies.

    Parks and public lands in New Mexico lure tourists, recreationists and entrepreneurs eager to embrace our outdoor quality of life. Ms. Jewell knows that to grow our economy, protection of our parks and public lands must be on equal ground with the development of energy resources.

    She has a tough act to follow. Under Secretary Ken Salazar’s leadership, the Department of Interior did more to advance the cause of clean-energy development on public lands — including Solar Energy Zones — than any other secretary of the interior in history.

    The president’s very public acknowledgement of the value of our natural treasures comes in the nick of time; former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt recently pointed out that there has been a dramatic decline in public lands conservation, as Congress has become gridlocked. In fact, over the past four years, the oil and gas industry has leased more than 6 million acres of public lands, while only 2.6 million acres were permanently protected. To put conservation on “equal ground” with oil and gas drilling, Babbitt proposed for every 1 acre of our public land leased to the oil and gas industry during Obama’s second term, 1 acre should be permanently protected.

    Already, Obama acted when the previous Congress failed to do so by using his authority under the Antiquities Act to protect four National Monuments in Colorado, California and Virginia. The New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce believes the logical next step would be for the president to use this authority to permanently protect the Rio Grande del Norte as a national monument. That alone would be a $15 million investment in our economy.

    Should Ms. Jewell be confirmed, we invite her to meet with New Mexico business owners. We’re eager to help her however we can to embrace this challenge of balancing conservation with development of our public lands heritage. Our state economy and small local businesses depend on it.

    Stuart Wilde is the director of Wild Earth Llama Adventures, based out of Taos, and leads low-impact hiking and camping trips into New Mexico’s pristine wilderness areas.

  • KARY PIERCE /Albuquerque
    http://www.abqjournal.com/main/2013/02/19/opinion/letters-to-the-editor-5.html

    As a child, I grew up in the Colorado Rockies very close to Chimney Rock outside Pagosa Springs, Colo. Needless to say, when President Obama deemed it worthy of becoming a national monument, I was pleased. 

    Those mountains are very special in my heart. I remember the wind whispering in the tall pines, playing in the rocky mountain caves, and crystal fresh waters in the small spring by my home. I was one of the people that wrote and asked the president to protect this land, and he listened.

    It’s one thing to be a person that writes to the government about my interests for preserving natural ecosystems, it’s another when someone reaches out to others in a plea to do the same. One such place worthy of this request for care is in New Mexico, the Rio Grande del Norte. It’s a diverse area where people can connect with nature and its beauty.

    The Rio Grande del Norte includes the fantastic Rio Grande Gorge, headwaters for the Rio Grande, breathtaking sagebrush plains, and Ute Mountain. It provides a critical wildlife habitat, and has thousands of archeological sites.

    The main factors in determining the value of this preservation include clean water, clean air and access to the outdoors for hunting, hiking and other recreational activities. This brings me back to my childhood remembrance and the importance that we have this for future generations. It would be a selfish travesty to risk having these treasures of ecological opportunity taken from them.

    There is heartfelt wisdom in protecting special places by creating national monuments on lands and waters that have been protected by the American people taking ownership. I would like this letter to represent a way of sharing to reach more people so they can be aware and advocate to protect that which cannot protect itself from human destruction. All we need to do is let the president know that the Rio Grande del Norte should be designated as a national treasure as well.

  • KARY PIERCE /Albuquerque
    http://www.abqjournal.com/main/2013/02/19/opinion/letters-to-the-editor-5.html

    As a child, I grew up in the Colorado Rockies very close to Chimney Rock outside Pagosa Springs, Colo. Needless to say, when President Obama deemed it worthy of becoming a national monument, I was pleased. 

    Those mountains are very special in my heart. I remember the wind whispering in the tall pines, playing in the rocky mountain caves, and crystal fresh waters in the small spring by my home. I was one of the people that wrote and asked the president to protect this land, and he listened.

    It’s one thing to be a person that writes to the government about my interests for preserving natural ecosystems, it’s another when someone reaches out to others in a plea to do the same. One such place worthy of this request for care is in New Mexico, the Rio Grande del Norte. It’s a diverse area where people can connect with nature and its beauty.

    The Rio Grande del Norte includes the fantastic Rio Grande Gorge, headwaters for the Rio Grande, breathtaking sagebrush plains, and Ute Mountain. It provides a critical wildlife habitat, and has thousands of archeological sites.

    The main factors in determining the value of this preservation include clean water, clean air and access to the outdoors for hunting, hiking and other recreational activities. This brings me back to my childhood remembrance and the importance that we have this for future generations. It would be a selfish travesty to risk having these treasures of ecological opportunity taken from them.

    There is heartfelt wisdom in protecting special places by creating national monuments on lands and waters that have been protected by the American people taking ownership. I would like this letter to represent a way of sharing to reach more people so they can be aware and advocate to protect that which cannot protect itself from human destruction. All we need to do is let the president know that the Rio Grande del Norte should be designated as a national treasure as well.

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