By the Silver City Daily PressGVK photo
November 4, 2019

The New Mexico Economic Development Department has named 15 people to serve on the advisory panel for the Outdoor Recreation Division.

The group, which includes representatives from conservation, education, industry, and government, is charged with providing expertise and support, among other tasks, to the new office via monthly meetings and quarterly summits.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the law April 2 that made New Mexico the 15th state to create an Outdoor Recreation Division. The governor and Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes have identified outdoor business growth as an important element to diversify the state economy.

“Outdoor recreation touches every corner of the state,” Keyes said. “We are pleased outdoor advocates from throughout New Mexico, as well as tribal communities, have agreed to help us as we move forward to grow these businesses and create jobs.”

“Each member of this coalition brings some serious firepower to the outdoor-recreation table,” said Axie Navas, director of the Outdoor Recreation Division. “All told, the committee has more than a century of experience working in the nonprofit, governmental, and private sector worlds. I predict this incredible group will do amazing things for New Mexico’s outdoor recreation economy.”

The advisory panel members are:

• Marcy DeMillion, Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program, National Park Service;

• Jim Glover, Once a Day Marketing;

• Howard Gross, deputy commissioner of surface resources, State Land Office;

• Keegan King, policy and legislation bureau chief, Indian Affairs Department;

• Dustin Martin, executive director, Wings of America;

• Laura McCarthy, state forester, Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department;

• Patrick Moore, chair, history and heritage, Department of Cultural Affairs;

• Michael Slone, director, Game and Fish Department;

• Christy Tafoya, State Parks Division director, Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department;

• Mary Turner, deputy editor, Outside Magazine;

• Brian Vallo, governor, Acoma Pueblo;

• Gabe Vasquez, founder, Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project;

• Garrett VeneKlasen, northern conservation director, New Mexico Wild;

• Antoinette Vigil, deputy Cabinet secretary, Department of Tourism; and

• Kathy Whiteman, Ph.D., Outdoor Program and Center for a Sustainable Future director, Western New Mexico University.

This article originally appeared in the Silver City Daily Press.