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NM Wild to Award Youth Scholarships to National Wilderness Conference

New Mexico Wilderness Alliance is committed to leadership development for wilderness advocacy and to ensuring wilderness remains accessible to everyone. As such, NM Wild is awarding scholarships to the Wilderness 50th National Conference to youth who demonstrate leadership or are working towards a leadership role in wilderness education efforts, advocacy and community awareness.

Scholarships will cover conference registration only. The scholarships provide local New Mexico youth who would otherwise be unable to attend an opportunity to go to the conference. The number and amount of scholarships will be based on available funding.

The National Wilderness Conference will be a historic four-day event of diverse programs including presentations, panels, exhibits, field trips, skill-development workshops, and opportunities for fellowship and to share information about recent advances and emerging issues in wilderness stewardship.

Scholarships are open to youth 18-25 years old. Learn more and apply.

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Last Chance to Register for Early Bird Prices

To avoid paying an increased registration fee, be sure to register for the National Wilderness Conference by July 31. An extension will be offered for agency employees awaiting travel authorization. The conference will be held October 15-19, 2014, in Albuquerque and is the first national gathering of the wilderness community in 25 years.

Not convinced you should attend? Check out this promo video

Conference field trips? Yeah, we got those.

The National Wilderness Conference includes over 20 exciting field trips to New Mexico wilderness areas and cultural sites.

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Visiting all of New Mexico’s wilderness areas for the 50th

From the Gila to the Sandias, the Chama to Sabinoso, New Mexico has an abundance of wilderness areas worth visiting.

Our Communications Coordinator Tina Deines is aiming to visit all 25 (well, 27…but we’ll talk about that) of New Mexico’s wilderness areas by the end of the year in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. A blog about her experiences and challenges, along with photos can be found at wilderness50challenge.wordpress.com

This week’s post: San Pedro Parks Wilderness

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Airport Display

With the National Wilderness Conference coming in October, the local planning committee has put together a display at the Albuquerque Sunport.

This display features wilderness past, present and future and will be running until early October.

There is still time to sign up for early bird registration here.

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Extended Deadline for Wilderness 50 Volunteers

Get free or reduced registration!

There are still volunteer positions available for the National Wilderness Conference this October. Volunteers will receive a free or discounted registration based on the number of hours they volunteer. This is a great way to meet important thinkers in the wilderness field while attending this historic conference.

If you would like to volunteer for the conference or would like more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as soon as possible.

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My Turn: Honoring a 50-year legacy of wild places

In 1964, 50 years ago this fall, Americans made a big commitment to the preservation of their public lands by enacting the Wilderness Act. This landmark legislation gave Americans a tool to protect the country’s last best wild places for generations to come, free from development and open for all people to enjoy. As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act in 2014, we are recommitting ourselves to fulfilling our responsibility to care for America’s magnificent public lands.

The story of public lands, and specifically the story of the Wilderness Act, is not just a story of spectacular places but also a story of people and the follow-through on a promise. From visionaries like Aldo Leopold and Bob Marshall came protection for places like the Wheeler Peak Wilderness in New Mexico and Linville Gorge Wilderness in North Carolina. With the passage of the Wilderness Act came the promise to protect these special places as landscapes to find solace, unconfined recreation, and connection to our natural heritage.

Read more

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Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks: Engaging Latinos, Youth

For centuries, the ragged peaks of the Organs Mountains witnessed the flow of settlers traveling from Mexico to Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos on the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. In the Broad Canyon there is an abundance of petroglyphs, testament of ancestral native cultures. And in the Robledo Mountains dinosaur foots prints were petrified millions of years ago. These natural treasures have been protected in large part due to the activism of Latino leaders.

The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument is also getting Latino youth interested in their history and culture and encouraging them to stay in school.

“I lead these kids into the monument to help me compile its cultural inventory,” says NM Wild staffer Angel Peña. “We hike around the lands looking for remnants of Hispanics coming through in the 1580s, we have found evidence of the Camino Real, as well as numerous petroglyphs and other archeological resources.”

Read more

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The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance was happy to join the Albuquerque Wildlife Federation on Saturday at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in celebration of their 100th anniversary!

If you are interested in attending events such as this to talk to potential members about the importance of wilderness and our campaigns, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Learn more about volunteering here. 

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Upcoming events

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Thinking Wilderness

20 Images x 20 seconds + Many Stories

July 26, 2014 at 7 p.m.

OCHO Art & Event Space, Questa

An evening of concise audio-visual presentations, storytelling and creativity following the “PechaKucha” format. Each presenter is given 6 minutes, 40 seconds (20 images, 20 seconds each image) to tell his or her story reflecting the “Thinking Wilderness” theme. Learn more here.

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Columbine Hondo Llama Trek

August 2, 2014
Northern New Mexico

DESCRIPTION: Wild Earth Llama Adventures is partnering with the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance on a llama trip into the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Study Area, Columbine Hondo Canyon. Legislation has been introduced by the New Mexico federal delegation to protect the Columbine Hondo as true wilderness. The Take a Llama to Lunch! wilderness day hike is a great way to experience the unspoiled wilderness near Taos. This signature llama trek offers a taste of the wilderness for those who would like to spend a very special day hiking and exploring in the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains with experienced guides and wooly hiking companions. On the trail, our gentle, sure-footed llamas will carry your gear while experienced naturalist guides share their knowledge of southern Rocky Mountain ecology: native flora and fauna, edible and medicinal plants, natural and regional history, and wilderness living skills. After an inspiring hike at your own pace, you will enjoy a sumptuous feast prepared by the guides in a pristine wilderness setting with some of the most spectacular scenery in the Southwest. Our llamas pack in all the fresh ingredients to make a magnificent gourmet lunch complete with fresh fruits and garden salads, hearty sandwiches on fresh baked breads, natural sodas and delicious desserts to tempt your sweet tooth.

Learn more and sign up here

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Thinking Wilderness: The Art Show

Calling All Artists – August 2-17, 2014
OCHO Art & Event Space,Questa

Reception: August 9, 2014, from 5-8 p.m.

All local and regional visual artists are encouraged to enter 2 and 3 dimensional artworks for this open exhibition taking place August 2-7, at OCHO Art & Event Space in Questa. Artworks must reflect the wilderness theme and be 150 square inches or less (not including frame, pedestal or display case for jewelry). Exhibition details and downloadable application HERE. Questions? Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or 575-586-2362.

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NM Wild Night Out at O’Niell’s

August 9, 2014 from 5-8 p.m.

Albuquerque

On Saturday, August 9, NM Wild will serve as guest bartenders at O’Niell’s in Nob Hill Albuquerque. Please put it in your calendars!

IMPORTANT: Please print out your event ticket  and bring to the event and O’Niell’s will give $3 to NM Wild. There will also be complementary hors d’ouervres.

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Gila Wilderness Inventory Workshop

August 9-10, 2014

DESCRIPTION: This year marks the 90th anniversary of America’s first wilderness—the Gila. In honor of this momentous occasion, we are hosting a series of workshops to train citizens on how to conduct wilderness inventories in the Gila National Forest, as well as how to conduct citizen monitoring in wilderness areas. Among other things, participants will:
Learn how to operate GPS software and use it to collect data Learn how to perform a wilderness inventory and evaluation Learn how to identify signs of wildlife Learn how to monitor human impacts in wilderness Gain a greater understanding of Forest Service directives and regulations
As a part of the workshop, participants will be provided with a detailed handbook in advance and will spend a full day conducting fieldwork in the Gila National Forest in order to gain a better understanding of the training.

Learn more and sign up here

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Save the Date to Save the Lobo!
Your voice needed at public hearing

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Civic/Convention Center
400 W 4th Ave, Truth or Consequences
Refreshments start at 2 p.m. | Public hearing from 6-9 p.m.

Sixteen years after they were reintroduced, only 83 Mexican gray wolves remain in the wild. The wild lobos are struggling for their survival. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has proposed changes to Mexican wolf management—two good changes and many more that will worsen the lobo’s already-tenuous plight. The USFWS will hold public hearings on its proposal. You and other supporters of the Mexican wolf are all that will stand between extinction and survival for these critically endangered, beautiful, intelligent animals. Please speak up for the lobo at a hearing in August. We will have activities and refreshments for wolf supporters at both locations starting by 2 p.m.–check back at www.mexicanwolves.org for updates as the date gets closer! A critical mass of supporters at these hearings can turn the tide for the Mexican gray wolf. Please save the date and spread the word! For more information, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Pecos Roadless Area Inventory

August 15-17, 2014
Northern New Mexico

DESCRIPTION: Arrive Friday for dinner and camp two nights at Agua Piedra Campground on N.M. 518 in Tres Ritos. On Saturday, take an easy hike 2 miles up Agua Piedra Creek through the proposed Special Management Area to the boundary of the northern Santa Barbara Roadless area. Hikers may continue on a strenuous hike (an additional 7.5 miles with 2,000-plus foot elevation gain) through the roadless area ending at Santa Barbara Campground. A shuttle will be provided from Santa Barbara campground back to Agua Piedra.

Learn more and sign up here.

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Wildlife in the Early Hours

August 19, 2014
Las Cruces Area

DESCRIPTION: Wildlife is always most active in the early hours. Can you get up early enough to see them? Join area experts to learn more about animals like mule deer, javelina and elusive desert pronghorn antelope—and hopefully see some of them in their beautiful native habitats! We will hike into the Sierra de Las Uvas grasslands.

Learn more and sign up here.

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North Sandia Peak Hike

August 23, 2014
Sandia Crest

We’ll do the hike to North Sandia Peak with field biologist Nathan Peterson. It is a fairly easy 3.6-mile round-trip from the crest. There is a $3 parking fee at the crest—federal passes are honored. During the hike, we will discuss some of the mammals found in the Sandia Mountains. Great hike to escape the summer heat!

Sign up here

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Monsoon Wildflower Explosion

August 23, 2014
Las Cruces Area

DESCRIPTION: Late summer monsoons bring a desert and grassland flower bonanza with them. We’ll travel to some of the most beautiful stands that are hidden away in the Sierra de Las Uvas grasslands. These verdant landscapes are some of the most important bird, animal and plant habitats anywhere in southern New Mexico, and you’ll be our guest as we see them in what is hopefully full bloom!

Learn more and sign up here.

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Gila Wolf Backpack

August 29-September 1, 2014

DESCRIPTION: A four-day, three-night luxury backpack trip looking for wild Mexican wolves in the Gila Wilderness. Our expert guide, Dave Parsons, led the wolf reintroduction project for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the 90s. No one knows more about Mexican wolves or has done more for them than Parsons. This is a truly unique opportunity to spend time with a wilderness hero in a place he knows and loves like no other. We will be looking for wolves and other wildlife while enjoying the natural beauty of one of the most spectacular wild places in the lower 48 states. Zack Crockett with Gila Backcountry Services will be providing pack mules to haul most of our gear in, and he will also be providing all of our meals.

Learn more and sign up here.

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Wilderness Day at Isotopes Park
Celebrate Wilderness with Us!

Monday, September 1, 2014
1:35 p.m. at Albuquerque Isotopes Park
Come out with family and friends to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act and watch the Albuquerque Isotopes play the Las Vegas 51′s.

Let’s see how many wilderness supporters we can get in the crowd!

Learn how to get a discounted $8 ticket to the game here!

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Thinking Wilderness Online Residency

September 3, 2014

First Wilderness Thinker in Residence featured here on the Thinking Wilderness website and other venues TBA. Chosen featured thinkers will also be announced with the launch of the project.

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NeoRio 2014

Thinking Wilderness

September 6, 2014
Wild Rivers, Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

Launching the “Wilderness Thinkers in Residence Project”

NeoRio will be marking the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act in its own way, with the launch of the “Wilderness Thinkers in Residence” project, featuring the first Thinker in Residence as the NeoRio Featured Artist. Join us for the NeoRio featured artist lecture, hands-on experience of artwork & evening celebration on the gorge on September 6. More information about the annual NeoRio event can be found at www.leapsite.org.

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