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Service Project Highlights & Updates

Get involved today… 
Make New Friends, while helping the land and wildlife!

Take the time to sign up for a Volunteer Service Project today for the experience of a lifetime.

Here are some briefings from Craig Chapman on great events you’ve already missed, and even more to come!

...April 2-4: Embudo Acequia, Junta y Cienega. After a day of hard work helping cleaning the community Acequia, we were on a patio overlooking the fields we had just helped to irrigate; our hard work was to be well rewarded. As the sun was setting we were serenaded by traditional Spanish folk music (a harp and classical guitar) as we treated ourselves to a home cooked lamb dinner. The day and the evening were a feast for the soul.


...April 16-18: Double Circle Ranch. Over the last couple of years and over the last weekend I went to Alpine Arizona in search of wolf friendly ranchers. What I found were the owners of the Double Circle Ranch. Wilma and Doug love the land and recognize that the wolf plays a part. They have a great land ethic. They are constantly working on watershed restoration. They are also installing butterfly gardens and improving bat habitat.

“We want to be a model for sustainable agriculture-- and volunteers may well prove to be an important part of that effort.” - Wilma and Doug.

For NMWA members the following offer applies: The Ranch has room for 2, 3 or 4 volunteers at a time, all year. Jobs include various native and non-native plant surveys; add to the bird inventory list just to name a few. Are you handy with tools? Help install solar panels or build erosion control structures. For people with horse skills, you can clean up old fence, or install water lines, repair troughs, try your hand at herding cattle, or just “ridin” fence with Wilma. If you have a talent, even if it is just picking up trash, they will put you to work, feed you dinner, and give you a nice place to stay for free.

This is how it works. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. tell her you are a NMWA volunteer, she will make the proper arrangements.
This is a first come, first serve offer and space is limited 2 to 4 people per week. The accommodations are unique, rustic and but above ordinary. They are tents built on a deck overlooking the Bosque. The tent is an oversized outfitters tent, with 15 foot ceilings, showers, compostable toilets. Just one detail: Adirondack rocking chairs. For dinner, Wilma will also invite you into her house for home “cookin”.

This is a special offer to NMWA members. Let’s work hard and respect their rules.


Future projects:

This weekend:  
April 30 – May 2  
Mills Canyon 
Steve West is leading a wildlife discovery weekend. John Wenger, Professor Emeritus is showing up with his artistic influence and support. It is not too late to attend. There is still room for two or three more people! Don’t miss this.  
REGISTER HERE for the event.

Next weekend: 
May 7-9  
Birding in the Continental Divide Wilderness Study Area, located in Catron County: Spend the day traversing the WSA, and participate in an important bird survey with Ornithology expert and staff scientist Steve West. Also meet, assist and guide 20 future leaders, who are volunteering and traveling from Zuni high school located on the Zuni reservation. Help us educate them on the value of wilderness.
REGISTER HERE for the Catron County birding trip!

Coming Soon: 
June 4-6  
Chacon, La Acequia de la Sierra: The highest Acequia in the country at 11, 947 ft. Built in the 1800’s it was in its day and remains an engineering marvel. It takes water from the Rio Grande watershed and diverts it to the Canadian River watershed.
REGISTER HERE to help maintain this historical site.

Patagonia Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival

Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival for ABQ: April 24, Guild Cinema


Intro: NMWA

A reading from John Muir’s Wind-Storm in the Sierra Nevada [3-5 minutes].

Ascending the Giants [12 min.].

You may be a tree hugger, but would you climb one? Join two Oregon tree lovers and climbers as they look for Oregon’s largest Sitka Spruce trees.

Flathead Wild [23 min.]

The Flathead River in British Columbia is one of North America’s most endangered rivers. Join the International League of Conservation photographers as they visually document this iconic wilderness, and hopefully save it from industrial development.

Finding Farley [62 min.]

Join the award-winning filmmakers of Being Caribou as they rediscover the people and places that inspired one of Canada’s greatest nature writers, Farley Mowat (author of Never Cry Wolf) –over 3000 miles of trekking, sailing, portaging and paddling from the prairies to the Maritimes.

The Fun Theory: Piano Stairs [2 min.]

Can having “fun” actually change people’s behavior for the better? Can we get more people to take the stairs over the escalator or elevator by making it fun to do?

Garbage Angels [6]

Awarded Best Canadian Short, Planet in Focus. What happens when trash meets trash? Could there be life in a dump?

Lady Bug Swarm [3]

Enjoy one of the wonders of nature, and rediscover the beauty of nature through the eyes of a child.

A Year in the Desert: Anza Borrego [15]

This film from Emmy Award winners Chris Pyle and Nicholas Clapp explores the four seasons in the Anza Borrego desert in southern California: a land of extremes from 180 degree ground temperatures to flash floods, and providing habitat for a surprising range of creatures.

Split Estate [15]

Directed and narrated by Santa Feans, Debra Anderson and Ali McGraw, this abridged version of the longer 76-minute film explores the strange world of “split estate,” where you own the surface land but not the mineral rights, and you are dealing with an unregulated industry that seeks to drill for gas in your backyard.

Otero Mesa [10]

Discover a vital landscape in southern New Mexico that may become New Mexico’s next National Monument.

Rio Grande del Norte NCA/Wilderness Bill Introduced in U.S. House

Conservationists Cheer Rep. Lujan’s Companion Legislation

Representative Ben Lujan’s introduction of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives today to protect nearly 236,000 acres in northern New Mexico was hailed as an important step forward in ensuring this wild land stays as it is for future generations. The measure is the House companion legislation to the Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area Establishment Act, introduced by Senator Jeff Bingaman in the U.S. Senate.

“We are pleased that Congressman Lujan is championing this important measure in Congress, and look forward to working with him to see this conservation bill become law this year,” said John Olivas, Northern Director of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, based in Mora. “New Mexicans value their hunting and outdoor traditions, and this legislation will enable us to pass down those traditions to our children and grandchildren.”

Nearly 236,000 acres will be designated as a National Conservation Area (NCA), including two wilderness areas – the 13,420-acre Cerro del Yuta Wilderness (the iconic Ute Mountain) and the 8,000-acre Rio San Antonio Wilderness. The area includes some of New Mexico’s most spectacular landscapes, including the Rio Grande gorge – which at some places is a half mile wide across, dropping to the Rio Grande River 800 feet below, and is a vital migratory flyway for a number of bird species.

“Those of us with deep roots here appreciate that this legislation preserves grazing within the National Conservation Area and specifically protects our right to hunt, fish and collect piñon nuts and firewood,” said Esther Garcia, President of San Antonio Del Rio Colorado Land Grant and Mayor of Questa. “It directs the Bureau of Land Management to protect the cultural, natural and scenic resources in the area, and protects rights granted under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This measure will help ensure that we are good stewards of the land.”

The legislation is broadly backed by area businesses, which recognize the importance of wilderness designation to local economies. Supporters include the Taos Chamber of Commerce, the Mora Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Taos County Commission, and more than one hundred local businesses.

ABQ Journal: Take a hike, and maybe help save some wilderness

Thursday, March 18, 2010

By Tom Travin

Of the Albuquerque Journal

If you’re looking for an escape from city life but aren’t sure where to go, the Wild Guide might be just the thing to help you find your way.

Produced annually by the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, the book is a collection of disparate bits of information, all centered on the great outdoors and ways to celebrate and protect it.

The 2010 edition features both guided hikes and organized volunteer projects around the state, as well as essays, recipes from members of Congress, assorted artwork and photography, articles on festivals and reviews of bed-and-breakfasts and restaurants.

Another important aspect of the book is its call for assistance with wilderness stewardship, which involves partnering with the U.S. Forest Service to meet standards for management of wilderness areas.

Volunteers are being sought for campsite and invasive plant inventories in four areas in New Mexico: the Latir, Dome, Pecos and Manzano wildernesses. There will be training sessions on May 8 in Santa Fe and May 25 and 27 in Albuquerque.

Some of the hikes sponsored by the Wilderness Alliance include:

• Mesa Gallina in Pecata Pinta Country, on May 8. The hike will ascend to the summit (at 7,855 feet) of Mesa Gallina in Cibola County.

• Brokeoff Mountains, west of the Lincoln National Forest and north of Guadalupe Mountains National Park, near Carlsbad, on May 29. The alliance is proposing that 65,000 acres be designated as a wilderness area.

• Ute Mountain, near the Colorado border, east of Costilla, N.M., on July 10. Ute Mountain covers 14,344 acres in Taos County and is one of the proposed wilderness areas in legislation sponsored by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M. The volcano is a foraging and nesting habitat for many species.

• Sandia Crest: Test of Endurance and Will, on Sept. 25. This is a 22-plus-hour hike over 50 miles with major gains and losses in elevation and is only for those in peak physical condition. It will cover the length of the Sandias, and much of it will take place at night under a full moon.

There are also a number of volunteer service projects available through the Wilderness Alliance.

Those are scheduled in places including Junta y Cienega in Embudo from April 2-4, the Galisteo Basin south of Santa Fe on May 8, the Wild Rivers Recreation Area near Questa from July 16-18, and a Gila Wilderness backpacking excursion from Sept. 3-6.

For more information on the Wilderness Alliance, visit www.nmwild.org.