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Walkin’ Jim Stoltz – Forever Wild

FOREVER WILD: A CELEBRATION OF WILDERNESS

One of America’s most unique folksingers and backcountry travelers, Walkin’ Jim Stoltz, on tour from the mountains of Montana, will bring his powerful multi-media show, Forever Wild, to the UNM Continuing Education Center, 1634 University BLVD, in Albuquerque on Wednesday, March 31, at 7:00 pm. The mix of stunning photography, stories, and music make this one-of-a-kind concert an inspiring journey into our nation’s last wilderness areas.

Walkin’ Jim gets his name from nearly 27,000 miles he has walked through the wild country of North America. Carrying a guitar and writing his songs along the way, his lyrics express a great love and respect for the Earth and the wild places he knows so well. Known for his powerful baritone and emotion-packed vocals, Stoltz’s Forever Wild show is much more than a concert. It combines live music and poetry with stunning, multi-image slides to create a stirring celebration of the natural world. Stoltz is veteran of more than 30 years of performing. In this year’s show he will be sharing images and songs from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, his Yellowstone to Yukon walk, the Utah canyon country, the Northern Rockies, and wild places all across America.

Walkin’ Jim has toured extensively throughout the U.S. for the past 23 years. In 2006 he organized a 45 state outreach tour with other musicians and authors, and worked with hundreds of community organizations to gain support for clean water, roadless lands, and wildlife. Jim has been presented with the Environmental Protection Agency’s, Outstanding Achievement Award for his sharing of nature and wilderness across America. Stoltz will have copies of his recent book “Walking With the Wild Wind” to sign at the event. His songs from 9 different cds get regular airplay on National Public Radio and will also be available. Visit his website at www.walkinjim.com

Tickets for the concert will be available at the door or online at for $15.00 or $12.50 in advance. This event is sponsored by the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance.

Click here to get your tickets!

 

Gilbert Apodaca for the ABQ Journal: Organs an Economic Opportunity

Albuquerque Journal

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

By Gilbert Apodaca

President, Hispano Chamber of Commerce de Las Cruces

Early this month our organizations were proud to have sponsored the seminar ‘“Wilderness Economics, Creating Jobs from Protected Lands.” We, along with 150 other attendees, listened to an impressive lineup of speakers discuss many ways Doña Ana County could help create jobs and economic development through the protection and promotion of our important wilderness areas.

While we sometimes take for granted unique local treasures like the Organ Mountains, the reality is that we should capitalize on the appeal these public lands offer to families, businesses and recreationists. By protecting and promoting these resources, our wilderness will be good for our economy and quality of life. Wilderness Economics was a great education on how to create these economic opportunities, and given our tough economic times, this is one more reason to protect our wilderness now.

The Hispano Chamber of Commerce de Las Cruces and the High Tech Consortium of Southern New Mexico are proud to stand in strong support of the Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks Wilderness Act to protect our wilderness areas in Doña Ana County and create national conservation areas around the Organ Mountains and Broad Canyon. We thank Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall for their vision and leadership in introducing this important legislation and helping to secure the quality of life and a bright economic future for our region.

Protecting our spectacular natural areas — like the Organ Mountains — is critically important to protecting the quality of life we all currently enjoy and that is so important to a thriving business climate. Our incredible open space and mountains are the reasons many people and businesses move to Las Cruces or choose to stay here. Enacting a meaningful conservation vision for our community will provide a long-term boost for business, tourism and our overall economy.

Like many communities, Las Cruces and Doña Ana County are seeking opportunities to attract and provide higher paying jobs that will allow our citizens to earn more and give families and kids the chance to have better lives. In order to attract new businesses and keep the best jobs in our community, it is essential that we protect our strongest asset, which is our quality of life.

A recent study by the nonprofit Sonoran Institute examined how our mountains and open space have been vital to the economic success we’ve already experienced — and that are likely to play a bigger role in our economy if we enact permanent high-level protection of them. The Sonoran study, along with related research done throughout the western United States, shows the advantages to a community of having protected natural lands nearby to help recruit high-wage jobs and quality employers.

Proof of this appeal is how our beautiful mountains and open space are often mentioned in national publications as a key reason for us being recognized as one of the top places in the country to live, run a business and retire.

In addition to the economic value and quality of life that our mountains bring to us, it should also be pointed out that they have been integral to our culture for hundreds of years. From the time of the horse-drawn wagon caravans, people have come to the fertile Mesilla Valley to farm and settle family roots. Along the historic Camino Real trade route, our region is rich with this history, culture and countless stories from past generations, which are still alive today throughout Doña Ana County.

Today we have a critical opportunity to advance our economy and honor our culture by protecting our Organ Mountains and other important natural crown jewels like Broad Canyon the East Potrillo Mountains. We support passage of Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks Act to secure this future; now and forever.

NMPolitics.net: Hundreds attend Senate hearing on wilderness bill

U.S. Rep. Harry Teague among those who show up; Bingaman says there’s not yet a timeline for moving the legislation forward

By Heath Haussamen – NMPolititcs.net – 2/15/10 8:52 PM

Udall, left, listens as Bingaman speaks at today’s hearing. (Photo by Heath Haussamen)

Hundreds of people showed up in Las Cruces today for an official U.S. Senate hearing on a proposal from Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall, D-N.M., to protect more than 300,000 acres of land in Doña Ana County.

Those in attendance included U.S. Rep. Harry Teague, D-N.M., who is in a tough re-election battle and said more today about the contentious wilderness proposal than he has publicly in the past.

While not taking a stand on the senators’ bill, Teague said he has a “commitment to hearing all sides.” He said he supports “efforts to conserve” the land but said he also has questions, including some about law enforcement access to roadless areas and flood control.

“No one group will – or should – get everything out of this process that they want,” Teague said during the hearing. “But in the end, what we do must be right for Doña Ana County and right for this nation.”

During the hearing, Bingaman said he believes “there is support in Doña Ana County to provide protection for lands.” Udall added that the bill “seeks to preserve… in perpetuity,” the beauty that is the draw for many people who live in the area.

Before the hearing, Bingaman said bill he and Udall introduced in September could change, and there’s not yet a timeline for moving it forward to a Senate vote.

“I think Sen. Udall and I want to make sure that we understand everyone’s perspective, and that’s what today is about,” Bingaman said.

Teague, during the hearing, called the Organ Mountains “the goose that lays the golden economic egg” and said “we’d better tend carefully to that goose.”

“The peaks of the Organ Mountains define Las Cruces, just as the Empire State Building defines New York City and Cowboys Stadium defines Dallas,” Teague said.

Chamber supports wilderness for Organ Mountains

The official Energy and Natural Resources Committee field hearing included testimony from people Bingaman invited to speak–but not other public input. Still, Bingaman, the committee’s chairman, made sure divergent opinions were represented. Several of those invited to give testimony expressed concerns or spoke against the bill.

That included the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce’s John Hummer, who said the chamber pledges its “full support” for designating the Organ Mountains as wilderness but has concerns about proposed wilderness designations for other areas in the county.

The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Wilderness Act would designate 259,000 acres as wilderness and 100,000 acres as national conservation areas. In addition to the Organ Mountains, land on and around the Robledo, Doña Ana and Potrillo mountains would be protected.

The bill would also release 16,350 acres currently designated as a wilderness study area along the county’s border with Mexico. That’s intended to address concerns that law enforcement patrols are hampered by rules against motorized vehicles entering the protected area.

Hummer said the chamber has concerns based on the area’s “economic demands” in addition to questions similar to those raised by Teague.

A big show of support

There was a big show of support at the hearing for the bill.

Las Cruces Mayor Pro Tem Sharon Thomas said during the hearing that the senators’ proposal has widespread community support and strikes the appropriate balance between differing opinions. She said the legislation is necessary to preserve the landscape, protect the water and grow the economy.

“I urge you to move forward with all possible haste,” Thomas said.

Before the hearing, New Mexico State University graduate student Martin Moses, who helped start a local chapter of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance on campus, spoke in favor of the legislation.

“It’s vital if we’re going to protect the land,” he said. “Las Cruces is growing by leaps and bounds.”

Las Cruces City Councilor Nathan Small, who works for the Wilderness Alliance, said the bill’s time has come.

“It’s been proven many times that this is what our community desires,” he said. “There are no more excuses. That’s what today is about, is taking that final step.”

Some protesters

The hearing was also well attended by people who oppose the legislation. And about 15 of them – including members of the Las Cruces TEA Party – stood outside NMSU’s Corbett Center and held up signs opposing the legislation before the hearing. Among those protesters was James Belver of Tularosa, who was gathering opposition signatures on a petition.

“We don’t want a government takeover of American land. That’s God-given land,” he said. “They think they have the authority to take it away. I could see some management, but not a complete lockout.”

Wilderness areas allow human recreation and horses, but not cars, bicycles or other mechanized equipment.

New Mexico Wilderness Alliance 2010 Wild Guide

For Immediate Release

Happy Trails and Wilderness Tales

 The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance has just released its 2010 Wild Guide.

The NMWA, supported by more than 5,900 members, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to the protection and restoration of wilderness in New Mexico. An important part of the NMWA’s work remains connecting people to wild public lands like Otero Mesa and the Valle Vidal. Whether you know the state well but would like to discover some of its lesser-known wilderness treasures, or you are a relative newcomer to New Mexico’s wild lands, you will find value in the the 2010 Wild Guide, which showcases some of our state’s greatest wilderness resources.

This year’s Guide features hikes and volunteer service projects, tributes to wilderness heroes, essays, and artwork. The Guide also contains recipes from members of Congress, articles on festivals around the state, and reviews of bed-and-breakfasts and restaurants.

 The volunteer service projects are conducted all across the state and involve a variety of activities. There are wildlife surveys to be done, ATV trails to be closed, acequias to be cleaned in the northern part of the state, and wilderness stewardship to be undertaken for the U.S. Forest Service. Hikes are also statewide, and all are led by New Mexico Wilderness Alliance staff. 

Through these hikes and volunteer service projects we hope to build awareness and support for the protection of New Mexico’s special landscapes, all the while having fun!

There is an outing for everyone, no matter your experience or fitness level. Whether you want to put on your gloves and give back to the land or simply enjoy a quiet walk through the Jornada del Muerto Wilderness Study Area, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance’s 2010 Wild Guide has an adventure waiting for you.

Happy Trails! 

Copies of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance’s 2010 Wild Guide can be purchased for only $9.95 by calling 505-843-8696, or by picking up a copy at REI in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

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