HECHO Launched during Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Annual Conference

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Hispanic Leaders and Elected Officials Launch First National Sportsmen Group Focused on Latino Community InterestsGroup will address impacts of oil and gas development on Hispanic hunting and fishing traditions, wildlife habitat & local economies

 Washington, DC – Today, Hispanic leaders and elected officials announced the formation of a new national Hispanic sportsmen organization – the first national group to advocate for Hispanics in the debate over energy development and conservation on public lands.

The new organization will be called HECHO – Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting & Outdoors – which in Spanish means “action” as well as “fact”.

Hispanics are avid sportsmen who are increasingly partaking in outdoor activities on public lands. HECHO’s founding members are concerned about the impact of oil and gas development on the public lands where they fish, hunt, camp and hike, and are calling for a new, balanced approach to energy development and conservation.

“I have been a scout all of my life, and I can’t imagine a future where my grandchildren and great grandchildren will not be able to do the same.  I’m confident that working together we can find the right balance for oil and gas exploration of public lands and conservation of culturally important locations,” said Nevada State Senate Majority Leader Moises Denis.

It’s important to note that the nation’s public lands and waters support a thriving $646 billion outdoor recreation economy that many people depend on and provides access to quality places to play outside which is important for families, outdoor enthusiasts, and sportsmen.

New Mexico State Representative George Dodge states “there are many ways to create jobs and improve the economy.  We can’t simply look at the jobs that are being created by energy development on public lands.  You also have to take into account how many jobs will be lost because people can no longer enjoy those lands. I’m all for energy development, but not at the cost of public lands that have been part our culture and history for centuries.”

HECHO was formed by community leaders and Hispanic champions of the outdoors who value America’s public lands and who are pushing to balance land conservation with oil and gas development. We are among the many Hispanics who not only frequent public lands for recreation but who also live nearby and who support a smarter approach that allows gas and oil drilling in the right places, while still maintaining and conserving the lands where we fish, hunt, camp and hike.  Some of HECHO’s founders include: Nevada State Senate Majority Leader Moises Denis; Colorado State Representative Joseph Salazar; and Coconino County Supervisor Liz Archuleta.

HECHO wants to let decision makers know that conserving public lands is a priority to Hispanics and is focusing on a few goals to reach this objective.

  • Build network of Hispanic sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts to engage the Obama administration on conversations.
  • Educate decision makers on the need to have a balanced approach on public lands.
  • Ensure the Interior Departments provides a balanced approach to oil and gas development and conservation by fully implementing the oil and gas leasing reforms
  • This includes the use of Master Leasing Plans to protect key landscapes.
  • Ensuring recreation activities are considered before making decisions to lease land for oil and gas development