Meet HECHO’s Newest Board Member, Lynn Córdova

Meet HECHO’s Newest Board Member, Lynn Córdova

I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. Colorado is such an outdoorsy place, but I grew up with limited means. We lived in a housing project and often relied on government assistance. My mother was a single mom who worked as a janitor. Even though the mountains were only 20 minutes away, we rarely went because when you’re poor, even buying the gas to get there is an extreme effort.

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Healing a River, Healing a Community

Healing a River, Healing a Community

Many of us here carry a sense that we are connected to the land. Even many of those who live in town have family connections with land nearby. Many people spend time out of town “at the ranch”.

Las Vegas is situated at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. They are the very last of the Rockies if you follow them down from north to south. We have many acres of National Forest including Carson, Santa Fe, and Pecos. Growing up I’d go backpacking or camping with girlfriends, or we’d go out in the winter with our snowboards and enjoy the snow. I had this feeling that this wild land of the communal forest was my own. A lot of people have those types of strong connections to the land here.

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The Outdoors Taught Me Everything I Need to Know About Public Service

The Outdoors Taught Me Everything I Need to Know About Public Service

The favorite activity that my father and I shared was fishing. Fishing taught us patience and respect, not easy lessons for my rambunctious siblings and myself. When we would catch something too small to eat we would always throw it back. I’ll never forget the first fish my baby brother finally caught. It was a tiny Bluegill no bigger than the length of my index finger and certainly nothing that was going to feed anyone. Beaming with pride from this seminal experience he threw it in the freezer instead of throwing it back into the lake. My dad lit into my wide-eyed little brother. With the frankness signature of a Marine-Corps drill sergeant he informed us that we don’t waste. If we kill we eat and when we eat, we use as much of the animal as possible.

That lesson struck a nerve with me much deeper than just my love of fishing or nature. Spending time with my father in the outdoors was a masterclass in respect. I’ve carried that respect with me from the lush forests of Northern Michigan to my arid home in Southern Colorado. I’ve tried to embody it everyday as an adult, as a mom, as a teacher and now as a State Legislator.

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Protecting the Pecos River

Protecting the Pecos River

I was born and raised in Pecos, New Mexico, where my family has been for several generations. I grew up eating deer meat and trout. Nature is what sustained me growing up. My father was a hunter and a fisherman, and we depended on that for our food source. We’d gather berries and pick piñon in the fall. Food gathering has always been really important to my family.

I still share the tradition of picking berries and making jelly with my family. My daughter asks me why we’re doing it since we still have leftover jelly from last year, but I tell her it’s about remembering grandma and her recipes and continuing the tradition. I want to teach my kids and grandkids about the foods that are edible in this area and how to identify them. That’s something that’s been part of my upbringing and something that’s always been important to me.

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States Moving Forward to Strengthen Voices in Favor of Outdoor Recreation, Equity, and Youth Access

States Moving Forward to Strengthen Voices in Favor of Outdoor Recreation, Equity, and Youth Access

Lately there has been a surge of state-based Outdoor Recreation Offices, and important coinciding efforts—namely equity funding in New Mexico and the Kids Outdoor Initiative in Utah, both supported by HECHO.

Earlier this month representatives from eight states signed off on a first-of-its kind agreement called the Confluence Accords, to unify and strengthen the outdoor industry voice on matters of public policy.

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Legislation Will Finally End Uncertainty Around Grand Canyon Mineral Withdrawal

Legislation Will Finally End Uncertainty Around Grand Canyon Mineral Withdrawal

“We support this bill and are in solidarity with the indigenous communities who have been fighting for decades to protect ancestral lands and waters from toxic contamination in this area,” said Camilla Simon, executive director of Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO). “We are proud of House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Grijalva’s leadership and thank him for introducing this bill to permanently ban uranium mining around the Grand Canyon.”

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Hiking to the View: The Most Peace I've Ever Had

Hiking to the View: The Most Peace I've Ever Had

Once you get up there the treeline stops – you can see Sedona, all of Flagstaff, and the view from the back of the mountain is unreal. Breathtaking.

On the way down, a storm rolled in so for the last hour or two I was walking in the rain. People say, “oh man,” but honestly it was the most peace I’ve ever had. I totally got drenched it was so peaceful. The clouds rolled in and that’s all you hear is just the rain. That was one of the better hikes I’ve had in a long time. The last mile or two it really started coming down so I picked up the pace. But the rain actually ended the hike really well.

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Taking Care of Land and Water: The Importance of Tradition and Our Voices

Taking Care of Land and Water: The Importance of Tradition and Our Voices

I always went fishing with my grandfather and my uncles, Bernave Arellano and Virgil Lopez, who taught me how to catch trout. Both of my uncles were very respectful of the land and understood that it was important to leave it better than you found it.

Growing up in Salt Lake City, I always enjoyed the outdoors. The air felt so good to breathe and it seemed like the opportunities were endless. We were rather poor. My mother raised four kids by herself. We didn’t have a car for much of the time. When we got on the train to visit relatives, I always looked out the window at the open range where you could run fast and feel free.

Back then, my family hunted deer and elk. It’s important to realize that hunting and fishing are fun, but the best reason is to hunt to put food on the table. This is true for most Latinos. My family made jerky from the meat of the animals they killed. They would smoke the fish that we caught. Today, my relatives living in small towns in the Southwest still hunt for subsistence. A lot of these towns are food deserts and don’t have access to the best grocery stores. But through fishing and hunting you can still feed your family with good nutrition.

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Op-ed: My daughter and I love to explore Arizona, but it may soon get harder (for all of us)

Op-ed: My daughter and I love to explore Arizona, but it may soon get harder (for all of us)

When my daughter, Vida, was 3, she wanted to go on an adventure.

We packed up our backpacks with snacks, notebooks, crayons and water, and set out to explore the outdoors. We headed to Phoenix’s Piestewa Peak to climb rocks and investigate various plants and animals, and had an inspiring day that sparked our curiosity for the natural world right in our own backyard.

Vida is 8 now and a proud member of the Girl Scouts, where I also work. I watch as she and her troop members learn new skills, push the boundaries of their imaginations and nurture their connections to the earth.

I am also struck when I see Latino families in Phoenix grow closer each year when we gather at South Mountain Park to go camping, practice archery and cook dinner on the open fire. All of the generations bond for this special experience in the outdoors that is becoming increasingly rare in our urban culture.

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Op-ed: Keep nature within reach by investing in Utah’s parks and trails

Op-ed: Keep nature within reach by investing in Utah’s parks and trails

By Mark Archuleta Wheatley

Rep. Rob Bishop has been called a lot of things by the environmental community, but late this session of Congress he defied labels and voiced his support for reauthorizing one of the most important, if underappreciated, conservation laws, the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Bishop’s pursuit of a bipartisan deal to sustain this important program was a watershed moment for a town renowned for gridlock and on an issue that had previously and repeatedly died on the vine due to the congressman’s past opposition.

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HECHO in National Wildlife Magazine "Working for Wildlife" Section

HECHO in National Wildlife Magazine "Working for Wildlife" Section

Early last year, the National Wildlife Federation formed a strategic partnership with HECHO (Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors). The conservation group provides an effective voice for communities that traditionally have been underrepresented on matters relating to the environment. “HECHO is a national leader on public lands issues, and NWF is proud to have such a powerful partner to advance our collective conservation priorities,” says NWF Regional Executive Director Brian Kurzel.

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Event Recap: Free Family Fishing at Desert West Park in Maryvale, AZ

Event Recap: Free Family Fishing at Desert West Park in Maryvale, AZ

Liz Archuleta, HECHO spokesperson said, “It is personally rewarding to see the community out here discovering their sense of adventure or renewing their connection to the land. I hope that by experiencing all that nature has to offer, we can help people understand the importance and urgency to protect and conserve our public lands and waterways. We used this opportunity to educate community members on the importance of permanent reauthorization of the Land Water Conservation Fund that is used to build and maintain parks and trails with no cost to taxpayers.”

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Event Recap: HECHO Flagstaff Chapter Meeting with Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Event Recap: HECHO Flagstaff Chapter Meeting with Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Hispanics Enjoying Camping Hunting and the Outdoors (HECHO) was joined by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Vice President, Monica Villalobos on November 14, 2018 at the Murdock  Community Center in Flagstaff for a presentation of DATOS 2018. The report highlights “Elements of a Healthy Community.” Villalobos provided an overview of the state of Latinos in Arizona and key facts on climate change views.

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Op-ed: We all must speak up to protect our national monuments

Op-ed: We all must speak up to protect our national monuments

By Arizona state Rep. Mark Cardenas, Utah state Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck and Nevada state Sen. Mo Denis

As state representatives of the Southwest, we are concerned about the future of our national monuments. Right now, both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments are under attack, and the public has just a short window to weigh in.

Both of these monuments are in Utah, but they are vital to us all, as they safeguard our nation’s diverse history and cultural heritage. Our voices are part of the two-thirds of western voters, and 86 percent of Latino voters in the west, who say that reducing these monuments is a bad idea. We are proud to have public lands in our backyard — lands that belong to all of us.

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Event Recap: Free Family Fishing Day at Peña Blanca Lake in Nogales, AZ

Event Recap: Free Family Fishing Day at Peña Blanca Lake in Nogales, AZ

“This was a great way to bring the family together without all the electronic devices,” Sanchez said. “ We enjoyed being outdoors. We spent hours out there enjoying a beautiful sunny day and really talking to each other. While my sons were having a lot of fun, they learned a lot about how to fish, what kind of fish they could catch and how to bait and cast. All of this while developing an appreciation for clean air and clean water. We could not have asked for more.”

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