In late November, our mission and our passion came together when HECHO Advisory Board Members from Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah flew to Washington D.C. to speak directly to their members of Congress on the importance of protecting our shared public lands by reauthorizing the Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).Read More
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.Read More
The land has always been our life. Our dedication is to the land. We’ve always depended on the land to survive. My family were farmers and ranchers. I spent most of my summers with my grandfather, and I continue his traditions. We own pieces of land, but I don’t feel like they’re ours, only ours to take care of while were here.Read More
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.Read More
November is a spectacular time to be outdoors, and we are highlighting our recommendations for special bird watching events, urban fishing opportunities, ways to celebrate Native American Heritage Month, and tips for visiting Utah’s National Monuments during this beautiful fall season.Read More
As a 26 year-old living in Phoenix, I hear all the time from the Latino community that camping and hiking is not part of our culture. That’s not true. This is part of who we are. It is part of our identity to enjoy the earth and what it provides for us, and also to have our role in protecting it. People are disengaged from their history and their roots. But if you can’t directly experience public lands, it’s harder to advocate on their behalf, or speak to elected officials about why they should care.Read More
Sylvia Lovato Huereña loves nothing more than to watch a child fish for the first time. She had this experience with her own children, her 10 grandchildren, and countless others. “When a child goes out to the lake and catches their first fish, at first they’re terrified to grab it when it’s jumping all over,” she said. “But then the amount of joy in their eyes is one of the most profound moments.” In addition to teaching them how to hold a fishing pole and pull the hook out of the fish’s mouth, she and her husband Lupe also let them know that whatever they kill they have to eat; and that they should leave the lake in better condition than they found it.Read More
We love this time of year-- the changing colors of the leaves and the cooler temperatures make being outdoors that much more exciting. It’s a wonderful time to hike, bike, hunt, and fish on our beautiful public lands, and we wanted to start sharing around some of our favorite places to visit. We're starting with some adventures we like for October in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah from Al, Rebecca, and Viviana, and we will be sending out new recommendations over the coming months.
We hope you like our "Enjoying the Outdoors" recommendations. If you are inspired, we invite you to share places you enjoy and would like to recommend to the HECHO community!
Latino Conservation Week (#LCW2018) is here and HECHO will be celebrating all week by highlighting Latino Conservation Week events taking place in the Southwest and featuring the stories of Latino conservation leaders and their connections to the outdoors and stewardship of the land.Read More
I recently had the honor to speak at an event celebrating the recent opening and expansion of the Sabinoso Wilderness Area to the public. This was the result of years of hard work among Latino public lands advocates, sportsmen and other northern New Mexico stakeholders.Read More
This month we’re celebrating the 112th anniversary of the Antiquities Act, a law enacted and first used by President Theodore Roosevelt. Sixteen presidents (8 Republicans and 8 Democrats) have taken action to preserve our American heritage by designating places of cultural and historical significance as national monuments—places such as the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, César E. Chávez National Monument, Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument and the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.
As we recognize this legacy of preserving these places that has lasted well over a century, we joined up with the new group Artemis Sportswomen for a conversation with two New Mexicans active in conservation. Max Trujillo from HECHO and Christine Gonzales from Artemis were kind enough to hop on the phone and share their experiences with public lands and conservation and reflect on the importance of why we protect the places we love.Read More
At HECHO, we support making public lands management more responsive to local communities and diverse stakeholders. However, this bill would not only give states ‘exclusive jurisdiction’ over oil and gas development on our public lands, but it would also exempt states from following our laws requiring public involvement and reviews.
There’s no guarantee that states would provide the same opportunities for public comment or conduct the kind of environmental analysis that the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service do. This bill amounts to a de facto transfer of national public lands to the states, and we are very much opposed to it.Read More
“We’ve been asking for commonsense updates to oil and gas leasing policies established in the 1920s for years, but this proposal is a loser. The fees we should be raising are oil and gas royalty rates, which currently offer up our public lands at rock bottom rates.
We at HECHO value both our public lands and our voices. This policy of ‘pay to say’ would not only charge $150 or more just to object to an oil and gas lease on public lands, but it would also have a chilling effect on our constitutional right to petition our government. Our deep ties to the land and generations-old traditions on the land compel us, as stewards, to reject any attempt to drown out our voices, especially when it comes to decisions being made about our public lands.Read More
There’s a lot less environmental education now because of the modernization and the comforts we bring into our cities. Historically Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado have been land-based cultures. We lived more sustainably and had more appreciation for what the land had to offer. Now we don’t need to worry about how much water is in the mountains because we buy our vegetables from the store. Read more about what Dr. Eric Romero is doing to help educate young people about the importance of having a sense of place.Read More
Believe it or not, some good news has come out of Washington recently related to public lands. On March 23, President Trump signed the omnibus spending bill, which included a two-year reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act (SRS Act). This is hugely important for supporting schools in rural areas, as well as road maintenance and Forest Service Resource Advisory Committees (RACs), which are solely funded by this bill. Want to get involved? Find out how.Read More
Today HECHO sent two letters to the Department of the Interior saying “no” to rescinding the BLM Methane Waste and Prevention Rule. One letter was sent by HECHO alone, and the other was signed by 16 Latino organizations all in opposition to this proposed change.Read More
On April 10 the San Miguel County Board in Northern New Mexico unanimously passed a resolution opposing the BLM’s proposed repeal of the Methane Waste Rule, intended to reduce methane leaking, venting and flaring from oil and gas operations. Introduced by HECHO Board Chair and County Commissioner Rock Ulibarri, the resolution was prompted by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s refusal to hold hearings on the repeal of this important Rule, which would save New Mexico approximately $10 million per year in revenue that could be used for education and other infrastructure.Read More
Last month the HECHO Advisory Board came together in Santa Fe for our annual board retreat to reflect on HECHO’s first five years, and to brainstorm ways to maximize our impact for the next five years and beyond.Read More
We urge the Administration not to rescind the BLM Methane Waste Rule. It makes sense for our economy, for our health, and for the protection of our natural resources. The enormous amount of time and resources that went into developing this rule represents the strength and beauty of our democracy. We urge you not to violate the will of the people by rescinding this important policy.Read More
The Trump Administration’s proposed 2019 budget aims to destroy the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) -- perhaps the most important piece of federal legislation that has been protecting our nation’s land and water for the last 50 years.Read More