Six Places That Lift Up the Descendants of Hispanic and Indigenous Heritage

Six Places That Lift Up the Descendants of Hispanic and Indigenous Heritage

Public lands and waters provide outdoor spaces for everyone across our nation to access. Because public lands and waters are owned by all of us, regardless of socioeconomic status, they play an essential role in the enjoyment, practice, and passing down of centuries-old cultural and familial traditions that exist in Hispanic/Latino culture. Spending time outdoors allows us to connect to these traditions, heritage, and a way of life that has deeply rooted value for us. Our shared lands and waters connect us to our ancestors and they compel us to protect them for future generations to enjoy.  

Read on to learn more about outdoor places that are connected to our cultural history.  

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Colfax County Becomes the 5th County in New Mexico to Unanimously Pass a Wildlife Corridors Resolution in the Upper Rio Grande Basin 

NEW MEXICO (September 9, 2019) – Colfax County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution supporting protections for wildlife corridors in the Upper Rio Grande Basin this week, joining several counties and municipalities across New Mexico that have passed similar resolutions. The resolutions also urge Congress to pass the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019, serving to protect wildlife corridors nationally.  

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Op-ed: Wildlife corridors keep our cultural traditions alive

For the past seven generations, my family has lived and cultivated the land on our property in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, with ancestors that were among the first to settle Las Vegas, New Mexico. With our back fence bordering a national forest, we are rarely indoors. Like many New Mexicans, my family enjoys the nature that surrounds us. We are avid anglers, campers, hikers and hunters.

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Taos County Unanimously Votes to Support Wildlife Corridors in the Upper Rio Grande Basin

Taos County Unanimously Votes to Support Wildlife Corridors in the Upper Rio Grande Basin

TAOS COUNTY, NM (August, 20 2019) – Taos County Commissioners today passed Resolution No. 2019-39, in support of protecting wildlife corridors in the Upper Rio Grande Basin. Taos County joins several other New Mexican counties and municipalities that have unanimously supported wildlife corridors in the Upper Rio Grande. The resolution also urges Congress to pass the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019 that would serve to protect wildlife corridors nationally.  

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Village of Pecos, City of Española, and Town of Taos Vote to Support Wildlife Corridors

Village of Pecos, City of Española, and Town of Taos Vote to Support Wildlife Corridors

The Village of Pecos, City of Española, and Town of Taos council members unanimously approved resolutions this week supporting the protection of wildlife corridors in the Upper Rio Grande region. The resolutions also urge Congress to support the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019 that would serve to protect wildlife corridors nationally. Pecos, Española, and Taos join Rio Arriba, San Miguel, and Santa Fe Counties in passing wildlife corridor resolutions this summer.

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The Outdoors Showed Me That Obstacles Can be Overcome

The Outdoors Showed Me That Obstacles Can be Overcome

I’m 25 and I live in Phoenix, Arizona. Growing up one thing my mom would refuse to have in our house was cable. She didn’t want us to be sitting in front of the TV and not enjoying playing outside. We could afford the cable, but she said no. Every time I look back on that, I’m grateful because it made me love the outdoors. I used to live right by a park and I remember always going there growing up. As soon as we hit the park there was a hill. The first thing I would do is run up that hill and every single time I felt a complete sense of freedom.

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Rio Arriba County Commission Joins Growing List of Counties Unanimously Passing Wildlife Corridor Resolutions

Rio Arriba County Commission Joins Growing List of Counties Unanimously Passing Wildlife Corridor Resolutions

RIO ARRIBA COUNTY, NM – Today members of the Rio Arriba County Commission unanimously approved a resolution in support of the protection of wildlife corridors in the Upper Rio Grande Region. The resolution also urges Congress to support the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act that would protect wildlife corridors nationally.  

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Bears Ears Plan ‘Salt in the Open Wounds’ of Tribes, Risks Irrevocable Harm to the Land, History, Wildlife

Bears Ears Plan ‘Salt in the Open Wounds’ of Tribes, Risks Irrevocable Harm to the Land, History, Wildlife

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 26, 2019) — A new management plan for the tiny areas that replaced the Bears Ears National Monument would risk the degradation and destruction of Native American historical and cultural artifacts, wildlife habitat, public health and public lands throughout southern Utah. The National Wildlife Federation and allies urged the Bureau of Land Management to reverse course before the cultural, historical and natural resources are irrevocably lost.

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2019 Latino Conservation Week

2019 Latino Conservation Week

Latino conservation week has arrived, and with it are several outdoor events coordinated to highlight experiences that connect us to the outdoors and teach us to be better stewards of our land.

Check out the events below that are taking place across the Southwest and share with your friends and family to continue our outdoor traditions. Stay tuned, we’ll be adding events as the week progresses!

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Santa Fe and San Miguel County Commissions Pass Wildlife Corridor Resolutions

Santa Fe and San Miguel County Commissions Pass Wildlife Corridor Resolutions

The Santa Fe and San Miguel County Commissions on Tuesday both unanimously endorsed resolutions in support of protecting wildlife corridors in the upper Rio Grande Basin. The resolutions also urge Congress to support pending legislation to protect wildlife corridors nationwide.

"Passing the Wildlife Migration Corridor Resolutions at this level sets a precedent, showing communities that our traditions, culture, and uses of these lands are valuable," Ulibarri said. "With so many barriers to migration patterns like highways and other urbanizing development, these corridors ensure the protection of genetic diversity, and the continuation of species.”

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Envisioning a Lead-Free Landscape by Kent Salazar

Envisioning a Lead-Free Landscape by Kent Salazar

My family has been hunting for generations in New Mexico. It has been a tradition that we have participated in year after year, and one that has bonded each of my family members.

I started hunting at 8 years old by tagging along with my father and uncles, and eventually began to hunt small game like squirrels and rabbits. I look back on these memories fondly, remembering how I first learned to walk quietly, use my senses of sight and smell, reading tracks, and learning the ways of my prey. Later I learned to safely carry and fire my hunting rifle, my grandfather’s old Remington Rollingblock.

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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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