HECHO Advisory Board Member Op-Ed Featured in La Opinión!

An example of good planning and incorporating diverse voices in the management of public lands can be seen in the Heritage Area in Yuma, Arizona on the border with the state of California. In this area, adjacent to the Colorado River, wetlands have been restored and space has been created for family life and contact with nature. Development and management of the project has had major participation from Latino communities who have lived in the area for generations and know, inhabit, and have close links with the region. Today, we are proud of this space where natural beauty, conservation, cultural traditions and recreational spaces are merged.

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A Hunter's Happy Thanksgiving

A Hunter's Happy Thanksgiving

As I look back on the season, I am especially thankful for our vast and diverse public lands. Not having been born into wealth, I learned from my father, who was an avid hunter and fisherman, that by virtue of being an American citizen I’ve been included in an inheritance that goes far beyond material wealth.

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What we're up to -- and a few frightening facts...

What we're up to -- and a few frightening facts...

In case you missed it last week, I joined a Google Hangout panel of Latino experts on conservation issues to highlight our community’s dedication to making sure elected officials and regulators hear our concerns. In fact recent polls released by Latino Decisions and NCLR in states that are receiving plenty of attention ahead of November’s high-stakes elections showed that Latinos vote in states like Colorado (48%) and North Carolina (43%) mainly because they want to make their voices heard.

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See You Next Week?

See You Next Week?

Friends, As kids across the country headed back to school this week after the Summer and Labor Day weekend, it’s important to reflect on the fact that too many students won’t have the chance to enjoy field trips to the great outdoors. Visits to parks and nature centers were once a staple of a good education, but in recent years it has been all too common to see headlines across the country lamenting that schools have to cut back because of strained budgets and standardized testing that makes it difficult for teachers to justify field trips in their curricula. That needs to change.

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Four Stops, One Destination: Young Latinos Supporting Conservation

Four Stops, One Destination: Young Latinos Supporting Conservation

Today marks the end of the Hispanic Access Foundation “Four Stops, One Destination” tour of National Parks in Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. I was fortunate to spend the day with the group, exploring Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, the final National Park on their tour. They had been connecting with people along their tour and visiting places that helped them connect the dots about the impacts of oil and gas development on public lands, and about the need for Latinos to be engaged in efforts to ensure that the places we love, even if we love them from afar, are protected for future generations and for the health of our planet.

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Land & Water Conservation Fund Deserves Full, Continued Funding

Land & Water Conservation Fund Deserves Full, Continued Funding

This week, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that over $43 million will be provided for parks, outdoor recreation and conservation throughout the country from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This is welcome news, and continues the 50-year legacy that has enabled over 41,000 projects since the fund was established by Congress in 1964.

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We have deep roots in the West. That's why we care.

We have deep roots in the West. That's why we care.

Although the historical context of Hispanic political influence in Colorado and New Mexico is somewhat unique, the relationship we find between familial connections to land and attitudes toward conservation policy are likely to exist elsewhere.

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HECHO Invites You to a Presentation of its New Poll on Latinos & Conservation

HECHO Invites You to a Presentation of its New Poll on Latinos & Conservation

You are cordially invited to join Latino community leaders, elected officials, and sportsmen for a presentation of HECHO's new poll on Latino views on conservation at the National Press Club. 

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Smarter approaches to oil and gas development can help conserve night skies, healthy air and money.

Smarter approaches to oil and gas development can help conserve night skies, healthy air and money.

HECHO is in Washington, DC today providing commentary on oil and natural gas venting and flaring. We believe that it is possible to have oil and gas development, as well as protect the familiar trails and favorite fishing holes that Latinos in the West hold dear. Do we want our precious landscapes to look like the Bakken in North Dakota? Development has to be done smart and managed in a balanced way. As we’ve seen more and more oil and gas wells near our favorite outdoor sites, those of us who spend countless hours outside can see the changes, in particular in the air with more haze and smog than ever. It’s encouraging to see the BLM taking the first step toward ensuring that my generation and our children, and our children’s children can experience the lands and heritage that make us who we are.

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Earth Day: HECHO and other Latino Organizations make joint statement

Earth Day: HECHO and other Latino Organizations make joint statement

On Earth Day, Latino Organizations Call for Balanced and Careful Use of Public Lands. On the occasion of Earth Day, Latino organizations from California to the District of Columbia are asking federal agencies and managing authorities to prioritize public health and the health of public lands as they endeavor to fulfill national energy needs.

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BLOG - Latinos are empowered to make choices for conservation and development

BLOG - Latinos are empowered to make choices for conservation and development

It was encouraging to see Colorado's La Voz raise the issue of oil and gas development as one that affects Latinos, in a recent commentary by James Mejia. As we move closer to the midterm elections, the dialog on national issues has engaged Latinos in a new way.

So, why now?

Latinos collectively now have a permanent and more powerful voice across the political landscape on issues ranging from education to the health care. With energy development booming in the West, the landscape itself has become political.

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Interior takes a bold step towards balanced public lands management

Interior takes a bold step towards balanced public lands management

Today, the Interior Department revealed a strategy that takes a smarter, proactive approach to energy development. A road map for Interior Secretary Jewell’s first Secretarial Order and first major action on conservation, the mitigation strategy will lead to better protection for fish, wildlife, water, farming and ranching, and landscapes across the West.

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Lesser Prairie Chicken Listed as Threatened

Lesser Prairie Chicken Listed as Threatened

Development in western grasslands has fragmented so much habitat of this iconic game bird, that it can no longer be hunted in New Mexico. 

Listing any species is serious business and should only be done when the science supports such action. The administration made today’s listing decision based on sound science.

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Latinos’ love for the land overlooked | ABQJournal Online

 

Latinos are more likely than other ethnic groups to vote for candidates who favor conservation and to vote against those who don’t. That should be a wake-up call for politicians.

HECHO Director Rod Torrez comments further on the Colorado College Poll in an Albuquerque Journal guest column on Sunday, February 23.

Latinos’ love for the land overlooked | ABQJournal Online.