Bernalillo County Passes Resolution Supporting Bureau of Land Management Natural Gas Waste Rule

Bernalillo County Passes Resolution Supporting Bureau of Land Management Natural Gas Waste Rule

On October 25, the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners resolved to support the Bureau of Land Management’s rule to charge royalties on wasted methane—the primary component of natural gas—on federal and tribal lands. The resolution addresses the serious problem of methane waste, which is impacting state revenues, harming the environment and threatening the health of New Mexicans.

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Energy Diversification in New Mexico: Do it for the Kids

Energy Diversification in New Mexico: Do it for the Kids

There’s no doubt that the oil and gas sector is an essential source of jobs and revenue to the state of New Mexico. It is a critical part of our economy. At the same time, New Mexico can’t afford to tie its fiscal health, and the welfare of our schools, colleges, and universities to the boom-and-bust cycles of fossil fuel markets. 

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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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Armado con los Hechos - Moms Clean Air Force Lands in ABQ

Armado con los Hechos - Moms Clean Air Force Lands in ABQ

Last week, I attended a very informative event in Albuquerque organized by the Moms Clean Air Force. The public discussion addressed the impacts of oil and gas development on New Mexico communities. As many people know by now, the largest methane “hotspot” hovers over northern New Mexico, and oil and gas development in New Mexico is affecting communities water, air and access to public lands.

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Latino Conservation Alliance asks Congress to reauthorize Land and Water Conservation Fund

Latino Conservation Alliance asks Congress to reauthorize Land and Water Conservation Fund

Because "LWCF has proven itself to be not only one of the best conservation programs, but also one of our most efficient and effective government programs," now is a great time for every citizen to express U.S. Senators and Representatives that LWCF works, and deserves full funding.

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Department of Interior -- Vision for Balance

Department of Interior -- Vision for Balance

In a speech last Wednesday  in Washington, DC, Secretary Jewell set the stage for what she called “common sense reforms” to better manage our public lands. At HECHO, we applaud the Secretary for her support of a balanced approach to energy development on America’s beautiful public lands across the West.

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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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Fish and Wildlife Service Director Ashe Blogs on HECHO

Fish and Wildlife Service Director Ashe Blogs on HECHO

...in the most elemental sense, we are all hecho por la naturaleza – products of the natural world around us. Like the world’s fish, wildlife and plants, we depend on the Earth’s natural systems for clean air, clean water, food, shelter, jobs and economic growth.

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Poll: Protect Our Public Lands

Poll: Protect Our Public Lands

The poll found that a staggering 93% of respondents believe that the government should protect public lands for recreation and the overall well-being of the environment. The results make it clear that this connection to the land occurs irrespective of party affiliation, across age demographics, and that public lands are integral to the daily life of Latinos in the southwest for recreation such as hiking, fishing, hunting, or camping.

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Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks: A True Community Effort

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks: A True Community Effort

The newly designated Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument is a wonderful addition to our federally protected land in New Mexico.  Many conservation groups, environmental groups, sportsmen’s groups, and individuals were responsible for making this decade-old dream a reality, and HECHO is certainly excited and proud to have been involved this “monumental” occasion.

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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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Destination Darkness: Let's Leave the Stars to Future Generations

Despite NPS’s commitment to protecting night skies, threats remain. At Chaco Culture, for example, light pollution emanating from expanding urban areas including Albuquerque and Farmington, New Mexico, and the growing demand for oil and gas development in the northwestern corner of the state have the potential to impact the quality of the night skies at the park. Natural gas flaring and an increase in intensive artificial lighting from construction activities, vehicle traffic, and support facilities can all create light pollution at the park’s higher elevations and inside the canyon.

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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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