Group launches ad campaign the day of Jewell’s first major conservation speech and highlights opportunities for conservation, balanced oil and gas development
Los Alamos, NM – Today, the group Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting and Outdoors (HECHO), launched a new advertising campaign encouraging Interior Department Sec. Sally Jewell to protect Western traditions and recreation opportunities by ensuring a balanced approach to oil and gas development. The ads coincide with Sec. Jewell’s first major speech aimed at land conservation issues – held today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. HECHO will run an English version in POLITICO and a Spanish version in Washington Hispanic. “Now that the shutdown is over, it’s high time we do right by the land,” said Rod Torrez, director of HECHO. “Sec. Jewell has an opportunity to protect nuestra tierra, our earth, and our western traditions by providing leadership and taking a balanced approach to oil and gas development.” Torrez noted that the government shutdown was a big step back for public lands and the western communities that depend on them. The Washington Post reported that national park closures cost the country more than $80 million a day, not to mention the 561 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetlands that were closed where Americans like to hunt, fish, camp, and watch wildlife. “If anything, the shutdown proved that Americans share a deep value, love and understanding of how important the land is to our family, culture and heritage,” said Torrez. “We should invest in the land, and Sec. Jewell should ensure development occurs in low-conflict areas where drilling will not impact recreational and cultural values. Jewell has the tools at her disposal to take big steps in the right direction easily and quickly.” Latinos in the West have a strong affinity to the environment and public lands. A bipartisan 2013 Colorado College poll found that more than two-thirds (64 percent) of Latino voters in the West describe themselves as conservationists and a full 79 percent believe that public lands “support the economy, provide recreation opportunities and enhance quality of life”. Torrez joined HECHO as director in October 2013 and recently blogged on his experiences growing up in the Southwest. Torrez will be attending Sec. Jewell’s speech at the National Press Club and hand-delivering a copy of the ad to the Secretary. For more information, visit www.hechoonline.com. Read the Spanish language news release here.