Demis Foster

Spring 2017 Director’s Message

Earlier this year, I traveled to Arizona to participate in the annual march to Oak Flat in support of the Apache Stronghold. The Apache have been standing strong to protect their sacred lands from proposed mining operations by Resolution Copper. We marched through a town – its hills scarred from the boom and bust cycle of extractive industry, a company billboard with smiling children in hard hats. But beneath the veneer of a multinational corporate agenda remains a fierce collective resistance from communities that have lived in one of the most unique ecosystems in the Southwest for generations. What holds these communities together is a deep love and respect for the land that brings life to their families.

In North Dakota, we saw a historical gathering of indigenous nations converge in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to protect their sacred land and water from the Dakota Access Pipeline. At this time in history we are seeing record numbers of people taking to the streets. Events like the Women’s March, Science March and the People’s Climate March have been organized around the world. Thousands of people filled airports across the nation to show solidarity for those threatened by Trump’s destructive immigration ban.

And here in New Mexico, our indigenous, Latino and immigrant communities are disproportionately affected not only from the destructive actions of polluting industries and the Trump Administration, but also from a vengeful governor spun completely out of control. While many families in communities we’re organizing with are being ripped apart and living in fear of being deported, Gov. Martinez is slashing funding for education and vetoing legislation that would promote renewable
energy and healthy communities. New Mexicans are suffering. It’s painfully clear that we must act-quickly to defend our people from decision-makers that are out of touch with our values.

At CVNM, we are committed to supporting decision-makers across New Mexico that we can trust to stand in solidarity with our families and our long-standing shared values of fighting for our air, land, water, wildlife and resilient communities. We must move forward swiftly to elect a pro-conservation Governor who will stand up against the Trump Administration and guide a just transition that puts our people at the center of a new vision. I hope you will stand alongside us.

Thanks for being a Conservation Voter,

Demis Foster