Hundreds of people attended the No Wall Town Hall in August.

The Year in Review

This year saw one assault after another on wildlife and environmental protections by the new administration and Congress. Here are some of the ways we at the Southwest Environmental Center fought back.

Resisting the Border Wall

SWEC reached out to form a new coalition with groups like NM CAFe and the ACLU. Together, we organized a No Wall Town Hall at the border wall in Sunland Park, and held panel discussions in Las Cruces and Albuquerque. Our coalition delivered  nearly 4000 signatures to NM's senators, urging them to reject funding for a border militarization agenda including the wall.

Restoring the Rio Grande

We made huge progress towards restoring habitat at our La Mancha Wetland thanks to our six-member Youth Conservation Corps team, which we were able to hire for six months thanks to a YCC grant. SWEC's Kevin Bixby and biologist David Propst also published a groundbreaking conceptual approach to conserving native Rio Grande fishes that could serve as a model for heavily managed rivers elsewhere.

Bringing back wolves

SWEC continued to advocate for meaningful recovery of Mexican wolves. Notable acheivements in 2017 included organizing more than 20 NM legislators to reject a politically-drive recovery plan supported by the governor and game department, and to organize a second annual "Blessing of the Wolves" by faith leaders to call attention to the moral aspect of saving wildlife. 

Reverend Arnold addresses the crowd at the Blessing of the Wolves event in Santa Fe.

Protecting Otero Mesa

SWEC began gearing up for the inevitable battle to protect North America's largest desert grassland from industrial oil and gas development. We hired a part-time organizer to spearhead the campaign. We took elected officials, community leaders and reporters to see this stunning landscape. We sponsored an Otero Mesa photo exhibition by some of the best local photographers. And we are mobilizing overwhelming public support to push back against any attempts to destroy this special place.

Breaking news: we've just recently learned that the Trump administration is trying to lift a moratorium on oil and gas leasing that has protected Otero Mesa for the past eight years. Can you help us? 

Click here to donate to our Otero Mesa campaign.

Protecting our national monuments

SWEC joined with our partners in pushing back against the administration's unprecedented attack on national monuments throughout the West, including the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks monument that SWEC helped get established after many years of effort.

Taking it to the streets

SWEC was the lead organizer of the Las Cruces Climate Change March, as well as co-organizer for the Las Cruces Women's March and Science March. Hundreds of people turned out for all three events.

Reforming state wildlife management

SWEC is spearheading an effort to reform management of New Mexico's wildlife and make NM a leader among the states. Our goal is to enact important legislative reforms in 2019, such as expanding legal protections to all wildlife species, making our game commission more professional and responsive, and ending wildlife killing contests.

Back by Noon outing to Achenbach Cave in the Organ Mountains.
Promoting ecological literacy

We continued to promote public awareness and appreciation of our natural heritage through our popular Back by Noon outings, Tuesday Talks at SWEC, and our popular hiking guide, Day Hikes and Nature Walks of the Las Cruces-El Paso Area.

These are just a few highlights of SWEC's work in 2017. With your help, we'll keep fighting for our wildlife and wild places in 2018.

Thank you!