SW Environmental Center: Otero Mesa, new photography show, volunteers needed

March 31, 2010

Call to make Otero Mesa a National Monument
A recently leaked Interior Department list of potential national monuments included Otero Mesa. We strongly support this designation as a way to secure permanent protection for this wild and fragile landscape—one of the largest desert grasslands remaining in North America. The Southwest Environmental Center and other groups stopped oil and gas development proposed by the Bureau of Land Management on Otero Mesa for the past 8 years, but without permanent protection, it will remain threatened.

Please take a moment to do the following:
Call Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar at 202-208-3801 to say something like the following:
I am calling to urge Secretary Salazar to make Otero Mesa in Southern New Mexico a National Monument. New Mexicans want to see Otero Mesa protected, now and for the future. We do not want to see this beautiful landscape destroyed by oil and gas development. Thank you.
For more information, contact Jason Burke at Jason@wildmesquite.org or (575) 522-5552. Thank you!

Add your name to Otero Mesa ad
We are collecting signatures and donations to run a full page “sign-on” ad in the Las Cruces Sun-News (and maybe other Las Cruces papers, if we raise enough money) calling on Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to protect Otero Mesa. Add your name to the more than 1000 we already have! Need not be a NM resident. The ad will run on or close to Earth Day—April 22. A copy of the text of the ad is attached. If you would like to add your name to it and/or make a contribution, please contact Jason Burke at Jason@wildmesquite.org or (575) 522-5552.

Photography Show opens at Cottonwood Gallery—Friday, April 2
Artist will also give talk at SWEC on Monday, April 19 & donate prints to new members

The Southwest Environmental Center is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition of stunning black and white photos by Michael Berman at its Cottonwood Gallery on April 2. The show entitled “Grasslands: the Chihuahuan Desert” will run through May. The opening event will coincide with the monthly Downtown Ramble from 5 to 7 p.m.
Berman was born in New York City in 1956. He received a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship in photography. His work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Amon Carter Museum and the Museum of New Mexico. In 2009 the University of Texas Austin published “Trinity” the third book of the border trilogy The History of the Future with the writer Charles Bowden. He lives in the Mimbres Valley in Southwest New Mexico.
Berman will give a talk about his experiences of photographing people and landscapes in the U.S./Mexican borderlands on Monday, April 19, 7 pm at the Southwest Environmental Center. The lecture is free and open to the public. He will also sign his books.
To support the Southwest Environmental Center’s conservation work, Berman has generously offered to donate a signed print to the first 100 people to join SWEC as new members at the $30 level or more while his work is on display. He will also donate a small number of larger prints to new and renewing members at $250 or more.  For more info, call (575) 522-5552.

Volunteers needed
We need lots of volunteers for the following tasks:
Newsletter mailing party—Thursday, April 1, beginning at 10 am, hopefully ending by 1 pm (stay for as long as you like). Contact Lauren at (575) 522-5552.
Data entry—We need people to type into the computer the names of people who have signed the Otero Mesa ad, any time between now and April 16, at your convenience. Contact Jason Burke at Jason@wildmesquite.org or (575) 522-5552.
Las Cruces Earth Day Fair—Help out at the SWEC table on Saturday, April 17, for 2-3 hours shifts, noon until 6ish. Contact Paul at (575) 522-5552. Volunteers also possibly needed for El Paso and Alamogordo events on Saturday, April 24.

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