News from SWEC

December 10, 2012

Visual Tour of the Proposed National Monument

Ever wonder what the fuss over a proposed national monument in Dona Ana County (NM) is all about? Nathan Small and Jeff Steinborn with the NM Wilderness Alliance will present a visual tour on Tuesday, December 11th at 7 pm, of some of the many extraordinary natural, cultural, and historic features that would be protected within the proposed Organ Mountains – Desert Peaks National Monument.

Starting with satellite images of the historic Butterfield Trail, they’ll show historic and current photos of caves with prehistoric fauna, Native American petroglyphs and bedrock mortars, Billy the Kid’s hideout at Outlaw Rock, Civilian Conservation Corp work projects, World War II-era aerial targets, and, of course, stunning desert peaks and vistas. They will clarify the distinction between wilderness and monument designation, and answer questions about the current status of the proposal.

The talk is part of the Southwest Environmental Center’s Tuesday Talks Series. It is free and open to the public. For more information, call (575) 522-5552.

Healing the Rio Grande…can you help?

Aldo Leopold wrote that “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen.”

That’s what our La Mancha Wetland Project is all about—healing the Rio Grande in southern New Mexico. Like our previous Picacho Wetland project (now part of the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park), it’s an ambitious effort to restore spawning and nursery habitats for native fish—the kind of habitats that have been almost entirely wiped out over the past century.

Will you help us? Please consider making a special end-of-year gift to help us finish this project and continue our efforts as both defender and healer of the Rio Grande.  La Mancha Wetland is well underway. Using heavy equipment, we’ve moved tons of dirt and sculpted the outlines of a pond that will eventually cover several acres with a seasonal connection to the river. You can see photos of our progress on our website.

Your contribution of $50, $100, $500 or more at our secure website will help us complete this important project and move a step closer to healing a century of harm to the Rio Grande. Thank you!

Holiday Shopping at the Ecoshop

Who is on your shopping list this holiday season?  No matter who you’ve got, we’ve got a little something sure to please anyone!  For a perfect hostess gift, pick up a beautifully potted, locally-grown Amaryllis.  Need a Secret Santa gift or something for the naturalist in your life?  Try a pair of handmade, upcycled earrings or a Hiking Guide and our new Restore the Rio Grande t-shirt.  We also have a selection of pottery, gorgeous greeting cards and more – so check out the shop and give back to the wildlife and wild places of the borderlands with each and every purchase!

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