Program Priorities

The Environmental Alliance of New Mexico

Each year, CVNM Education Fund facilitates the Environmental Alliance of New Mexico (EANM), a coalition of over two dozen conservation groups working collaboratively to elevate environmental issues at the New Mexico State Legislature. The mission of the alliance is to convey a unified front to decision-makers about the legislative priorities of the environmental community in New Mexico. Learn more.»

Rural New Mexico Engagement

From legacy waste sites to water pollution, many of New Mexico’s communities are experiencing the consequences of environmental degradation first hand. At the same time, the protection of our resources and wild space is an inherent value to our rural and culturally unique communities. Despite this, New Mexican’s values are often underrepresented from a local to a state scale – resulting in policy that negatively impacts those communities.

CVNM Education Fund works to increase voting, advocacy and activism in communities most affected by the impacts of environmental racism, climate change and pollution—particularly rural, Indigenous and Latino communities.

Our Organizing Commitment:

We are committed to creating long-term change by working with communities to address environmental issues impacting their health and quality of life. We do this by bringing community members together to work on policy solutions, providing skills-building training and resources, organizing public events and connecting activists with decision-makers.

Our Programs:

  1. Western New Mexico Organizing
    The Grants Mining District in Western New Mexico is home to over 259 mining sites that produced uranium, 137 of those with no record of any reclamation activity. As a result, many families in the region are exposed to legacy pollution that is adversely impacting their quality of life, water supply and health. Our Western New Mexico Program is working to bring together diverse stakeholders in Cibola and McKinley counties to explore solutions to the problems families in these counties face every day, such as calling for the state to adopt a comprehensive health baseline and for county-level task forces to identify how local officials can better protect residents.After policy failed to move at the state level, we partnered with community groups to discuss local policy in McKinley County. The community started shaping policy asking by the McKinley County Commission to consider making space for the community to come together and have discussions about potential impacts of new mining, and explore addition safeguards to protect the community from impacts of new mining (like Roca Honda Mine). The commission committed to creating a blue ribbon task force on uranium mining and our western New Mexico team are working to hold the commission to their commitment and shape the task force. For more information about this program, contact our Communications Director Liliana Castillo.
  2. Northern New Mexico Organizing
    Rio Arriba County is currently home to an estimated 21,000 oil and gas wells on the county’s western edge. These wells span a variety of land designations – from private to federal. Now, with the advent of new horizontal drilling technology, there is renewed interest to explore additional drilling in the Mancos Shale – an area that spans the Four Corners region. In 2016, CVNM Education Fund helped raise awareness around the Environmental Protection Agency and Bureau of Land Management’s federal methane rules and the impact that pollution from oil and gas has on local communities. Methane, a byproduct of natural gas production, contributes to health problems – like asthma – and is considered a climate change super pollutant. To identify a solution to the county’s oil and gas dependence, we also worked with the county and city of Española to pass resolutions supporting efforts to invest in local renewable energy. In the spring of 2017 and 2018, we supported community members in organizing the county’s first and second Renewable Energy Festival.Our Northern New Mexico organizers are working in Rio Arriba County to encourage the local power co-op, Jemez Electric, to renegotiate their contract with Tri-State, which caps renewable energy investments at 5%. The county is heavily reliant on oil and gas development to feed its revenue base. Due to a drop in market values, the county received significantly less revenue, resulting in a budget shortfall and renewed conversation about the need to diversify the county’s economic drivers. For more information about this program, contact our Communications Director Liliana Castillo.
  3. Organizing in Albuquerque’s Latino Communities
    Juntos, which means “together” in Spanish, is a partnership between CVNM Education Fund and League of Conservation Voters Education Fund’s Chispa program. Based in Albuquerque, Juntos: Our Air, Our Water launched in July 2014 to amplify the voices of Latino families who are calling for protections for the air we breathe and the water we drink, not only for our own health, but also for our families and future generations. Organizers are fanning out across Albuquerque to talk with thousands of Latino families, to train new grassroots leaders, build a strong activist base and engage local officials to urge Governor Susana Martinez and the New Mexico Environment Department to use a portion of New Mexico’s $18 million Volkswagen scandal settlement funds to transition dirty diesel school buses to zero-emissions electric school buses. In New Mexico, nearly 166,000 children ride school buses to over 89 school districts, which serve more than a 300,000 students, over half of whom are Latino, Indigenous or black. With so many children exposed to pollution, it’s no coincidence that more than one in 11 suffer from asthma.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency settled with Volkswagen over Clean Air Act violations after the car company cheated on clean air testing for their diesel vehicles. The New Mexico Environment Department is finalizing a plan for utilizing New Mexico’s nearly $18 million share of the settlement.

    Read CVNM Education Fund and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center’s public comments, urging NMED to better represent the adverse health effects of diesel exhaust, express clear preference for replacing diesel-fueled vehicles with electric vehicles and infrastructure and place greater emphasis on environmental justice concerns.

    For more information about this program, contact our Communications Director Liliana Castillo.