By Christine Canaly, SLVEC Director
Noting that we were gathering on the ancestral lands of the Ute, Jicarilla Apache, and Cheyenne; and “with thanks to their past and continued stewardship of these lands, that we are able to enjoy them today”, the Southern Rockies Conservation Alliance (SRCA) began its Retreat on a windy, early October morning. The Sangre de Cristo’s were towering above us, as the setting was Orient Land Trust’s (OLT) Everson Ranch. The San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council (SLVEC) hosted this fall retreat to gather environmental/conservation organizations throughout Colorado.
Persons/Groups participating were SRCA chairs Juli Slivka/Wilderness Workshop and Jim Ramey/The Wilderness Society; Beau Kiklis, Conservation Colorado; Ben Katz, Western Slope Conservation Center; Graham Ward, Colorado Wild Public Lands; Erik Molvar, Western Watersheds Project; Matt Sandler, Rocky Mountain Wild; Scott Braden, Colorado Wildlands Project; Jimbo Buickerood, San Juan Citizens Alliance; Jared Bynum, Conservation Colorado; Joe Wood, Wilderness Workshop; Beatriz Soto, Protegete Conservation Colorado; Tanya Henderson, Western Slope Conservation Center; Kendall Chastain, Colorado Mountain Club; Roz McClellan, Rocky Mountain Recreation Initiative; Nathan Goodman, Conservation Colorado; Ean Tafoya, Green Latinos; and Mark Pearson, San Juan Citizens Alliance.
The group proceeded with policy discussions and updates from their locale and how these regions from around the southern rockies fit into state conservation policy and President Biden’s national conservation agenda. According to polls, 80% of Coloradans support the 30 x 30 resolution, conserving US lands and water by 2030. https://www.bennet.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2019/10/bennet-udall-introduce-major-resolution-to-set-national-conservation-goal-conserve-30-of-u-s-lands-and-oceans-by-2030.
Environmental Justice (EJ) was a major nexus for the groups brain storming, to prioritize and integrate human understanding and how shared values of needing the solace in nature can be managed equitably on the public landscape. How can we support these bedrock EJ principals moving forward so that hist