E-Currents | July 2017

January/February 2017
Upcoming Events:

Nature Nights at KTAOS Solar Center  - A Family-Friendly Movie Night Benefiting Amigos Bravos

July 19 2017
6 - 9 pm

Taos Mountain Outfitters and Patagonia are hosting the first of a series of Nature Nights -- a community movie night in support of Amigos Bravos, featuring the film 180 Degrees South which follows adventurer Jeff Johnson as he retraces the epic 1968 journey of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia, Chile.

Free to the public with a $5 suggested donation to Amigos Bravos.
Raffle tickets for sale at the door for giveaway of fun prizes from select outdoor retailers with proceeds benefiting Amigos Bravos.

Campfire stories presented by Cisco of Amigos Bravos after the movie.

Food and refreshments available by purchase at the KTAOS Solar Center.

Click here to RSVP:
Nature Nights

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11th Annual
Rivers & Land Cleanup

July 29, 2017
8:00 - 1 pm
Meet at St. James Episcopoal Church parking lot
208 Camino de Santiago
Taos, NM

Help keep Taos beautiful! Join us for the 11th Annual Rivers & Land Cleanup. Free lunch included for all volunteers after the cleanup at 1 pm at St. James Episcopal Church.

  Click here for more information!

For more information  contact Shannon Romeling at
(575) 758-3874 or 

Midnight Meadows
Restoration Campout
Friday evening, July 18 thru Sunday morning July 20, 2017 (Or anytime you're available in between!)

Click here for more info about this Midnight Meadows Restoration project.

We'll be sending a Reminder Action Alert with full details!

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Contact Info

Casa Baca
Amigos Bravos' Office

Amigos Bravos
P. O. Box 238
105-A Quesnel St.
Taos, NM 87571


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J oin our efforts
today  by
becoming a
or making a
contribution to
Amigos Bravos

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Event Spotlight: Our Inaugural Rally for the Rio Made a Splash!

Despite 96° heat, we had a great time at our inaugural Rally for the Rio event, which was held last month at Orilla Verde Recreation Area in Pilar.
Thanks to all who attended in support of our longtime work to protect and preserve the waters of New Mexico. We hope everyone enjoyed the opportunity to cool off with a leisurely float down the Rio Grande courtesy of our Diamond-level sponsor, Los Rios River Runners! A big, heartfelt 'Thank You!' to other Diamond, Gold and Silver sponsors, as well: Patagonia, Taos Mountain Outfitters, Swinehart CPA, Magee Design, PPC Solar, Taos Community Foundation, and Centinel Bank. Click through our event photos for a full list of the many local businesses who supported us as Bronze sponsors. Thanks, too, to Trainwreck BBQ, Farmhouse Cafe and Bakery and Blue Yonder for providing yummy food, Eske's for the cold craft beer, and for all the like-minded conservation organizations for tabling in the heat: Albuquerque Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Taos Field Institute, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, and Western Environmental Law Center!

A big shout out to all of our volunteers, as well: Maya Anthony, Elena Ferdinand, Stephen Fabrey, Kyli and Derrick Rhoades, Vanessa Moon, Sharron Tavernier, Rob Weiss, Moira O'Hanlon, Nora and Eric Patterson,Gaia Mika, Kriste Ulibarri, Allen Griffith, and Linda Fair. We couldn't have done it without your help!

"My hope and plan is for this to be a fun and exciting event that we can repeat on an annual basis -- an event that members, supporters, and our communities  will look forward to and that will generate support and awareness for the mission of Amigos Bravos, says Joseph Zupan, Executive Director of Amigos Bravos.
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Amigos Bravos Hosts Ted Turner and the Turner Foundation in Taos    
Ted Turner (back row, 4th from left) and the Turner Foundation prepares for a float down the Rio Grande with Amigos Bravos 

On July 10, 2017, Joe Zupan, Amigos Bravos Executive Director, Rachel Conn, Amigos Bravos Projects Director, and Cisco Guevara, Amigos Bravos Board President, spent the day showcasing Taos with the Turner Foundation and nearly three dozen members of the Turner family (including Ted!)

The Turner Foundation has been Amigos Bravos' largest funding source for many years and this was a key opportunity for us to form relationships with Ted's adult children, Laura, Rhett, and Teddy and their families - and of course, Ted.

The day started at 7 a.m. with breakfast at El Monte Sagrado before everyone jumped on a chartered bus to ride out to the Rio Pueblo gorge trailhead at the end of county road 110 for a hike along the Rio Pueblo to the confluence with the Rio Grande. After that, Cisco and Los Rios River Runners provided the group with a choice of two float trips: the Race Course for the more adventuresome in the group or a mellow Orilla Verde float. Cisco's hospitality and stories were, of course entertaining!

Following the floats, it was back to El Monte Sagrado for lunch and presentations about Amigos Bravos' work. Rachel did a phenomenal job explaining our work and was a very effective advocate for Amigos Bravos. Throughout the day and then at dinner at Lambert's, Cisco told great stories and added a lot of fun and engagement to the day/evening.

Rachel Conn (below the screen) did an excellent job explaining the important conservation work of Amigos Bravos to the Turner Foundation 

Amigos Bravos was thrilled to have had this rare opportunity to meet face-to-face with a funder and to get to know this amazing family on a more personal level. Ted is a longtime conservation hero and Amigos Bravos is honored that he and his foundation have chosen to support our work to protect and the waters of New Mexico and to hold polluters accountable.

A big thank you to Turner Foundation President, Judy Adler, and to the entire Turner family for this wonderful opportunity. 

Rachel Conn, Amigos Bravos Projects Director (left) with Turner Foundation President, Judy Adler, and Joe Zupan, Amigos Bravos Executive Director
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Meet New Board Member: Liliana Castillo

Amigos Bravos is pleased to announce the addition of Liliana Castillo to our Board of Directors.  Liliana's   career has centered on giving opportunity for the voiceless to have a voice, creating accountability and a world centered on truth. She has done so through journalism and working for non-profit organizations that help others.  She has served as Communications Director for Conservation Voters of New Mexico for nearly five years.
Born in Montana, Liliana was raised with respect and love for nature, specifically the mountains. She is on a continuous quest to capture and preserve the natural beauty of the world in photographs and words. Liliana earned her Bachelor of Arts at the University of North Texas in photojournalism with a minor in social sciences.
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Dirty-Water Move by Trump Administration Threatens New Mexico Waters
On June 27, 2017, the Trump Administration started the process to repeal the Clean Water Rule, putting the sources of drinking water for more than 117 million Americans at risk and increasing threats to streams and wetlands that filter pollution and provide habitat for wildlife.
"The Trump Administration has once again proved it only cares about one thing - putting polluters first. Repealing the Clean Water Rule puts the drinking water for hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans at risk" said Rachel Conn, Projects Director for Amigos Bravos, a New Mexico water protection organization. "The Clean Water Rule is a commonsense safeguard for the streams that New Mexico communities rely on to irrigate our fields, provide clean water to drink, and create vital wildlife habitat. We should be doing more, not less to protect clean water."
The federal Clean Water Act, passed in 1972, has guided the transition from rivers that literally caught on fire to healthy watersheds where species like the bald eagle and river otter once again thrive. This is the legislation that requires wastewater and industrial facilities to clean water before discharging into the nation's rivers. Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 made Clean Water Act protections for some waters that historically had been covered under the law, such as waters that flow intermittently or are isolated, uncertain. Because more than 90% of rivers and streams in New Mexico are classified as ephemeral or intermittent, many New Mexico waterways lost Clean Water Act protection. The Clean Water Rule, finalized by EPA in August 2015, clarifies that some of the rivers, streams, and wetlands that fell through the cracks in the post-2001 confusion are indeed protected. Today the Trump Administration started the process to repeal these essential protections, putting these smaller waters once again at risk.
"This rulemaking is especially harmful to New Mexico because, unlike other states, New Mexico does not have a state regulatory structure in place to control discharges into our rivers and streams, so when federal protections are removed, New Mexico's waters are left high and dry," added Conn.
Twenty percent of animal species in New Mexico utilize ephemeral and/or intermittent waters, including 24 species that have been identified by the state as "Species of Greatest Conservation Need." EPA estimates that at least 280,000 people in the state receive drinking water from ephemeral and/or intermittent sources.
"Protecting water quality in small drainages in New Mexico is critically important for New Mexico's communities and wildlife," Conn said.

You can now find Amigos Bravos on Instagram!

Look for the hashtag #ValleVidalForever and upload your favorite photos of the Valle Vidal