This week was my mom’s birthday, so it was bittersweet to celebrate without touching, while wearing masks to drop off cards and presents and then congregating as a family on the computer screen! It made it easier knowing that every family and every person is going through an upheaval right now. We are all connected. No one is being left out, across all classes, neighborhoods and countries.
So I take strength in the fact that we are all pulling together to protect each other and our community, even though it is hard. And I hope that we take our connectedness to what comes next on the other side of this, so that our “new normal” will be fairer for all people, and more compassionate toward the planet!
No more feeling like we don’t have a say. When it comes to nature — which is the very thing that is sustaining us from going nuts with the stay at home order — we are all realizing we are public landowners when it comes to our urban green spaces, open spaces and trails. Public lands are ours to use AND defend. Here’s what I want for our public lands and what we are working on at SFCT: Equitable access for all and protection from the special interests that want to exploit them! What’s that going to take? Everyone caring about nature and being a conservationist. So join us in our work!
This virus may have altered how SFCT works to achieve these ends. But our work goes on, protecting the open spaces we all love and maintaining and expanding Santa Fe’s dirt trails. If the virus temporarily stops us from doing it together, we are committed to giving you the resources you need to do it alone or with those you are sheltering with.
One step at a time. Soon this will shift, but not yet. Take good care.
PS: Since you are probably spending more time on social media these days, please “like” us on Facebook.
How do you feel about the land? From this year’s Banff Mountain Film Festival, runner and advocate Faith E. Briggs examines what it means to be a public land owner in THIS LAND, a story about land access told through a journey of inclusion and empowerment.
We want to send out our thanks to our Banff Mountain Film Festival sponsors for hanging in there with us! It takes a community to bring these films to Santa Fe. Be sure to thank them.
If you read the local paper, you know what a huge impact Charmay Allred had on the community. She died on April 8th in Santa Fe. There were tributes to her from many arts and educational nonprofits, but Charmay was also a conservationist who cared deeply about the land and the work of the Santa Fe Conservation Trust. Her affiliation with us started 24 years ago and continued every year since then. She was a guiding light for our Stewart Udall Legacy Dinner — as former board member Peter Chapin said, “giving advice, money and table decorations, then always buying two tables and bringing all her famous political friends to our party.” Peter said he first met her on a petroglyph hike and most recently had seen her at a Conservation Voters New Mexico dinner, where they sat together enjoying each other’s company,“but when the rich and famous came over to say hi to Charmay, we were completely ignored,” he laughed. Charmay had a great sense of humor. She loved to say “cook” was a four letter word at our lunches together. She always got there first, paid the bill, orchestrated the meal, agreed to help in whatever way she could, and left after 45-minutes, forcing us to have dessert in her absence. Quick, efficient, and as another former board member, Connie Bright, said, “definitely one of the most generous people I’ve ever encountered in Santa Fe.” All of us at SFCT feel fortunate to have known her!
TAKE A BIKE RIDE FOR EARTH DAY!
Tim Rogers, SFCT’s Trails Program Manager and owner of the “Gazelle,” put together a nine mile bike ride along the Acequia and River trails for your Earth Day enjoyment. Dress up as your favorite animal, plant or bug and send us your picture () from the route and you could win a prize!
Here’s your map for the Acequia and River Trail Bike Ride:
Are you taking photos or making videos out on the trails? Send them to us at with a description of where you are and why. We’ll post them on social media.
LET’S GO CAMPING!
We’ve been forced to move our Bears Ears National Park Camping Trip to October 4 – 9, but it is still going to be the best outing ever! Are you one of the ten people who wants to come? Read all about it here:
PROTECT THE PECOS RIVER!
The Amigos Bravos petition to designate the Pecos River from the wilderness boundary to Dalton as an Outstanding National Resource Water area was filed on April 20th. Success with this application will mean that the Tererro Mining proposal would be “dead in the water,” no pun intended.
SFCT has one conservation easement in the area and over 20,000 acres preserved throughout San Miguel County, so we participated with Amigos Bravos and many others in the process of putting the application together. Now is the time to voice your support for this effort. You can read more from the full coalition, which includes @villageofpecosnm, @nmacequias, @pecoswatershed and @molinodelaisla on why this petition is necessary here: https://bit.ly/2VrsruV #ProtectThePecos
HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE DURING THE PANDEMIC
To encourage more charitable giving in 2020, the CARES Act expanded tax deductions for qualified giving in a few ways. For one, people who take the standard deduction can claim a new “above the line” deduction of up to $300 for qualified cash donations. While not a huge tax benefit to most people, these donations would make a big difference to our organization this year. In addition, people who itemize on Schedule A can potentially claim larger deductions in 2020. We hope, as the legislation intended, that people will take advantage of these new deductions to support local nonprofits like the Santa Fe Conservation Trust.
The new charitable giving incentives under the CARES Act will only apply to cash donations, not donations of stock, real estate or other non-cash types of property. In addition, the contributions must be to pubic charities – not private foundations or donor-advised funds.
Did you know that more than half of American adults don’t have a will? Experts are saying the pandemic is making people think more seriously about getting their affairs in order. If you are one of them, here is a handy guide for you to help you start your thinking.
SFCT depends on the generosity of the community to fund our work. SFCT partners with our community to keep northern New Mexico’s living lands and people flourishing together. We protect environmentally significant landscapes, ignite people’s passion for nature and enable the continual regeneration of our healthy place. If you believe in our mission, please make a donation today!