New Mexico Environmental Law

1405 Luisa St
Santa Fe NM 87505
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Opening Hours

  • Mon: 9am-5pm
  • Tue: 9am-5pm
  • Wed: 9am-5pm
  • Thu: 9am-5pm
  • Fri: 9am-5pm

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New Mexico Environmental Law Center is a non profit, public interest law firm that provides free and low-cost legal services on environmental matters throughout New Mexico. Founded in 1987, the Law Center works with clients ' often individuals, neighborhood associations, environmental organizations, Tribes and Pueblos ' seeking to protect the environment. The New Mexico Environmental Law Center's mission is to protect New Mexico's natural environment and achieve environmental justice for New Mexico's communities through legal representation, policy advocacy and public education. The Law Center's effective legal advocacy and representation on environmental and environmental justice issues will protect New Mexico's communities and cultures, and ensure clean air, land and water for all. The work of the Law Center is made possible by tax-deductible contributions from individuals, business, foundations and limited earned income. Yana Merrill, Director of Administration & Finance, ymerrill at nmelc.org The Board of Directors governs the Law Center, establishes policy, hires the Executive Director, and determines which cases the Law Center will handle. The members of the Board, their date of association, their occupations, and affiliations are: Mr. Bluestone has held senior positions in New Mexico State Government for over 20 years, including being the Chief Deputy Attorney General for over eight years. Mr. Bluestone is currently semi-retired and serves part-time as the Attorney General's Senior Counsel. Mr. Sanchez is a Program Officer for the Needmor Fund. He is a nationally recognized community organizer on civil rights and environmental issues in New Mexico. Ms. Bustamante is Director of the Do a Anna County Colonias Development Council. She brings to the board expertise in Chicano history and culture, race and ethnic relations, community organizing and experience in non-profit management. Mr. Rodriguez is the Executive Director of the SouthWest Organizing Project, and brings to the board over a decade of activism for social and environmental justice. Mr. Amijo is the former Governor of Santa Ana Pueblo. He currently works for the State Engineer's office of New Mexico. Mr. Henderson is the former Director of the Randall Davey Audubon Center and served as the National Audubon Society's State Representative for New Mexico. He is an active advocate on public lands issues. Ms. Hoffman-Dooley works for the Office of the State Engineer, and now heads the Active Water Resource Management regulations project for that office. She brings with her expertise in water law and water issues. Ms. House is a Botanist/Ethnobotanist consultant to Indigenous organizations and communities. She was a key designer of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, has consulted many of the top 10 green NGOs and Native Nations. She is an active advocate on Native American and environmental justice issues. Ms. Ingold met the Law Center when she became involved in the citizen movement to demand clean-up of the LAC Gold Mine in the Ortiz Mountains. She is a charter member of Rachel's Network, a national women's environmental organization. Mr. Padilla is an attorney with the Nordhaus Law Firm, and is a former Environmental Protection Program Director at Zuni Pueblo. He brings to the board his experience as a leader of the successful effort to stop the Fence Lake Mine, which would have impacted the Zuni Salt Lake. Mr. Pontius is a retired attorney with thirty years of experience in natural resources law and policy in the private, public and non-profit sectors. He brings to the board this experience, as well as fundraising experience. Ms. van Buren is a writer and arts organizer, with a background in journalism, teaching and art. Having met the Law Center through her work to protect the Galisteo Basin from oil and gas drilling, she now shares her talents for fundraising and communications.