FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Santa Fe, N.M. – Conservation Voters New Mexico Action Fund (CVNM Action Fund), the leading political advocacy voice for sound environmental policies in New Mexico, announced today its endorsement of Garrett VeneKlasen for New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands.
“Mr. VeneKlasen has dedicated his life to exploring and conserving New Mexico’s public lands so we are thrilled to endorse his campaign for Commissioner of Public Lands,” says Demis Foster, CVNM Executive Director. “In Mr. VeneKlasen, New Mexico finds a rare candidate who is both the best prepared to do the job on day one and is the strongest on environmental issues.”
“I am extremely honored to earn the endorsement of the Conservation Voters of New Mexico (CVNM),” said VeneKlasen. “CVNM’s world revolves around environmental and social justice issues ranging from citizens rights to clean air and water, creating a 21st century renewable energy infrastructure, fighting to keep public lands in public hands, protecting endangered species, habitat restoration and protection to honoring our cross border families and the culture, wildlife and the traditions we all share. I look forward to working alongside CVNM as land commissioner as we fight to protect public lands, make New Mexico a leader in renewable energy, expand investments in outdoor recreation and ecotourism, protect endangered species and watersheds, and ensure we fight back against President Trump’s racist border wall.”
The Commissioner of Public Lands is charged with generating and optimizing revenue from state trust lands to support public education and other beneficiary institutions, while simultaneously striving to protect, conserve and maintain the lands so they may be used by future generations. The New Mexico Land Office, which administers nine million acres of surface and 13 million acres of subsurface estate, is one of the largest land managers in the West. The office operates with nearly unfettered discretion.
“Few agencies are able to act as nimbly and autonomously as the State Land Office when it comes to supporting pro- or anti-conservation policies, so it’s particularly vital to ensure that a pro-conservation champion occupies the State Land Office,” Foster added. “We applaud Mr. VeneKlasen for making transparency and openness a core tenant of his campaign. He has an ambitious and well laid plan to make the State Land Office’s decision-making processes more accessible to New Mexicans.”
Mr. VeneKlasen was born and raised in New Mexico and spent much of his childhood hiking, camping, fishing, hunting and exploring our vast public lands. His lifelong experiences on public lands molded him and truly define him. Mr. VeneKlasen’s passion for the State Land Office stems from his career exploring and conserving New Mexico’s state trust and national public lands. He spent most of his career as the owner of a small travel company, helping people explore public lands around the world. Before becoming the executive director of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, he was the southwest director of the Trout Unlimited Sportsmen’s Conservation Project as well as Trout Unlimited’s New Mexico Public Lands Coordinator.
CVNM Action Fund engaged in a rigorous and thorough endorsement process with our board of directors that included all candidates that are up for primary election and returned a candidate questionnaire. Through this process, we learned that CVNM Action Fund and Mr. VeneKlasen are aligned on virtually every environmental issue including creating public participation in State Land Office decisions, ensuring state trust lands support robust renewable energy, recreation and ecotourism industries as well as addressing methane waste and pollution on state trust lands, to name a few. Read more about Mr. VeneKlasen on our website.
For interviews with CVNM Action Fund’s Executive Director Demis Foster or Political & Legislative Director Ben Shelton, please email Liliana Castillo at Liliana@CVNM.org or call 575-219-9619.
About CVNM Action Fund
Conservation Voters New Mexico Action Fund, the connected state political action committee of Conservation Voters New Mexico, is a nonpartisan “coordinated” political action committee that works to elect pro-conservation candidates and to defeat anti-conservation candidates at the state level. Through our work with CVNM Action Fund, we let voters know that – for New Mexico’s air, land water and healthy communities – who we elect matters.
Paid for by Conservation Voters New Mexico Action Fund and authorized by VeneKlasen for Our Future
Contact: Liliana Castillo at 575-219-9619 or liliana@CVNM.org