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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Colleges see big drop in foreign-language enrollment; Kentucky advocates say it's time to bury medical debt; Young Farmers in Michigan hope the new farm bill will include key benefits regarding land access.

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The White House presses for supplemental Ukraine aid. Leaders condemn antisemitic attacks during Gaza ceasefire protests. Despite concerns about the next election, one Arizona legal expert says courts generally side with voters and democracy.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Working to Involve More NV Hispanics in Conservation Efforts

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Friday, July 28, 2023   

Conservation and recreation groups are highlighting the role of Hispanic women in wildlife conservation, public-land protection and environmental justice in Nevada and across the West.

As program manager for the group Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting and the Outdoors, Modesta McGrath-Martinez said her group's work is built around empowering this community, in part through a Hispanic Conservation Leadership Council. As part of a recent panel discussion, she said since launching the program in 2021, they've grown to 90 members, including in Nevada.

"We're also working with people that are already established leaders in their communities, that are known and loved by their community and also have a love for the environment, but may not have had the capacity or the knowhow to work in this space," she said.

This year, HECHO members showed support for legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., that would have prohibited oil-and-gas leasing on public lands that have low potential for that type of development. Last week, the Bureau of Land Management said it will prioritize oil and gas leasing for lands with higher potential for development.

While public lands have a wide variety of uses, McGrath-Martinez said there are still many pervasive access issues that limit people from enjoying nature and wildlife. Barriers include lack of transportation and lack of time or money for outdoor recreation, and her group is trying to change those.

"There's the piece about outdoor activities and this concept of public lands has not really historically been marketed towards marginalized communities and communities of color," she said. "And communities of color have also explicitly been excluded from these spaces, through policies and other things."

McGrath-Martinez said they're pushing to get more women and people of color to be part of the management of public lands. She added that it does take "a certain type of knowledge and experience with the lands to influence those spaces."


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The Mecca Hills, southeast of the Coachella Valley, are part of the proposed Chuckwalla National Monument. (Bureau of Land Management)

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