Sunday Mornings @ The Travel Bug
A Sunday morning gathering of progressing thinkers who explore, through presentations, issues that influence our daily lives and the lives of future generations. We hope these gatherings, through understanding and knowledge of the world around us, will ignite change for the common good and provide a sense of community.
David Bacon will be in conversation with Richard Jennings about water, soil, and Nature. Richard will present a brief talk on Living Soils for Community Food and Water Security. Those living soils are aided by moisture management, the art and science of using what water we have. One of the major themes will be our reconnection with Nature. The Natural World has been communicating since there was life. Our species has mostly stopped listening, and we must rejoin the conversation. How do we make deals with other species? Some examples from experimental work will be presented.
Earthwrights Designs is a small company located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. We specialize in the design of systems that make the most efficient use of use water in homes, landscapes, and communities. Our approach is to use Technology in a cooperative relationship with Nature.
Three important sources of inspiration have shaped our work.
The first comes from the First Nations of the Americas. A famous statement of their philosophy was to consider the influence of their actions on seven generations of their offspring. In other words, we do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our offspring and from the natural world.
The second inspiration is from Peter Warshall. In 2001, he published “Unholy Triumvirate: Water, Energy and Cash Flows. His premise is, that money, water, and energy are always related in contemporary culture and infrastructure.
The final inspiration came in 2003. At the XI IRCSA conference in Mexico, Mr. Asit Biswas challenged the assembly to think of our work in terms of “Moisture Management”. This means that we must consider, not only the wet water that we use for our daily existence.
We must also consider how that water moves through our environment, especially the soil.
From these three inspirations, comes the conclusion that we must learn to capture moisture as it moves through our communities. Then we must use it efficiently and then reuse it as many times as possible before it evaporates or drains downhill. All analyses must consider the amount of energy that is used per unit of water and vice versa. By doing this we will also maximize the efficiency of our soils, nutrients, and natural habitats of the plants and animals that create our livable environment. The principles of sustainable water management are universal, but the applications are specific to site and context.
Barnes will try to make the case that from Catron, to Mora, to Colorado, to Pennsylvania, the destruction of the land is a part of the multinationals' war on democracy.
As author, playwright, lecturer, mediator and essayist, Barnes has been a champion of civil society, the rise of democracy and the rule of law.
His recent book, Democracy at the Crossroads can be found in all local bookstores. He offered a lecture series earlier this year by the same name and continually contributes to the conversation on Who Controls Water, Truth and Democracy in the Bio Region.
October 16, 2011, 11 am
The mission of the Quivira Coalition is "to build resilience by fostering ecological, economic and social health on western landscapes through education, innovation, collaboration, and progressive public and private land stewardship."
During the Spanish Colonial era, mapmakers used the word 'Quivira' to designate unknown territory beyond the frontier; it was also a term for an elusive golden dream.
The Quivira Coalition was founded by a rancher and two conservationists in June, 1997, to build bridges among ranchers, conservationists, scientists and public land managers around concepts of progressive cattle management, innovative stewardship and improved land health.
Our original mission was "to demonstrate that ecologically sensitive ranch management and economically robust ranches can be compatible." We proposed common sense solutions to the grazing "debate," which at the time was marked by extreme polarization on both sides. We sought to break the gridlock by advocating a new set of tools: grassbanks, dormant season grazing, planned grazing, restoration, and collaboration.
We took a vow not to do lawsuits or legislation. Nor would we be mediators or facilitators between extremes in the grazing debate. Instead, we concentrated on creating a 'third position,' outside the continuum of brawling. We called this position The New Ranch, which we defined as "an emerging progressive ranching movement that operates on the principle that the natural processes that sustain wildlife habitat, biological diversity and functioning watersheds are the same processes that make land productive for livestock."
Our goal was to expand the 'radical center' - a neutral place where people could explore their interests instead of argue their positions. To do this, we started at the grassroots, literally the 'grass' and the 'roots,' where we believed trust needed to be built anew. We intended to be a vehicle for information as well as a catalyst for change - not a debating society. In the beginning, the question was not whether sustainable ranch management was possible, but rather how to spread the news.
We spent five fruitful years promoting The New Ranch through workshops, tours, outdoor classrooms, demonstration projects, publications, speaking engagement, media outreach, and other acts of education and bridge-building. But by 2002, it was time to adjust our mission statement. The grazing "debate" had crested, we felt, and giving way to other conservation concerns, such as the accelerating loss of open space to sprawl (often on former ranch lands), the threat of noxious species to native biodiversity, the rise of recreational damage on public land, and the spread of "nature deficit disorder" - a term coined by author Richard Louv to describe the dissolving bond between people and nature, especially among members of the next generation.
Furthermore, through our work with riparian restoration specialist Bill Zeedyk we began to embrace a more `holistic' vision of land health and restoration, involving grass, water, cattle, and people. As a result, our on-the-ground work grew to include a major restoration project on Comanche Creek, the adoption of the Valle Grande Grassbank on Rowe Mesa, publishing a monitoring manual, the creation of the New Ranch Network, the implementation of an Annual Conference, and workshops on ranch road repair, water harvesting, `reading the landscape,' monitoring, and much more.
Good grazing was still the heart of our work, but it was only one part of a larger effort to foster "ecological, economic and social health on western landscapes" - as our revised mission statement said.
Then in November of 2007, the Quivira Board of Directors added two new words to the mission statement of the organization: `build resilience.'
It now reads: "The mission of The Quivira Coalition is to build resilience by fostering ecological, economic and social health on western landscapes through education, innovation, collaboration, and progressive public and private land stewardship."
This subtle but significant change reflects The Quivira Coalition's continuing evolution to meet the rising challenges of the 21st century.
Although no one knows what the decades ahead will bring precisely, there are enough indicators of change to say with confidence that the 21st century will look a lot different than the 20th. Whether the concern is climate change, peak oil, ecosystem service decline, overpopulation, species extinction, food and water shortages, or something else, the challenges ahead are daunting and varied.
We believe that one response to these multiple challenges is to increase ecological and economic resilience. The dictionary defines resilience as "the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change."
In our effort to build resilience, we decided to focus on three Areas of Concern:
1) Reversing Ecosystem Service Decline. In 2005, the United Nations published its Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a global evaluation of ecosystem services on which human well-being and progress toward sustainable development vitally depend. These services include food, fresh water, wood, fiber, fuel, and biodiversity; climate, flood, pests and disease regulation; nutrient cycling, soil stability, biotic integrity, watershed function, and photosynthesis; and spiritual, educational, recreational, and aesthetic experiences.
2) Creating Sustainable Prosperity. Ecosystem services have declined partly because their conservation has not been viewed to be in the economic self-interest of important portions of society. As a result, conservation, including the restoration and maintenance of natural systems, became primarily a subsidized activity, accomplishing its goals principally by (1) direct or indirect governmental funding; (2) as an indirect byproduct of agricultural activity, or (3) by philanthropy; or some combination of each.
3) Relocalization of Food. This word will likely dominate our lives in the upcoming decades. The inevitability of rising energy costs mean more and more of our daily lives, from food production to where we work and play, will be increasingly relocalized at local and regional scales. This won't be by choice, as it is currently, but by necessity.
As an organization, we work to build resilience by: (1) improving land health; (2) disseminating knowledge and innovation; (3) increasing local capacity; (4) encouraging 'conservation with a business plan'; and (5) strengthening diverse relationships.
To accomplish this goal we have three Program Areas: (1) Education & Outreach; (2) Land & Water; and (3) Capacity Building & Mentoring. The specifics of each Program Area can be found on this web site.
In summary, The Quivira Coalition has successfully evolved to meet changing values, markets, and needs in society. In 1997, there was a need to create peace. Our contribution to this goal included The New Ranch and our work in the radical center. By 2002, the goal was to integrate an innovative toolbox of best management practices into an economic and ecological whole that would help heal land - and to spread the news. By 2007, this goal expanded to include `building resilience' for the long-term.
Today, new values, markets, and needs are still changing - and will likely require new responses. The Quivira Coalition will continue to evolve to meet these new needs. We will continue, however, to emphasize our core values: grassroots relationships, land health, collaboration, and innovation.
TENTH ANNUAL QUIVIRA COALITION CONFERENCE: November 8-10, 2011, Embassy Suites, Albuquerque, NM
In the richest country in the world, millions of full-time, year round workers live below the poverty line, struggling to pay for necessities such as food, housing, healthcare, transportation, and childcare.
Interfaith Worker Justice - New Mexico calls upon our moral, ethical and spiritual values to stand with all workers to advocate for fair wages, benefits, and safe working conditions.
We believe that direct services must be coupled with systemic change. A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity.
Our immediate goal: a campaign to end wage theft in New Mexico beginning in Santa Fe. Kick-off date is November 17, the IWJ National Day of Action Against Wage Theft.
“Wage Theft” is a national epidemic (first identified by IWJ founder Kim Bobo) that increases demand and dependency on shrinking charitable and social services, robs governments of tax revenue resulting in cutbacks to vital public services (an estimated 6 billion per year), puts ethical employers at a competitive disadvantage, has a negative impact on the local economy, and undermines the rights and dignity of workers and their families.
In 2009, New Mexico became one of the first states to pass Anti-Wage Theft legislation, which gives all workers regardless of their immigration status the right to file claims against employers who withhold wages for work completed. (House Bill 489) IWJ-NM Director Holly Beaumont was a lead lobbyist in that effort.
IWJ-NM believes that people of faith and conscience can play a unique role in the campaign to eliminate wage theft by working in partnership with workers, advocacy and civil rights groups, governments, unions, businesses and law enforcement to increase awareness and ensure that the New Mexico anti-wage theft law is understood and enforced.
A city-wide campaign to end wage theft in Santa Fe will kick-off on November 17, the IWJ National Day of Action against Wage Theft.
In keeping with our commitment to low-wage workers, IWJ is committed to just and compassionate federal immigration reform. On Monday, September 19, we released an Open Letter from New Mexico Religious Leaders to the New Mexico State Legislators that resulted in over 120 signatures and continues to grow. A delegation of religious leaders presented it to the state House and Senate on Wednesday, September 21.
The Rev. Holly Beaumont, D. Min., moved to New Mexico 25 years ago when she was called to pastor and revitalize First Christian Church. In 2005, she became the first Legislative Advocate for the New Mexico Conference of Churches. Legislation she worked to pass includes in-state tuition for immigrant students, increase in the state minimum wage, regulation of predatory lenders, repeal of the death penalty, anti-human trafficking, prohibition of police profiling, anti-wage theft law, and a memorial to study the use of solitary confinement in our state corrections system. Most recently she has worked to stop the effort to repeal the 2003 law that requires all drivers in New Mexico to obtain valid driver’s licenses regardless of their immigration status.
National issues that she has worked on include health care reform, abolishing torture, and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
In 2010 she became director of Interfaith Worker Justice - New Mexico, a new statewide affiliate of the national network Interfaith Worker Justice with headquarters in Chicago: www.iwj.org
She was a member of the Living Wage Coordinating Committee, and co-founder of the Santa Fe Jewish and Christian Dialogue.
IWJ-NM Mission Statement:
Sherri Tippet On The State of Education Today In New Mexico.
Attorney Sherry Tippet, of Overturning Citizen's United, will be sharing her program with Dr. Michael Anderson, Dean of Education for Highlands University in Las Vegas.
Anderson is a very active and strong advocate for the WE THE PEOPLE program.
Tippet writes, "Michael Anderson is more of an expert than I am on why civics, government and social studies are not in the schools and how to get them back in".
This discussion will flow into an upbeat discussion of the WE THE PEOPLE program.
Sherry Tippett has served as Assistant Attorney General, Assistant City Attorney (for Water) for the City of Santa FE, Grant County Attorney and Village Attorney for the Village of Los Ranchos. She has been recognized as Water Law Specialist by the New Mexico Bar Association. She is involved in various community and civic organizations and currently serves as Vice Chair of the KUNM Radio Board and Chair of the NM Center for Democracy and Civic Education. She is a former member of the Santa Fe School Board.