Ganados never attacked anyone

  Dear HCN,

Ganados del Valle is not an organization which "attacks reputations' and smears them in our valley's "red brown mud" (HCN, 10/16/95). Over the past five years we have had several opportunities to tell the story of the history of the lawsuit brought by the attorney general of New Mexico against the Sierra Club Foundation. We chose not to do so because we felt the injustices done were so clear and documented (Judge Legge's version notwithstanding) that the Sierra Club Foundation would have to come to the table sooner rather than later to settle the matter. They did not. They took the consequences.

Writer Ray Ring offers no support to his unsubstantiated and insulting description of Ganados behavior in this matter. We find it interesting that he omitted the fact that many members of the local Sierra Club Chapter had opposed the foundation's legal position because they felt that prospects for sustainable environmentalism in New Mexico involved partnerships with the people who live on the land. We who live on the land must practice environmentalism to retain our cultures. Environmentalists are our natural allies. In fact, they are a significant portion of Ganados supporters, customers and rank and file membership divided from the people of the land.

We hope that one of the good things that comes out of this lawsuit is that members of environmental organizations demand accountability from their paid professionals. And think about it, wouldn't you rather have your dues work at home rather than San Francisco or Washington, D.C.?

Loyola Archuleta

Los Ojos, New Mexico

The writer is chairperson of the Ganados del Valle board of directors.

HCN replies:

You distort our story by taking a sentence out of context. As for your observation about the relationship between environmentalists and those who work the land, that is exactly why this paper devoted five pages to the story.

Ed Marston


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