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Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010


SANTA FE, NM- The New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC), a nonprofit, public interest, environmental law firm, announces the appointment of Stuart Bluestone as their new Board of Directors president, effective January 1, 2010. Bluestone is the Senior Counsel to the Attorney General of New Mexico and brings more than 35 years of legal experience, primarily in consumer protection and public interest law to this well respected organization. The position of president is for a one-year term. Bluestone replaces outgoing president Dale Pontius.

"I have complete confidence that with Stuart at the helm of our board, our commitment to serving all New Mexicans, especially Native Americans, Latinos and other under-represented communities, in environmental justice will thrive," says Doug Meiklejohn, Executive Director. "Stuart brings a wealth of experience to this role, and his devotion to our mission is evidenced by his support of the organization for almost all of our 22 year history."

"As we approach 2010, New Mexico's environment continues to be threatened by multiple forms of environmental degradation caused by uranium mining, air and water pollution and climate change," adds Meiklejohn. "Bluestone is the perfect person to help us maneuver through all of our challenging cases.  He is also committed to leading the way as we deal with blows dealt by the economic downturn, which have had a huge impact on an already tight budget.  We welcome him to this important position."

"I look forward to serving as the New Mexico Environmental Law Center Board President in 2010," says Bluestone. "As we head into our 22nd year, we are clear on the direction of the organization, thanks to a thorough strategic planning process that we've just completed and will execute. The Law Center board is a very diverse and dedicated group from around the state, with a sincere passion to protect the environment and people in New Mexico."

"It's important for me to recognize the whole staff of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center for their tireless and passionate work protecting our state on issues such as climate change, mining and extraction of natural resources and on water quantity and quality," says Bluestone. "I feel fortunate to be working with Executive Director Douglas Meiklejohn, our widely respected and leading environmental advocate, our talented attorneys Bruce Frederick, Eric Jantz and Jonathan Block and fundraising, communications, finances and office management gurus Shelbie Knox, Sebia Hawkins, Juana Colon and Yana Merrill. The staff and board will continue to represent communities that cannot afford legal representation, particularly in environmental justice."

Bluestone started in the Attorney General's Office in 1984, when he was the Division Director of the Consumer Protection and Economic Crimes Division. He worked for the Legislative Council Service for 9 years and then after that became Chief Deputy Attorney General (1999) and Senior Counsel (2007) in the Attorney General's Office. Bluestone received the Public Lawyer of the Year Award by the New Mexico State Bar Public Law Section in 2007.

Bluestone has a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, received his Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. from Trinity College in Connecticut. He is married to Judy Naumburg and has two children, Tahlia and Darren.

New Mexico Environmental Law Center - Board of Directors
Stuart Bluestone, President, 2007, Santa Fe (Dale Pontius, Previous President)
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.

Frank Sanchez, Vice-President, 1994, Roswell
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.

Diana Bustamante, Ph.D., Secretary, 2005, La Mesa
Ms. Bustamante is Director of the Doña 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.

Robby Rodriguez, Treasurer, 2004, Albuquerque
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.

Myron Armijo, 2007, Santa Ana Pueblo
Mr. Armijo is the former Governor of Santa Ana Pueblo. He currently works for the State Engineer's office of New Mexico.

David Henderson, 1990, Santa Fe
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.

Susanne Hoffman-Dooley, 2004, Santa Fe
Ms. Hoffman-Dooley worked for the Office of the State Engineer and was in charge of the Active Water Resource Management regulations project for that office. She has vast expertise in water law and water issues.

Donna House, 2005, Alcalde
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, and has consulted for many of the top 10 green NGOs and Native Nations. She is an active advocate on Native American and environmental justice issues.

Renee Ingold, 2001, Cerrillos
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.

Pablo Padilla, Jr., 2004, Zuni Pueblo
Mr. Padilla is an attorney in private practice, previously with Nordhaus Law Firm.  He is also 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.

Dale Pontius, 2004, Santa Fe
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.

Alice van Buren, 2009, Santa Fe
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.

The mission of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center is to protect New Mexico's natural environment and communities through legal and policy advocacy, and public education. The New Mexico Environmental Law Center's attorneys have handled over 100 critical cases in low-income and minority communities fighting pollution and environmental degradation. The Law Center charges few, if any, fees to its clients, most of which are from Hispanic and Native American communities. The NMELC celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2008. Membership and gifts help New Mexico communities protect their natural environment and their health from toxic pollution, the degrading effects of growth and liabilities created by irresponsible mining. Contact: Shelbie Knox, Development Officer 505-989-9022.


Jennifer Marshall