Board Member Spotlight: Larry McDaniel
Larry McDaniel is a veterinarian who makes his home in Silver City, New Mexico.
Larry and his wife Chris built a successful mixed animal practice in Western Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. After selling the practice, Dr. McDaniel spent the rest of his career in industry, including a 17-year stint as a marketing executive for Nestle Purina Pet Care in St. Louis, Missouri.
As an undergraduate studying wildlife biology a the University of Montana, Larry developed a life-long love of the outdoors. His first backpacking trip, over 40 years ago, was in the Gila Wilderness.
Over the years, he, his wife and their children have criss-crossed the Gila and Black Range many times. Larry was on the Governing Council of Aldo Leopold High School in Silver City for four years. He served as a mentor for students on field trips to Costa Rica and on several backpacking trips in the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness areas.
Larry and Chris are avid cyclists and love to travel throughout the west with their bikes. His other interests include hunting, fishing, birding and native plant identification and cultivation.
In your opinion, why is CVNM’s work important?
The political work that CVNM does tracking legislation from the committee level all the way through the legislative session is critical. Identifying legislation that could potentially be harmful to New Mexico’s air, land and water and educating lawmakers and voters about the deleterious effects of specific bills is one reason we’ve been able to successfully defeat these bills for 11 years running. Defeating bad legislation and promoting pro-environment legislation is hard work, but it pays off.
Why are you a CVNM board member?
I joined the board of directors because I firmly believe that CVNM is the most effective and efficient environmental organization in the state. We have a tremendously talented staff and a coherent, coordinated strategy that delivers results. CVNM has a proven track record of protecting the air, land and water of the state we all love. I am certain that the money I donate to CVNM is the best investment I can make to help protect and preserve this amazing place we call home.
What initially drew you to becoming involved with CVNM?
My friend and fishing mentor, Dutch Salmon, got me involved with CVNM. Dutch is a local legend in the Gila, and I have to thank him for introducing me to CVNM and the great work that we do.
What’s your favorite outdoor place or activity? Why do you enjoy that place or activity so much?
My wife Chris and I have lived all over the West, from the Cascades to Northern Idaho and Western Montana. Of all the places we’ve lived we love the Gila best of all. Our favorite place is two days’ walk from the birthplace of Geronimo, and if you count distance from a road as a measure of wildness, it’s the wildest place in the state. I’d give you more specific information, but the fishing is so good I don’t want to let the cat completely out of the bag. We walk across the Gila every fall and we make sure we plan a layover day in our favorite spot. The variety of flora and fauna and the uniqueness of a lush riparian ecosystem in the Southwest make the Gila one of the most amazing places anywhere on earth.