Writer, Activist Terry Tempest Williams addresses CVNM members in Santa Fe

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From left to right: Terry Tempest Williams, Santa Fe author William deBuys and CVNM Executive Director Demis Foster at CVNM’s event.

On October 15th, CVNM welcomed Terry Tempest Williams, beloved environmental writer from Utah, to address a room of 150 supporters in
Santa Fe. A naturalist and fierce advocate for conservation, Terry inspired us with her remarks. Below is an excerpt:

This beloved work of ours is not just a political process, but a spiritual one. The crisis we find ourselves in is not just a political crisis, but a moral one…. As a sister state and a citizen of the American Southwest, we indeed are doing this together. We have a lot in common…. We are both under siege with oil and gas development, with fracking. We both have sacred sites, whether it’s Otera Mesa or our beloved canyonlands. These are under threat. And we both carry a nuclear history…. Nine women in my family have all had mastectomies, and six of them are dead. Half of my family is gone because of radiation. These are not abstractions to those of us who live in the American Southwest. It’s in our bones, and it’s in our bodies.

I honor your commitment to seeking social and environmental justice, and I honor your revolutionary patience. Your sense of place is your ethical stance of place—interconnected and interrelated…. I also know that it is not without its costs. And I’m not just talking about money, but your very soul. And I share that with you. And I know and understand what it means to be filled with so much despair that you wonder how you are going to wake up and face it again. But I also know that in those moments of despair, that I am aware of the limits of my own imagination. And imaginations shared—like tonight—create collaboration. And collaboration creates community. And in
community, anything is possible.