Winter 2017 Board Member Spotlight: Leslie Barclay

Leslie Barclay, Director

Leslie Barclay’s childhood was split between the east and west coasts. The early years were spent in Santa Monica, CA with grandparents while her father, a Navy pilot in World War II, was stationed in Coronado, CA. In the later years, her family moved to New York City and a farm in Millbrook, NY. It was there that Leslie learned to love the great outdoors and treasure every minute spent on the land.

Leslie raised her three children on the farm and became deeply involved in the nascent land trust movement, starting her first land trust in Dutchess County, NY to counter an effort to develop a large, neighboring farm. That experience led Leslie to study various agricultural techniques related to organic farming. Leslie subsequently moved to Santa Fe where she became involved with the Permaculture movement and the formation of the Santa Fe Conservation Trust. At the same time, she opened How on Earth, a retail store, to showcase all the new environmentally-friendly products appearing on the market. The store brought her in touch with many local environmental activists who greatly enhanced her understanding of the scope of problems we are facing as a nation.

In your opinion, why is CVNM’s work important?
Education is vital in order for the United States to have a well-informed electorate and a healthy democracy. CVNM’s role in fulfilling this objective is vital. Inevitably, the poorest communities are victimized by many of our largest industries which locate their polluting technologies in low-income communities because the residents are least able to defend themselves. It is very important that the members of these communities are elevated to share their stories and use the power of their votes to change this dynamic by electing representatives that will defend them.

Why are you a CVNM board member?
I was delighted to be invited to join the board for many reasons.  I love learning more about the work of the organization and trying to introduce other members of the community to the work that CVNM is doing.  I learn a great deal from Ben and the staff who show us how to follow CVNM’s political agenda and to learn about CVNM’s work that takes place in the State Capitol.

What initially drew you to becoming involved with CVNM?
My involvement began in the 1980’s when I was introduced to the League of Conservation Voters by a group of friends in Washington, D.C. I think that the Scorecard is possibly the most important tool we can use today to encourage Congress to vote in support of all environmental issues. When we moved to Santa Fe in 1987, I was delighted to find that there was an affiliated Conservation Voters group here.

What’s your favorite outdoor place or activity? ​ Why do you enjoy that place or activity so much?​
Fishing! I love studying the life in and around rivers. I believe that if we teach our children about the
importance of our rivers and the role that water plays in all of our lives that they will spend their lives trying to protect all of our waters for themselves and for future generations.

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