If New Mexicans were asked to estimate the amount of land reclaimed from past coal mining operations, answers would likely vary dramatically. David Clark knows only too well just how much state land has been damaged by mining, how much has been reclaimed and what it takes to return such land to its former beauty and functionality. He is so invested, in fact, that he developed a reclamation approach that has become a model for mines around the country and has resulted in several reclaimed New Mexico mines receiving state and national awards.
Now Clark himself has been singled out as the first individual government employee to receive a newly created national award from the U.S. Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation and Enforcement. The ECHO Award recognizes a “model government employee defending principles of reclamation that impact environment, community, humanity and ownership [ECHO],” said Joseph Pizarchik, director of the agency bestowing the honor. Clark is Coal Mine Program manager with the New Mexico Mining and Minerals Division, part of the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.
The New Mexico Corrections Department recently welcomed David D. Huerta as the agency’s new director of the Office of Recidivism Reduction Division. Huerta has more than 30 years of public law enforcement experience with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, served as associate warden for the largest federal prison in the United States, and managed two national training centers with more than 4,300 students. Corrections Department Secretary Gregg Marcantel says Huerta is a “passionate corrections professional with a history of service and success.”
On Sunday, Jan. 20, Cerrillos Hills State Park hosts local historian Bill Baxter, who will speak on the history of African Americans in Santa Fe County. Titled “One Kind of Folks,” the talk is “guaranteed to include some stories you didn’t learn about in school,” according to park manager Sarah Wood. The event begins at 2 p.m. at the park’s visitor center. Call 474-0196 for information.
Joe Norrell has accepted an appointment as the U.S. Forest Service’s deputy forest supervisor for Santa Fe National Forest. Norrell, who grew up in Alaska, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s in public administration from Montana State University. For three years, he served as a staff assistant to Alaska Senator Ted Stevens in Washington, D.C., during which time he worked with the Department of the Interior’s Natural Resources Subcommittee. Norrell joined the Forest Service in 2001 and moved to New Mexico in 2008 to serve as regional budget director for the Forest Service’s Southwestern Region.
Contact Gussie Fauntleroy at email@example.com.