By Mona Blaber
Seamster is chair of the Northern New Mexico Group.
What is your role with Sierra Club?
The chair of our group has many responsibilities: running monthly excom meetings, keeping members informed of group activities, submitting comments and writing letters of support on a wide spectrum of city-county-regional issues, attending coalition meetings, arranging volunteer activities and public outreach such as outings, tabling, and presenting at public events such as the recent “Co-Existence with Carnivores” panel. We also have published a hiking book, and I arrange for book shipments from the publisher and work with groups such as Taos Water Sentinels and Dr. Eric Metzler to award proceeds from the book sales to their water-monitoring and pollinator research in the state.
My main work is split between monitoring wildlife in Santa Fe County, speaking at Game Commission meetings on behalf of the State Wildlife Action Plan (due to pass at the end of this year), getting trained to assist with water-monitoring, working with our Santa Fe National Forest and Carson National Forest coalition on forest-plan revisions, working on the Environmental Committee of the Sustainable Santa Fe Commission, and working on a Health Impact Assessment for the Tri-Chapter communities in the Chaco area.
How did you get involved with Sierra Club?
Carol Oldham (former chapter organizer) and I met at a PRC meeting in 2008. We started talking after PRC commissioner Ben R. Luján pointed to her in the crowd and told the PNM folks to meet with her and give her more CFL lightbulbs to hand out. I was impressed by the Chapter’s simple program to hand out CFLs and promote energy efficiency at public schools and volunteered to get trained, creating a powerpoint and speaking to fourth- through sixth-graders. After two years I joined the executive committee under Norma McCallan’s urging.
What environmental issue is your biggest passion?
Whatever impacts the things I value: wildlife, forests, clean water, Navajo families (I was head of the Communications Department at San Juan College before we moved to Santa Fe from Aztec and many of my students were from the Navajo Nation. I got to know many families.)