Generation Latino is taking a message to Colorado Springs and Pueblo: The Latino community has a lot at stake in environmental conservation. Advocates and leaders will gather petition signatures defending public lands in the Springs Thursday morning and meet with the staff of Sen. Cory Gardner at his office in Pueblo Thursday afternoon.

The event is part of the Denver-based organization’s Latino Conservation Week to bring attention to the importance of conservation in Latino communities and culture. The organization seeks permanent protections of land, water and air — “nuestra Madre Tierra,” our mother earth,  Generation Latino tells Colorado Politics.

“Latinos have been conserving and respectful of our planet for generations,” said Maria Handley, Generation Latino’s executive director. “Just as important as conserving is visiting and enjoying our natural surroundings, local and national parks and national monuments.

“This week we encourage all Latinos across the state to enjoy our beautiful outdoors and thank your local governments for keeping them clean and safe” Urging Colorado politicians like Senator Gardner to protect ‘nuestra Madre Tierra’ is an important part of practicing responsible stewardship for our land. We are concerned with the Trump administration’s recent executive order demanding a review of many of America’s National Monuments, in particular Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s review of Canyons of the Ancients in Colorado.”

The petition can be signed online.

Gardner has been a defender of the Canyons of the Ancients near Cortez, one of the national monuments Zinke was asked by the Trump administration to review.

“I have always been a strong supporter of public lands and understand the important role they play in our local communities,” he said at the time. “I’ll continue to champion our state’s  great outdoors and be a voice for all Coloradans.”

In April, the Outdoor Industry Association named Gardner its Friend of the Outdoor Industry.

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