It’s 3 weeks into January and here at the Alliance we’re finally taking a moment to clear the papers off our desks, breathe, and reflect on the past year. We started 2015 knowing there were thousands of people in the region we haven’t yet connected with who care deeply about the work we do. We aimed to reach more of you: listen to you, talk with you, engage you in our work.
And we did. 2015 was an unequivocal year of growth for us. We added staff, supporters, members, outreach tools, social media reach, website visitors, and even office space. We grew our email outreach by 50%, our membership by 77%, our social media by orders of magnitude.
And we aren’t done. We still believe there are a lot more of you out there. We plan on engaging even more supporters in 2016, through email, videos, and social media, but also in a more cutting edge way – face to face. Even while we immerse ourselves in the powerful digital age, we recognize that interacting in person is irreplaceable. We look forward to seeing your face and hearing your thoughts at our membership events this year.
We made progress not only in high profile campaigns, but also supporting citizen activists, engaging with stakeholders and agencies, and educating the public on relevant issues affecting our communities. Below are our top 5 wins of 2015.
Top 5 Campaign Highlights
- No Pillage at Wolf Creek: Through lobbying, advocacy, education and litigation, we’re pulling out all the stops to put this development to rest once and for all.
- Stopping Expansion of Navajo Mine: We won our second court case over the Office of Surface and Mining’s failure to conduct a robust environmental analysis of the desired expansion of Navajo Mine.
- Keeping Chaco Sacred: We sued the BLM in Farmington for continuing to illegally permit oil and gas development threatening northwestern New Mexico and the Greater Chaco region.
- Gold King Mine Spill: Our decades-long experience working on the Animas watershed allowed to respond when the news of the blowout came. We did our best to educate the public and now we’re implementing a plan to play a strong role in ensuring we secure permanent clean up of the headwaters.
- Supporting Citizen Activists: This region is home to intelligent, passionate and hardworking citizen activists. When organized around a common issue, we do our best to engage with them, provide expertise and support to ensure they can be successful.
As we look toward the upcoming year, there’s a lot to get excited about. In addition to the big headliners below, we’re going to keep cranking on the dozens of campaigns you all rely on us for – including unexpected crises, harebrained ideas, and unknowns sure to rear their heads. Below are some of the big wins we’re hoping to celebrate with you all.
Top 5 things we’re looking forward to in 2016
- No Pillage at Wolf Creek: Our lawsuit against the flawed Environmental Impact Statement that led to the approval of the land swap will be heard in court this spring or summer. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting on documents from our Freedom of Information Act requests.
- Animas RiverKeeper: In response to the Gold King Mine spill, we’ll be hiring a full-time Animas RiverKeeper to advocate for an enduring solution to acid mine drainage in the headwaters.
- Shutting Down Coal: We’ll be filing our lawsuit soon against several agaencies over the approval of a 25-year permit extension for Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine.
- Protecting the Dolores River: Legislative language to protect the Lower Dolores River (from McPhee Dam to Bedrock) through a National Conservation Area could be introduced this year, something we’ve been striving toward for nearly ten years.
- Quarterly Membership Meetings: We’re looking forward to seeing more of you at our new quarterly member events, where we’ll invite members to get an in depth update on current campaigns. The first one addresses the Gold King Mine on February 3rd!