New Mexico Environmental Law Center is a non profit, public interest law firm that provides free and low-cost legal services on environmental matters throughout New Mexico. Founded in 1987, the Law Center works with clients — often individuals, neighborhood associations, environmental organizations, Tribes and Pueblos — seeking to protect the environment.
The New Mexico Environmental Law Center's mission is to protect New Mexico's natural environment and achieve environmental justice for New Mexico's communities through legal representation, policy advocacy and public education.
The Law Center's effective legal advocacy and representation on environmental and environmental justice issues will protect New Mexico's communities and cultures, and ensure clean air, land and water for all.
The work of the Law Center is made possible by tax-deductible contributions from individuals, business, foundations and limited earned income.
Douglas Meiklejohn, Executive Director, dmeiklejohn at nmelc.org
Jonathan Block, Staff Attorney, jblock at nmelc.org
Bruce Frederick, Staff Attorney, bfrederick at nmelc.org
Eric Jantz, Staff Attorney, ejantz at nmelc.org
Elizabeth Lee, Director of Philanthropy, elee at nmelc.org
Shelbie Knox, Development Officer, shelbie at nmelc.org
Juana Colón, Communications & Public Education Officer, jcolon at nmelc.org
Yana Merrill, Director of Administration & Finance, ymerrill at nmelc.org
The Board of Directors governs the Law Center, establishes policy, hires the Executive Director, and determines which cases the Law Center will handle. The members of the Board, their date of association, their occupations, and affiliations are:
Paul Mitchell, President, 2012, Las Cruces
Paul is currently a semi-retired CPA and founding former partner of the CPA firm Beasley & Mitchell & Co. in Las Cruces. He brings with him expertise in accounting and finance and a love of the environment. He has been a founding board member and treasurer of not-for-profit boards as well as a long time supporter of the Law Center.
Frank Sanchez, Vice-President, 1994, Roswell
Frank is the Executive Director for the Needmor Fund. He brings to the Board his expertise as a nationally recognized community organizer on civil rights and environmental issues in New Mexico.
Susanne Hoffman-Dooley, Secretary, 2004, Santa Fe
Susanne retired from the Office of the State Engineer in 2009. She was formerly the head of the Active Water Resource Management regulations project for that office. She brings with her expertise in water law and water issues.
Harry Browne, M.A., Treasurer, 2010, Silver City
Harry is the business manager at the Aldo Leopold High School. He was the Executive Director at the Gila Resources Information Project in Silver City for eight years and worked closely with the NMELC on the Chino Mine case. He brings administrative and public policy expertise to the board.
Myron Armijo, 2007, Santa Ana Pueblo
Myron is the Governor of Santa Ana Pueblo, and also serves as the Tribal Liaison for the Office of the State Engineer of New Mexico. He provides us with his perspective as a tribal leader.
Stuart Bluestone, 2007, Santa Fe
Stuart has held senior positions in New Mexico State Government for over 20 years, including being the Chief Deputy Attorney General for over eight years. He is currently semi-retired and serves part-time as the Attorney General's Senior Counsel.
Sandy Buffet, 2013, Santa Fe
Sandy was the Executive Director of Conservation Voters New Mexico for over 8 years. She had 100% success rate of defeating every anti-environmental bill for 8 sessions of the NM Legislature. She brings her love of the environment, her successful fundraising ability, her knowledge of nonprofit boards and her advocacy experience to the Law Center.
Diana Bustamante, Ph. D., 2005, La Mesa
Diana is Director of the Dona Anna County Colonias Development Council. She brings to the board expertise in Chicano history and culture, race and ethnic relations, community organizing and experience in non-profit management.
Michael Casaus, Ph.D., 2010, Albuquerque
Michael is the New Mexico State Director for the Wilderness Society. He has worked for multiple organizations in New Mexico focusing on the environment, clean energy, children and the outdoors and economic justice issues. He brings advocacy and environmental campaigning experience to the board.
Eileen Gauna, 2011, Albuquerque
Eileen is a Professor of law at the University of New Mexico and teaches courses in environmental law, environmental justice, climate law and energy law. She regularly speaks on environmental law issues, has testified before the Congressional Committee on climate Change and Energy Security, and spoke at the White House Forum on Environmental Justice in 2010.
Donna House, 2005, Alcalde
Donna is a Botanist/Ethnobotanist consultant to Indigenous organizations and communities. She was a key designer of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian and was a member of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Team for Endangered Plant Species. She brings to the board her wide experience working on indigenous justice issues.
Renee Ingold, 2001, Cerrillos
Renee retired from operating her own horse boarding and training facility. She was active in our Ortiz Mountain gold mining reclamation fight, and has been a strong financial supporter of the Law Center for over a decade.
Kitty Richards, 2012 Albuquerque
Kitty is currently the Program Manager for the Bernalillo County Environmental Health Department. She brings with her an expertise in educating and informing the public about environmental health issues. She brings to the board over 15 years of work in public health with an emphasis on impacts of land use development on community health.