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Winter 2012-2013 Volume 2, Issue 1

EcoServants Update Inside this issue:

EcoRangers 2012-2013 Press Release

Reflections from EcoRangers


American Red Cross


RMS Afterschool Program


Trail Restoration


Guide To Writing Letters to Public Officials


Thank You


EcoServants, established in 2004 to support cave preservation, has been involved in many projects serving the Lincoln County community. These projects include mentoring Ruidoso’s youth, providing summer work, building and maintaining trails with Lincoln County, supporting community cleanups, aiding disaster relief efforts, recycling education, community gardens and helping other local nonprofits.

EcoServants, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit in Ruidoso, New Mexico, has helped the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Village of Ruidoso with recreational trail building and restoration, as well as improvements to local parks, provided educational programs to students in grades 6 through 12, and helped numerous young people in the community through work experience and scholarships. From 2008-2011 EcoServants has dedicated 53,279 service hours to Lincoln and Otero County projects and awarded $159,599 in scholarships. EcoRangers, a yearlong AmeriCorps community outreach program now in its second year, aims to continue the mission of directly engaging the community through service. Many new and ongoing projects include participation in White Mountain Search & Rescue and American Red Cross, developing youth education programs at Ruidoso Middle School, promoting responsible land ethic and invasive plant management, increasing Lincoln County recycling efforts, increasing Firewise education and awareness, volunteering with local community garden efforts, and increasing involvement and awareness in regards to community service in general. This year’s crew consists of three members. Recently a graduate of Ruidoso High School, Brian Blake is a member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe who has lived in this area all his life. He is the youngest EcoRanger and joined to leave a lasting impact in his community. Streisand Webb, who was born and raised in Ruidoso, joined because she wants to be part of something positive and to possibly open up doors for a career. Nicholas Giusti, a second year AmeriCorps member, joined to continue serving the community through direct action. For the next year as EcoRangers, we will work together to fulfill our mission as members of the community.

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EcoServants Update

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By Streisand Webb Hi, my name is Streisand Webb! And to answer your question, yes I am named after Barbara Streisand. I was born and raised right here in our beautiful mountain town Ruidoso, New Mexico and have lived here for twenty-five years. Fifteen of those years I competed in gymnastics all over New Mexico and a few other states. I am now a coach for the gymnastics team and enjoy every minute of it. I am a proud mama for two years now. I will definitely say that my son is my world and whom I want to set positive examples for in life. Here is a quote from Brandi Snyder that is one of my favorites, “to the world you may just be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” It

has always motivated me to keep striving for the best in myself. This brings me to why I chose to work for EcoServants. I wanted to be a part of something positive, and to possibly open up doors for a career. EcoServants is a new chapter in my life and I am proud to say I am part of something positive and really fun.

do more known in the com- too can make a differmunity. I would love to see ence in the community. more community involvement. My second goal is to get our schools involved with recycling, and to get Streisand Webb, our youth (our future lead25, was born and ers!) more educated in reraised in Ruidoso. gards to our environment. Joining to make a

EcoServants has started a new after school program at Ruidoso Middle What is an EcoRang- School every Wednesday. er you ask? Well, we directly We will be teaching the kids engage the community about using a map and comthrough volunteer service. pass, recycling, teambuildWhile I am serving my year ing, and much more. By the commitment with end of the school year our EcoServants and Amerigoal is for the kids to have Corps, I have a few personal raised their self-confidence, goals I aim to accomplish. My awareness, involvement, and first goal is to have what we for them to know that they

positive impact in her community, her skills in youth outreach and involvement will help build our afterschool program at Ruidoso Middle School, “EcoStudents”.

Ready When the Time Comes By Nicholas Giusti

When large groups of people are temporarily displaced from their homes, the American Red Cross responds by opening and operating shelters. Providing a safe and pleasant environment for people who leave their homes during and after a disaster can be challenging. For this reason, EcoServants recently attended a course designed to prepare volunteers on how to effectively and sensitively manage shelter operations as a team in order to help people displaced as a result of a disaster. Shelter workers commit to uphold the shared values of

all American Red Cross chapters. These values consist of ensuring the shelter is a safe place, respecting all clients, providing services fairly and consistently, enabling clients to make other living arrangements, and using resources wisely. These values are at the heart of each decision and action. The American Red Cross was established in 1881 by Clara Barton. During the Civil War, an organized effort created a program for locating men listed as missing in action. As Barton expanded the original mission to include

assisting in any great national disaster, the first local chapter was formed in Dansville, New York, soon after the initial meeting. Some of the group’s first major relief efforts include responding to the Great Fire of 1881 and the Johnstown Flood in 1889. Ready When the Time Comes (RWTC), is a program in its eleventh year designed to use corporations expertise and desire to help where it is needed. The American Red Cross trains members and mobilizes them as a community-based volunteer force when disaster strikes. RWTC currently has 14,000 trained volunteers in 54 cities and has been established in all critical disaster zones across the country. As part of RWTC, EcoServants will now be able to more effectively assist in disaster relief efforts and shelter operations when it is needed in the community. To get involved go to or contact the Roswell Office at (575) 622-4370

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By Nicholas Giusti I moved to Ruidoso from California in 2006. When I came to New Mexico I was in this transitional point of my life, and it was then that my passion for wilderness was first stirred. I do not know how to explain it, but I swear the sky is bigger in New Mexico than it is in other places. Starting EcoServants, as a YCC crew member, I saw it as a way to combine my love of the outdoors and my need for a consistent paycheck. Somewhere in that time of hot sun and harsh wind I gained an appreciation for the work, and

with it, a confidence in my abilities. Something about back breaking work really makes one think about the importance of really earning your paycheck, and without sounding too pretentious, there is definitely an argument to be made about earning a paycheck with your own two hands instead of by any of the sometimes more abstract means of doing so, but being able to literally measure the day’s work by how many feet you built. When the opportunity came, joining the AmeriCorps crew seemed like the right thing to do. This will now be my second year of service through

AmeriCorps with EcoServants. During my first year of service I was able to focus what were a multitude of various interests into a passion, public service. As AmeriCorps members we are dedicating ourselves with the mission statement of “directly engaging the community through service.” I have always felt that an important part of creating community was being a direct participant of it. Leo Tolstoy wrote, “I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness… the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do

good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them… such is my idea of happiness.”

Nicholas Giusti, 21, moved to Ruidoso in 2006. As a second year member, he looks forward to continuing and enhancing projects started last year.

Reflection By Brian Blake

My name is Brian Blake and I am a member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe who has lived in this area all my life. Recently a graduate of Ruidoso High School, I am the youngest member of the EcoRangers AmeriCorps crew. I hope to make a difference in the community while I strive towards several goals I have already set for myself personally. A goal this year would be to get more involved in the community by giving classes, teaching through hands-on activities, and working to build a cleaner, healthier place for us and our yearly visitors.

Getting the community involved by learning things like recycling will help us become a more sustainable community. Raising awareness in Fire-Wise education will help the community of Ruidoso be more prepared when another fire may occur. Engaging the youth of Ruidoso schools will help us share these skills and knowledge with students, while giving them something new they can take with them and teach their parents and families. Whether big or small, I will try my best to make a lasting impact and to leave you all with not

just a memory of what we EcoRangers did, but a way of life which you can embrace and continue individually. As EcoRangers, we sacrifice our time, money, and personal lives for our community which we support and live in. I want to tell you that we do live below poverty line and are volunteers working fulltime, devoting a year of service to our community. Remember, it is not for our personal gain but for the community, and I hope you will cooperate and help us help you with whatever we throw your way. Thank you.

Brian Blake, 19, is a recent graduate of Ruidoso High School is a Youth Conservation Corps veteran. He is our youngest EcoRanger this year, and brings a wealth of knowledge in the local area, as well as GIS data collection and mapping. His skills will help EcoServants collect and build our own database of Lincoln County trail systems.

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After-School at RMS: EcoStudents By Streisand Webb

This year EcoServants has started an after school program at Ruidoso Middle School every Wednesday. During our time we will be sharing knowledge about recycling, how to use/read a map, and much more, as well as teaching teambuilding skills. When we started the program a majority of the students mentioned they do not feel they are a contributing part of the community. Our goal for this program is to show these students that they can be involved in the community despite their age. Also, we will help direct them in putting their ideas into action. In November, EcoServants volunteered for Challenge Day at Ruidoso Middle School. Challenge Day is a day where kids are not students and teach-

ers are not teachers, but everyone is to be seen as a person. This antibullying day is very fun, but also very emotional for all participants. Since Challenge Day, EcoRangers discussed what we learned from the program, and that no matter where we are in our lives, or how old we may be, we can always make a positive impact.

EcoServants, as part of our weekly RMS afterschool program, strives to strengthen our community by enhancing and enriching our youth through learning activities set towards common goals.

Our next classes will be dedicated to allowing the students some time to share their ideas for community projects with us. As a group, we will discuss their ideas to be more involved and find ways they can put it into action. Whether it be helping wildlife habitat, picking up litter, helping raise funds for causes, or anything their little heart’s desire, it will only

improve our community, but also help them grow into the strong, confident individuals that they are more than capable of being.

Restoration After Little Bear Fire Since Little Bear Fire, the trail systems throughout Lincoln National Forest and White Mountain Wilderness have withstood some considerable damage. To help in the efforts of a quicker restoration, Forest Service has given us a list of trails to focus on. Most trails will require clearing the corridor (down trees) and some will require tread work where needed. We are excited to help get people back out on trails as soon as possible! These trails include:

- TURKEY CANYON - TRAIL 38 - CREST TRAIL (from Tanbark to Turkey) - CREST TRAIL (from Monjeau to Scenic) - MILLS/DRY MILLS - ASPEN TRAIL - SCENIC (to Ice Springs)







Crosscut saws have been in use around the world since historic times. First use of a crosscut saw dates back to the Roman Empire. In 1880, loggers began using saws for felling trees instead of the primarily used axe. Despite the modern chainsaw, they are still widely used today, specifically in designated Wilderness areas.

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Guide To Writing Letters To Public Officials A well written letter may be the most effective way to let public officials know how their constituents feel about issues. A wellwritten letter describing your experiences, observation, and opinions may change an official’s mind. An effective letter builds your reputation as a thoughtful person and increases your influence. 1. Open the letter. If writing to an elected official, show respect for the position by using “Honorable,” the title of the office, and the official’s full name. In other letters, use familiar term “Dear,” the title Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Dr., and full name. Examples: “Honorable Mayor Robert A. Hersch,” or “Dear Dr. Frederick Marsh,” 2. Describe yourself. Example: “I am an art lover. However, I have never been able to get my wheelchair into the city Art Museum.” 3. State reason for letter, why you are concerned or pleased about a particular issue. Example: “I am writing to let you know how pleased I am that you are considering using revenue-sharing funds to make the museum accessible.” 4. Summarize your understanding of issue being considered. State the general impact you expect, if a particular decision is made. Example: “I believe that this change will make it easier for many people in our community to enjoy art.”

5. State why you think a decision should occur. Describe in detail why you feel the decision made will lead to the impact you foresee. Example: “The proposed installation of wheelchair ramps for the front entrance of the museum will make it possible for me to get into the building to enjoy the exhibits and plays.” 6. Tell what any changes mean to you personally. Describe the decision’s positive or negative effects for you. Example: “These changes will make me feel that I am truly a part of our community.” 7. If you think others will also be affected, identify them. Tell the official who and how many other people will be affected in the same way. Example: “The latest census statistics indicated there are over 1,200 people in our community with mobility impairments. All of these individuals are similarly affected.” 8. Acknowledge past support. Tell the official about appropriate actions and decisions she or he has made in the past. Example: “You have always been sensitive to the needs of all community residents.” 9. Describe what action you hope the official will take. State specifically what action you hope the official will take – what you would do in his or her place. Example: “I urge you to vote in favor of using revenuesharing funds to improve accessibility.” 10. If you have written a letter that opposes some action, offer an alternative. Tell the official what decision

or action you believe would be best. Example: “The zoning in our neighborhood should remain as it is . Those wishing to build apartments rather than new homes have many alternatives more appropriate than this from which to chose.” 11. If you have time and you are committed, ask how you can help. Tell the official that you would be willing to volunteer your help. Example: “If there is any way I might be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to call on me.” 12. Close your letter. Thank the official. Example: “Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this important matter.” Sign the letter. Sign your full name and write your address. © 1984, Tom Seekins and Stephen B. Fawcett, Research & Training Center on Independent Living, University of Kansas. (http:// advocacy/letters.htm) Public officials, whether local or in Washington, are your voice in government. It is important to let them know how certain issues affect your community, your workplace, and your family. Getting attention of public officials with quality letter writing is one effective way to get your opinion heard.

Primary Business Address 1204 Suite #3 Mechem Dr. Ruidoso, NM 88345 Mailing Address PO Box 1723 Ruidoso, NM 88355

Phone: (575) 808-1204 E-mail:

We’re on the Web! “Directly engaging the community through service towards a more sustainable future.”

Thank you to our supporters! Dear Lincoln County Community: Thank you so much for your support and involvement. Our EcoRanger mission statement is to directly engage the community through service towards a more sustainable future. Through our many projects we strive to focus on that mission statement. With the generous support of the people from the community, we will be able to work toward a brighter future with programs such as disaster relief efforts, fire restoration, GPS mapping and of course recycling, gardening, and continuing to build trails. For more information on how your donation can help to make a difference in the lives of so many in our community, we invite you to visit our website at and follow us on Facebook @ and Twitter @ You can also find information there on upcoming events and volunteer opportunities. Please feel free to contact us at Thank you again, and we look forward to your continued support. Sincerely, EcoRangers 2012-2013