Press Release Nov 22, 2017

New Mexico Park Advocate Awarded Quivira Coalition’s Radical Center Award for Conservation

NPCA's Ernie Atencio cited for his many years of conservation work and respected compendium of published writings.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Quivira Coalition awarded Ernie Atencio, New Mexico Program Manager for National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), with the 2017 Outstanding Leadership in the Radical Center Award for Conservation on November 16th at its annual conference.

The Quivira Coalition is a Santa Fe-based organization that mission is “to build resilience on western landscapes by fostering ecological, economic and social health through education, innovation, collaboration, and progressive public and private land stewardship.” The group established the Radical Center awards in 2007 to recognize individuals in ranching, conservation, civil service and research who have shown remarkable and enduring leadership in their work.

A resident of Arroyo Hondo near Taos, Ernie, who was a longtime board member of the Quivira Coalition, was cited for his many years of conservation work and respected compendium of published writings.

“I am honored to join the ranks of Radical Center awardees,” said Atencio. “The Quivira Coalition’s approach is similar to what I follow in my work with NPCA, of focusing on the common ground and the common values that most of us share about the land. Much of NPCA’s current work the Southwest focuses on broadening our scope to include more local voices and consider environmental justice issues that encompass not only parks and public lands, but also the communities we care about.”

Ernie joined NPCA in June 2016 when the organization opened its first office dedicated solely to national parks in New Mexico. His work at NPCA focuses on the National Park Service sites in the state, connecting with Park Service staff, and other statewide partners to identify solutions for issues currently facing the parks, including potential oil and gas drilling near Chaco Culture National Historical Park and Carlsbad Caverns National Park. He also concentrates his attention on the challenges of new parks such as the Manhattan Project National Historical Park and Valles Caldera National Preserve.


About National Parks Conservation Association

Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit