An attorney in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Geoffrey Scovil has operated his own practice for more than two decades. Outside of his work, Geoffrey (Geoff) Scovil has supported a range of nonprofit organizations that protect wilderness areas around Albuquerque and elsewhere in New Mexico.
One of his favorite organizations is New Mexico Wilderness Alliance (“NMWA”). NMWA has fought to protect and restore New Mexico’s wilderness areas for more than twenty years. The organization brings together a group of diverse stakeholders, such as ranchers, tribal groups, scientists, teachers, and community leaders, who work to protect the state’s natural resources through education, government advocacy, and volunteer projects. Over the years, NMWA efforts have led to federal protection of multiple endangered regions of New Mexico, including the Rio Grande del Norte.
Located near the New Mexico-Colorado border, the Rio Grande del Norte comprises geologic features such as cliffs, gorges, and sagebrush mesas that provide homes to a diverse array of wildlife, including eagles, pronghorn, and elk. Beginning in 2007, NWMA and other local activists began a campaign to protect the Rio Grande del Norte that included lobbying in state and federal government offices, generating support in the press, and obtaining cooperation from local businesses.
In 2013, President Barack Obama signed an executive order that made the area a federally protected national monument. Today, the area attracts campers, rafters, and birdwatchers, thanks in part to the efforts of the NMWA to obtain federal protection for the region.