NMACD Conservation Officers Leadership Training (COLT)

NMACD is very proud to have developed and be administering the “first” NACD Leadership Program.

NMACD has a new initiative and funding from an NACD grant through NRCS to administer a new Leadership Development Program. The goal is to locate "next Generation, younger Supervisors" who have an interest in broadening their horizons to assume greater conservation leadership roles. The grant pays for travel and per diem for these younger Supervisors and a few (maybe 5) younger district employees to attend and participate in designated meetings/ events throughout the year. A COLT member is required to attend and participate in at least half of the meetings or training opportunities. We are proud to report that the program for leaders for the “next generation” is going very well! We have added a few new members and invited the others to continue in the program. We have 13 members who have taken the challenge to be “engaged” and prepare to be the next generation leadership for NM!


COLT Leaders gathered in Raton

Boe Lopez, Camille Graham, Chance Bradley, Kandy Hutchins, Tanya Duncan and Melissa May

Not Pictured: Jimbo Williams, Dee Wear and Jennie Bierner


Some COLT Leaders with NRCS Chief in DC

Casey Spradley, Kendal Wilson, Chief Matt Lohr, Camille Graham, Kandy Hutchins, Josh Smith, Melissa May and Marcos Valdez

Not Pictured: Jimbo Williams, Dee Wear and Jennie Bierner




The New Mexico District Supervisor Certification Training Program (Revised 2021) consists of six modules that are relevant to all forty-seven soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs), a Training Evaluation form, a list of references, and a Glossary of Acronyms. In addition, there are two separate modules, Subdivisions and Watershed Districts, which may not be relevant to all SWCDs but are included as part of the training to take as appropriate.

The training may be taken in an instructor-led class-room style, a Zoom session, or online. The requirements to take the online version are a browser, ie., Edge (previously known as Internet Explorer, IE, or Google Chrome, a .pdf reader and MS Word.

Each training module includes links that allow the user to review specific information relevant to that module, i.e., New Mexico Soil & Water Conservation District Act, etc. To access a link (shown in blue), place the cursor on the link and press Ctrl+click with the left mouse button. Upon completion of the training, the participant should complete the Training Evaluation form and send it to Linda Hood via email ( or by regular mail to her at 1102 Villa Rd. SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124. If you have any problems accessing the on-line training version, using the links, or have any other questions, contact Linda Hood (505-681-9675) or email her.




Water Resource Management: Local Control and Local Solutions



1. Understanding how groundwater and surface water systems function.

2. Understanding the importance of water quality and quantity as a foundation in a healthy ecosystem

3. Understanding a variety of water quality indicators in different landscapes.

4. Understanding a variety of water quantity indicators in different landscapes.

5. Understanding how sustainable and best management practices enhance and protect water quality and quantity for humans and wildlife.

6. Understanding the differences of local, regional, and national systems that manage natural resources and the importance of each in water resources.

7. Understanding the social, economic, political impacts of natural resources management and decision making.

The New Mexico Envirothon was held May 8 and 9, 2020, totally on-line using Zoom video conferencing. We had 31 students complete utilizing social distancing and electronic messaging and video conferencing. On Friday, May 8, the six teams took the five written exams from their homes. The written exams were emailed in the morning and were returned by the close of business. The tests were "open book" and students could use their computers to find answers, but their time was very limited. Exams were graded by the discipline leads over night. Saturday, May 9th, the board and discipline leads welcomed back the 31 students, gave a briefing on the oral scenario and some final instructions before emailing the students the scenario.

Questions from teams were handled via email, and responses were sent back to team captains. Two panels of judges assembled that evening to hear the teams' presentations. Judges saw and heard the team members present as well as their required visual aids and asked follow-up questions. Team scores were tabulated and an evening award ceremony was held to announce topic and team winners.

The Scat Cats from Hot Springs High School in Truth or Consequences won first place while Los Lobos from Aldo Leopold Charter School in Silver City came in second. The four other teams: Ringtails and Missing Lynx from T or C, Camo Chameleons from Penasco, and Earthletes from Taos ended in a virtual tie. Only six points separated 3rd thru 6th place. Each student was given a gift card for their hard work, dedication, commitment, and perseverance.

The North American Envirothon competition that was to be held in Nebraska was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.



The Rolling Rivers help to teach watershed health and erosion control. These great tools are shown all over the state at fairs, water festivals and school functions. The water trailers enable the teaching of the function of a river system and how drought affects everyone. This hands-on tool allows us to stress conservation, riparian restoration, & river health.

For a list of locations and contacts, click on the Rolling Rivers Water Trailers Brochure link below. 

Debbie Hughes, Executive Director, New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts, 163 Trail Canyon Rd., Carlsbad, NM 88220

Contact Debbie at 575-981-2400; cell: 575-361-1413;