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About Santa Fe Forest Coalition

The Santa Fe Forest Coalition is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 2017 to educate the public on issues pertaining to forest and wildlife preservation on New Mexicos public and private lands. We are a coalition of organizations and individuals united in calling for a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be completed prior to any tree cutting and burning on forested public lands above Santa Fe. This environmental review must: first, recognize the lawful right of citizens to be fully informed participants in managing their lands; second, must evaluate a full range of alternatives, including those based on scientific opinion opposed to extensive vegetation clearing; and third disclose and evaluate all cumulative impacts on air quality from prescribed burning, the effects of mechanical treatments on water quality, soils and wildlife including stream sedimentation, soil erosion, displacement of wildlife, habitat modification and the spread of invasive weed species.

Board of Directors

Sam Hitt
Emmy Koponen
Carol Johnson
Lyra Barron
Karen Weber


Sam Hitt, President
Emmy Koponen, Vice-president
Carol Johnson, Secretary
Lyra Barron, Treasurer

Sam Hitt

Sam Hitt has been active in conservation issues in the Southwest for nearly 40 years. He founded Elk Mountain Action in the early 1980s to protect old growth forests and in 1989 Forest Guardians (now WildEarth Guardians). He is currently the founder and director of Wild Watershed, a volunteer group working on aquatic conservation in the Southwest. Sam serves as president of the Santa Fe Forest Coalition. Wild Watershed is a member group.

Carol Johnson

Carol's love of wilderness and wildlife began in her childhood summers, as she rambled on her grandparents' 200 acre farm in New York state. In 1969 she moved West and became addicted to backpacking and hiking the north rim of the Grand Canyon and southern Utah. Carol was drawn to the forests and wilderness of New Mexico and moved here 21 years ago.

Carol's love of New Mexico led her to become a grassroots activist, working to preserve our forests and create new Wilderness. She is a Board member of the NM Wilderness Alliance and the Upper Pecos Watershed Association. She is also a core member of NM Wildways, focused on protecting wildlife corridors in the Southwest. She worked with area residents to provide input on the Santa Fe National Forest Travel Management Plan from scoping through final EIS, and with elected officials to further community interests.

Carol lives in Glorieta on 58 unspoiled acres with the Santa Fe National Forest next door. When not involved in conservation work, she enjoys gardening, playing with her 2 dogs and 2 horses, hiking, birdwatching and reading.

Emmy Koponen

Emmy worked for ten years as a tree planter for Southwest Forestry Workers Cooperative, two seasons as a fire lookout and timber cruiser in Idaho and for two nature museums. See also worked for a season at Bandelier National Monument. She was active in the Roadless Area Review and Evaluation process during the 1980s and 1990s. Emmy is currently the vice-president of the Santa Fe Forest Coalition.

Lyra Barron

Lyra Barron has been a well respected business owner in Santa Fe for over 30 years. She currently owns 4 different businesses, and has extensive administrative, organizational, graphic arts and public relation skills. She has experience on the Board of other non-profits, and was a successful grant writer for a number of years.

Karen Weber

Karen comes to the Board with a deep love of the forests and many years' experience in nonprofit administration and content management. She is currently teaching in the Santa Fe Public Schools as a Special Education K-5 teacher/reading specialist, also hoping to influence her young students towards an appreciation of the beauty and importance of nature surrounding their city and in the world. She is current chairperson for the 2020 Trinity/Hiroshima/Nagasaki Education Committee founded by John Dear. She loves walking in the woods, writing, and spending time with her sweet rescue dog, Maddie.