PNS Daily Newscast - April 18, 2019 

The DOJ and Bill Barr said to plan on Mueller time – without Mueller. Also on the Thursday rundown: The Keystone State considers cap and trade. Plus, the RECLAIM Act aims to invest in coal communities.

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Colorado Celebrates National Latino Conservation Week

Latino Conservation Week includes an event on Saturday at Great Sand Dunes National Park near Alamosa, Colo. (Pixabay)
Latino Conservation Week includes an event on Saturday at Great Sand Dunes National Park near Alamosa, Colo. (Pixabay)
July 21, 2016

DENVER — The third annual Latino Conservation Week is in full swing in Colorado, featuring full-moon hikes, camping trips, film screenings and an event Saturday at Great Sand Dunes National Park. Joseito Velasquez, senior pastor at Healing Waters Ministries, said the goal is to get more Latinos, including children, out to enjoy Colorado's public lands.

“Especially with this era of technology - cellphones, tablets - I think it's a good opportunity to let the kids experience also the outdoors,” Velasquez said. "That way we can pass that legacy to our children and let them know how important the environment is, and taking care of it and just engaging with the environment."

He pointed to research by Colorado College showing that while more than 90 percent of Latinos are in favor of conservation, only eight percent say they engage in outdoor recreation.

The call to celebrate public lands comes as Republican leaders gather at their party convention in Cleveland to discuss a party platform that includes selling off some National Park Service lands.

The Latino community, now 50 million strong, is the largest minority group in the U.S. Maite Arce with the Hispanic Access Foundation said Latino Conservation Week puts a spotlight on the community's efforts to protect public lands, not just with clean-up efforts but also at the ballot box.

"By Latino voters there is concern about making sure our natural resources are preserved long into the future,” Arce said, "so really thinking about tomorrow and protecting those lands from development and other threats."

The survey found a majority of Hispanics are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports selling off public lands. And more than 60 percent say funding for national parks, national forests and other public lands should not be cut because it provides a big return for a small investment.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO