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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Dundalk, Ireland)
For Immediate Release                                  December 12, 2000



The President today announced his intent to appoint Bob Armstrong, William Debuys, Karen Durkovich, Palemon A. Martinez, Stephen D. Stoddard, Thomas W. Swetnam, and David R. Yepa to serve as Members of the Valles Caldera Trust.

Bob Armstrong, of Austin, Texas, was Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at the U.S. Department of the Interior from 1993 to 1998. In this capacity, he exercised secretarial direction and supervision over the Bureau of Land Management, the Minerals Management Service, and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. Prior to making land management his career, Mr. Armstrong served as a Member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1963 to 1970 and was one of the state's early environmental legislators, creating the Interagency Council on Natural Resources and the Environment. In addition, Mr. Armstrong was Texas Land Commissioner, a state elected position, from 1970 to 1982. Mr. Armstrong was also appointed to a six-year term on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in 1985 by former Texas Governor Mark White. Mr. Armstrong presently serves as Chairman of the Rio Grande Compact Commission.

Mr. Armstrong received his B.A. and L.L. B. from the University of Texas and served as an Ensign at sea with the U.S. Navy.

William Debuys, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a writer, historian and conservationist. He currently directs the Valle Grande Grass Bank of the Conservationist Fund and serves as program officer for water projects for the Rural Livelihoods Initiative of the New Mexico Community Foundation. Since 1986, Mr. Debuys has been an independent scholar and private consultant on historical and environmental matters. His clients have included the Nature Conservancy, the National Biological Survey, the Northwest Renewable Resources Center and the Conservationist Fund. He is the author of four books and many shorter works that explore the environmental and cultural character of the Southwest.

Mr. Debuys received his B.A. with Highest Honors in American Studies and Honors in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He also received his M.A. and Ph.D. in American Civilization from the University of Texas at Austin.

Karen Durkovich, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy of New Mexico. In this capacity, Ms. Durkovich handles public lands ranching issues and evaluates cattle operation opportunities. As a member of the Board of Trustees, Ms. Durkovich has been involved with the Sevietta Wildlife Refuge, the Ladder Ranch, conservation easements, trade lands, restoration of overgrazed lands, and healthy ecosystems. Ms. Durkovich and her husband have owned the Little Wahoo Ranch in southwestern New Mexico since 1996. In cooperation with Ted Turner's Ladder Ranch, Ms. Durkovich and her husband have made an effort to reintroduce threatened and endangered species on the ranch.

Ms. Durkovich received her B.A. in English and Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Palemon A. Martinez, of Valdez, New Mexico, served as a Santa Fe County Extension Agent, Resource Conservation and Development Specialist, and Northern District Extension Director for the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service for 30 years. Since his retirement in 1987, Mr. Martinez has been actively involved in farming and ranching in Arroyo Seco in Taos County. He serves on the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, Northern New Mexico Stockman Association, several Acequia and water entities, and is a grazing permittee on the Cerro Azul and Valle Vidal Grazing Association.

Mr. Martinez received his B.S. and M.A. in Agricultural and Extension Education from New Mexico State University.

Stephen D. Stoddard, of Los Alamos, New Mexico, has served on the Board of Trustees for Los Alamos Economic Development Corporation since 1985. From 1984 to 1999, Mr. Stoddard was the Director of the Bank of Los Alamos\Mountain Community Bank. Mr. Stoddard committed twelve years to public service as a New Mexico State Senator from 1980 to 1992. Mr. Stoddard was also a member of The Nature Conservancy of New Mexico Board of Trustees from 1988 to 1997. Mr. Stoddard served in the U.S. Army and is a WWII Veteran.

Mr. Stoddard attended the College of Puget Sound in Washington in 1944 while serving in the U.S. Army and Connecticut College for Women in 1946. He received his B.S. in Ceramic Engineering in 1950 at the University of Illinois.

Thomas W. Swetnam, of Tucson, Arizona, is currently Director of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research and Professor of Dendrochronology and Watershed Management at the University of Arizona. In 1976, Dr. Swetnam worked as a Park Technician at Grand Canyon National Park and later as Forestry Technician in the Gila Wilderness of southern New Mexico. Dr. Swetnam has been with the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research since 1980. Dr. Swetnam has served on editorial boards of several scientific journals, including the International Journal of Wildland Fire, the Canadian Journal of Forest Research, and Ecological Applications. He has authored and co-authored more than 70 scientific articles, book chapters, technical reports and commentaries. Dr. Swetnam is an active member of the Ecological Society of America, the Society of American Foresters, the American Geophysical Union, and the Tree-Ring Society.

Dr. Swetnam received a B.S. in General Biology from the University of New Mexico with a minor in Chemistry. He later received his M.S. in Forestry-Watershed Management and a Ph.D. in Watershed Management, Dendrochronology from the University of Arizona.

David R. Yepa, of Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico, is a tribally enrolled member of the Pueblo of Jemez. Mr. Yepa has been a partner in the law firm of Roth, Van Amber, Rogers, Ortiz, Fairbanks & Yepa, LLP, since 1998. Prior to that, Mr. Yepa practiced law as a sole proprietor for ten years. Mr. Yepa practices Indian law, personal injury and criminal defense. Mr. Yepa has practiced Indian law since 1987 in matters concerning water law, environmental issues, child abuse cases, taxation, land issues, housing, jurisdiction, protection of cultural resources and religious sites, and drafting ordinances and tribal codes for various tribal clients. Mr. Yepa is a member of the Indian Law Section of the State Bar of New Mexico, New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association, and the Indian Pueblo Legal Services Board.

Mr. Yepa received his A.D. and Police Science from New Mexico State University and his J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 1984.

The Valles Caldera Preservation Act (S. 1892) was signed into law on July 25, 2000, authorizing the acquisition and preservation of the 95,000-acre Baca Ranch in the Valles Caldera, New Mexico. The acquisition of the Baca Ranch established the Valles Caldera National Preserve as a unit of the National Forest System and the Valles Caldera Trust as a wholly-owned Government corporation to provide management and administrative services for the Preserve and for other specified purposes.