National Wilderness Conference Keynote Speaker: Martin Heinrich, New Mexico Senator
As the only engineer in the United States Senate, Heinrich brings a unique perspective on creating good, sustainable jobs, and protecting the vital missions at New Mexico's national labs and military installations. He is a strong advocate for middle-class families, longtime friend and staunch ally of Indian Country, and a champion for his state's burgeoning clean energy economy and treasured public lands.
An avid sportsman, Heinrich is a lead proponent of preserving New Mexico's public lands and wildlife. New Mexico families have long histories of using public lands for hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation. In New Mexico, outdoor recreation generates $6.1 billion annually in consumer spending, 68,000 direct New Mexico jobs, and $458 million in state and local tax revenue. Fighting for public access to public land and conservation has always been a centerpiece of Heinrich's public career. As a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, he will continue to ensure New Mexico's public lands remain protected for families and future generations to enjoy.
Prior to being elected to the U.S. Senate, Heinrich served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives where he voted to cut taxes for the middle class, worked to make college more affordable, improved benefits for veterans, opposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and championed the DREAM Act as an original cosponsor. Heinrich passed the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsibility Tribal Homeownership Act to remove barriers to homeownership for Native families and lead the effort in Congress to reauthorize the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.
As a House member, Heinrich served on the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Natural Resources - positions that are both personally meaningful to him and critical to New Mexico. While serving on the House Armed Services Committee, Heinrich fought to secure language in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2010 that prohibited the retirement of the 150th Fighter Wing from Kirtland Air Force Base, helping to preserve nearly a thousand jobs. On the Natural Resources Committee, Heinrich's leadership was integral in managing public lands and developing the country's energy resources, both prominent assets to his home state of New Mexico.
Before he was elected to Congress, Heinrich served four years as an Albuquerque City Councilor and was elected by his peers as City Council President. During his time on city council, Heinrich championed successful efforts to raise the minimum wage, crack down on crime, support small local businesses, make Albuquerque a leader in energy and water conservation, and fought for campaign finance reform. He also served as the State of New Mexico's Natural Resources Trustee, working to protect the state's natural environment and cleaning up contaminated areas in impoverished regions.
Heinrich is a lifelong advocate for technology, innovation, and clean energy. After completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Missouri, he and his wife, Julie, moved to Albuquerque where he began his career at Phillips Laboratories as a contractor. Heinrich later served in AmeriCorps for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and was the former Executive Director of the Cottonwood Gulch Foundation. He also led the Coalition for New Mexico Wilderness and founded a small public affairs consulting firm.
Heinrich's strong, just, and principled leadership is driven by his working-class upbringing, his wife Julie, his two young sons, and the great people of New Mexico.
Heinrich will be speaking at the National Wilderness Conference on Wednesday, October 15th as part of the following: Opening ceremony, reception, and Welcome to the Conference with keynote speakers Richard J. Berry, Mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico (invited); recorded address from Jimmy Carter, former President; Martin Heinrich, New Mexico Senator