Western unity – Groups usually on opposite sides of fence congregate to preserve the environment

In the parking lot of the Albuquerque Hilton, a mud-caked diesel pickup with a Bush/Cheney decal and a gun rack sat next to a hybrid bearing bumper stickers urging, "Keep Abortion Legal" and "Treasure our Bosque."

As improbable as it might seem, it was quite likely that the owners of the disparate vehicles were there for the same event.

The Quivira Coalition – a nonprofit organization that brings ranchers and environmentalists to the communal table – held its fourth annual conference in Albuquerque this week. And nary a "tree hugger" nor "land rapist" passed the lips of any of the attendees.

In fact, whether you wore a cowboy hat or a ponytail came secondary to a commitment to preserving both healthy landscapes and the Western way of life.

By Carrie Seidman
Tribune Reporter

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