Board of Directors
Francisco "Cisco" Guevara, President
Cisco is owner and CEO of Los Rios River Runners, and a well renown story teller. Raised in Los Alamos and long-time resident of Taos, Cisco has been guiding river trips since the mid 1970s. Cisco is a strong advocate for the rivers of New Mexico and is committed to cultural and environmental conservation.
Peggy Nelson, Vice President
Peggy completed eighteen years of service as New Mexico's 8th Judicial District Judge (Division I) in 2008. In addition to having served as District Judge, Nelson brings a lengthy background in hands-on non-profit experience to her new role on the board of Amigos Bravos. She began her career in Taos in her early twenties, working for Northern New Mexico Legal Services. She served there for five years, the last two as the Executive Director. For the next half-decade, she performed low-cost and free legal services while employed by the Community Law Center, and for the five years that followed she had a private practice and contracted with the state as Public Defender. Nelson has served on a lengthy list of non-profit boards and commissions, including the early Rape Crisis Center and Battered Women’s Shelter (two organizations which have since merged to become Community Against Violence) as well as the Taos County School board. She was appointed District Judge in February of 1988.
In addition to hiking and cross-country skiing in northern New Mexico on a weekly basis, in 2005, Nelson made the famous night-trek up Kilimanjaro in Africa. She plays the fiddle for the Taos Contra Band and is currently teaching herself to play the Kora, a 21-string African harp. When asked about her relationship to the natural world, Nelson said the following. "Our connectedness to other people is a reflection of our relationship to nature, to all other living beings. Nature is not just a back-drop for our existence. I’m always reluctant to speak of my personal sense of the spiritual, but I will say that nature is the basis of it. At the age of 15, I declared myself to be a pantheist and it hasn’t changed much since.”
Sally Wisely, Secretary
Sally recently completed thirty-two years of working for the Bureau of Land Management. She was the State Director in Colorado from 2005 to 2009, the State Director in Utah from 1999 to 2005, the Associate State Director in Alaska from 1994-1999, the Area Manager in Durango from 1987 to 1994. Prior to that Wisely served as Chief of Public Affairs for the New Mexico State Office. Wisely has a Masters from University of New Mexico in Recreational Planning. After graduating she taught elementary school and P.E. for pre-school to high school kids on the Navajo Reservation and she taught adult education courses at Laguna-Acoma. A native of Atchison, Kansas (birthplace of Amelia Earhart), Wisely is an avid river-runner, tennis player, bicyclist, cross-country skier and telemarker. She also sings and plays guitar and banjo. We welcome Sally as the newest member of the Amigos Bravos Board of Directors.
Jon Klingel, Treasurer
For many years, Jon worked as a biologist with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish where he received an “Award of Excellence” for development of the Biota Information System of New Mexico. In addition to his volunteer efforts with Amigos Bravos – including extensive work on our river otter reintroduction and Valle Vidal projects – Jon has been involved in radio tracking of reintroduced wolves, a rattlesnake hibernaculum study and bighorn sheep surveys. Among his many adventures, Jon has experienced nine seasons of fire control/smoke-jumping in Alaska and the western states and, together with his wife Marlene, designed and built a cabin using hand tools in the northern New Mexico mountains. He holds degrees in Zoology and Wildlife Biology.
Michael Coca, Board Member
Michael is an affordable housing consultant and the architect/contractor for Tapetes de Lana, a nonprofit wool processing facility in Mora County. He joined the Board in 1997 and has served as President for the past two years. Michael also serves on the board of the Northern New Mexico Educational Opportunity Center (Española), is a past board member of the New Mexico Acequia Association, is past chairman of the Acequia Madre de Las Vegas, and is affiliated with the Gallinas Watershed Partnership, the Acequia de los Cuarteles de Santo Domingo de Cundiyo Land Grant, the Río Gallinas Acequia Association, and the New Mexico Solar Energy Association. Through his work in and around Las Vegas, he has been instrumental in raising water quality standards for the Río Gallinas. Michael’s partner Diane is a nurse practitioner in Santa Fe.
Mary is an attorney specializing in water law and was a founding member of Amigos Bravos’ Board in 1988, serving as President in 1991-1992. Together with her law partner Connie Odé, Mary represents acequias and northern New Mexico communities on contentious water and land use law issues and has been instrumental in legal opposition to planned diversions from the Río Costilla and the Río Grande. Prior to her career in law, Mary was an outfitter and river guide for 20 years and remains committed to the health of rivers and the people who live along their banks. She holds a juris doctorate degree from UNM.
Nicola is a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University specializing in water policy and management. Born and raised in Taos, she has a long history with the Río Grande and with Amigos Bravos. Nicola worked with Amigos Bravos as an after-school volunteer, a community liaison for the Coalition for the Valle Vidal, a summer intern and finally as Project Assistant. This work fueled her interest in water policy, specifically on how we make decisions about managing water and what the ramifications are for the environment and society. In addition to research and teaching, Nicola is a dancer, a flautist, and loves to hike, ski, backpack, and otherwise play in the mountains.