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Sam Hitt Forest Guardians (Santa Fe, N.M.) Collection

Identifier: MSS-994-BC

Scope and Content

Sam Hitt's Forest Guardians' Collection documents activities between 1988 and 2008. The collection is divided into ten series. The first three series contain information about the organization itself, including administrative proceedings and press coverage. The following three series detail specific campaigns launched by Forest Guardians. These series are grouped around larger themes (i.e. issues relevant to Forest Service proceedings, issues relevant to the logging and timber industry, etc.), but occasionally overlap in content. Next, there is a series concerning court cases and appeals concerning environmental issues in the Southwest. The remaining series are a collection of Forest Magazine from 2002 to 2010, World Watch Paper from 1975 to 2005, and audio tapes documenting Forest Guardians interviews and media coverage.

The first series, Administrative Documents, includes information regarding the operation and management of the organization. The series contains publications and newsletters produced by Forest Guardians as well as containing a section on the conferences and public forums that the organization attended. It also includes correspondence between director, Sam Hitt, and various outside researchers and/or Forest Guardian members.

The next two series contain documentation of the public and media appearances of Forest Guardians. The series, Public Talks and Interviews, contains transcripts of interviews and notes from a public talk by director, Sam Hitt. The subsequent series, Newspaper Articles Concerning Forest Guardians, is a compilation of newspaper and magazine articles describing the activities of Forest Guardians between 1998 and 2011. The final folder in this series contains articles written by Sam Hitt.

A principle goal of Forest Guardians is the preservation of forested lands. The series Forest Service Issues addresses the organizations’ criticism of Forest Service practice and policy. It is divided into three subseries which document 1) the legislative actions taken by Forest Guardians against Forest Service policies, 2) the specific proposals presented by Forest Guardians for better preservation of public lands and 3) the relationship between Forest Guardians and specific Forest Service personnel. This series occasionally overlaps with material from the series on Logging and Timber Issues in the Southwest. This series contains information on the timber industry and mismanaged logging practices on New Mexican forests and on public lands.

The following series on Appeals and Court Cases contains documents concerning court cases and appeals between U.S. federal agencies, Forest Guardians and other environmental organizations. The final series are a collection of Forest Magazine (from 2002 to 2010), a quarterly publication by Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, a collection of World Watch Paper from 1975 to 2005, published by The Worldwatch Institute - a globally focused environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C, and cds with stories and interviews relating to Forest Guardians, from 1992 to 2001. The cds are arranged chronologically. Many include short news stories that aired on National Public Radio. There are also interviews, panel discussions and stories on environmental issues that were produced by local New Mexican or Southwestern radio programs.


  • 1988-2011


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Institutional History

Forest Guardians, a non-profit environmental group that focuses on the Southwest region of the United States. Forest Guardians was founded in 1989, under the direction of Sam Hitt. Forest Guardians' website describes the organization as a results-driven group that attempts to defend and preserve threatened Southwestern wildlife and ecosystems (including the American Southwest and Northern Mexico). Their approach to conservation combines scientific analysis with strategic litigation in an effort to enforce existing environmental laws and reform public policies. The larger goal of the organization is to protect and restore native Southwestern biological diversity and watersheds. Forest Guardians is committed to public education and enlisting citizen support for the protection of the Southwest region; advocating for biological conservation; enforcing and strengthening environmental laws; assisting communities in efforts to protect land; and advocating for sustainable use of natural resources.

As of January 28, 2008 Forest Guardians, Sinapu, and the Sagebrush Sea Campaign have joined forces to become WildEarth Guardians. With offices in Boulder, Denver, Phoenix and Santa Fe, WildEarth Guardians protects and restores wildlife, wild places, and wild rivers in the American West.

Sources: Forest Guardians Website; WildEarth Guardians Website


15 boxes (15 cu. ft.)


This collection contains Sam Hitt's personal collection of Forest Guardians records. Forest Guardians was an environmental organization based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The collection details research, politics, and advocacy pertaining to various environmental topics.

Related Archival Material

New Mexico Green Party Records. Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico Richard Rosenstock legal papers pertaining to La Compañía Ocho. Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections, University Libraries, University of New Mexico La Jicarita Papers. Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections, University Libraries, University of New Mexico

Separated Material

Original cassettes are stored in B3. CDs for patron use are housed in the collection.

Processing Information

Audio cassettes reformatted to CD, June 2008


Finding Aid to Sam Hitt Forest Guardians (Santa Fe, N.M.) Collection, 1988-2011
S. Arazi-Coambs
© 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English
Funding provided in part by: University of New Mexico Center for Regional Studies

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131