The Western Environmental Law Center, a nonprofit public-interest environmental law firm, is proud to announce the addition of Daniel Cordalis and Cliff Villa to its board of directors.

Daniel Cordalis, a member of the Navajo Nation who grew up in Durango, Colorado, practices natural resources and Indian law in California. He works closely with Tribes to protect their water, natural resources, and cultural resources through litigation, resource negotiations, land acquisition, and tribal governance and land management initiatives.

“We are honored to welcome Daniel Cordalis to the WELC board,” said Board President Karin Sheldon. “Daniel’s extensive background and experience in Indian law will enhance WELC’s ability to contribute meaningfully to the resolution of natural resources conflicts impacting Tribal communities and federal land management across the West.”

“I’m thrilled to join WELC as a board member and to participate and witness, first-hand, the work the organization is doing. I hope my experience will be useful as WELC continues to build tribal partnerships and delves deeper into legal work that supports tribal communities.”

Cliff Villa is a constitutional and environmental law professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where he also teaches in the Natural Resources and Environmental Law Clinic. Previously, he served for 20 years as legal counsel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, focusing on enforcement of laws including the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.

“I sought out Cliff to join WELC’s board because of his considerable experience in our areas of focus, multi-generational New Mexico roots, and undisputed integrity,” said WELC Executive Director Erik Schlenker-Goodrich. “As an authority on environmental justice, his guidance will align well with our strategic effort to build power for change through a commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice.”

“I am truly honored today to join the board of WELC, an organization I have greatly admired for its commitment to the communities and ecosystems of the West,” Cliff stated.  “The West is not only where my family has long settled; it is the frontline for many emerging challenges for climate justice.  Through service on the WELC board, I look forward to facing those challenges and helping communities to find solutions.”

Founded in 1993, the Western Environmental Law Center uses the power of the law to safeguard the wildlife, wildlands, and communities of the American West. WELC is governed by a board of directors comprised of renowned attorneys, academics, and conservationists from across the country.


Erik Schlenker-Goodrich, WELC Executive Director, 575-751-0351,

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