Programs & Services

YCC Commission and Public Meetings

Meet the NMYCC Commission

The YCC is governed by a nine member commission. Five commissioners are appointed by the Governor and four are state agency designees. The Commission meets quarterly or as needed. All meetings conform to the Open Meetings Act.

Next Commission Meeting: Tentatively scheduled for early January, 2022.

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Mel Loucks

Mel Loucks


Dr. Loucks is an Associate Professor of English at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell. In addition to chairing the Youth Conservation Corps Commission, Dr. Loucks serves on the Board of Trustees for Roswell Public Library, and volunteers with a number of community-based organizations in Chaves County. Dr. Loucks is deeply invested in youth development programming that promotes a well-educated, highly-skilled, and socially and environmentally conscious populace for New Mexico’s future.

Anthony Marquez

Anthony Marquez

Governor Appointee

grew up surrounded by the mountains of Chama, NM. He is an avid outdoorsman and a recent retiree from New Mexico State Parks. As the Superintendent of Heron and El Vado State Parks, he oversaw Boating & Law Enforcement, Operations & Maintenance, Volunteers and Educational Interpretive Programs. He also led the park through a multi-phase expansion of the recreational trail system at Heron Lake.

Anthony is an advocate for youth in his community and throughout New Mexico.  Today’s youth will be tomorrow’s leaders, and we must support their contributions and their future potential.

Martin "Zach" Chavez

Martin "Zach" Chavez

Public Education Department Designee

is New Mexico Public Education Department’s Civic and Community Engagement Coordinator. A native of New Mexico, Zach grew up in Cuba, New Mexico. After graduating from Cuba High School in 2006, he attended the University of New Mexico, graduating in 2011 with a B.S. in Education and a B.A. in Spanish. He then taught science at the Architecture, Construction, and Engineering Leadership charter high school in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he excelled as the Dean of Student Support. In 2015, Zach moved to northern New Mexico where he taught first grade at Chama Elementary, and later mid- and high school Science at Escalante High School. In 2017, he moved to Santa Fe with his wife and daughter and began work at the Public Education Department in 2018 following the birth of his son.

Amanda Getchell Stevenson

Amanda Getchell Stevenson

Governor Appointee

is a New Mexico native, who graduated from the New Mexico State University Journalism and Communications Department. She’s been a Communications Specialist for Strategies 360, a Seattle-based communications firm; a Marketing Assistant with Lavu, Inc., one of the largest tech companies in New Mexico; and a Marketing Manager with Canadian-based iAnthus Capital Management. Amanda owns and runs her own marketing consulting group, Middle Manda. She is an expert on social media strategy, compliance, and community management for various industries.

Marlene Yanez

Marlene Yanez

Governor Appointee

is a Fronteriza, a woman from the border, and good food advocate who lives in Sunland Park, NM. She has worked in the non-profit sector for over a decade and currently works at La Semilla Food Center as a Program Director for the Community Education Program. Her work endeavors to create innovative and culturally inclusive food justice programs for youth and adults in the Paso del Region in Dona Ana County and El Paso, TX.

Dana Vackar-Strang

Dana Vackar-Strang

State Land Office Designee

has a B.A. in Political Science from Colorado College and an M.A. from the University of New Mexico in Parks, Recreation and Environmental Education. Dana oversees the Surface Resources Division which manages watershed health, site remediation, illegal dumping, biological and cultural resources, investigations and compliance across 9 million acres of state trust land. The Division also manages over 3,500 active agricultural leases.

Dana was Director of Education for Audubon New Mexico and the Randall Davey Audubon Center for six years. She is a former President and board member of the Environmental Education Association of New Mexico, a former Chair of the Youth Conservation Corps Commission, and is the statewide coordinator and teacher trainer for the national Leopold Education Project (LEP). Dana is a mother and wife, and enjoys horses, birding, hiking, and mountain biking.

Alicia Littlebear

Alicia Littlebear

Governor Appointee

 is from Tamaya (Santa Ana Pueblo), Mvskoke Creek, Absentee Shawnee, and Euchee Nations. She has resided in New Mexico her whole life. She is currently employed with Wings of America (Wings) as the Program Coordinator. Wings uses running as a catalyst to empower Native American youth to become the next leaders, thinkers and teachers. Alicia believes we can connect back to the land by running, and is an avid runner herself. She is thankful for the work that she gets to do everyday.

Carmen Austin

Carmen Austin

Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department Designee

is Diné (Navajo Nation) from northern Arizona. She is the Climate Change Specialist for the New Mexico Forestry Division where she is responsible for implementing strategies of the Forest Action Plan that incorporate climate change science and adaptation and mitigation measures into forestry practices. These practices provide technical assistance to private forest landowners and allow the Forestry Division to participate with cooperators and collaboratives interested in natural resource management and watershed protection. Carmen has previously held positions as the Woody Biomass Program Manager in Santa Fe and District Forester on the Las Vegas District for the Forestry Division. Carmen also served as YCC Interim Director for a short duration. She is proficient on forest practices for the Commission. Carmen is a graduate of Northern Arizona University, School of Forestry and currently lives in Glorieta Pass with retired NM State Park Ranger Rick.

Cassie Ruiz

Cassie Ruiz

Children, Youth and Families Department Designee

has worked with Children, Youth and Families Department for seven years, both with Protective Services and Juvenile Justice. She is currently a Transition Services Coordinator with Juvenile Justice and is based in Carlsbad. She has worked with youth in various capacities the majority of her adulthood. She practices and teaches yoga and runs, hikes, and paddle boards all over New Mexico.

Meeting Minutes




January 5, 2021

April 22, 2021


August 21, 2020

June 26, 2020

May 13, 2020

January 17, 2020


November 15, 2018

July 19, 2018

January 4, 2018


October 30, 2017

August 30, 2017

March 30, 2017

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December 3, 2019

November 22, 2019

October 18, 2019

September 13, 2019

August 16, 2019

June 14, 2019

May 16, 2019

March 28, 2019

March 7, 2019


November 9, 2016

August 10, 2016

February 25, 2016