July 2021

Everywhere Extra Episode 1: Natural Parks

Welcome to Everywhere Extra, a new video series from Rural Assembly. Come along on a journey to explore the vast beauty and diversity of rural America. Throughout this series there will be live conversations and pre-recorded content that highlights individuals who are champions in their pockets of America.

On this Episode

Amanda Podmore 

 Amanda is an environmental justice advocate and policy aficionado. She has a B.A. in environmental policy from Colorado College and a Master’s in natural resource law from the University of Denver that she most recently put to use in campaigns to protect cultural landscapes and elevate tribal collaborative management in modern-day Utah.

She is particularly excited to blend her love of floating the Grand Canyon with her experience in cultural resource preservation, coalition building, and supporting Indigenous leadership and direction. Originally from Colorado, she has made a home in southeast Utah but splits her time in Flagstaff to take advantage of the cooler temps. 


Sarana Riggs 

Sarana is Chishi Diné (Chiricahua Apache) from Big Mountain, Arizona, which is near the Peabody Coal mine and the Hopi Mesas.

Prior to working at the Trust, Sarana served as a school board member on the Navajo Nation. She currently works with Save the Confluence, a group of families that oppose the proposed Escalade development, and assists the families of the east rim of the Grand Canyon. Through her involvement with various grassroots organizations, Sarana has a deep working knowledge of environmental issues on the Navajo and Hopi reservations, ranging from uranium and coal to water rights. 

Luis VIlla

Luis Villa

Luis Villa is the executive director of Latino Outdoors, a nonprofit committed to conservation, and to connecting Latinos to the outdoors. Villa has a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and has previously worked with non-profits such as Opportunity Fund and Charities Housing that were committed to community empowerment. Outside of his professional life, Villa has a passion for running, hiking, and the outdoors. His professional and personal passion led him to spend 12 years abroad working for the Nectrandra Institute as Chief Operating Officer.

Ultimately, Luis, along with Latino Outdoor’s staff and volunteer network, are working to shape and celebrate the Latinx outdoor experience.