Fate of Gila River to be determined in 2014

Gila Lower Box by Anthony Howell

By Allyson Siwik, Chapter executive committee, 03/24/14

Ten years ago, President George W. Bush signed the Arizona Water Settlements Act (AWSA) into law, and with a sweep of the pen he set into motion a process that could change the Gila River forever.

New Mexico must decide at the end of the year if it will move forward with a Gila River diversion or instead implement cost-effective non-diversion alternatives to meet southwest New Mexico’s future water-supply needs.


Our chance to protect Four Corners

chaco julie wilt.jpg

By Norma McCallan, Northern New Mexico Group Conservation chair, 03/31/14
The BLM’s Farmington Field Office has opened a comment period that will run until May 28 in preparation for an Environmental Impact Statement on amendments to its dated 2003 Resource Management Plan.
Back then, the Mancos-Gallup shale formations in northwestern New Mexico were thought to be close to played out, but recent advances in drilling techniques have allowed their development far deeper down, and oil and gas companies are swarming in.


Community speaks out against strip mining on La Bajada

Overflow crowd at La Bajada County Development Review Committee meeting

By: Ross Lockridge and Diane Senior, Rural Conservation Alliance, 03/24/14
“There is no more important geographical landmark of our state, and none with more historical significance.” — William Baxter, historian, Sept. 4, 2005.
Fifty acres of La Bajada Mesa — a historic landmark recognized by the New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance as one of New Mexico’s Most Endangered Places — is now under threat of strip mining.


Mora defends its ban on fracking

Mora Field

By Eric Jantz, New Mexico Environmental Law Center, 03/31/14
In April 2013, the Mora County Commission passed an ordinance to protect the county’s water resources and public health from the impacts of oil and gas development.
The ordinance prohibits oil and gas development within the county. In November 2013, several corporations and an individual filed a federal lawsuit that alleges the county’s ordinance violates the corporations’ civil rights.


Residents fight transportation of crude oil to Lamy

By Teresa Seamster, Tom Gorman and Norma McCallan
Northern N.M. Group
The signs along Highway 285 south to Lamy, N.M., say it all: No Crude Oil in Lamy.
With a recent track inspection conducted by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad, it looks as if transporting crude oil carries many requirements and risks that will likely make that slogan come true for residents of Lamy.
The oil proposition


Caja del Rio lead could taint wildlife, cattle, meat

Caja del Rio lead

The stock pond on BLM land on the Caja del Rio Plateau about 15 miles west of Santa Fe may not look like much. The mesa is dusty and covered with thorny cholla and tumbleweeds, but the stock pond is an oasis for waterfowl, migratory birds, including Great Blue Heron, and Gunnison’s prairie dogs live nearby and sip the water and feed on the grasses that grow on the muddy banks.


Albuquerque air-quality board refuses to hear air-quality rule

By Lora Lucero 04/06/14
On March 12, the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Board ruled against Southwest Organizing Project’s request for a public hearing.
SWOP and community members wanted the board to set a future public hearing to consider a cumulative-impacts rule.
SWOP’s draft rule would have required the air-quality board to consider the pollutants coming from all of the smokestacks in the neighborhood, not just from the applicant’s project. There are at least 84 permitted facilities polluting Albuquerque’s South Valley.


Pajarito Group meetings and events

04/06/14
Meetings: Our open meetings are on the first Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. in UNMLA, Building 200, Room 203.
May 7: Chick Keller on Climate Change
It has been well established that human-caused emission of greenhouse gases is warming our world.
In the past few years, new work focuses on ascertaining just how much warming Earth can expect.
In addition, an increasing number of studies are trying to determine whether recent weather extremes — floods, hurricanes, droughts, extremes of warm or cold, etc. — can be attributed to a warming climate.

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Progress on the Los Alamos Ban the Bag campaign

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By Jody Benson, Pajarito Group, newsletter editor, 04/06/14
After its inaugural event on Jan. 15, the Pajarito Group’s Bag Ban effort is progressing and expanding.
Chapter Director Camilla Feibelman is training members from the Pajarito Group and multiple other organizations, including PEEC, the League of Women Voters and the community at large, to become focused activists.


Bosquitos make nature art

Bosquitos Alli courtesy Sarita Streng

By Sarita Streng, Central New Mexico Group
The Bosquitos (the kids and kids-of-all-ages group of the Bosque Action Team) got together on Feb. 23 for a “Land Art” event led by Sandria Cook and Allison “Alli” Theoret.


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