Rio Grande del Norte designated a new National Monument: Diverse coalition came together to protect truly special New Mexico place

Rio Grande Gorge - copyright Jeff Potter

By Eliza Kretzmann
New Mexico Wild America coordinator

Washington, DC — On March 25, President Obama designated the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Located in Northern New Mexico near Taos, the monument area is about 242,000 acres and is home to vast mesas and an abundance of wildlife and recreation opportunities.

Deal would reduce millions of tons of carbon dioxide, but where’s the renewable energy?

Coal - San Juan

By Shrayas Jatkar
Beyond Coal organizing representative

The state of New Mexico and PNM announced that they had struck a major deal with the Environmental Protection Agency on Feb. 15 regarding the future of the San Juan Generating Station, a 40-year-old coal-burning power plant near Farmington. Key elements of the deal are to close two of the four coal-burning units by the end of 2017 while putting pollution controls on the remaining two units to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide and other toxic pollutants.

National Geographic close to going Green for it's paper source

According to Green America's Better Paper Project latest report, (more info click here) the organization has succeeded in getting one of the largest, most influential magazine publishers in the country to admit the benefits of using recycled paper.

The Plastic Bag Debate


By Jessie Emerson, Chapter Zero Waste leader
The National Climate Data Center released a report early January 2013 saying that 2012 was the warmest year on record in the US since it started keeping records in 1895. The Federal government released its crop report January 14th of this year: there have been crop losses caused by the worst drought since the 1950’s.

It is clear that the planet is in a warming cycle that is accelerated by
industralization and carbon emissions, ie. by fossil fuels. Steven davis of
the University of california states,” The only real solution to climate change
is to stop dumping CO2 into the atmosphere altogether.”

This article will focus on how plastic bags contribute to global warming,
environmental degradation and human health problems. We will also
discuss the use of corn plastics.

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Sierra Club reaction on new state plan on San Juan coal plant

SJGS © WildEarth Guardians

The state of New Mexico and PNM announced Friday afternoon that they had struck a deal with the EPA to close units 2 and 3 of the four-unit San Juan coal plant and put pollution controls that are less expensive but less effective on the remaining two units to reduce nitrogen oxide. Below is the Sierra Club's response.

Thousands of activists have joined our campaign transition away from coal at San Juan and everywhere to protect our children from health-damaging pollution and disastrous climate consequences. If this deal goes through, you have succeeded in shutting down nearly 900 megawatts of coal -- enough to power 900,000 homes. No jobs will be lost, and PNM will invest at least $1 million into the Four Corners area for economic development.

However, the deal specifies only natural gas as a replacement power, not renewables or efficiency. The Sierra Club will continue to work to clean up the air in the Four Corners area and across the country.

NASA’s Climate Kids idea: Make your own recycled paper greeting cards—and then plant them!



There’s a fun new activity on NASA’s Climate Kids website. Instead of just emptying the paper-shredder receptacle into the recycle bin, recycle it yourself! Make your own recycled paper greeting cards—and then plant them! This “seed paper’ activity is easy and fun, and produces a greeting anyone would find endearing for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. Visit

Check out these great sites for kids:

WQCC and NMED - Protecting New Mexico Water?

Albuquerque North Valley acequia

Protecting New Mexico Water
Renee Blake, Public News Service-NM

  • Public News Service-NM
  • (01/28/13) SANTA FE, N.M. - The Citizens Coalition (made up of Amigos Bravos, the Rio Grande chapter of the Sierra Club and Caballo Concerned Citizens) is troubled by the direction being taken by the New Mexico Environment Department and the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) in connection with groundwater. Two industries, in particular, are the focus of recent concerns: the dairy industry and the copper industry.

    Zero Waste information and brochure


    Zero Waste is a concept based on nature. Nature doesn't generate waste or pollution. What is waste for one organism is food for another.

    Zero Waste focuses on reducing waste by reusing products and composting rather than recycling.

    The Sierra Club Policy
    The Sierra Club adopted a Zero Waste policy in 2008. It addresses not only the qauntity of waste we generate but also its toxicity and its important link to corporate responsibility and climate change.

    How to save your pets from traps

    By Mary Katherine Ray, Chapter Wildlife Chair

    Trapping season began in New Mexico on November 1 and will not end until March 15. This is the season when fur is its thickest and most valuable, so trappers are out to make a profit by killing wildlife such as bobcats, foxes, coyotes and badgers.

    They can set their traps on public lands where the rest of us go to enjoy these same animals and their habitats. No warning signs are required, and the distance a trap can be set from roads and trails is a mere 25 yards. How much trapping occurs depends on current fur prices. The more money pelts are bringing, the more traps there will be.
    In order to protect your dog and yourself while hiking, please take a look at these photos of traps that could be encountered and note how to open them if your dog is caught.

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