What it's like living next to a dairy

Jana Hughes

By Jana Hughes 03/21/14

As a rural resident living in an agricultural area for the majority of my life, I have spent many of those years living near a large-scale industrial dairy operation in the southeastern quadrant of the state.

Industrial confinement dairies produce massive amounts of manure because they confine thousands of animals on too little land. The untreated waste often migrates off-site and into the groundwater and the air I breathe. Land surrounding my home is used to dispose of the manure, bringing the untreated waste even closer to my home.


Chair's message: Fraser was longtime chapter leader, conservationist

Rio Grande Chapter chair John Buchser

By John Buchser, Rio Grande Chapter chair, 03/24/14
Former Northern Group and Chapter chair Doug Fraser passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. I still remember him calling me before every Group executive committee meeting and cheerfully reminding me to come and share with the group. Doug was a warm and enthusiastic leader.


New Mexico's wildlife mismanagement

By Mary Katherine Ray, Rio Grande Chapter Wildlife chair 03/30/14
Seismic changes have taken place in the last few months among New Mexico’s wildlife-managing administrators.
First, the director of New Mexico Game and Fish suddenly resigned last fall. Still no reason has been given for his departure. And the Game Commission has yet to begin a search for his replacement.


PNM coal replacement needs more renewables

Solar - City of Santa Fe - Green Jobs

By Mona Blaber, Rio Grande Chapter communications coordinator, 03/31/14
The Santa Fe City Council in March joined citizens and community groups to ask PNM and the Public Regulation Commission to rethink the types of energy being considered to replace the 924 megawatts of coal from San Juan Generating Station that will stop polluting skies in a few years.
Last year, PNM reached a deal with the state of New Mexico and the Environmental Protection Agency to close two of the four units at the coal-fired San Juan power plant.


Public Regulation Commission renewables rule safe for now

Solar - City of Santa Fe - Sierra Club tour 1 © DVW

By Mona Blaber, Chapter communications coordinator, 03/24/14
The yearlong saga involving the rule that enforces New Mexico’s Renewable Energy Act could conclude soon, with a happy ending.
As you know, last year the Public Regulation Commission considered rulemaking changes that would have weakened enforcement of New Mexico’s law requiring utilities to provide 15 percent of their electricity from renewable energy by 2015 and 20 percent by 2020.


What must New Mexicans give up for a CO2 pipeline?

abo ruins.JPG

By Rebecca Anthony, Mountainair resident, and Teresa Seamster 03/14/14

What are New Mexicans sacrificing to global companies like Kinder-Morgan by being compelled to grant easements so hazardous materials can be piped across hundreds of miles of private, public and tribal lands?

This January, in a packed meeting hall in the Alpine Alley Café in Mountainair, residents, ranchers and surrounding landowners listened and asked questions for hours on what a proposed carbon-dioxide pipeline could do to their community.


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.


Water Sentinels prepare for monitoring

Annouk

By Eric Patterson, Water Sentinels-Rios de Taos, 03/24/14
Water Sentinels­ is preparing for a new water-monitoring season. There will be a training session in Valdez on May 15 to prepare for our first monitoring of this season on May 19.
We will be paying more attention to the upper Rio Hondo this year because the new owners of Taos Ski Valley have quite a bit of construction planned. The effluent from Taos Ski Valley has been pristine over the last few years, and we, along with the new owners, would like to keep it that way.


Our chance to protect Four Corners

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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.


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