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.

Progress on the Los Alamos Ban the Bag campaign


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.

El Paso Group Executive Committee gets three great additions

By Laurence Gibson, El Paso Group chair 04.06.14
The El Paso Group Executive Committee is sporting three new members with outstanding credentials. Top vote-getter, after incumbent and National Board member Liz Walsh, was blogger Jim Tolbert.

Transitions for Northern New Mexico Outings team

Transitions in Northern New Mexico Outings Group
Mary Thompson, who has been the Outings Co-Chair for the Northern Group since 2011, has elected to step down from that role and return to “just” leading hikes and doing all her other activities. Mary’s most notable contribution to the program was probably the establishment of our Meetup site. She was also a frequent contributor to Sierra Trail Mix, the initiator behind recent hiker speaker/party nights and leader meetings and communications, and performed other chair duties. We sincerely thank her for her service.

Citizens Coalition statement on lack of enforcement of dairy groundwater safeguards

dairy cows dairies

The Rio Grande Chapter is part of a Citizens Coalition to protect rules that safeguard groundwater from dairy waste. This press release was issued March 19, 2014:

When the Martinez Administration’s Water Quality Control Commission compromised public health and the environment by adopting the Copper Rule in September, it also created an alarming precedent to allow pollution of the state’s groundwater rather than requiring prevention of pollution.


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