Dairy rules under attack

By Dan Lorimier
Conservation coordinator
Think back to when the Martinez administration first arrived in Santa Fe. The top agenda item then was to proclaim that New Mexico was “Open For Business.”
Unfortunately, that translated into making it cheaper for irresponsible industries to do business here by tossing out rules designed to protect New Mexicans and their groundwater. A prime example-in-the-making is the sad story of the new groundwater-discharge rules for our dairy industry.


Gold, copper mines proposed in Ortiz Mountains

By Mona Blaber
Communications director
Santa Fe Gold is proposing a $2 billion mining project in the Ortiz Mountains that Santa Fe-area activists say would create a crater more than 1,000 feet deep and tailings five stories high.
The mine would need 200 acre-feet — more than 65 million gallons — of water a year for at least 10 years, heavily impacting the area near Madrid, said Marc Choyt, one of the organizers of Stop Santa Fe Gold.


State approves license to pollute

By Mona Blaber and Susan Martin
The New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission voted on Sept. 10 to adopt copper-mining groundwater regulations that expressly allow water pollution rather than prevent it.
The approval of the rules, proposed by the state Environment Department and copper-mining giant Freeport-McMoRan, “marks the first time in 36 years that the commission has set aside its mandate to protect the quality of the state’s scarce groundwater resources,” a statement by Gila Resources Information Project said.


Game Commission opposes bill to transfer, protect Valles Caldera

By Mary Katherine Ray
Wildlife Chair
The beautiful and special Valles Caldera in 2000 was placed under a unique management protocol that has proved unsuccessful in balancing recreation needs and wildland protection with the mandate of generating a profit.
The Valles Caldera National Preserve Trust is charged with achieving financial self-sufficiency by 2020, when Congress reviews funding and continuation of the trust. The law says the U.S. Forest Service would assume management in 2020 and the preserve would not continue if Congress does not extend the trust.


Supporters of renewable energy pack PRC meeting

By Mona Blaber
Communications director
It isn’t often that the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission holds its meetings in front of more than a few lawyers, staff and representativs of regulated companies.
But on Sept. 10, when commissioners took public comments on changes to an important rule that implements New Mexico’s Renewable Energy Act, supporters of clean energy showed up in such large numbers that the hearing had to be moved to a larger auditorium.


Making a difference in tough times

John talks about the Santa Fe River © Seth Roffman

By John Buchser, Rio Grande Chapter Chair

This fall, the political climate in both New Mexico and Washington continues to look bleak, but with your help we have successfully raised the visibility of several priority environmental issues.

Our vision is that through a show of strength, we will create the political climate that overcomes the “tea party” agenda
of minimization of regulation and decreases in government services.


Organs: Future tied to our past

photo by Eliza Kretzmann

By Lucas Herndon, Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks

When I meet someone who is relatively new to Las Cruces, invariably their reasons for coming here include the phrase “and when I saw those Organ Mountains…” This is a point of pride for everyone in our community. Granite spires dominate the eastern skyline and give us a few extra moments of sleep before sunrise every morning and offer new colors of purple and blue as the sun sets in the evening.


State approves license to pollute

ChinoMine-photo courtesy of gilaresources.info

By Mona Blaber, Communications Chair

The New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission voted on Sept. 10 to adopt copper mining groundwater regulations
that expressly allow water pollution rather than prevent it.


Citizen's comments to the PRC on renewables

What New Mexicans told the PRC

Here are a few excerpts of what
New Mexicans wrote to their Public
Regulation Commission representatives
about keeping the current “Reasonable
Cost Threshold” rule, which implements
the state Renewable Energy Act:

“I am a student at New Mexico Tech.
Many of my peers plan to work with
renewable energies after graduation. The
young adults in southern New Mexico
know that diversifying our sources of
electricity now will pay us back tenfold
in the future.” — Socorro

“We really don’t have the time to


Santa Fe bans the bag

PlasticBagShrine-photoJEmerson.jpg

By Jessie Emerson, Zero Waste coordinator

Congratulations Santa Fe! It now joins the ranks of enlightened cities Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Austin in
banning single-use plastic bags.

This success story began in 2008, when City Councilor Chris Calvert introduced a resolution to tax plastic bags. It only called for a “fair and equitable program including, but not limited to, an educational program to reduce or eliminate both paper and plastic disposable bag use.”

Nothing much happened then, but seeds were planted.


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