The head of the US Forest Service says land managers are ready for what’s likely to be another active fire season. Tom Tidwell is touting the level of cooperation among federal and state agencies, while urging private landowners to play their part.
'I just can't stress that enough," he says. "I would encourage all our private landowners to go to our Firewise website to see what you can do around your home, to make a difference, to make your home more defensible, and to make it a lot easier on our firefighters."
New Mexico Congressmen Ben Ray Luján and Martin Heinrich are calling on the federal government to take urgent action to clean up hundreds of abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation.
In letters to the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and Indian Health Services, Lujan, Heinrich, Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva and four other House members say they are they deeply troubled by the federal government's failure to address the ongoing problem. They say the federal neglect is leaving future generations exposed to life-threatening radiation.
Albuquerque water officials will likely need to raise customers’ rates in the next several years in order to pay for improvements to aging infrastructure.
At a board meeting of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, chief executive Mark Sanchez said the utility would be asking for five percent increases in 2016 and 2018. A rate hike for 2013 has already been approved. Each increase would raise average customer rates by about 3 dollars.
Officials at Kirtland Air Force Base say, starting Monday, they’ll begin burning off 400 gallons of jet fuel per day from a decades-old underground spill in Albuquerque.
For now, they’ll be using the same passive soil vapor extraction technology that’s been pulling out roughly 135 gallons a day for the last eight years. Two new wells drilled in more concentrated areas of the spill account for the increase in efficiency.
Officials at Bandelier National Monument in northern New Mexico are asking for the public's help in developing a management plan for dozens of archaeological sites that are separate from the main portion of the park.
The plan will focus on the Tsankawi unit, which is home to more than 150 sites that range from petroglyphs to stone pueblo structures. The plan is aimed at improving protection of the archaeological resources as well as visitor understanding of the area.
A 30-day scoping period began Monday. The public has until May 15 to submit comments.
A bill called the Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act is inching its way through Congress, and could have serious consequences for close to two million acres of New Mexico land currently managed as wilderness.
Funding for the Conservation Beat comes from the New Mexico Community Foundation
UPDATE (2:56 PM) An email from the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society and International Mountain Bicycling Association says the bill introduced today is endorsed by all cycling groups in Northern New Mexico:
Bingaman and the Conservation Community, which includes cyclists, understand the benefits of cycling and the recreation economy it supports. Thus, a special bill was crafted that meets everyone’s needs by designating trails and protecting land from resource extraction and motorized abuse.
UPDATE (2:33 PM) Activists have delivered their petition to PNM headquarters. About two dozen people gathered at a rally earlier today calling on PNM to invest more in renewable energy. The company is slated to submit its renewable energy plan to state regulators later this month. Petitioners say they hope PNM will go beyond the minimum requirements.
The Restore New Mexico initiative started seven years ago as a collaboration between government, the oil and natural gas industry, ranchers and environmental groups to reclaim old oil fields and restore grassland habitat in Southeastern New Mexico for the Lesser Prairie Chicken and Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, both candidates for endangered status.
The State Engineer has denied an application to pump 54-thousand acre feet of water per year from an aquifer west of Socorro. That's about half of Albuquerque's annual water use.
The application was submitted by Augustin Plains Ranch, LLC in 2007 and quickly met with resistance from over a thousand stakeholders, including the Interstate Stream Commission, the state Department of Game and Fish and several Pueblos.
Still the process was allowed to move forward for years…until a hearing examiner heard arguments on a motion to dismiss in February.