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Environment

DOI Secretary Jewell Announces Nearly $95 Million In Funding For Conservation And Recreation Projects

on April 18, 2016 - 3:16pm
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell
 
DOI News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced nearly $95 million will be distributed from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to all 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia to support conservation and recreation projects in local communities.
 
The funds, which are generated out of a portion of the lease revenue from offshore oil and gas development, support state-identified and community-supported projects that create jobs, contribute to local economies and grow outdoor

Scenes From Apollo 17 Astronaut's Talk In Los Alamos

on April 18, 2016 - 3:14pm

During Saturday's Republican Party of Los Alamos' Patriot's Day Dinner at the Church of Christ, 2323 Diamond Dr., Apollo 17 Astronaut Harrison (Jack) Schmitt shares his experience walking on the moon. Schmidt also served as a United States senator from New Mexico. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Apollo 17 Astronaut Jack Schmitt is shown walking on the Moon. Apollo 17 was the final mission of NASA's Apollo program, the enterprise that landed the first humans on the Moon. Launched at 12:33 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), Dec.

Celebrate Earth Day Festival At Nature Center Saturday

on April 17, 2016 - 10:21am

Fun and entertainment for all ages at PEEC’s Earth Day Festival! Courtesy/PEEC

The Hill Stompers perform at noon. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s signature event, the annual Earth Day Festival, is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 23 at the Los Alamos Nature Center.

This year’s celebration marks the one-year anniversary of the Los Alamos Nature Center. The festivities include food, planetarium shows, fun activities and live entertainment.

Schedule of Activities:

  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Earth Day Talk Features Valles Caldera Superintendent

on April 16, 2016 - 11:15am

Jorge Silva-Bañuelos, National Park Service superintendent of Valles Caldera National Preserve

PEEC News:

The Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s 2016 Earth Day talk will feature Valles Caldera Superintendent Jorge Silva- Bañuelos, who will talk about the past, present and future of this spectacular national preserve.

The talk is sponsored by Los Alamos National Bank at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 19 at the Los Alamos Nature Center, 2600 Canyon Road, and is free and open to the public.

Silva-Bañuelos will discuss the history of the Valles Caldera from its geologic origins to its

Udall Secures Funding For National Labs, WIPP, Water Projects In Energy And Water Appropriations Bill

on April 15, 2016 - 8:22am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall 
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall joined the Senate Appropriations Committee to advance the Energy and Water appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017.
 
The legislation, which is critical for New Mexico, funds the national labs, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), several New Mexico water projects and other U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) programs. 
 
As a member of the subcommittee that wrote the legislation, Udall secured an increase in funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which will boost Los Alamos and Sandia

PEEC Amateur Naturalist: Part 2 - What Is Happening To The Birds Of Northern New Mexico?

on April 15, 2016 - 8:05am
Acorn Woodpecker. Photo by Bob Walker
 
 
PEEC Amateur Naturalist: Part 2 - What is happening to the birds of northern New Mexico?
By ROBERT DRYJA
 
We introduced the results of the recent Christmas Bird Count for Los Alamos by itself in a prior column.
 
Another column considered what is happening in terms of climate temperature for northern New Mexico. Now, how does Los Alamos compare with the rest of the northern mountains of New Mexico?
 
Five other areas had bird counts as well as Los Alamos. Some of these areas have conducted annual Christmas Bird Counts for years.

Astronomy Shows At Nature Center Tonight

on April 15, 2016 - 7:45am

Courtesy/PEEC

National Park Week Activities At Bandelier

on April 15, 2016 - 7:44am
NPS News:
 
Every year National Park Service (NPS) areas all over the country celebrate National Park Week in April with events and activities. 
 
This year is extra special since it is also the Centennial year for Bandelier National Monument as well as the National Park Service itself. Nationwide from April 16-24 NPS areas will be fee-free, with no entrance fees being charged, for the whole nine days.

At Bandelier, National Park Week activities will include: 
  • A special presentation of all the entries of artwork for the 2017 Bandelier Annual Pass, along with announcement of the winners, Saturday

Prescribed Burn Planned In Española Ranger District

on April 15, 2016 - 7:38am
SFNF News:
 
SANTA FE – Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest hope to take advantage of warmer weather in May 2016 to conduct the Mesitas prescribed burn on the Española Ranger District. 
 
The 1,800-acre treatment area is located approximately six miles southwest of Abiquiu, 15 miles north of Los Alamos and 15 miles northwest of Española.
 
Ignitions are planned to begin May 1, but that window is dependent on favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts. Once ignitions have started, they are expected to last up to seven days.
 
Prescribed fires are

AlgaStar/BioStim And Los Alamos National Laboratory Renew Research

on April 13, 2016 - 8:58am

Biostim test setup at LANL. Courtesy/AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

SCIENCE News:

A research team at AlgaStar Inc., a Florida-based biomass R&D cultivation company, reported to the Algae Biomass Summit in 2014 that electromagnetic field (EMF) biostimulation had yielded a 300 percent biomass growth increase and 174 percent increase in lipid oil content in several alga samples over controlled growth conditions.

Part of this research is being carried out by BioStim Inc., AlgaStar’s wholly owned subsidiary located in New Mexico.

Expert On Nature Play Visits Los Alamos

on April 12, 2016 - 6:19pm
Ken Finch portaging a canoe. Courtesy photo
 

PEEC News:

Generations of American children enjoyed outdoor play in wild spaces as a cherished part of growing up, but too many of today’s children are virtually trapped indoors. Veteran environmental educator and national nature play expert Ken Finch will speak at the Los Alamos Nature Center at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 21 at the Los Alamos Nature Center. He brings an informative and light-hearted perspective of the growing movement to restore nature-based play to childhood.

Attorney General Balderas Joins National Climate Change Coalition

on April 11, 2016 - 7:11am
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE  Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that New Mexico has joined Attorneys General from across the nation in an unprecedented coalition of 17 top law enforcement officials to protect and expand progress the nation has made in combating climate change.
 
The states agreed to work together on key investigations, such as ongoing or any potential investigations into whether fossil fuel companies misled investors and the public on the impact of climate change on their businesses.
 
“We have been impacted by climate change, and we see its drastic effects in New

Celebrating 100 Years Of The National Park Service

on April 10, 2016 - 12:19pm

Redwoods National and State Parks. Courtesy/NPS

 

By Secretary Sally Jewell
Department of the Interior

America’s national parks, monuments and lands are uniquely different -- in their make-up and their locale -- but they all seek to tell a part of America’s story.

Monday, April 16, we kick off National Park Week: one of our nation’s largest celebrations of nature, history and culture. This year is special because it comes as we celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service -- that’s 100 years of protecting America’s best idea!

Over that century, our national park system has grown to

Los Alamos County Environmental Services Conducts Waste Audit To Answer Questions About Recycling

on April 9, 2016 - 9:17am

Workers sift through a pile of debris at the Eco Station. Courtesy/LAC

Consultant Jessi Just, left, and County Environmental Services Manager Angelica Gurule. Courtesy/LAC

COUNTY News:

A Los Alamos County Environmental Services (LAC) compactor truck, half-way through its morning route, came back to the LAC Eco Station to drop 7,860 pounds of trash.

On a typical day, this driver would fill the truck with about 20,000 pounds of trash before returning to the Eco Station, but on March 25, staff and Environmental Sustainability Board Chair John Bliss were prepared for the smaller mixed trash

Nuclear Workers Challenge DOL’s Proposals For Compensation Program

on April 7, 2016 - 12:20pm
By ROGER SNODGRASS
Los Alamos Daily Post

Labor Department officials announced Tuesday that they would reopen the comment period for a proposed set of rule changes that have not been well received by the community of nuclear workers eligible for a federal compensation program for workers with certain occupational illnesses. DOL’s Office of Workers' Compensation Programs has responsibility for adjudicating and processing employees’ claims under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act, (EEOICPA).

A 60-day comment period, which was already extended an extra 30 days

County Reminder: Beware Of Large Predators

on April 6, 2016 - 5:15pm
A mountain lion spotted prowling on 35th Street. Courtesy photo
 
COUNTY News:
 
Los Alamos County officials are reminding the public that springtime typically brings with it an increase of large predators roaming throughout the forests and traveling on the trails surrounding the local area – and that means some of these animals will likely enter the community’s residential areas, too.
 
The animals are seeking food or water, especially during times of drought. In this area, large predators can include mountain lions, black bears, bobcats and coyotes.

Tour And Skywatching At Bandelier Saturday

on April 6, 2016 - 11:56am
BANDELIER News:
 
Bandelier National Monument is offering two more programs celebrating the park's Centennial: a tour of the historic structures, and an evening opportunity for skywatching Saturday, April 9.
 
At 1 p.m., Saturday, the head of the park's Historic Preservation crew will lead a walk to look at the Pueblo Revival style stone buildings built in Frijoles Canyon by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. No signups are required. The walk meets at 1 p.m. in front of the Visitor Center, and participants should bring water and wear comfortable shoes.

WIPP Installs Underground Personnel Notification And Tracking System

on April 5, 2016 - 1:26pm
Hard hat icons, representing dozens of workers in the WIPP underground, appear on one of the tracking monitors located at the WIPP facility. The hats actually move in real time as WIPP employees travel throughout the underground facility. Courtesy/WIPP
 
WIPP News:
 
A new underground Wireless Notification and Tracking System (WNTS) has been installed at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) that allows for two-way communication for both talk and text, audible and flashing alarms and allows personnel to immediately signal the Central Monitoring Room (CMR) in the event of an emergency.
 
It also

Postal Service Previews Second Of 16 Stamps Celebrating National Park Service’s Centennial

on April 5, 2016 - 9:13am

Courtesy/USPS

USPS News:

  • Stamp Highlights Utah’s Arches National Park

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Postal Service previewed the second in its series of 16 Forever stamps commemorating the centennial of the National Park Service. The 16 stamps, intended to represent the diversity of areas in our national park system, are being previewed over the next three weeks.

 Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

The stamp image is a photograph by Tom Till of Moab, Utah, and represents the iconic Delicate Arch. Delicate Arch is just one of more than 2,000 stone arches in a park that contains the

Moniz Travels To Israel And Kazakhstan To Continue Discussions On Energy Cooperation

on April 5, 2016 - 7:37am
DOE News:
 
WASHINGTON D.C.  The U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz traveled to Israel. He will continue discussions with Yuval Steinitz, Israeli Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy, and Water Resources, on the ongoing energy partnership between the two countries.
 
He also will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. These discussions will cover a wide range of issues, including the U.S.-Israel Energy Dialogue, as well as expanded cooperation in energy research and energy water nexus programs.
 
Secretary Moniz’s visit to Israel is an example of

Nature On Tap At UnQuarked Thursday April 7

on April 5, 2016 - 7:32am

LACD News:

Come to Nature On Tap at 5:30 p.m., Thursday at UnQuarked Wine Room, 145 Central Park Square, to discuss what is new and planned for the Los Alamos County trail network.

Los Alamos County's Open Space Specialist Eric Peterson will provide an update on upcoming projects, expected maintenance, and how community members can get involved. There are numerous volunteer opportunities throughout the summer in the 1st Annual Summer Series—Volunteer Trails Cleanup Days!

Peterson serves as the Open Space Specialist overseeing the County's open space and trails systems.

Governor Visits Los Alamos To Highlight $32 Million In Water And Transportation Upgrades Around LANL

on April 4, 2016 - 4:24pm
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez this morning, at the White Rock Y on N.M. 4, highlighting $32 million in water and infrastructure upgrades around LANL. Photo by Chris Clark/ladailypost.com
 
STATE News:
 
Gov. Susana Martinez highlighted $32 million in water and infrastructure upgrades around Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) during press conference this morning at the White Rock Y on N.M. 4.
 
These funds provide for Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) based on settlement agreements between New Mexico and the U.S.

New Book Helps Wildflower Lovers Identify What They See In The Jemez

on April 4, 2016 - 2:48pm

Book cover. Courtesy photo

BOOK News:

If you have ever wondered about the name of a plant you see on one of the trails around Los Alamos, there’s a new way to help you find out.

Local naturalists Terry Foxx and Craig Martin have published a book, Plants of the Jemez Mountains Volume 1, that offers up drawings and color photos of the trees, shrubs, and vines found in the Los Alamos area and beyond.

“The book is a revision and expansion of the plant guide I did with Dorothy Hoard in 1984 and last revised in 1995,” Foxx explained.

Long out of print, the Foxx and Hoard guide was a popular

The American Lion: Pumas At The New Mexico Wildlife Center

on April 4, 2016 - 2:44pm
Mountain lion kittens at the NM Wildlife Center in Espanola. Courtesy photo
 
Orphaned mountain lion kitten at the NM Wildlife Center. Courtesy photo
 
By KATHERINE EAGLESON
NM Wildlife Center

Historically this powerful predator claimed a range that covered most of the New World. The only other mammal that covered more territory and flourished in as many environments was Homo sapiens. Nearly all of the Western Hemisphere was home to the mountain lion (cougar, catamount, puma, painter).  By the 1900s the other top predator in its range had managed to extirpate it from the eastern United

Stone Calendars Of The Southwest Talk Tuesday

on April 4, 2016 - 11:06am
Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Ron Barber will describe the technology, culture, and history of stone calendars in the Southwest at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5 at the Nature Center. His presentation includes results of the Stone Calendar Project; a hobby that somehow got out of hand.

There are hundreds of stone calendar sites around the Southwest. These calendars are found with specific glyphs that align with unique shadows to mark the time of year and important dates. The Stone Calendar research project surveys sites throughout the Southwest.

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