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Environment

NMDOH Warns Of Heat And Smoke Related Illness

on June 22, 2017 - 4:04pm

NMDOH News:

The New Mexico Department of Health advises residents to take extra precautions to avoid heat and smoke-related illnesses.

Temperatures over the next several days are expected be the warmest days of the year so far in several parts of New Mexico, and because of the El Cajete Fire burning in the Jemez Mountains, smoke is being released into the air, degrading air quality.

Extreme Heat                                                                                                                        
Anyone regardless of age, sex, or health status may develop heat-related

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall Questions Energy Secretary On Safety And Future Of Plutonium Mission At LANL

on June 22, 2017 - 10:10am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall questions Energy Secretary Rick Perry during a hearing Wednesday of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee about steps LANL and the NNSA have taken to ensure safety and the future of the plutonium mission. Screenshot/LADP 
 
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall questions Energy Secretary Rick Perry during a hearing Wednesday about steps LANL and the NNSA have taken to ensure safety and the future of the plutonium mission. Screenshot/LADP 
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.

Sawyer Fire On Santa Clara Pueblo Reaches 20 Acres

on June 22, 2017 - 9:52am

FIRE News:

The Sawyer Fire on the Santa Clara Pueblo has burned approximately 20 acres since lightning ignited the blaze late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

Three hand crews are onsite this morning cutting a line around the perimeter and hope to have this done by noon today. Then they plan to mop up hotspots.

Crews working to contain the fire include Los Alamos Fire Department, BLM, Forest Service, Santa Clara Pueblo and BIA.

LAFD Deputy Fire Chief Steve Dawald told the Los Alamos Daily Post that Santa Clara Pueblo is taking good care of all of the crews on scene with food,

Stargazing And Free Camping At Bandelier

on June 22, 2017 - 8:05am
Camping at Juniper Campground, Bandelier National Monument. Courtesy/NPS
 
PEEC News:
 
This Friday and Saturday, June 23-24, will be a great opportunity to get out, go camping at Bandelier, and take a good look at the starry heavens, as the park celebrates their Third Annual Night Sky Fiesta and also the Great American Campout.
 
For the Night Sky Fiesta, visitors will have the chance to do both daylight and nighttime astronomy. Astronomy volunteers will have solar scopes set up on the back porch of the Visitor Center 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

SFNF Implements Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Across Entire Forest Friday

on June 22, 2017 - 5:40am

Help prevent forest fires … make sure campfires are completely out and cold to the touch before leaving.’ –Smokey Bear

SFNF News:

  • Violations Punishable Up To $5,000 For Individuals; $10,000 For Organizations; Imprisonment Up To Six Months

SANTA FE – The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) will implement Stage 1 fire restrictions across the entire forest at 8 a.m. Friday, June 23.

Fire danger on the forest remains high due to continued high temperatures and dry conditions.

The Jemez Ranger District, where the Cajete Fire sparked last week from an abandoned campfire near Sierra de los Pinos,

DOE Awards Contract To Professional Project Services, Inc. Of Oak Ridge For OREM Technical Support

on June 22, 2017 - 5:31am
DOE News:
 
CINCINNATI, Ohio  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) June 19, announced the award of a contract to Professional Project Services, Inc. of Oak Ridge, Tenn., for the Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) Technical Support Services (TSS) procurement.
 
This contract is an Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) from which Firm-Fixed-Price and Time-and-Materials task orders may be issued.

SFI: The InterPlanetary Project Panel Discussion July 18

on June 22, 2017 - 4:57am
SFI News:
 
At 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 18, The InterPlanetary Project's kick-off event is a panel discussion at the historic Lensic Performing Arts Center in downtown Santa Fe.
 
Panelists will consider questions like these: What will it take to become an InterPlanetary civilization? How should we address the most pressing problems of Earth to tackle a challenge at this scale? What will success mean for future generations?

Cajete Fire Update: Stage 1 Fire Restrictions In Effect ... Burned Area Closed

on June 21, 2017 - 4:00pm

A burning log Monday night in the Cajete Fire lights up unburned mixed conifer in the Jemez. © 2017 David A. Ponton, wildearthlight.com

SFNF News:

Crews on the fireline working the Cajete Fire today anticipate minimal fire activity. The uncontained section of the fire perimeter is within a snag patch (a section of standing dead trees) in the southeastern corner of the fire near Los Griegos Peak.

The standing dead trees in this area, left by the 2011 Las Conchas Fire, can fall suddenly. For this reason, firefighters are avoiding particularly hazardous areas.

LANL Internal Memo Addresses Ongoing Safety Improvements At TA-55 Plutonium Facility

on June 21, 2017 - 10:17am

Los Alamos National Laboratory. Courtesy/LANL

Staff Report

Ongoing safety improvements at the TA-55 Plutonium Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory are addressed in an internal memo obtained by the Los Alamos Daily Post:

To: LANL-All

From: Craig Leasure, PADOPS, A102
Date: June 19, 2017
 
Subject: Ongoing Safety Improvements at the TA-55 Plutonium Facility
 
In light of the recent public discussion and interest in operational issues at TA-55, I thought it was important to set the record straight and update Laboratory employees on the many improvements in the areas of safety,

Daily Postcard: Summer Solstice 2017

on June 21, 2017 - 9:15am

Daily Postcard: The Summer Solstice captured on camera at about 5:55 a.m. today from the Anniversary Trail in Los Alamos. Photo by Don Siebe

AGU: Wildfires Pollute Much More Than Previously Thought

on June 21, 2017 - 7:33am
AGU News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Summer wildfires boost air pollution considerably more than previously believed.
 
Naturally burning timber and brush launch what are called fine particles into the air at a rate three times as high as levels noted in emissions inventories at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new study. The microscopic specks that form aerosols are a hazard to human health, particularly to the lungs and heart.
 
“Burning biomass produces lots of pollution.

Weekly Fishing Report: June 21

on June 21, 2017 - 7:21am
Courtesy photo
 
By GEORGE MORSE
Sports and Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post
 
Anglers looking to catch a big trout should have some success thanks to the State Game and Fish Department. The Department stocked big trout in several locations throughout Northern New Mexico last week.
 
One lake that should be really hot is Fenton Lake State Park in the Jemez Mountains. The Department stocked 142 rainbow trout averaging 16 inches, along with over 1,500 catchable-size rainbow trout averaging 10 inches.
 
The big news at Fenton Lake is the rare opportunity to catch a good-sized Rio Grande

Life, As We Know It, Depends On ... Pollinators

on June 21, 2017 - 6:49am

National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them. More than 75 percent of the Earth's flowering plants depend on bees, butterflies, birds, bats, and other pollinators. Yet scientists have noted that these hardworking insects and other animals are in trouble. Our own well-being and the welfare of our planet rests upon their wings. 

Ten years ago the U.S.

Congressional Delegation Urges Zinke To Protect New Mexico’s National Monuments

on June 21, 2017 - 6:47am
CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham have urged Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to protect New Mexico’s national monuments designated under the Antiquities Act.
 
The New Mexico lawmakers wrote to Zinke to express their strong support for the Rio Grande del Norte and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks national monuments, which the lawmakers said protect treasured resources and places, enjoy overwhelming public support, and drive local economies.
 
In their letter, the

Punxsutawney Phil Mysteriously Resurfaces Just In Time For New Mexico Summer Solstice At 10:24 P.M. Tonight!

on June 20, 2017 - 9:17pm

Punxsutawney Phil mysteriously resurfaces at an undisclosed location in Los Alamos just in time to enjoy New Mexico's summer solstice at 10:24 p.m. tonight. The elusive Phil was last spotted around town in February ... for details, click here. Courtesy photo

COMMUNITY News:

WHEN IS THE SUMMER SOLSTICE 2017?

The summer solstice falls on Wednesday, June 21, 12:24 A.M. EDT. For time zones further west, the solstice falls on Tuesday, June 20 as follows.

  • Tuesday, June 20, 11:24 P.M. CDT
  • Tuesday, June 20, 10:24 P.M. MDT (Los Alamos time zone)
  • Tuesday, June 20, 9:24 P.M. PDT

WHAT IS THE SUMMER

Pajarito Celebrates Solstice With 100 Days Of Summer

on June 20, 2017 - 4:20pm

Pajarito bike trail. Photo by Stacey Glaser/Pajarito Mountain

Blue skies today above Pajarito Mountain. Photo by Stacey Glaser/Pajarito Mountain

A wildflower grows on Pajarito Mountain. Photo by Stacey Glaser/Pajarito Mountain

PAJARITO News:

There are blue skies today at Pajarito Mountain in Los Alamos. Pajarito is celebrating the Summer Solstice with the 100 Days of Summer Celebration.

The weather is looking great for this fun event!

Enjoy lift-served mountain biking and hiking 4-7 p.m., and a New Mexico-inspired menu is available 4-7 p.m. at the Pajarito Mountain Café.

SFNF Issues Closure Order For Cajete Fire Burn Area

on June 20, 2017 - 3:30pm

Closure burn area map. Courtesy/nmfireinfonews.com

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) today issued a closure order for the approximately 1,400 acres on the Jemez Ranger District burned by the Cajete Fire.

The restricted area includes: all lands, roads and trails within the fire perimeter (depicted on the closure map), Trail #137 between the last bridge coming from the Las Conchas Trailhead (before the trail ascends) and the East Fork Trailhead, and segments of Forest Road (FR) 270 south of the fire and FR 4G, 4GA and 4GB on the northwestern point of the burned area.

Heinrich Provides Online Resources To Help New Mexicans Prepare For Wildfire Season

on June 20, 2017 - 3:07pm
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  With wildfire season underway, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is helping New Mexicans prepare and stay safe with the Wildfire Preparedness & Prevention Resource Center that provides information on how to protect communities from the devastating effects of wildfires.
 
The online resource center includes active wildfire information, prevention and safety tips, resources for businesses, and more.
 
Heinrich also released a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) to help spread the word about how to stay safe

Cajete Fire Morning Update: 416 Personnel ... 1,412 Acres Burned, 87 Percent Contained

on June 20, 2017 - 10:07am
A burning log Monday night in the Cajete Fire lights up unburned mixed conifer in the Jemez. Scattered small ground fires are still burning, and there are aircraft supporting final containment efforts. © 2017 David A. Ponton/wildearthlight.com
 
Small ground fires light up the lower level of unburned ponderosa pine forest in the Cajete Fire under Monday's starry night sky in the Jemez. © 2017 David A. Ponton, wildearthlight.com

SFNF News:

Crews on the fireline fighting the Cajete Fire in the Jemez today anticipate minimal fire activity.

The uncontained section of the fire perimeter is within a

Klotz Responds To Center For Public Integrity's Series On Safety Culture At NNSA Sites

on June 20, 2017 - 9:00am

NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Safety is paramount at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). We have uncompromising standards for our plants and laboratories to perform work in a safe and secure manner that protects our employees, our facilities, and the public.

An article published Sunday by the Center for Public Integrity (CPI), the first in a planned series on safety at NNSA sites, attacks the safety culture at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) without offering all of the facts and the full context. 

In 2013, LANL, in consultation with

PEEC: Upcoming CaveSim Adventure! June 24

on June 20, 2017 - 6:51am
Try your hand at caving at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Courtesy photo
 
PEEC News:
 
Ready to test your spelunking skills? Delve into a simulated world of caves 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, June 24 at the Los Alamos Nature Center.
 
This is the perfect opportunity to crawl through 60-foot tunnels, observe vertical rope climbing demos, and practice rescue missions. The electronic simulator will track your movements so you can learn what it takes to access some of the most remote places on Earth.

Heinrich: Congress Must Take Energy Innovation Seriously

on June 20, 2017 - 6:49am
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Joint Economic Committee Democrats today released a report on the barriers to clean energy innovation that are preventing the U.S. economy from fully capitalizing on clean energy’s economic potential.
 
Instead of prioritizing energy innovation to position the United States as the global leader, Congressional Republicans often cite federal funding in climate change as government waste, and President Trump’s budget proposes deep cuts to energy innovation programs at the Department of Energy.
 

Final Evening Update On Cajete Fire: Size: 1,412 Acres ... Containment: 85 Percent

on June 19, 2017 - 10:00pm

SFNF News:

Note: This is the last evening update. Future updates will be sent out once a day.

Today crews on the fireline observed minimal fire activity. Heavy dead and down timber continues to burn in the interior of fire. The uncontained section of the fire perimeter is within a snag patch (a section of standing dead trees) in the southeastern corner of the fire near Los Griegos Peak. The standing dead trees in this area, left by the 2011 Las Conchas fire, can fall suddenly, making this area too dangerous for firefighters to enter.

Pajarito Astronomers Hold Dark Night June 24

on June 19, 2017 - 3:32pm
PAJARITO ASTRONOMERS News:
 
The Pajarito Astronomers is holding a County sponsored Dark Night at 8:30 p.m. (sunset), Saturday, June 24, at Spirio Soccer Field, Overlook Park in White Rock.
 
Weather permitting, the public is invited to come out, wander among the telescopes, and star gaze. Jupiter and its moons and Saturn with its rings and moons should be visible during the evening. There will be a tour of the summer constellations, and there will be telescope views of double stars, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies.
 
The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Cajete Fire Update: Containment Holding At 80 Percent

on June 19, 2017 - 10:54am

Scene from the Cajete Fire burning in the Jemez. Photo by David Ponton/wildearthlight.com

Scene from the Cajete Fire burning in the Jemez. Photo by David Ponton/wildearthlight.com

SFNF News:

Crews on the fireline Sunday night observed minimal fire activity. Heavy dead and down timber continues to burn in the interior of fire. 

Scene from the Cajete Fire burning in the Jemez. Photo by David Ponton/wildearthlight.com

The uncontained section of the fire perimeter is within a snag patch (a section of standing dead trees) in the southeastern corner of the fire near Los Griegos Peak. 

The

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