Environment

Los Alamos Utilities Board Unanimously Approves San Juan Generating Station Settlement Agreement

Giving a presentation this evening to the Utilities Board, from left, Deputy Utilities Manager – Finance/Administration Bob Westervelt, Deputy Utilities Manager – Electric Steve Cummins and environmental attorney Richard Virtue from Santa Fe. Screen Shot/LAC

Utilities Manager Tim Glasco discusses the San Juan Generating Station Settlement Agreement. Screen Shot/LAC

Resident Robert Falco raises concerns of potential liability from contamination by the plant into the San Juan River and mine. He encouraged the board to exit the agreement: ‘Cut your losses when it’s Read More

Western Bluebirds Spotted In Los Alamos

This Western Bluebird is a first sighting for the Williams family who have more than 40 years residing in Los Alamos. This Western Bluebird female is continually bringing insects to her young. Photo by Joel M. Williams

This Western Bluebird male is serving as a ‘lookout’ while his wife is nesting in one of the family’s crude birdhouses under a pavilion cover on Zuni in Los Alamos. Photo by Joel M. Williams Read More

Uranium Documentary Film Festival July 15-17

CVNM News:
 
The Conservation Voters New Mexico Education (CVNM) Education Fund along with ally organizations Laguna-Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment and Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment, is hosting the 4th annual Think Outside The Mine film festival 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 15 and Friday, July 17 at Kawaika Center Theater at 22 Bay Tree Rd., Paraje, NM 87007.
 
Two Films:
 
Wednesday, July 15, 5-8 p.m.
  • Blue Gold  a documentary about the increasing precious commodity of water and the struggle to control it.
  • Crying Earth Rise Up 
Read More

Monthly PEEC Wildflower Walk July 13

Native wildflower Scarlet Penstemon. Photo by Chick Keller

PEEC News:

With the continued rain in Los Alamos County, beautiful wildflowers abound. Join PEEC’s Jemez Mountain Herbarium Curator Chick Keller for a Wildflower Walk at 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 13 to discover what some of them are and where they can be found.

This will be an easy walk to identify some of the wildflowers that can be found in and around Los Alamos. The group will meet at the Nature Center, 2600 Canyon Road, and carpool to the trail that Keller will select based on what is blooming at the time. The walk is free and there is Read More

Heinrich Introduces Bill To Scale Up Solar Projects

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
 
SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  Thursday July 9, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. introduced S. 1723, the Promoting Renewable Energy with Shared Solar (PRESS) Act, a bill to boost access to renewable energy through community solar projects.
 
“This bill is a great opportunity to put solar energy within the reach of more families in New Mexico and around the country,” Heinrich said. “Shared solar projects have the potential to allow more Americans who lack sunny roof space or startup capital to truly benefit
Read More

PEEC Laser Light Shows Are Canceled

PEEC News:

The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is very sad to announce that the laser light show machine arrived damaged, and all shows are cancelled.

PEEC will be issuing refunds during normal open hours at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Prismatic Magic apologizes to the people of Los Alamos, and have promised to deliver to PEEC a fixed and working machine for the first few weeks of August, so check PEEC’s website at that time to find out the new schedule. www.peecnature.org. Read More

Explore Mesa De Cuba Badlands With PEEC

Mesa de Cuba Badlands. Photo by Rod McCrady

PEEC News:

Traveling to Cuba along N.M. 550 is certainly a visual treat. This rugged, multi-colored landscape is home to the relatively new San Juan Basin Badlands Recreation Area.

Created in the last few years to offer protection to this sometimes haunting, but always breathtaking scenery, the Badlands have no real trail system, food or potable water. To help visitors navigate this exceptional terrain, join geologist Patrick Rowe Saturday, July 18 to explore one of the five badlands in the Recreation Area, the Mesa de Cuba Badlands.

This hike offers Read More

Spots Still Available For YMCA Earth Service Corps

YESC busy at work and having fun. Courtesy photo
 
YESC getting it done. Courtesy photo
 
 
YMCA News:
 
YMCA Earth Service Corps is an innovative service-learning program that gives youth entering 7th through 9th grades the opportunity to develop job skills, practice leadership, and create a more sustainable future by doing volunteer service projects in our community.
 
The Family YMCA’s 2015 Earth Service Corps (YESC) is having a fun and busy summer. With three weeks remaining, the YESC has put in 734 volunteer hours of community service since June
Read More

‘Fantastic Fractals’ Screens At Nature Center July 18

Fractal created by Wolfgang Beyer. Courtesy/Wikimedia Commons

PEEC News:

To get in the spirit of ScienceFest, PEEC is screening Fantastic Fractals.

Join host and Fractal Foundation Executive Director Jonathan Wolfe as he presents a full-dome planetarium show that explores infinitely complex mathematical fractals in nature. This award-winning program features original music, and is educational, entertaining, and amazing.

This planetarium show is $5, and will screen at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, July 18 at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Seating is limited. It is suitable for ages three Read More

Family Night Campfire Fun At Nature Center Tuesday

Enjoy campfire fun during Family Night at the Nature Center. Courtesy photo

PEEC News:

Tuesday, July 14 is Family Night at the Los Alamos Nature Center.

The center will be open for exploring the exhibits until 8 p.m., and there will be games, activities, experiments, crafts and more for families to enjoy. Family Nights at the Nature Center are sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos. They are free to attend.

In July and August, there will be extra special family campfire fun! Join Melissa Mackey for songs, stories and a little science 5:30-6:30 p.m.

For more information about this and other PEEC Read More

Los Alamos Scientist Claudia Mora New President Elect Of Geological Society Of America

Los Alamos Scientist Claudia Mora

LANL News:

The Geological Society of America (GSA) recently tapped Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Claudia Mora as president elect.

Mora is a stable-isotope geochemist whose research spans the traditional fields of geology, soil science and climate science. At Los Alamos, she heads the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division’s (EES) largest group, Earth System Observations. This group’s research is broad and far-reaching, intersecting geology, ecology and atmospheric sciences.

“GSA welcomes Dr. Mora and we are confident that she will Read More

Letter To The Editor: A Few Numbers For Rain Harvest

By RICHARD NEBEL
Los Alamos

I have been harvesting rainwater for several years here in Los Alamos, and I know many other people have been doing the same. 

Before investing in a system to do that, it’s worthwhile to run the numbers. First of all, we have about 18 inches of rainfall annually in Los Alamos. For a typical home, that translates into about 20,000 gallons of water that hits your roof every year.

A standard water sprinkler puts out about 5 gallons a minute. I water my garden for about half an hour every other day. That’s 150 gallons per watering. I would like to store enough water to Read More

PEEC Class Teaches How To Identify Wildflowers

Local wildflower, dusky penstemon. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

What a difference a little rain makes. The roadsides and hillsides are green, and yellow, red, pink and purple flowers dot the landscape.

“How to Identify Wildflowers” is the name of a five-week class offered 5:30-7:30 p.m. beginning Tuesday, July 14 at the Los Alamos Nature Center.

This is an opportunity to get outside, to be curious, and learn more about the area and the flora. Longtime residents and experts Craig Martin and Teralene (Terry) Foxx will teach the class.

Foxx is a plant ecologist, writer and artist. She taught plant Read More

Rattlesnake Museum Talk At Nature Center July 15

Rattlesnake. Photo by Bob Myers

PEEC News:

Living in New Mexico means sharing the outdoors with many different kinds of reptiles.

To help explain how humans can cohabitate with these scaly neighbors, join Bob Myers, director of the International Rattlesnake Museum at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday July 15 at the Los Alamos Nature Center.

Discover what snakes and other reptiles live in New Mexico, how to identify them, what to do if you find a dangerous species in your backyard, some stories and legends about snakes, and snakebite prevention and treatment. Come to learn more about these fascinating creatures Read More

Global Synthesis Of Large Wildland Fires Shows Ecological Benefit

Natural fire mosaic, southwest Oregon, 10 years post-fire. Courtesy/Geos Institute
 
SCIENCE News:
 
ASHLAND, Ore.  Twenty-five leading fire scientists from around the world released a new synthesis “The Ecological Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires: Nature’s Phoenix” published by Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. 
 
For the first time extensive documentation from around the world reveals that forests and other plant communities need a variety of
Read More

Governor Announces KAFB Jet Fuel Spill Treatment

Gov. Susana Martinez
 
STATE News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE — Wednesday July 1, Gov. Susana Martinez announced that the U.S. Air Force is now pumping and treating water from a jet fuel leak first detected at Kirtland Air Force Base in 1999.
 
While previous administrations failed to hold the Air Force accountable, Gov. Martinez’s administration has worked closely with the Air Force to facilitate the clean-up.
 
“Protecting our precious water supply is non-negotiable,” Martinez said. “We have taken the necessary steps to begin addressing the Kirtland fuel
Read More

Amateur Naturalist: Looking And Caring For Ospreys

An osprey parent flying from its nest. Photo by Robert Dryja

 

By ROBERT DRYJA
Los Alamos

We are fortunate in that Fenton Lake is not too distant from Los Alamos. It is the home of a nesting pair of Ospreys. Ospreys have been reported there regularly since 1989.

Ospreys are a fish eating species of eagle and Fenton Lake provides one source of fish. The nearby Seven Springs Fish Hatchery had been a second source. The fish hatchery has long narrow breeding tanks where trout are raised. An osprey simply had to swoop along the length of a tank to pick up a trout. This easy source of food lasted until fencing Read More

NMED Terminates Compliance Order For Chupadero

NMED News:
 
SANTA FE ― The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) announces it is terminating the Administrative Order issued to Chupadero Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association (MDWCA) for violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
 
Chupadero MDWCA is a Community Public Water System in Santa Fe County serving a population of 160 residents.
 
The NMED Drinking Water Bureau issued Administrative Order No. 2014-ACO-06, to Chupadero MDWCA May 2, 2014 due to failure to submit a corrective action plan within 30 days of receiving notice
Read More

PEEC Summer Family Evening Is All About Goats

Goats like this one will visit the Nature Center Wednesday, July 8. Courtesy/PEEC
 

PEEC News:

What is it like to raise goats on a small scale farm? What uses are there for goat milk?

At this week’s Summer Family Evening at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 8 at the Nature Center, Jessie Ross of Gypsy Mountain Ranch and Deb Wood of Second Bloom Farm will be around to answer these questions. 

Learn how to make cheese, lotion, soap, and more. Even better, the presenters will bring some of their goats – both big and small – to demonstrate the different breeds that thrive on the Pajarito Plateau.

Summer Read More

NASA Grant To Help Control Mosquitoes

NASA News:
 
BROOKINGS, S.D.   When it comes to fighting West Nile virus, it’s all about timing.
 
Through a three-year NASA grant, two South Dakota State University researchers will help mosquito control officials use mosquito surveillance and environmental data to target West Nile virus.
 
People notice the nuisance mosquitoes that come out early in the season, but the Culex tarsalis mosquito, which carries West Nile, is active later in the season and later in the evening, explained SDSU biology professor Michael Hildreth.
 
Since 2003, he has helped
Read More
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