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Udall Presses EPA Administrator On Reimbursements, Compensation For Gold King Mine Spill

on April 22, 2016 - 8:18am
WASHINGTON D.C. — U.S. Sen. Tom Udall urged Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to move more quickly to respond to requests for reimbursements and process tort compensation claims by Navajo Nation residents and other New Mexicans harmed by the devastating release of toxic water from the Gold King Mine in Colorado.
Speaking at the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, Udall, the lead Democrat on the subcommittee, told McCarthy that it's unacceptable that eight months after the spill, the Navajo Nation and

Pajarito Astronomers Hold Dark Night May 7

on April 22, 2016 - 8:17am
PA News:
The Pajarito Astronomers will be holding a County-Sponsored Dark Night at 8 p.m. (sunset,) Saturday, May 7 at Spirio Soccer Field, Overlook Park.
Weather permitting, the public is invited to come out, wander among the telescopes, and star gaze. The planets Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn and its rings will be visible. There will be a tour of the spring constellations, and there will be telescope views of double stars, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.
Viewing will end before midnight. Call Steve Becker at 505.662.3252 for information.

NMED On Risks Associated With Dust Storms

on April 22, 2016 - 8:01am

NMED News:

SANTA FE  The New Mexico Environment Department, along with the cities of Las Cruces and Deming, and Doña Ana and Luna Counties, is advising the citizens of Doña Ana and Luna Counties of the potential risks associated with dust storms.

A combination of weather conditions, features of the natural environment, and human activity can contribute to high levels of windblown dust, or dust storms. High winds can raise large amounts of dust from areas of dry, loose, exposed soil. In the Doña Ana and Luna County area, high winds are most common during the spring.

Doña Ana and Luna

NASA Tweets Out Purple Nebula In Honor Of Prince

on April 21, 2016 - 9:12pm

NASA shared an image Thursday afternoon of a purple nebula to honor Prince.  Courtesy/NASA


Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson has released a press release on the sudden death of artist Prince. He said that at about 9:43 a.m. today, sheriff’s deputies responded to a medical call at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minn.

When deputies and medical personnel arrived, they found an unresponsive adult male in an elevator. First responders attempted to provide lifesaving CPR, but were unable to revive the victim.

Closer Than Ever To Establishing New Wilderness Areas Within Río Grande del Norte National Monument

on April 21, 2016 - 7:59pm
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) secured final Senate passage of their bill to establish two new wilderness areas, the Cerro del Yuta Wilderness and Rio San Antonio Wilderness, within the Río Grande del Norte National Monument northwest of Taos, New Mexico.
The legislation was included as an amendment to the Energy Policy Modernization Act, which passed the senate by a vote of 85 to 12.
"For many years now, a broad coalition of northern New Mexicans, including elected

Volunteers Invited To Clean Up Broken Branches April 30

on April 21, 2016 - 9:31am

During this week's snow storm, a resident in Western Area was awakened at 3 a.m. by a loud snap and discovered that about a fourth of his large tree had broken off and landed on his fence. Courtesy photo


Following Monday's recent ice/snow storm, the Los Alamos County Environmental Services Division has issued a call for volunteers to help collect and dispose of branches in those areas that have already received bulk item collection on the quarterly pick up schedule.

Residents are encouraged to help with branch clean up and ask others to help in neighborhoods.

Santa Fe National Forest Announces Seasonal Road Closures On Cuba, Jemez Ranger Districts

on April 21, 2016 - 7:49am
SFNF News:
SANTA FE  The Santa Fe National Forest has issued seasonal road closure orders for areas on the Cuba and Jemez Ranger Districts that are susceptible to damage under severe weather conditions. The orders are in effect until Dec. 31, 2021, unless rescinded earlier.
The closures will protect public health and safety, natural resources and infrastructure during periods of extreme soil moisture and heavy snowfall. Closures usually occur in the winter months between December and May.
The closures restrict the use of any type of motorized vehicle, including all-terrain

Environmental Sustainability Board Meets Thursday

on April 20, 2016 - 3:07pm
The Envrionmental Sustainability Board will meet at 5:30 p.m.,Thursday at 1000 Central Ave., suite 110 in the Municipal Building.
This section of the agenda is reserved for comments from the public on items that are not otherwise included in this agenda.
8210-16  Approval of the March 17, 2016 and March 31, 2016 Environmental Sustainability Board Minutes
Presenters: Environmental Sustainability Board

Community Wildlife Habitat Event At PEEC Saturday

on April 20, 2016 - 12:36pm
Photo by Selvi Viswanathan, Community Wildlife Habitat Team Member. Courtesy/PEEC
PEEC News:
Volunteers at the Los Alamos Nature Center, operated by the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC), invite the public to recognize New Mexico’s first “Community Wildlife Habitat“ (CWH).
Los Alamos is not only the first in the state to earn this important designation, but also one of only 85 communities in the nation to receive this prestigious title.
Luisa Grant of the Washington, D.C.

NNSA Recognizes Laboratory And Site Partners For Achievements In Environmental Innovation With 2016 Sustainability Awards

on April 20, 2016 - 12:32pm
NNSA News:
WASHINGTON, D.C.  The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) recognized several sites across the Nuclear Security Enterprise with 2016 Sustainability Awards for innovation and excellence in environmental sustainability.

The awards recognize exemplary individual and team performance across more than a dozen categories. Laboratory and site partners are honored for achieving sustainability objectives through innovative and effective programs and projects that increase energy and water efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gases, pollution and waste.

Udall, Heinrich, Luján Announce LWCF Purchase Of Galisteo Basin Historic Sites At Burnt Corn Pueblo

on April 20, 2016 - 8:05am
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján have announced that the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) will be used to promote preservation and open up access to more than 2,000 acres of land in Santa Fe County’s Galisteo Basin.
$1.5 million in LWCF funding will purchase the Burnt Corn Pueblo site, a 365-acre parcel near Santa Fe County Road. Burnt Corn Pueblo is one of 24 nationally significant archaeological sites in the basin, home to Native American and Spanish ruins.

Volunteers Needed To Clean Up Jemez Mountain Trail

on April 20, 2016 - 7:26am

JMT News:

Jemez Mountain Trail – a national scenic byway – is amping up its aesthetic appeal with a more than 30 mile cleanup effort April 23, in honor of Earth Day. Volunteers are needed.

“The drive to Jemez Springs along the idyllic Jemez Mountain Trail is beautiful any time of year, so we want to ensure that the view isn’t spoiled by trash and empty bottles dumped along the side of the road,” said Margaia Forcier-Call of Jemez Sustainable Solutions. “We encourage anyone who cares about the earth and wants to pitch in on Earth Day to head up to this beautiful region, and lend a hand.”

Udall, Heinrich Urge Action On Zika Virus, Call On Congress To Approve Emergency Funding

on April 19, 2016 - 3:07pm
WASHINGTON D.C.  U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have joined Senate Democrats in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran calling for immediate passage of President Obama’s emergency supplemental funding request of $1.9 billion for prevention and treatment of the Zika virus outbreak.
Specifically, the new letter calls for the Senate Appropriations committee to mark-up the president’s emergency funding request as soon as possible to ensure swift passage by the full Senate and House.
“It would be

Santa Fe National Forest Invites Public Participation In Forest Plan Revision, Wilderness Inventory

on April 19, 2016 - 2:57pm
SFNF News:
SANTA FE  Nearing the midway point in the multi-year process of writing a new management plan for its 1.6 million acres, the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) announced a series of upcoming public meetings to help determine if there are lands that are or are not suitable for Wilderness.
In 2012, the Forest Service updated the directives that guide the planning and management of 154 national forests and 20 grasslands. The new planning rule is intended to reflect 21st-century issues, like sustainable recreation and climate change, while encouraging public participation and input.

Thick Fog Coats Los Alamos This Morning

on April 19, 2016 - 2:57pm
A thick fog this morning coats downtown Los Alamos. Photo by Chris Clark/
Fog clings to Central Avenue this morning. Photo by Chris Clark/
A foggy morning in downtown Los Alamos. Photo by Chris Clark/

Tall Tree Falls On Truck Parked On Arkansas Avenue

on April 18, 2016 - 7:32pm

Following the heavy snowstorm overnight, this tall tree fell on a truck parked on Arkansas Avenue. Photo by Vanessa Villareal

More Scenes From April Snowstorm

on April 18, 2016 - 3:27pm
A view down Pueblo Canyon. Photo by Chris Clark/
Photo by Rose Putt
Bart the dog enjoying the snow. Photo by Rose Putt
Photo by Robert Beberniss
Photo by Robert Beberniss
Hummingbird at the feeder despite all of the snow. Photo by Selvi
Photo by Darth Grumpa
A resident looks at tree damage on Juniper Street. Photo by James O'Donnell
'Hey General, you got egg on your face!' Photo by James O'Donnell
Photo by James O'Donnell
Deer caught in the snowfall in Quemazon this morning. Courtesy photo
Damaged trees on 36th Street from this

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/

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 
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?
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


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