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Environment

Letter To The Editor: Open Letter To Obama From Sierran

on November 29, 2016 - 8:34am
By JOHN R. BUCHSER
Santa Fe
 
Dear President Obama,

Earlier this week, my wife and I returned from several days volunteering at the Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota. There was a lot of activity in camp preparing for the winter. I have never encountered so much positive energy towards a common goal, it was with great sadness we had to depart due to both of us getting viral infection of the lung.

Generally, an 1800+ mile long oil pipeline would require an environmental impact statement (EIS). This has NOT been done for this major project.

Tour Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge Dec. 3

on November 29, 2016 - 8:12am
Canadian Geese spend time in the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge during their migration. Courtesy photo
 
PEEC News:
 
Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is working with the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge to offer a guided tour of the Southwest's first urban refuge at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3.  This day trip offers a unique perspective on connecting with nature in urban environments.
 
Valle de Oro offers a unique environmental education and recreation opportunity in a highly populated area while promoting a wildlife conservation message.

PEEC Offers Guided Hike To Ojo Mica Mine

on November 29, 2016 - 8:05am
Dr. Kirt Kempter, geologist and experienced guide, has studied geology in South America and Iceland and led educational tours to a variety of local and international destinations. Courtesy photo
 
PEEC News:
 
Want to learn more about the geologic story of the Ojo Caliente region? Geologist Kirt Kempter will lead an easy four-mile (round trip) hike Sunday, Dec. 4 to the shimmering mica mine in Ojo Caliente.
 
The hot springs at Ojo Caliente have been a fixture on the New Mexico historical scene for centuries, visited by the likes of Geronimo, Zebulon Pike and Kit Carson to name a few.

AGU: West Antarctic Ice Shelf Breaking From Inside Out

on November 29, 2016 - 8:01am
AGU News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A key glacier in Antarctica is breaking apart from the inside out, suggesting that the ocean is weakening ice on the edges of the continent.
 
The Pine Island Glacier, part of the ice shelf that bounds the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is one of two glaciers that researchers believe are most likely to undergo rapid retreat, bringing more ice from the interior of the ice sheet to the ocean, where its melting would flood coastlines around the world.
 

Thank You From LEWF As Cubs Released To Wild

on November 28, 2016 - 11:07am

Orphaned cubs Valley Girl and Cowboy were released Nov. 16 back to the wild. Courtesy/LEWF

LEWF News:

Valle (Valley Girl) and Caldera (Cowboy) were released Nov. 16 back into the wild after being nurtured by Dr. Kathleen Ramsay. The orphaned cubs came into rehabilitation after a tragic incident with their mother and marathon runner Karen Williams.

Dr. Ramsay turned to Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation, a non-profit, to help fund raise the $12,000 that she needed to raise these two cubs to get them ready for their release back into the wild.

2,000 Petitions Turned In Demanding Healthier, Cleaner New Mexico

on November 27, 2016 - 7:16am
CVNM News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  Immigrant Latin community members and leaders came together with Juntos: Our Air Our Water to turn in over 2,400 signed petitions to Gov. Susana Martínez and the Environmental Department in Santa Fe demanding the state transition to clean, renewable energy that will create a healthier today and tomorrow for Latino communities in New Mexico.
 
When we elect public officials, we trust them to make sure our public resources work for us by protecting our interests now and for our future - and Latino families came together to remind our leaders to put New Mexicans

Nature Center Talk: The Southwest’s First Urban Refuge

on November 26, 2016 - 10:08am

Jennifer Owen-White manages the first urban wildlife refuge in the Southwest, Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Urban green spaces offer people a reprieve from concrete and asphalt, but they also benefit wildlife. Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is bringing Jennifer Owen-White, manager of the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, to speak at no charge to the public at 7 p.m, Tuesday, Nov. 29 at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Owen-White will share the refuge’s history and future plans.

As the first urban wildlife refuge in the Southwest, Valle de

Tales Of Our Times: A Novel Method Lets Out More Truth

on November 26, 2016 - 9:51am
John Bartlit, center, receives the Dorothy Hoard Stewardship Award painting from Friends of Bandelier President Craig Martin with Bandelier National Monument Superintendent Jason Lott. Courtesy photo
 
Tales of Our Times
By JOHN BARTLIT
New Mexico Citizens
for Clean Air & Water


A Novel Method Lets Out More Truth
 
Many thoughts crowded my head after the news came last month that I was to receive the 2016 Dorothy Hoard Stewardship Award from the Friends of Bandelier. The blend of thoughts brings to mind the many faces of progress. 
    
Any such award does honor to the associated groups and

Heinrich Calls On President To Reroute Dakota Access Pipeline

on November 26, 2016 - 9:22am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

From the Office of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued Thanksgiving Day the following statement on the Dakota Access pipeline:

“Today is Thanksgiving and I cannot help but reflect on our history in these United States and how often it has not lived up to the rosy picture of Pilgrims and Indians sharing a meal in friendly company that I saw in textbooks as a child.

NMED Chief Scientist Presents 2015-16 Environmental Monitoring Of Gold King Mine Spill

on November 25, 2016 - 7:05pm

NMED’s Chief Scientist Dennis McQuillan. Courtesy photo

NMED News:

SANTA FE – New Mexico’s Gold King Mine Spill Citizens’ Advisory Committee, based out of San Juan County, will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28 in the San Juan College Student Center – SUNS Room (accessible through the Henderson Fine Arts Building).

New Mexico Environment Department’s Chief Scientist Dennis McQuillan will present a status update and multi-year review of activities related to New Mexico’s Long Term Monitoring Team’s activities.

The Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) is a group of 10 citizen volunteers from

Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Like Walking On Mars

on November 25, 2016 - 9:14am

A recent hike to the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, reveals a 45,000-acre (18,000 ha) wilderness area in San Juan County in the four corners area of New Mexico. Established in 1984, this wilderness is a desolate area of steeply eroded badlands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, with the exception of three parcels of private Navajo land within its boundaries. Translated from the Navajo word Bistahí, Bisti means 'among the adobe formations.' De-Na-Zin takes its name from the Navajo words for 'cranes.' Petroglyphs of cranes have been found south of the Wilderness.

Legacy Cleanup Project Conducts First Public Meeting

on November 24, 2016 - 7:01am
At Fuller Lodge Wednesday night, David Rhodes, director of quality and regulatory compliance for the Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office, gave a detailed account of last year’s activities and current priorities. Photo by Roger Snodgrass/ladailypost.com
 

By ROGER SNODGRASS
Los Alamos Daily Post

With scant hope that additional funds may yet be found for the current year, the newly structured Los Alamos clean-up project under the revised compliance order with the state is gearing up for a long haul.

Public Meeting On Small Modular Reactor Technology

on November 24, 2016 - 6:49am

COUNTY News:

Officials with the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities (DPU) invite the community to a presentation from NuScale Power, the developer of small modular reactors. The public meeting is 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1 in the large meeting room at the Golf Course Building at 4244 Diamond Dr. in Los Alamos.

Speakers include NuScale’s Chief Commercial Offcer Mike McGough, Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Director of the Office of Civilian Nuclear Programs DV Rao, and Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) CEO Doug Hunter.

At the direction of the Board of Public Utilities, DPU

Small Business Profile: PEEC Gift Shop At Nature Center Has Hidden Benefits

on November 23, 2016 - 9:19am

PEEC Gift Shop Manager Kate Barrere in front of the gift shop at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Photo by Sandra West

Staff Report

A major, undeniable benefit to life in Los Alamos is the outstanding scenery and unspoiled flora and fauna surrounding the community. For more than 10 years, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) has strived to educate, celebrate, preserve and explore these natural wonders.

PEEC Marketing Manager Sandra West explained that the organization was founded in 2000 “by a group of dedicated citizens who had a vision of bringing a nature center to Los

AGU: Great Valley Found On Mercury

on November 23, 2016 - 8:40am
AGU News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Scientists have discovered a new large valley on Mercury that may be the first evidence of buckling of the planet’s outer silicate shell in response to global contraction.
 
The researchers discovered the valley using a new high-resolution topographic map of part of Mercury’s southern hemisphere created by stereo images from NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft. The findings were reported in a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
 
The most likely explanation for Mercury’s Great Valley is buckling of the

Scenes From Recycle Fashion Show

on November 23, 2016 - 8:30am
Courtesy photo
 
COMMUNITY News:
 
The Recycle Fashion Show was held Saturday, Nov. 19 at Fuller Lodge.
 
The fashionistas from Los Alamos Public Schools and the community participated in this annual event sponsored by Los Alamos County. This year, Environmental Services Manager Angelica Gurule coordinated with Los Alamos Public School's art teachers to promote the recycle poster contest. 
 
The two grand prize winners' posters chosen to adorn new waste trucks are Kylie Alvarez, fourth grader from Chamisa Elementary and Phillipa Fung, sixth grader from Barranca Elementary.
 

Interstate Stream Commission Accepts Jemez y Sangre Regional Water Plan

on November 22, 2016 - 6:50am
ISC News:
 
SANTA FE The Interstate Stream Commission accepted the Jemez y Sangre Regional Water Plan, Nov. 17.
 
The presentation of the plan by regional Steering Committee representatives, Santa Fe County Commissioner Kathy Holian and Water Resources Coordinator Andrew Erdmann of the City of Santa Fe Water Division, to the commission focused on the key water issues, collaborative strategies and regional recommendations for consideration in the state water plan update.
 
Members of the regional Steering Committees worked together to identify projects, programs and policies of

NMDOT Is Ready For Winter Weather

on November 22, 2016 - 6:02am

In 2015, NMDOT cews removed snow and ice from more than a million pass miles. Courtesy photo

NMDOT News:

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Transportation announced this morning that crews are ready to clear the roads and highways as the state prepares for the winter weather season.

Last year, NMDOT crews removed snow and ice from more than a million pass miles.

“Safety is absolutely our number one priority,” NMDOT Secretary Tom Church said. “Our crews and equipment across the state are ready to respond to winter weather.

Letter To The Editor: The Value Of Solar

on November 21, 2016 - 12:04pm
By KAREN PARAMANANDAM
Positve Energy Solar
 
A new study could change the way Los Alamos DPU compensates solar producers. We should tread carefully.
 

Last week, the Los Alamos Board of Public Utilities hosted a hearing on how to quantify the benefits that solar energy creates for our community. 

This is a crucial question. We all know that harvesting New Mexico’s bountiful sunshine can create a cleaner environment, but many of the biggest advantages of solar energy are economic:

  • Creating jobs;
  • Boosting property values; and
  • Reducing energy costs. 
 
Still, the new Los Alamos study

County Eco Station: Holiday Collection Details

on November 21, 2016 - 9:06am

COUNTY News:

The Los Alamos County Eco Station announces special collection dates during the Thanksgiving holiday:

Eco Station:

  • Closed Thursday, Thanksgiving Day Nov. 24 and Friday, Nov. 25.
  • Special collection date for those affected is Wednesday, Nov. 23.
  • Place trash and recycle roll carts out before 8 a.m.
  • The Eco Station will re-open Saturday, Nov. 26 at 9 a.m.

White Rock Convenience Center:

  • Closed Thursday, Thanksgiving Day Nov. 24 and Friday, Nov. 25.
  • The White Rock Convenience Center will re-open Saturday, Nov.. 26 at 8:30 a.m.

Call the Eco Station with questions or concerns at

A Mountaineer’s Story: Climbing The Alps

on November 20, 2016 - 7:03am
The magnificent Alps draw adventurers from around the world to visit, explore and build memories. Courtesy photo
 
PEEC News:
 
Kelly Gallagher, an adventurer who seeks to enliven everyone's passion for the Alpine mountains by sharing her experiences in the Alps, will present a talk Tuesday, Nov. 22 at the Los Alamos Mountaineers meeting. 
 
The presentation starts by 7:15 p.m. at the Los Alamos Nature Center. The Los Alamos Mountaineers meeting will start at 7 p.m. and cover information about upcoming outings.
 
The Los Alamos Mountaineers meetings are always free to the public, and

International Team Completes Security Enhancements To Uzbekistan’s Radiological Waste Disposal Site

on November 20, 2016 - 5:58am
NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. Courtesy/NNSA
 
NNSA News:
 
TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN  The United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA), the United Kingdom’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the Government of Uzbekistan performed a final review Nov. 15 of the physical protection upgrades implemented to enhance the secure storage of radiological materials at the Republican Establishment of Radioactive Waste Burial (RPZRO).
 
This jointly completed $330,000 project is

Quorum Notice: Recycle Fashion Show Saturday

on November 18, 2016 - 9:40pm
COUNTY News:
 
Members of the Environmental Sustainability Board may attend the Recycle Fashion Show Saturday, Nov. 19 at Fuller Lodge.
 

High Winds Pose Hazards On Santa Fe National Forest

on November 17, 2016 - 8:31pm

Hazard tree. Courtesy/wikipedia

SFNF News:

High wind warnings across much of northern New Mexico are likely to increase risks from falling trees.

Visitors to the Santa Fe National Forest are urged to use extra caution, especially in areas that have been severely burned by wildfire, which are especially prone to hazard trees.

Hazard trees are trees that pose a danger to people or property as a result of structural defects caused by age, fire or disease.

Wind gusts from 50 to 70 miles per hour can substantially increase the risk of both dead and green trees falling.

Stay safe in the

Storytelling Ranger Pete Griffin Shares Tales Of Alaskan Wilderness During Talk At White Rock Library Tuesday

on November 17, 2016 - 11:34am

LIBRARY News:

Pete Griffin, the Storytelling Ranger, will tell some of his tales of the Alaskan Wilderness at the White Rock Branch Library at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 22. He tells personal stories that blend growing up, natural history and natural resource management dilemmas.

Growing up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a career as a wildlife biologist exploring the woods and waters Griffin loved was a natural.

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