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Environment

Daily Postcard: Sun Glows Over Los Alamos

on April 22, 2017 - 5:01am

Daily Postcard: The glow from the sun rising over Los Alamos. Photo by Corrina Hughes

Report: National Park Tourism In New Mexico Creates $132.4 Million In Economic Benefit

on April 21, 2017 - 9:58am
NPS News:
 
DENVER  A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that the 1,872,045 visitors to national parks in New Mexico in 2016 spent $108.4 million in the state.
 
That spending supported 1,685 jobs and had a cumulative benefit to the state economy of $132.4 million. It also represents an 11.1 percent increase in spending and a 9.1 percent rise in visitation over 2015.
 
“From Aztec Ruins to White Sands, the 14 national park units of New Mexico attract visitors from within the state, across the country and around the world,” NPS
Intermountain Region Director Sue Masica said.

Andy Bond Discusses Avalanches With Mountaineers

on April 21, 2017 - 6:15am
Andy Bond investigates an early season snow pack with lots of facets. Courtesy photo
 
Andy Bond at work. Courtesy photo

MOUNTAINEERS News:

Join the Los Alamos Mountaineers Tuesday, April 25 at the Los Alamos Nature Center for a presentation by Andy Bond of the Taos Avalanche Center.

Social time is at 6:45 p.m. and reports of recent and upcoming trips at 7 p.m. The program begins at 7:30 p.m.

Bond and Graham Turnage founded the Taos Avalanche Center in 2016 as an independent nonprofit.

SFNF Fire Crews Meet Objectives On Watershed Prescribed Burn

on April 21, 2017 - 5:42am
SFNF News:
 
SANTA FE  Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) said that the prescribed burn implemented one week ago in the Santa Fe Municipal Watershed successfully met objectives, removing heavy fuels to reduce the risk of high-intensity wildfire and restore the landscape to historic conditions.
 
Although aerial and hand ignitions were completed April 11, the 340-acre treatment area still has a few interior pockets of fuel that are smoldering, which may create visible smoke in the Santa Fe metro area.

Why Can We See And Hear Meteors At The Same Time?

on April 21, 2017 - 5:28am
A new study explains why we can hear meteors at the same time as we see them. Courtesy photo
 
By LAUREN LIPUMA
AGU Blogosphere
 
Light travels nearly a million times faster than sound. But for thousands of years, humans have reported hearing some meteors as they pass overhead, puzzling scientists for decades.
 
Now, a new study puts forth a simple explanation for the phenomenon: the sound waves aren’t coming from the meteor itself. Instead, radio waves created by the meteor convert to sound waves when they strike metal structures on Earth.
 
Edmund Halley – namesake of the famous

Welcome To The Woods

on April 21, 2017 - 5:08am

 

WICCAN News:

Ever wondered what real witches do on the night of the full moon? Or what the Pentagram really means? Or what a Wiccan ritual is like -- or wanted to see one? Join the Coven of Our Lady of the Woods for three fun and informative evenings where they will explore these questions and much more.

The group meets the second Wednesday of May, June and July to share information and skills about the modern practice of witchcraft. They gather at 6:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7 p.m. at the Los Alamos Unitarian Church, 1738 North Sage St.

Field Trip Focusing On Geology Of Northern New Mexico June 4-10

on April 20, 2017 - 3:26pm
COMMUNITY News:
 
Princeton professor emeritus Lincoln Hollister will lead a June field trip focusing on the geology of Northern New Mexico.
 
The class, based at the Ghost Ranch Education Center near Abiquíu, will look at rocks ranging in age from Río Grade Gorge outcrops dated at more than a billion years, to the much more recent volcanics of the Pajarito Plateau.
 
Participants will stay at Ghost Ranch, with lodging and meals provided. They will explore the geology of the ranch area on foot and by van.

Letter To The Editor: Science, Policy And Earth Day

on April 20, 2017 - 10:27am
By KHALIL SPENCER
Los Alamos

In Honor of Upcoming Earth Day: Are Science and Politics Immiscible Quantities?

“Americans have reached a point where ignorance, especially of anything related to public policy, is an actual virtue,” the scholar Tom Nichols writes in his timely new book, “The Death of Expertise.” “To reject the advice of experts is to assert autonomy, a way for Americans to insulate their increasingly fragile egos from ever being told they’re wrong about anything.

Gilman Tunnels Closing Temporarily To Mitigate Rockfall Hazards

on April 20, 2017 - 9:36am

Gilman Tunnels closing temporaritly to mitigate rockfall hazards. Courtesy/Buggs Photography

SFNF News:

The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) has announced that a half-mile segment of the road that passes through the Gilman Tunnels on the Jemez Ranger District will be closed to traffic to allow crews to remove loose rock and stabilize the rock cliffs around the tunnels.

“We apologize in advance for any inconvenience caused by our work on the Gilman Tunnels.

Local Expert Leads Monthly Wildflower Walk April 24

on April 20, 2017 - 8:04am
Kinnikinnick in bloom along Quemazon Trail. Photo by Chick Keller
 
PEEC News:
 
Starting at 5:30 p.m., Monday, April 24, Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s Jemez Mountain Herbarium Curator Chick Keller will lead the first monthly Wildflower Walk of the season. These outings will be easy walks to identify some of the wildflower beauties found in and around Los Alamos.
 
Each month Keller will pick a different trail, depending on what is blooming at the time. The walks are free and there is no advance registration required.
 
The Wildflower Walks are one Monday a month for the

Daily Postcard: Petroglyphs At Besalt Springs

on April 20, 2017 - 7:49am

Daily Postcard: Petroglyphs at Besalt Springs. Photo by Robert Beberniss

Photo by Robert Beberniss

Photo by Robert Beberniss

NNMC Presents Renewable Energy Festival April 21-22

on April 19, 2017 - 8:36am
NNMC News:
 
Earth Day weekend, April 21-22, Northern New Mexico College will host the Renewable Energy Festival: Bringing Power to the People! This FREE event is an opportunity to learn about and get involved with renewable energy and the new energy economy.
 
The festival opens from 6-8 p.m., Friday, April 21, with live performances by the Sikh Community Choir, Moving Arts Española Youth Folklorico, Hoop Dancers from the pueblos of Ohkay Owingeh and Pojoaque, folk musicians David Garcia and Cipriano Vigil, the Cavalcante Jazz Ensemble, and much more.
 
On Earth Day, Saturday April 22,

Los Alamos Canyon Soil Cleanup Project Continues

on April 19, 2017 - 8:01am

EM-LA Manager Doug Hintze

EM-LA News:

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office (EM-LA) and Los Alamos National Security, LLC, are moving forward with the removal of contaminated soil along the south-facing slopes of Los Alamos Canyon adjacent to the Los Alamos Townsite. The contaminated soil is primarily associated with legacy outfalls and surface disposal areas.

“Cleaning up the remnants of the Laboratory’s historical activities within and around the Los Alamos Townsite is important to our mission.

Valles Caldera Plans Spring Prescribed Burns

on April 19, 2017 - 7:11am
VCNP News:
 
JEMEZ SPRINGS  Valles Caldera National Preserve is planning to implement prescribed burn projects should conditions allow through May.
 
The prescribed burn will be within a 703-acre project area on Valles Caldera National Preserve, north of NM 4 in the Banco Bonito area near mile marker 30. The burn operations will be completed in phases over a total of two to six days and are not expected to cause road closures or disrupt visitor activities elsewhere on the preserve. Burn days may not necessarily be consecutive as they will depend on weather and fuel conditions.
 

Rehabilitated Aetos The Red-Tailed Hawk Is Released

on April 18, 2017 - 5:39pm

With the generous donations to Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation, Cottonwood Rehab and the Santa Fe Raptor Center were able to successfully rehab and release Aetos the Red-Tailed Hawk. Aetos came to Dr. Kathleen Ramsay severely emaciated, and thought to be 'an eagle sent from God'. Dr. Ramsay was able to stablize Aetos, and then transfer her to the Santa Fe Raptor Center in El Rito for further strengthening and conditioning. Yesterday, she took to the skies like she never had left, and returned home to the mountains of Taos. Courtesy photo

Aetos the Red-Tailed Hawk. Courtesy photo

Bandelier Hosts Artists For Fire Science & Art Collaborative

on April 18, 2017 - 8:21am

East Jemez Landscape Futures project Artists in Residence Shawn Skabelund and Kathleen Brennan. Courtesy/NPS

BANDELIER News:

Bandelier National Monument will host artists Kathleen Brennan from Taos and Shawn Skabelund from Flagstaff, Ariz., through April 19.

Brennan and Skabelund are artists in residence as part of the East Jemez Landscape Futures project (EJLF), which aims to address conservation challenges posed by recent severe droughts, fires, and floods that affected many local communities in the eastern Jemez Mountains.

The goal of the EJLF project is for land managers, local

Valles Caldera Plans Spring Prescribed Burns

on April 17, 2017 - 4:29pm
NPS News:
 
JEMEZ SPRINGS  Valles Caldera National Preserve is planning to implement prescribed burn projects that may begin should conditions allow over the next two months of April and May.
 
The prescribed burn will be within a 703-acre project area on Valles Caldera National Preserve, north of N.M. 4 in the Banco Bonito area near mile marker 30. The burn operations will be completed in phases over a total of two to six days and are not expected to cause road closures or disrupt visitor activities elsewhere on the preserve.

SFNF: Abandoned Campfires Raise Fire Danger

on April 17, 2017 - 12:32pm

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – A rash of unattended and abandoned campfires on the Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest over Easter weekend put visitors, fire crews and the forest at unnecessary risk.

Fortunately, none of the six to seven identified campfires at the Redondo Campground and along Forest Road 376 sparked or spread before they were discovered and extinguished. But as the New Mexico fire season nears, it’s important to remember that unattended campfires are the leading human cause of wildfire.

Visitors to national forests are asked to follow campfire safety procedures

Daily Postcard: Turtle Sunbathes At Ashley Pond

on April 17, 2017 - 6:31am
Daily Postcard: A turtle living in Ashley Pond is spotted sunning itself on the rocks. Photo by Ken Hanson

Bandelier's First Astronomy Program Of Season April 22

on April 16, 2017 - 9:33am
Bandelier National Monument's first astronomy program of the season is 8 p.m. Saturday, April 22, in the Juniper Campground Amphitheater. The community is invited to join them for a Ranger talk, followed by viewing the universe through giant telescopes! Courtesy/National Park Service

Court Grants EPA Delay In Smog Standards Battle

on April 16, 2017 - 8:01am
EPA News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  A federal court granted a request from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to delay court proceedings over the more protective 2015 smog standards.
 
The agency had requested the delay to give it additional time to review those standards. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted the EPA’s request in a summary order.
 
Attorneys for public health and environmental organizations think the delay is likely an indication that the federal government will seek to stop defending or weaken implementation of the smog standards.
 

WIPP Receives First Shipment Since Reopening

on April 16, 2017 - 7:24am
DOE News:
 
CARLSBAD  EM’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) has announced receipt of its first shipment of transuranic (TRU) waste since WIPP reopened in January.
 
The shipment from Idaho is an important milestone for WIPP and for DOE host communities that have had to store TRU waste since WIPP suspended operations in February 2014 when a truck fire and unrelated radiological event temporarily closed the facility.
 
“To see shipments arriving again at WIPP is celebrated not only by the WIPP workforce and the Carlsbad community but also by our DOE host communities that support the

Los Alamos Nature Center Open Today

on April 16, 2017 - 7:18am

Pasqueflowers, also known as Easter flowers, are one of the signs of spring that can be found on local trails this time of year. Stop by the Los Alamos Nature Center to find a trail and learn more about local flora and fauna. Photo by Terry Foxx

PEEC News:

This weekend is a great time to enjoy nature and the Los Alamos Nature Center can help. The nature center is open on Easter 1-4 p.m. today, Easter Sunday and the community is invited to stop by to look for signs of spring.

The Los Alamos Nature Center is open on holidays except: Thursday holidays, July 4th, Dec. 24 and 25, and Jan. 1.

Daily Postcard: Cedar Waxwings Crowd Local Birdbath

on April 16, 2017 - 6:55am
Daily Postcard: A small flock of cedar waxwings are spotted Thursday morning crowded around a birdbath at a Los Alamos home. Photo by Ken Hanson

Woodpecker Hammers Dead Tree At Bandelier

on April 15, 2017 - 10:30am

A woodpecker spotted at Bandelier National Monument … ‘In order to see birds, it is necessary to become part of the silence.’ –Robert Lynd. Courtesy/National Park Service

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