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Santa Fe National Forest Seeks Site Stewards

on February 13, 2017 - 10:11am

SFNF News:

SANTA FE - The Santa Fe National Forest is looking for new site stewards. Site stewards work in assigned areas to monitor archaeological and historical sites for evidence of deterioration due to natural causes or vandalism. 

Steward responsibilities include visits to sites on a regular assigned basis (usually once a month, weather and roads permitting), to report damage or significant changes. This is a great way to get outdoors and become more familiar with the forest’s cultural resources. The next formal training is a full-day session Saturday, April 8.

The program hopes to

Morning Snow Scenes From White Rock

on February 13, 2017 - 7:38am

A layer of snow from an overnight storm blankets the area this morning including the Pinon Trails neighborhood in White Rock. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Snow scene in the Pinon Trails neighborhood this morning in White Rock. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Snow scene in the Pinon Trails neighborhood this morning in White Rock. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Camel Rock Has Lost Its Mouth

on February 12, 2017 - 9:20am

Apparently from natural causes, the mouth has dropped off Camel Rock, the popular landmark visible along the interstate north of Santa Fe on U.S. Route 84/285 near Pojoaque. Photo by Kateri Morris
Camel Rock. Photo by Kateri Morris

Camel Rock as it used to look with its mouth intact. Courtesy/wikipedia

Two Guided Snowshoe Hikes In Valles Caldera

on February 11, 2017 - 8:16am
In January, snowshoers visited a historic building and observed the elegant frozen landscape in the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Photo by Jonathan Creel

PEEC News:

The Valles Caldera is coated in snow and open for people to explore its frozen beauty. Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is working with the Valles Caldera National Preserve (VALL) to offer educational, family-friendly, hikes. The next hike is 1-3:30 p.m., Feb. 18 and be led by a VALL ranger and a PEEC representative.

Valles Caldera National Preserve Offers Extended Hours

on February 11, 2017 - 8:07am
NPS News:
JEMEZ SPRINGS — Valles Caldera National Preserve is offering extended hours for winter recreation today. Normal operational hours, currently 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., will be extended until 9:30 p.m. with the entrance gate closing at 10 p.m.
The Valle Grande Entrance Station and a contact station positioned among historic cabins will be open and available for warming. The Valle Grande Bookstore, managed by Los Amigos de Valles Caldera, will be renting snowshoes and poles and selling gifts and books.

Bandelier Asking For Public Comments On Project

on February 11, 2017 - 7:56am
Sketch of proposed tri-plex housing unit, Bandelier National Monument. Courtesy/NPS
The National Park Service (NPS) at Bandelier National Monument is soliciting input on an Environmental Assessment for a project that proposes to construct two tri-plex housing units for temporary employees, and two group campsites for work crews, in the park's Mesa Housing Area. 
The tri-plexes would replace four NPS-owned trailers which were set up in 1982 to be used for office space and housing for temporary employees.

Daily Postcard: Lenticular Clouds At Sunset

on February 11, 2017 - 7:05am

Daily Postcard: Lenticular clouds at sunset Thursday above the mountains around Taos. Photo by Marc Bailey

Daily Postcard: Bucks Linger On Lawn In Barranca

on February 10, 2017 - 6:44am

Daily Postcard: A pair of bucks linger on the lawn of a home Wednesday on Barranca. Photo by Anthony Pollington

Republican Lawmakers Meet With NM Environment Secretary Tongate On New Food Handling Regulations

on February 9, 2017 - 9:07pm
NMED News:
SANTA FE Republican members of the House and Senate met Wendesday with New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Secretary Butch Tongate to discuss the department’s new food handling regulations.
Lawmakers expressed concerns about the impact the regulations would have on community groups, businesses and nonprofit organizations in their districts.
The new regulations require anyone who handles food at a public function to have a food handler card. The requirement applies to any location where food is served, including movie theaters and community fundraisers.

Amateur Naturalist: A Small Patch Of Yellowstone In New Mexico

on February 9, 2017 - 6:08am
A vertical column of rock in Sulfur Creek canyon. Photo by Bob Dryja
PEEC Amateur Naturalist: A small patch of Yellowstone in New Mexico
By Robert Dryja
The Valles Caldera is approximately thirteen miles across. It is so large that several volcanic peaks rose up in it after its creation 1.2 million years ago.
Hot lava still exists beneath the caldera. This is most evident areas that have warm springs and ponds that are bubbling with hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide gases. The water can be acidic and the smell of rotten eggs fills the nearby air.

Family Night At Los Alamos Nature Center Feb. 14

on February 9, 2017 - 5:59am
Young kids engage in fun activities with Melissa Mackey at the Nature Center where there is something new each month. Courtesy photo
PEEC News:
Family Night at the Los Alamos Nature Center is 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14. The community is invited to enjoy an evening of games and hands-on activities with Mesa Public Library’s Melissa Mackey. The nature center will be open until 8 p.m. for exploring the exhibits.
The second Tuesday of each month is Family Night at the nature center and thanks to a generous sponsorship from the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos, this program is free for all.

ESB Presents Recommendation Regarding Brush & Bulk Item Collection Program To County Council Feb. 14

on February 8, 2017 - 9:29am

Example of a bulky brush pile ready for pickup. Courtesy image


At the Feb. 14 Los Alamos County Council meeting, the Environmental Sustainability Board (ESB) will present its findings and recommendation regarding the Brush and Bulk Item Collection Program.

The following recommendations will go before County Council for review and approval:

Final Recommendation:

  • Collect brush only utilizing an “Organic Yard Trimming Roll-Cart,” and offer a paid scheduled collection for bulk items.

Alternative A:

  • Collect brush only on a quarterly basis and offer a paid scheduled collection

Daily Postcard: North Mesa Sunrise

on February 8, 2017 - 6:34am

Daily Postcard: The sunrise lights the sky Tuesday over North Mesa. Photo by Ryn Herrmann

Daily Postcard: Night Falls On The Jemez

on February 6, 2017 - 5:22am

Daily Postcard: The night sky during a camp out Saturday in the Jemez. Photo by Christopher Clark/

Outfitter/Guide Applications For SFNF Special Use Permits Due Feb. 15

on February 4, 2017 - 5:02am
SFNF News:
SANTA FE  Commercial guides and outfitters seeking 2017 special use permits to operate on Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) lands must submit proposals by Feb. 15, 2017, for priority processing. 
A special use authorization or permit is required when any use or activity on National Forest System lands charges an entry or participation fee and/or where the primary purpose is the sale of a good or service, regardless of whether it produces a profit. 
Examples of activities requiring a special use authorization include hunting, hiking, skiing, and other outfitted uses,

Los Alamos Genealogical Association Meets Feb. 9

on February 4, 2017 - 5:02am
LAGA News:
The Los Alamos Genealogical Association meets at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb 9, at the Mesa Public Library in Los Alamos.
The presentation will be given by Ron Smith and it is entitled "Understanding Genealogical DNA Test Results and One User's Experience with the Different Tests."

The traditional no-host social dinner will start at 5:30 p.m., that evening at China Moon Restaurant.

Daily Postcard: Big Buck Eats Bird Seed On Sandia

on February 4, 2017 - 3:38am

Daily Postcard: A young buck is spotted eating seeds from a back yard birdfeeder on Sandia Street. Photo by Peggy Goldman

Daily Postcard: February Sunset Over Los Alamos

on February 3, 2017 - 6:33am

Daily Postcard: February begins with balmy temperatures and an amazing sunset over Los Alamos as seen Wednesday from the Smith's Marketplace shopping center. Photo by Marc Bailey

BLM And Forest Service Announce 2017 Grazing Fee

on February 2, 2017 - 11:06am
BLM News:
The Federal grazing fee for 2017 will be $1.87 per animal unit month (AUM) for public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and $1.87 per head month (HM) for lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The 2016 public land grazing fee was $2.11.
An AUM or HM – treated as equivalent measures for fee purposes – is the use of public lands by one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month.

Houston Deploys Jemez Analytics to Ensure Public Safety at Super Bowl LIVE

on February 2, 2017 - 10:46am


FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Jemez Technology’s Eagle-i Edge® advanced video analytics solution for real-time threat detection and tracking has been deployed as an integral part of the security technology selected by The City of Houston Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security to protect the more than one million fans expected to experience the 10-day Super Bowl LIVE event at the city’s 12-acre Discovery Green Park.

Jemez Technology was founded by former scientists from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, bringing decades of national security experience to its

Heinrich Supports Confirmation Of Ryan Zinke For Interior Secretary, Highlights Success Of National Monuments In New Mexico

on February 2, 2017 - 9:46am
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, right, meets Jan. 10 with Interior Secretary Nominee Ryan Zinke. Courtesy photo
WASHINGTON, D.C.   U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) voted Jan. 31 in support of Secretary of the Interior nominee U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) during a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources business meeting.
“While we are clearly not going to agree on every issue, I believe its very important to have a Westerner in this role -- particularly one who is committed to keeping public lands in public hands,” Heinrich said.
Earlier this month,

Youth Beginning Photography Class For 1st-3rd Graders At Los Alamos Nature Center

on February 2, 2017 - 9:35am
Acorn Woodpeckers frequently visit the Los Alamos Nature Center. Photo by Mrs. Magelssen
PEEC News:
Retired school teacher Mrs. Magelssen will teach a beginning photography class for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Los Alamos Nature Center.
This beginning photography class will encourage children to discover the basics of composing good photographs through hands-on experience. Camera equipment will be provided. Students will identify pictures that are pleasing to the eye, take pictures of flowers and wildlife at the nature center.

Enjoy The Outdoors This Winter At Bandelier

on February 2, 2017 - 9:14am
View from the end of the Upper Frijoles Canyon Overlook Trail, January 2017. Courtesy/NPS

Trailhead area for Upper Frijoles Canyon Overlook Trail and Sawyer Mesa Trail, along State Route 4 near the junction with Forest Road 289. Courtesy/NPS


This is an ideal time for enjoying winter in and around Bandelier National Monument, with snow at higher elevations and lots of sunny days.
Anyone comfortable in winter conditions can readily find a number of opportunities available in the park.

Benson: Unlike Phil, Gus Is A Rodent's Rodent

on February 2, 2017 - 9:03am
Pajarito Group of the Sierra Club

Thursday, Feb 2, demarcates the point in the calendar halfway between the winter solstice and spring equinox. In simpler times, (prior to anthropogenic green-house gases causing climate change with the resulting unpredictability of atmospheric conditions) on this day—Groundhog Day—it would be up to the groundhog to partner with his shadow to determine the weather for the next six weeks.

Here in New Mexico, as many of you already know, we do not have groundhogs. Rather we have gophers.

Story Of Texas (And Now New Mexico) Punxatawney Phil

on February 2, 2017 - 8:21am
Since his arrival in Los Alamos in October, Punxatawney Phil has been spotted all over town. Here he checks out the view on Central Avenue with J. Robert Oppenheimer. Courtesy photo
Punxatawney Phil sees his shadow this morning so he's predicting another six weeks of winter. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos
My father Lawrence Strouts spends his winters in a retirement community in south Texas, and the idea of celebrating Groundhog Day with residents there came about many, many years ago.