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Organic Farm Goes Green With Solar Power System

on September 21, 2016 - 8:16am
USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner (second from left) presents a certificate of congratulations to Ronald Ice (third from left) and his wife Gayle for the recent completion of construction of a solar power system at their farm; as Karen Paramanandam of SunPower by Positive Energy Solar looks on. Courtesy photo
USDA News:
ALBUQUERQUE USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner dedicated the new solar photovoltaic system recently installed at the Ice’s Organic Farm and Tea House in Alcalde.
While presenting a certificate of completion, Brunner said, "This

Valles Caldera Jemez Mountains Elk Festival Sept. 24

on September 21, 2016 - 7:46am
The 8th Annual Jemez Mountains Elk Festival is 2-7 p.m., Sept. 24. Courtesy/nps
VCNP News:
The Valles Caldera National Preserve is home to one of the largest elk herds in New Mexico. Each fall, the sound of elk bugling in the mountains marks the start of their mating season, known as the 'rut'.
To celebrate the upcoming elk rut and to learn about this fascinating creature, the National Park Service will host the 8th Annual Jemez Mountains Elk Festival 2-7 p.m., Sept. 24. 
This FREE festival features a food truck, bugling contest, solar telescope display, and loads of fun interactive

Heinrich, Flake Introduce Legislation To Complete Parks, Wilderness Areas And Increase Revenues For Schools

on September 20, 2016 - 8:20am
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) have introduced legislation to better facilitate land exchanges between Western state land offices and federal public land agencies.
The Advancing Conservation and Education (ACE) Act specifically focuses on state trust land inholdings within the boundaries of federal conservation areas like parks, monuments, and wilderness areas.  

"Inholdings present challenges for both public land managers and state trust land commissioners because differing policies and missions of the respective

PEEC: Fourth Friday Fractal Show Sept. 23

on September 20, 2016 - 8:02am
PEEC News:
Have you journeyed into the never-ending world of fractals?
Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s dynamic fractal show is back for one evening this month: at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 23 in the Los Alamos Nature Center Planetarium.
This show incorporates math, science, art, and nature in a full-dome planetarium show featuring original music.
This spectacular show starts promptly at 7 p.m. and seating is limited. Tickets may be purchased by phone or at the nature center and are only $10 for adults and $8 for children.

Universal News: This Just In - Gravity Waves Are Real

on September 18, 2016 - 12:18pm
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in Livingston, La. Courtesy/CalTech
Los Alamos Daily Post

Gravity waves were detected in the universe for the first time on Sept. 14, 2015, a hundred years after they were predicted by Albert Einstein in his general theory of relativity. Even at the speed of light, they took 1.3 billion years to get here. The first detected gravitational waves were produced by a specific cataclysmic event, identified as two black holes coalescing, releasing enough energy in the last fraction of a second to warp time and space.


Public Astronomy Dark Night Saturday, Sept. 24

on September 18, 2016 - 11:48am


The Pajarito Astronomers is holding a County-sponsored Dark Night starting at 7 p.m. (sunset) Saturday, Sept. 24 at Spirio Soccer Field, Overlook Park in White Rock.

Weather permitting, the public is invited to come out, wander among the telescopes and star gaze.

Five planets will potentially be visible during the evening:

  • Venus;
  • Mars;
  • Saturn;
  • Uranus; and
  • Neptune.

There will be a tour of the summer and fall constellations, and there will be telescope views of double stars, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. 

The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

DOE Releases Baseline Study Of Legacy Waste Cleanup Needs At LANL

on September 17, 2016 - 10:00am
LANL News:
SANTA FE  In a major development for the efforts of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities, including Santa Fe, which is advocating for the cleanup of legacy radioactive and chemical waste resulting from historic uses of Los Alamos National Labs, the Department of Energy’s Environmental Management Office has completed and released a Legacy Waste Cleanup Lifecycle Cost Estimate.
The 46-page document was obtained on behalf of and provided to the Coalition thanks to the efforts of Sen. Martin Heinrich, Sen. Tom Udall, and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan.
It lays out in detail,

Giant Algal Bloom Sheds Light On Formation Of White Cliffs Of Dover

on September 17, 2016 - 8:59am
The White Cliffs of Dover have been a symbol of England at least since Roman times. New research is teaching scientists more about how this great structure came to be. Photo by Immanuel Giel/Wikimedia Commons
This microscopic view of a coccolithophore shows the saucer-shaped calcite plates the algae build around themselves. Scientists suspect the plates help coccolithophores survive and evade predators. Photo by Alison R. Taylor/University of North Carolina Wilmington Microscopy Facility/Wikimedia Commons
AGU News:


How Nature Works Colloquium Sept. 28

on September 16, 2016 - 12:49pm
SAR News:
SANTA FE  How does nature work? That’s the question posed by a Sept. 28 advanced seminar discussion at The School for Advanced Research (SAR).
Part of the SAR Colloquium Series on campus, seminar chairs Sarah Besky, Alexander Blanchette, and Naisargi Dave will lead the one-hour discussion at noon in the SAR Dobkin Boardroom that is free and open to the public.
“How Nature Works” aims to study the history, evolution, and future of labor and work that is attuned and accountable to the effects of climate change.

Conservation Lands Foundation Applauds First Marine Monument In The Atlantic

on September 16, 2016 - 8:32am
CLF News:
WASHINGTON, D.C.  The Conservation Lands Foundation applauds Thursday's designation of the New England Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.
President Obama’s proclamation will make this the first national monument in the North Atlantic Ocean.
“In taking this action, President Obama has demonstrated the same bold leadership he has shown in protecting America’s mountains, rivers and forests,” said Brian O’Donnell, executive director of the Conservation Lands Foundation.

DNCU Shreds & Recycles 34,780 Pounds Of Paper

on September 15, 2016 - 11:54am

DNCU News:

Del Norte Credit Union (DNCU), northern New Mexico’s hometown financial cooperative, is proud to announce its 2016 Shred Days have collected 34,780 pounds of paper for recycling. Shred events were held at each of the co-op’s six branches to allow members and the public to dispose of sensitive papers safely.

“We are proud to see the results of our commitment to the environment,” DNCU CEO/President Chuck Valenti said.

PEEC Amateur Naturalist: Mushrooms Along La Jara Trail

on September 15, 2016 - 9:13am
PEEC Amateur Naturalist
Mushrooms Along The La Jara Trail
It is late summertime and rain has been falling regularly for several weeks in the Valle Grande. Varieties of mushrooms are emerging from the ground or are growing on the sides of trees. 
The trail around the Cerro La Jara dome in the Valle Grande provides a visually pleasing setting in which to look for mushrooms. The Valle Grande is seen in any direction as the trail circles the dome. The dome was created as lava below pushed the level floor of the Valle Grande upwards.

Northern New Mexico Citizens’ Advisory Board To Hear Presentation On Air Monitoring At LANL

on September 15, 2016 - 8:45am
The Northern New Mexico Citizens’ Advisory Board (NNMCAB) meets 1-5:15 p.m. Sept. 28, in the Ballroom of the Student Union Building at New Mexico Highlands University, 800 National Ave., in Las Vegas.
The NNMCAB is one of eight site-specific advisory boards established to involve local citizens in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) environmental clean-up decision process at its nuclear facilities. Members of the public are encouraged to attend NNMCAB meetings and provide their unique perspective on environmental issues.


At 2:30 p.m., David Rhodes, DOE Environmental

DOE Issues RFI For Low-Level Waste/Mixed Low-Level Waste Disposal 2018 Procurement

on September 15, 2016 - 8:15am
DOE News:
CINCINNATI, OHIO  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center (EMCBC) has issued a Sources Sought/Request for Information (RFI) seeking interested parties with the specialized capabilities necessary to meet the requirements for the Low-Level Waste/Mixed Low-Level Waste (LLW/MLLW) Disposal (2018) procurement.
This effort will require contractors to safely dispose of LLW/MLLW; Section 11e.(2) byproduct material; technologically-enhanced, naturally-occurring radioactive material (TENORM); and sealed sources.
DOE is seeking

Prescribed Burn Planned On Cuba Ranger District

on September 14, 2016 - 9:01am
SFNF News:
Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to conduct the Cedar Springs prescribed burn on the Cuba Ranger District sometime between Sept. 23 and Oct. 1. That window is dependent on favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts.
The 2,187-acre Cedar Springs prescribed burn is approximately five miles northeast of the community of Llaves and one mile north of the Dead Man Lookout.

LANL Clean Up Estimate Still Lacks Details

on September 14, 2016 - 8:43am
Los Alamos County Councilor Kristin Henderson and Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales at the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities meeting last week in Ohkay Owingeh. Photo by Roger Snodgrass/
Los Alamos Daily Post
A delegation from the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities is visiting Washington, D.C. this week to attend a National Cleanup Conference.
In scheduled talks on Capitol Hill and with Department of Energy officials, they will not have the benefit of some missing information that has been blamed for inadequate funding of environmental

PEEC: Monthly Wildflower Walk Sept.19

on September 13, 2016 - 10:17am
Wildflower expert Chick Keller leads a wildflower walk for PEEC on September 19. Courtesy photo
PEEC News:
Would you like to learn more about the wildflowers that populate New Mexico?
Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s Jemez Mountain Herbarium curator, Chick Keller, will lead the September Wildflower Walk at 5:30 p.m., Monday, September 19, one of two remaining Wildflower Walks this season.
These monthly outings are easy walks to identify some of the wildflower beauties found in and around Los Alamos. Trails vary each month depending on what is blooming at the time.

Luján Advocates For New Mexico Priorities In Energy Conference Committee

on September 12, 2016 - 10:33am
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District participated in the first meeting of Senate and House Conferees on the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016. 
The conference committee is working out differences between House and Senate legislation. Below are his remarks as prepared.
“Thank you Madam Chair. Our work here today on an Energy Bill is one of great importance for our nation, and particularly for an energy state like New Mexico.

Heinrich Welcomes Administration’s Response To Tribal Concerns Over Dakota Access Pipeline Project

on September 11, 2016 - 10:20am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

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

‘I will explore ways to improve the tribal consultation process for projects like this one so voices and expertise from Native communities are successfully included.’ –U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich


Los Alamos Nature Center Family Night Sept. 13

on September 11, 2016 - 9:27am
PEEC News:
Family Night at the Los Alamos Nature Center is 6-7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 13
Enjoy an evening of games and songs around the campfire with Mesa Public Library’s Melissa Mackey. The nature center will be open for exploring the exhibits until 8 p.m.
Mark your calendars: the second Tuesday of every month is Family Night at the nature center. Thanks to a generous sponsorship from the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos, this program is free for all who wish to attend.
For more information about this and other programs offered by the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC),

Udall, Heinrich, Luján Applaud ‘Superfund’ Designation For Gold King Mine District

on September 10, 2016 - 9:17am


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján welcomed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to add the Bonita Peak Mining District in Colorado's San Juan County – home to the Gold King Mine – to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites.

The lawmakers have pressed the EPA to support designating the Gold King Mine as a Superfund site since a blowout last August released toxic wastewater into the Animas and San Juan rivers in New Mexico and Colorado.

PEEC Planetarium Show Explores Solar System

on September 10, 2016 - 7:54am

Wallace reveals new discoveries in the solar system during a talk Friday in the Los Alamos Nature Center planetarium. Photo from Cassini 2013

PEEC News:

The community is invited to take a journey with astrophysicist Dr. Rick Wallace at 7 p.m., Friday to discover new revelations about the solar system.

Attendees will view the solar system in the planetarium dome at the Los Alamos Nature Center, 2600 Canyon Road and glimpse the possibilities of a new planet.

Wallace will convey key discoveries in the solar system made by NASA/ESA space probes and advanced ground-based telescopes.

Steve Tapia Shares Wildlife Stories Sept. 20

on September 9, 2016 - 7:06am
Author Steve Tapia presents a talk Sept. 20 at the Los Alamos Nature Center on how certain animals prepare for winter. Courtesy/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
PEEC News:
Author Steve Tapia reveals how the western tanager, coyote and pika three different animals prepare for winter during a presentation at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20 at the Los Alamos Nature Center, 2600 Canyon Road.
Tapia is a local author who resides in Taos. His best-known book, De la Tierra: The Natural World of Northern New Mexico, depicts the flora and fauna populating area landscape.
“Teaching people about

PEEC: Caja del Rio Hike With Evan Rose Sept. 17

on September 8, 2016 - 9:32am
Hike the Caja del Rio Trail Saturday, Sept. 17 with Evan Rose. Courtesy photo
PEEC News:
The community is invited to join Evan Rose Saturday, Sept. 17 as he leads a beautiful hike on the Caja del Rio Ttrail.
The 8 to 10 mile trek through Santa Fe National Forest offers spectacular views of the Rio Grande, a vast array of wildflowers, and some much-needed fresh air. This outing, organized by the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC), is one of many events to help people get outside and enjoy nature.
This hike is intended as an introduction to the Caja del Rio region.

Audubon Announces Historic Water Release

on September 8, 2016 - 9:23am
SANTA FE — This month marks a milestone for river conservation in the state of New Mexico and for Audubon.
In a first-of-its-kind water transfer initiative, Audubon New Mexico, a non-profit conservation organization, has begun to release 260 million gallons of water to the Middle Rio Grande to increase vital streamflow needed by fish and wildlife in stretches of the river vulnerable to drying out during the late summer months.
Audubon New Mexico and four Middle Rio Grande Pueblos – Sandia, Isleta, Santa Ana, and Cochiti – have joined together in an