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Thieves Steal Crucial Wildland Firefighting Equipment

on July 29, 2016 - 10:42am

Mars Rover’s Laser Can Now Target Rocks All By Itself

on July 29, 2016 - 8:45am
NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover autonomously selects some targets for the laser and telescopic camera of its ChemCam instrument. For example, on-board software analyzed the Navcam image at left, chose the target indicated with a yellow dot, and pointed ChemCam for laser shots and the image at right. Courtesy NASA

LANL News:

New software is enabling ChemCam, the laser spectrometer on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, to select rock targets autonomously—the first time autonomous target selection is available for an instrument of this kind on any robotic planetary mission.

Tales Of Our Times: Why A Larger Scope Is Scary

on July 29, 2016 - 8:36am
Tales of Our Times

New Mexico Citizens
for Clean Air & Water
Why a Larger Scope is Scary
New technology spreads people’s words and selected sound-bites ever faster, farther and more widely. Communication pathways broaden, yet the stories they carry grow more narrow. Thin stories keep a thin audience.
The goal today is not to reach more people, but to persuade doubly those who already agree with our views. Public arguments try to appeal to known believers—to inspirit the faithful.

Bandelier Hosts Reunion During Centennial Celebration

on July 27, 2016 - 10:38am
Participants arriving Saturday for the Bandelier Reunion in Frijoles Canyon. Courtesy/NPS Photo
Nearly 200 people attended Saturday's Bandelier Reunion. Courtesy/NPS Photo


As part of the celebration of Bandelier National Monument’s 100th birthday and the Centennial of the National Park Service, Bandelier held a reunion Saturday, July 23, inviting present and former employees as well as anyone with close personal connections to the park. 

Nearly 200 people attended, counting current staff as well as those who came from near and far. 

The event was partnered with the

Meet The Orphaned Bear Cubs!

on July 27, 2016 - 10:04am

Two healthy, playful bear cubs captured on a recently installed game camera. Courtesy/LEWF

LEWF News:

Dr. Kathleen Ramsay received the two orphaned bear cubs June 25 from the Valles Caldera National Preserve. (Their mother had been euthanized following an attack on a local runner who unknowingly passed beetween her and the cubs.)

Weighing in at about 10 pounds each, Dr. Ramsay went to work to get the cubs used to their new diet of “mush” and fruit, veggies and dog food.

Now, less than a month later, Valley Girl and Cowboy are well over 20 pounds and full of playful energy.

Daily Postcard: Morning Comes To Walnut Canyon

on July 27, 2016 - 10:01am

Daily Postcard: Morning comes to Walnut Canyon. Photo by Robert Beberniss

WIPP Update: Backup Power Installed For WIPP EOC

on July 26, 2016 - 8:52pm
WIPP News:
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant’s (WIPP) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will soon have guaranteed operation in the event of a power outage.
A 1,250-kilowatt diesel generator is being installed at the Skeen-Whitlock Building, the location of the EOC. The generator is designed to automatically start when a disruption in power is detected. While the primary purpose of the generator is to ensure emergency response capabilities for the EOC in the event of a power loss, the generator will also power the entire building.

NAU Researchers Find Endangered Mouse On SFNF

on July 26, 2016 - 8:46pm
A New Mexico meadow jumping mouse captured and released this month on the Santa Fe National Forest. Courtesy/Northern Arizona University


Fire staff help erect fence to protect New Mexico meadow jumping mouse habitat. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service


SFNF News:
SANTA FE  While Forest Service crews were constructing a fence to protect critical habitat for the endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse, a 10-person team of researchers from Northern Arizona University (NAU) confirmed that the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) is home to the species.
Wildlife ecologist and NAU School of

Santa Fe National Forest Plans Prescribed Burns

on July 26, 2016 - 9:28am

Fire managers are planning to conduct two prescribed burns this fall on the Coyote Ranger District in the Santa Fe National Forest. Courtesy/SFNF

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to conduct two prescribed burns on the Coyote Ranger District this fall.

The 5,041-acre French Mesa treatment area is approximately 10 miles north of Gallina and the 470-acre Mesa Potrero pile burn located approximately seven miles northwest of the community of Coyote.

The window for hand ignitions may open as early as Aug. 1, 2016, and run through Sept.

NMED Issues 'Boil Water Advisory' For Yah-Ta-Hey Water & Sanitation District Water System

on July 26, 2016 - 7:45am
NMED News:
SANTA FE  The New Mexico Environment Department’s Drinking Water Bureau issued a “boil water advisory” for the Yah-Ta-Hey Water & Sanitation District Water System.
NMED issued the advisory after bacteriological contamination (E. coli) was detected in repeat drinking water samples from the water system’s distribution system. NMED required Yah-Ta-Hey Water & Sanitation District Water System to notify water system consumers of this finding. 
Yah-Ta-Hey Water & Sanitation District Water System is a community public water system that serves approximately 438 people and is

NNMRAC Extends Deadline For SRS Funding Proposals

on July 26, 2016 - 6:48am
USDA News:
SANTA FE  The Northern New Mexico Resource Advisory Committee (NNMRAC) has extended the deadline for proposals for projects under Title II of the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) and Community Self-Determination Act until Aug. 15, 2016.
Eligible projects must enhance forest ecosystems and restore and improve land health and water quality on the Cibola, Santa Fe, and Carson National Forests and adjacent lands in Taos, Sandoval, Mora, San Miguel, Rio Arriba, Torrance, McKinley and Cibola Counties. 
The NNMRAC has up to $473,000 to allocate to projects through the congressional

Daily Postcard: Lightning Strike Over Los Alamos

on July 25, 2016 - 10:22am

Daily Postcard: An I-pad shot of a lightning strike taken Sunday from Camp May. Photo by Christine Sorensen

New Viruses: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly July 29

on July 25, 2016 - 9:30am

AIA News:
ALBUQUERQUE  The Albuquerque International Association (AIA) will host a public lecture by Dr. Terry McNearney, M.D. titled “New Viruses: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” at 3 p.m., Friday, July 29, at the UNM Continuing Education Conference Center (1634 University Blvd NE).
Dr. McNearney served on the faculties of Washington University School of Medicine and University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, specializing in rheumatology and retrovirology. A long-time research focus of her lab has been how viruses evolve and adapt.

Public Astronomy Dark Night Saturday At Overlook

on July 25, 2016 - 9:28am
The Pajarito Astronomers will be holding a County-Sponsored Dark Night starting at 8:15 p.m. (sunset,) Saturday, July 30 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, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune may all be visible. There will be a tour of the summer constellations, and there will be telescope views of double stars, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. 
The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Commission Accepts Taos Regional Water Plan

on July 24, 2016 - 7:51am
ISC News:
SANTA FE The Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) on Thursday accepted the Taos Regional Water Plan.
The presentation of the plan to the commission by regional Steering Committee representatives Taos County Commissioner Tom Blakenhorn and Taos County Chief Planner Nathan Sanchez, focused on the key water issues, key 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 greatest interest and paths to implementation

Nuclear Watch New Mexico Seeks To Invalidate New Cleanup Order For LANL

on July 24, 2016 - 7:09am

DOE News:

Nuclear Watch New Mexico amended its complaint against the U.S. Department of Energy and Los Alamos National Security, LLC, which alleges 12 cleanup violations of the 2005 Consent Order issued by the New Mexico Environment Department for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

The amendment is asking the federal court to invalidate the recently issued Consent Order because the Department did not hold a formal public hearing as required by federal and state hazardous waste laws and regulations.

The U.S.

Teens Learn About Mars Rover From Roger Wiens

on July 23, 2016 - 7:57am
Team Intergalactic checks out a Mars Rover exhibit at the Bradbury Science Museum. Courtesy photo
YMCA News:

Members of Española YMCA Teen Center’s “Team Intergalactic” spent an afternoon with Dr. Roger Wiens, the ChemCam/SuperCam principal investigator of the Mars Rover, at the Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos.

Dr. Wiens educated the group on the design and function of the Mars Rover, to include internal and external working parts. The teens enjoyed their time and wealth of information shared by Dr. Wiens, a YMCA representative said.

The team expressed its thanks to Dr.

Trash Piles Up On Santa Fe National Forest

on July 23, 2016 - 7:52am
Trash left at dispersed camping site in Dalton Canyon last weekend. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service
SFNF News:
SANTA FE  Trash is an all-too-common sight on the Santa Fe National Forest. It’s everywhere – at developed recreation sites, at dispersed camping sites, in Wilderness, on trails and even in streams. 
It seems clear that the “Pack It In, Pack It Out” mantra isn’t getting the job done. The Santa Fe National Forest is asking visitors to take one more step and “Pack It Home” to throw away with the household trash. 
Estimates by Forest recreation staff indicate that the

Heinrich, Udall Introduce Buffalo Tract Protection Act

on July 23, 2016 - 7:44am
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) have introduced the Buffalo Tract Protection Act in response to deep concerns from local communities in southern Sandoval County about the negative impacts of a proposed gravel mine in the area.
The bill will withdraw four parcels of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands, including the Buffalo Tract and the Crest of Montezuma, from any mineral development, including gravel mining.
In 2012, the BLM released a draft of the new resource management plan for BLM lands in central New

PEEC: Local Storytellers Tell Tales On The Trails July 30

on July 22, 2016 - 11:38am
PEEC News:

The community is invited to join storytellers Terry Foxx and Kimberly Gotches at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 30 for a walk around the beautiful landscape of northern New Mexico.

The easy one-mile trek will stop at four different outdoor locations near the Los Alamos Nature Center and Kinnikinnik Park, and participants can enjoy stories and activities along the way. Adults and children are welcome to attend.

Meet in front of the Los Alamos Aquatic Center near the Kinnikinnik Park trailhead.

Learn About Wildland Fire Fighting Wednesday

on July 22, 2016 - 7:38am
Wildland fire truck.Courtesy photo

PEEC News:

What does it take to be a wildland fire fighter? What equipment do they use? What can kids do to prevent wildfires from starting? On Wednesday, July 27, bring the family to find the answer to these and lots of other fire-related questions! Beginning at 6:30 p.m., local wildland firefighters will be on hand to answer questions, demonstrate how to use their firefighting equipment and let families see their fire engine.

Summer Family Evenings have always been a popular program organized by the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC), and

Planetarium Film: 'Black Holes' July 23-24

on July 22, 2016 - 7:36am
Poster for 'Black Holes.' Courtesy photo

PEEC News:

Ever wonder what it would be like to voyage through the galaxies in search of black holes? Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s (PEEC’s) new planetarium film, Black Holes, explores a place where time stands still, universal order breaks down, and the the unimaginable becomes reality.

This family-friendly film will play in the Los Alamos Nature Center planetariumat 2 p.m. Saturday, July 23 and Sunday, July 24.

Black Holes will also play in the nature center planetarium at 2 p.m. July 30, Aug. 13, and Aug. 14.

Tickets may be

LANL Sponsors 20th Hazmat Challenge July 25-29

on July 21, 2016 - 9:40am

Emergency responders taking part in exercises during last year's Challenge. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

Ten hazardous materials response teams from New Mexico, Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska test their skills in a series of graded, timed exercises at the 20th annual Hazmat Challenge July 25-29 at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

“The Hazmat Challenge provides hazardous materials responders the opportunity to test their skills, share best practices with other response agencies and learn new techniques through realistic hazardous materials release scenarios in a safe, non-hazardous

ACEEE To Rank U.S., 22 Other Major Countries On Energy Efficiency

on July 20, 2016 - 10:42am
WASHINGTON, D.C.  Which major nation has the most energy-efficient economy? Is the United States ahead of or behind other nations—including the U.K., China, Germany, India, South Korea, Australia, and Japan—when it comes to energy efficiency?

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) will issue its 3rd edition of the International Energy Efficiency Scorecard report measuring the energy efficiency of 23 of the world’s largest energy-consuming countries.
The new ACEEE scorecard will be released during a phone-based news event at 11 a.m. EDT/4 p.m.

A Mountaineer’s Story: Wild, Edible Plants July 26

on July 20, 2016 - 9:52am
Jesse and Johanna Boudreau at PEEC’s Earth Day Festival. Listen to their edible wild plants talk Tuesday, July 26 at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Courtesy photo
PEEC News:
Ever wonder which wild plants are safe to eat? Come to the Los Alamos Mountaineers meeting Tuesday, July 26 to find out which wild plants are edible and which ones are poisonous.
Permaculture experts Jesse and Johanna Boudreau will be leading the talk at 7:30 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.