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Environment

Celebrating 100 Years Of The National Park Service

on April 10, 2016 - 12:19pm

Redwoods National and State Parks. Courtesy/NPS

 

By Secretary Sally Jewell
Department of the Interior

America’s national parks, monuments and lands are uniquely different -- in their make-up and their locale -- but they all seek to tell a part of America’s story.

Monday, April 16, we kick off National Park Week: one of our nation’s largest celebrations of nature, history and culture. This year is special because it comes as we celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service -- that’s 100 years of protecting America’s best idea!

Over that century, our national park system has grown to

Los Alamos County Environmental Services Conducts Waste Audit To Answer Questions About Recycling

on April 9, 2016 - 9:17am

Workers sift through a pile of debris at the Eco Station. Courtesy/LAC

Consultant Jessi Just, left, and County Environmental Services Manager Angelica Gurule. Courtesy/LAC

COUNTY News:

A Los Alamos County Environmental Services (LAC) compactor truck, half-way through its morning route, came back to the LAC Eco Station to drop 7,860 pounds of trash.

On a typical day, this driver would fill the truck with about 20,000 pounds of trash before returning to the Eco Station, but on March 25, staff and Environmental Sustainability Board Chair John Bliss were prepared for the smaller mixed trash

Nuclear Workers Challenge DOL’s Proposals For Compensation Program

on April 7, 2016 - 12:20pm
By ROGER SNODGRASS
Los Alamos Daily Post

Labor Department officials announced Tuesday that they would reopen the comment period for a proposed set of rule changes that have not been well received by the community of nuclear workers eligible for a federal compensation program for workers with certain occupational illnesses. DOL’s Office of Workers' Compensation Programs has responsibility for adjudicating and processing employees’ claims under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act, (EEOICPA).

A 60-day comment period, which was already extended an extra 30 days

County Reminder: Beware Of Large Predators

on April 6, 2016 - 5:15pm
A mountain lion spotted prowling on 35th Street. Courtesy photo
 
COUNTY News:
 
Los Alamos County officials are reminding the public that springtime typically brings with it an increase of large predators roaming throughout the forests and traveling on the trails surrounding the local area – and that means some of these animals will likely enter the community’s residential areas, too.
 
The animals are seeking food or water, especially during times of drought. In this area, large predators can include mountain lions, black bears, bobcats and coyotes.

Tour And Skywatching At Bandelier Saturday

on April 6, 2016 - 11:56am
BANDELIER News:
 
Bandelier National Monument is offering two more programs celebrating the park's Centennial: a tour of the historic structures, and an evening opportunity for skywatching Saturday, April 9.
 
At 1 p.m., Saturday, the head of the park's Historic Preservation crew will lead a walk to look at the Pueblo Revival style stone buildings built in Frijoles Canyon by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. No signups are required. The walk meets at 1 p.m. in front of the Visitor Center, and participants should bring water and wear comfortable shoes.

WIPP Installs Underground Personnel Notification And Tracking System

on April 5, 2016 - 1:26pm
Hard hat icons, representing dozens of workers in the WIPP underground, appear on one of the tracking monitors located at the WIPP facility. The hats actually move in real time as WIPP employees travel throughout the underground facility. Courtesy/WIPP
 
WIPP News:
 
A new underground Wireless Notification and Tracking System (WNTS) has been installed at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) that allows for two-way communication for both talk and text, audible and flashing alarms and allows personnel to immediately signal the Central Monitoring Room (CMR) in the event of an emergency.
 
It also

Postal Service Previews Second Of 16 Stamps Celebrating National Park Service’s Centennial

on April 5, 2016 - 9:13am

Courtesy/USPS

USPS News:

  • Stamp Highlights Utah’s Arches National Park

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Postal Service previewed the second in its series of 16 Forever stamps commemorating the centennial of the National Park Service. The 16 stamps, intended to represent the diversity of areas in our national park system, are being previewed over the next three weeks.

 Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

The stamp image is a photograph by Tom Till of Moab, Utah, and represents the iconic Delicate Arch. Delicate Arch is just one of more than 2,000 stone arches in a park that contains the

Moniz Travels To Israel And Kazakhstan To Continue Discussions On Energy Cooperation

on April 5, 2016 - 7:37am
DOE News:
 
WASHINGTON D.C.  The U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz traveled to Israel. He will continue discussions with Yuval Steinitz, Israeli Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy, and Water Resources, on the ongoing energy partnership between the two countries.
 
He also will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. These discussions will cover a wide range of issues, including the U.S.-Israel Energy Dialogue, as well as expanded cooperation in energy research and energy water nexus programs.
 
Secretary Moniz’s visit to Israel is an example of

Nature On Tap At UnQuarked Thursday April 7

on April 5, 2016 - 7:32am

LACD News:

Come to Nature On Tap at 5:30 p.m., Thursday at UnQuarked Wine Room, 145 Central Park Square, to discuss what is new and planned for the Los Alamos County trail network.

Los Alamos County's Open Space Specialist Eric Peterson will provide an update on upcoming projects, expected maintenance, and how community members can get involved. There are numerous volunteer opportunities throughout the summer in the 1st Annual Summer Series—Volunteer Trails Cleanup Days!

Peterson serves as the Open Space Specialist overseeing the County's open space and trails systems.

Governor Visits Los Alamos To Highlight $32 Million In Water And Transportation Upgrades Around LANL

on April 4, 2016 - 4:24pm
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez this morning, at the White Rock Y on N.M. 4, highlighting $32 million in water and infrastructure upgrades around LANL. Photo by Chris Clark/ladailypost.com
 
STATE News:
 
Gov. Susana Martinez highlighted $32 million in water and infrastructure upgrades around Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) during press conference this morning at the White Rock Y on N.M. 4.
 
These funds provide for Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) based on settlement agreements between New Mexico and the U.S.

New Book Helps Wildflower Lovers Identify What They See In The Jemez

on April 4, 2016 - 2:48pm

Book cover. Courtesy photo

BOOK News:

If you have ever wondered about the name of a plant you see on one of the trails around Los Alamos, there’s a new way to help you find out.

Local naturalists Terry Foxx and Craig Martin have published a book, Plants of the Jemez Mountains Volume 1, that offers up drawings and color photos of the trees, shrubs, and vines found in the Los Alamos area and beyond.

“The book is a revision and expansion of the plant guide I did with Dorothy Hoard in 1984 and last revised in 1995,” Foxx explained.

Long out of print, the Foxx and Hoard guide was a popular

The American Lion: Pumas At The New Mexico Wildlife Center

on April 4, 2016 - 2:44pm
Mountain lion kittens at the NM Wildlife Center in Espanola. Courtesy photo
 
Orphaned mountain lion kitten at the NM Wildlife Center. Courtesy photo
 
By KATHERINE EAGLESON
NM Wildlife Center

Historically this powerful predator claimed a range that covered most of the New World. The only other mammal that covered more territory and flourished in as many environments was Homo sapiens. Nearly all of the Western Hemisphere was home to the mountain lion (cougar, catamount, puma, painter).  By the 1900s the other top predator in its range had managed to extirpate it from the eastern United

Stone Calendars Of The Southwest Talk Tuesday

on April 4, 2016 - 11:06am
Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Ron Barber will describe the technology, culture, and history of stone calendars in the Southwest at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5 at the Nature Center. His presentation includes results of the Stone Calendar Project; a hobby that somehow got out of hand.

There are hundreds of stone calendar sites around the Southwest. These calendars are found with specific glyphs that align with unique shadows to mark the time of year and important dates. The Stone Calendar research project surveys sites throughout the Southwest.

Scenes From Carlsbad Caverns

on April 2, 2016 - 9:21am
Scene from a recent trip to Carlsbad Caverns. Photo by Robert Beberniss
 
Scene from a recent trip to Carlsbad Caverns. Photo by Robert Beberniss
 
Scene from a recent trip to Carlsbad Caverns. Photo by Robert Beberniss
 
Scene from a recent trip to Carlsbad Caverns. Photo by Robert Beberniss

Udall, Alexander: Sick Nuclear Workers Deserve Better

on April 1, 2016 - 11:36am

From The Office Of U.S. Sen. Tom Udall:
  • Department of Labor should delay new rule that could jeopardize benefits for those who worked at Cold War-era sites
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., this week urged the U.S. Department of Labor to delay a new rule that could make it more difficult for sick nuclear workers who served at Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Y-12 and other Cold War-era nuclear sites to get benefits they deserve under the department’s Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program.
 
“It’s shameful that so many Americans

Amateur Naturalist: Climate Change And Green Vultures

on April 1, 2016 - 11:29am
Front of green vulture—Less green due to less algae present. Photo by Sally King, Bandelier National Monument
 
PEEC Amateur Naturalist
Climate Change and Green Vultures
By Robert Dryja
 
We have been considering the possible impact of climate change on bird species in Los Alamos and the north-central mountains of New Mexico. Two ways of evaluating possible change include: (1) consider species that are unique to areas of the north-central mountains and (2) consider species that are common throughout the mountains. Are unique species being replaced by common species?
 
A third way is to consider

From Earth To The Universe At Planetarium April 2-3

on April 1, 2016 - 9:49am

A still from ESO's planetarium show From Earth to the Universe showing the Helix Nebula, also known as NGC 7293. Courtesy/T. Matsopoulos, ESO

PEEC News:

View stunning imagery from space in this weekend’s full-dome feature film, From Earth to the Universe.

This great film is playing in the Los Alamos Nature Center Planetarium at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, April 2-3, the last chance to see this film until late summer or fall. From Earth to the Universe takes passengers on a voyage through space and time.

Updated Map Available For Motorized Travel On SFNF

on April 1, 2016 - 8:35am
SFNF News:
 
SANTA FE  Updated Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs) for the 1.6 million-acre Santa Fe National Forest will be released today. The MVUMs show all Forest roads and trails open to motor vehicle travel.
 
All national forests are required to designate a system of roads, trails and areas open to motor vehicle use by class of vehicle and, when necessary, by time of year. Public motor vehicle traffic is prohibited on all routes not shown on the MVUM. Visitors to the forest are reminded that it is their responsibility to determine if they are on routes designated for motorized traffic.

State Unveils Draft Of New Consent Order For Public Comment

on March 31, 2016 - 9:03am

Resource Protection Division Director Kathryn Roberts and NMED Secretary Ryan Flynn discuss the newly released draft Consent Order with the Northern New Mexico Citizens’ Advisory Board Wednesday in Albuquerque. Photo by Roger Snodgrass/ladailypost.com

The NNMCAB meets Wednesday in Ballroom A of the Sandia Casino and Resort in Albuquerque. Photo by Roger Snodgrass/ladailypost.com

 

By ROGER SNODGRASS
Los Alamos Daily Post

Albuquerque – The New Mexico Environment Department released a draft revision to the current Consent Order between the state and the Department of Energy having to do

LANL Draft Consent Order Released For Public Comment

on March 30, 2016 - 2:51pm

NMED News:
  • Updated Cleanup Agreement Will Enhance Legacy Waste Cleanup and Support Stronger Federal Funding Requests

 

SANTA FE – Today the New Mexico Environment Department released the Draft Consent Order for public review and comment. 

 

The Draft Consent Order, an agreement between the New Mexico Environment Department and the U.S. Department of Energy, guides and governs the cleanup of legacy waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

 

“We are pleased to open the Draft Consent Order to public review and comment as we continue our dialogue with stakeholder groups and individuals.

Pajarito Astronomers Hold Dark Night April 9

on March 30, 2016 - 7:08am
PA News:
 
The Pajarito Astronomers will be holding their first County-Sponsored Dark Night of 2016 starting at 7:30 p.m. (sunset,) Saturday, April 9 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 and Jupiter will be visible. There will be a tour of the winter and spring constellations, and there will be telescope views of double stars, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. 
 
The public is invited and encouraged to attend. Viewing will end before midnight.

Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Ute Tribe, and Navajo Nation Prepare For Melting Of El Niño Snowpack & Churn Of Heavy Metals

on March 30, 2016 - 7:04am
NMED News:
 
SANTA FE  The states of New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Southern Ute Tribe and Navajo Nation announced their Animas, San Juan Spring Runoff Preparedness Plan.  
 
The Plan participants share the Animas/San Juan Watershed and are joining forces to prepare for and monitor the melting of El Niño snowpack throughout the region. Monitoring during the spring runoff period is one of the necessary short-term needs for the multi-state and multi-tribe region that is in direct response to the Gold King Mine release caused by the US Environmental Protection Agency that occurred on August 5, 2015.
 

Environmental Sustainability Board Meeting Thursday

on March 30, 2016 - 6:59am
COUNTY News:
 
A special meeting for the Envrionmental Sustainability Board will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 31 at the Eco Station, 3701 East Jemez Road in the Eco Station Break Room.
 
The meeting is open to the public.
 
Agenda:
 
1. Call to order - roll call
2. Board business - Develop potential recommendations for brush and bulk item collection program. 
Presenter: John Bliss
3. Adjournment

Southwest Wineries Recognized For Safety Excellence

on March 29, 2016 - 8:16am
NMED News:
 
SANTA FE  The New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau (OHSB) presented Deming’s Southwest Wineries with the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) award for exemplary injury and illness prevention. Southwest Wineries becomes one of nine recognized SHARP participants in New Mexico.
 
March 10, a ceremony recognizing the company’s accomplishments was held at the Southwest Wineries site in Deming. Representatives from OHSB presented the company with the award.
 
“Southwest Wineries is proud to become a SHARP company,” Southwest plant

DOE Announces Millions In Funding For 16 Indian And Alaska Native Community Clean Energy Projects

on March 29, 2016 - 7:50am
DOE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced funding for 24 American Indian and Alaska Native communities to deploy clean energy and energy efficiency projects. DOE plans to invest more than $9 million in 16 facility- and community-scale energy projects in 24 tribal communities.
 
As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to partner with Tribal Nations, these projects provide Indian Tribes and Alaska Native villages with clean energy solutions that will save communities money and reduce carbon pollution.

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