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Environment

Governor To Unveil New State Energy Policy

on September 13, 2015 - 8:32pm

Gov. Susana Martinez

STATE News:

CARLSBAD — Monday morning, Gov. Susana Martinez will unveil a sweeping new energy policy and implementation.

Among other things, the blueprint calls for an “all of the above” approach to energy development that promotes the production of all sources of energy as a means of creating jobs, diversifying a key sector of the economy, and supporting the nation's efforts to achieve energy independence.

Later in the afternoon, the governor also will unveil a new campaign to raise public awareness and improve road safety in Southeast New Mexico.

Luján Questions EPA On Gold King Mine Spill

on September 13, 2015 - 1:32pm

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

  • Calls for Improved Communication and Better Mitigation Plans

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District questioned a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official about the Gold King Mine spill Friday at an Environment and the Economy subcommittee hearing. 

While Luján is not a member of the subcommittee, he participated in the hearing, “Oversight of Federal Facility Cleanup under CERCLA,” as a member of the full Energy and Commerce Committee.

Luján questioned Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant

Udall, Heinrich Welcome BLM Decision To Maintain New Mexico State Office

on September 13, 2015 - 1:11pm

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

  • Senators pushed agency to reconsider proposal to merge New Mexico and Arizona offices

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced Friday that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has heeded their call to reconsider a proposal to merge the New Mexico and Arizona state offices and will allow the offices to remain separate.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

The senators released the following statement:

“New Mexico’s many unique public lands issues — including our landscape’s strong connection to our state’s history and culture —

Fall Colors Begin To Emerge Along West Road

on September 13, 2015 - 8:54am

Fall colors emerge on a towering tree spotted Saturday along West Road. Photo by Jennifer Bartram

WIPP Update: Supplemental Ventilation System

on September 12, 2015 - 12:59pm

SVS installed in the WIPP underground. Courtesy/WIPP

WIPP News:

The Underground Ventilation System at WIPP is undergoing a significant change that will provide additional airflow in the underground. 

The large fan that is part of the Supplemental Ventilation System (SVS) was recently downloaded to the underground and has been successfully installed. The fan and shroud were connected to the new bulkhead and the associated electrical modifications are proceeding.

The fan is expected to be connected to the underground electrical infrastructure in October, once modifications to an underground

PEEC Monthly Wildflower Walk Sept. 14

on September 12, 2015 - 10:28am

Local wildflowers. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Since the Los Alamos area received an abundance of rain this summer, beautiful wildflowers abound even as the end of the summer draws near.

Join PEEC's Jemez Mountain Herbarium Curator Chick Keller for a Wildflower Walk at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14 to discover what some of them are and where they can be found.

This will be an easy walk to identify some of the wildflowers that can be found in and around Los Alamos.

Award-Winning Author Sharman Russell Speaks At PEEC Tuesday

on September 11, 2015 - 7:02am

Sharman Apt Russell

PEEC News:

Revolution. renaissance. transformation: these are the words of Sharman Apt Russell, an award-winning New Mexican author, as she describes the exploding world of citizen science.

Russell will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15. She will share her stories, knowledge and passion for being a part of the world where thousands of volunteers contribute to cutting edge science: monitoring climate change, tracking bird migration, watching clouds for NASA, or excavating mastodons.

Her most recent book, Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New

PEEC Day Trip To Explore Copper Mine Sept. 12

on September 10, 2015 - 2:07pm
PEEC News:
 
The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is offering a rare chance to visit the abandoned Nacimiento Copper Mine 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sept. 12, near Cuba, N.M.
 
The trip, led by local geology expert Patrick Rowe, will be fun and hands-on for both adults and children. Participants will start at the nature center, carpool to the side, and explore the area, with ample chances to find beautiful specimens such as petrified wood.
 
This popular tour will fill up fast, so it is recommended to register in advance at www.peecnature.org.
 
In addition to the petrified wood specimens,

Bear Sought In Attack On Los Alamos Man

on September 10, 2015 - 10:50am
The entrance to the area where a bear attacked a Los Alamos man Wednesday on the Canon de Valle Trail is closed today while officers from New Mexico Game & Fish sassisted by Los Alamos police and LANL earch for the bear. The public is asked to stay away from the area. Photo by Chris Clark/ladailypost.com
 
NMG&F vehicles are at the scene of Wednesday night's bear attack on a 56-year-old Los Alamos man on the Canon de Valle Trail. The man arrived at the Los Alamos Medical Center Emergency Department where he was treated, stabilized and transferred by Classic Air Medical to Christus St.

Ceres' Bright Spots Seen In Striking New Detail

on September 10, 2015 - 10:13am

This image, made using images taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, shows Occator crater on Ceres, home to a collection of intriguing bright spots. Courtesy/NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

NASA/JPL News:

The brightest spots on the dwarf planet Ceres gleam with mystery in new views delivered by NASA's Dawn spacecraft. These closest-yet views of Occator crater, with a resolution of 450 feet (140 meters) per pixel, give scientists a deeper perspective on these very unusual features.

The new up-close view of Occator crater from Dawn's current vantage point reveals better-defined shapes of the

Alert: Bear Attacks Man On Canon de Valle Trail

on September 10, 2015 - 8:28am

Staff Report

A man was attacked by a bear Wednesday night while on the Canon de Valle Trail in Los Alamos County.

In a statement released by Los Alamos Medical Center, Marketing Director Mary Beth Maassen said, “Last night at approximately 8:30 p.m., a 56-year-old man arrived at the Los Alamos Medical Center Emergency Department following a bear attack on the Canon de Valle Trail. The patient was treated, stabilized and transferred by Classic Air Medical to Christus St. Vincent in Santa Fe.”

Chief of Information and Education Ofc.

Dartmouth Study Finds Arctic Mosquitoes Thriving Under Climate Change

on September 9, 2015 - 10:54am
Courtesy/timrettig.com
 
DARTMOUTH COLLEGE News:
 
HANOVER, N.H.  Warming temperatures are causing Arctic mosquitoes to grow faster and emerge earlier, significantly boosting their population and threatening the caribou they feast on, a Dartmouth College study finds.
 
The study predicts the mosquitoes’ probability of surviving and emerging as adults will increase by more than 50 percent if Arctic temperatures rise 2 °C.
 
The findings are important because changes in the timing and intensity of their emergence affect their role as swarming pests of people and wildlife, as pollinators of tundra

National Public Lands Day Volunteers Needed

on September 8, 2015 - 8:17am

SFNF News:

SANTA FE Celebrate National Public Lands Day (NPLD) Sept. 26 by helping the Santa Fe National Forest reroute a section of the popular Winsor Trail. 

The nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands, NPLD is a great opportunity to educate the public about the environment and natural resources, and the need for shared stewardship of public lands. 

Organizers of the NPLD Winsor Trail project are looking for volunteers 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26. Each volunteer who participates will receive a free t-shirt, compliments of REI, and a fee-free coupon good

Environmental Research Reflected In Obama’s Trip To The Arctic

on September 6, 2015 - 9:26am
Cathy Wilson says, 'I am collecting shallow cores to quantify the depth of the peat layer in the soil. The peat thickness strongly controls the transfer of heat from the atmosphere into the deeper soil, which impacts how deep the soil thaws each year. We then use the hole in the ground to perform hydrologic measurements. Peat depth and hydraulic conductivity are two important parameters that go into our models that predict the rates of permafrost thaw.' Courtesy photo
 
Frozen Methane Bubbles in Alaska: When ice-rich permafrost thaws, former tundra and forest turns into a thermokarst lake

Udall On Need To Extend LWCF At Valles Caldera

on September 5, 2015 - 11:56am

 Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Manager Nancy Partridge, left, is among a group that gathered Friday with U.S. Sen. Tom Udall at the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Courtesy/Sen. Udall's Office

Sen. Tom Udall, second from right, and the group participate in a cookout. Courtesy/Sen. Udall's Office

U.S. SENATE News:

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall hosted a roundtable discussion Friday at the Valles Caldera National Preserve on the urgent need to extend the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at the Valles Caldera.

He participated in a group discussion about the need to reauthorize and fully fund

NM Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Cucumbers

on September 5, 2015 - 10:51am

NMED News:

15 Cases Reported In New Mexico

SANTA FE The New Mexico Department of Health is investigating 15 confirmed cases of Salmonella Poona infection in New Mexico that appear to be linked to eating garden variety cucumbers grown in Mexico.

The department is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the New Mexico Environment Department, the Albuquerque Environmental Health Department, and multiple state health departments as a part of an ongoing investigation of 285 confirmed cases nationally from 27 states.

The

Rodent Causes Friday Power Outage

on September 5, 2015 - 10:37am

Rodents wreck havoc on electrical wires. Courtesy/americanpest.net

COUNTY News:

A rodent caused a power outage affecting 537 Department of Public Utilities customers late Friday morning.  

The outage began at approximately 10 a.m. when the animal got inside an electric switch cabinet at the Airport entrance and damaged a switch.

Parts of the Los Alamos business area on Trinity Drive blinked, while customers North of Central to Canyon and east toward the airport lost power for a longer duration of time.  Electric linemen were able to restore power by 10:22 a.m. to East Gate, Entrada and

Explore Southwest Desert Climbing Sept. 16

on September 5, 2015 - 10:01am
The magnificent Titan, greatest of all desert towers. For scale, at two-thirds height on the left skyline is a feature called 'the Duck' with an unknown climber visible to the right. Courtesy photo
 
LA MOUNTAINEERS News:

Join the Los Alamos Mountaineers at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16 at Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos for an exciting presentation by Steve "Crusher" Bartlett, a desert climber extraordinaire!

Social time and reports of recent and upcoming trips take place at 7 p.m. with the program at 7:30 p.m. 

The Southwest features the most colorful landscapes in the world.

Labor Day Citizen Science Project: Yard Day Bird Count

on September 2, 2015 - 11:55am

Spotted Towhee. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

On Labor Day, Dave Yeamans, a long-time enthusiast of the natural world, is opening his home for a citizen science project, Big Yard Day Bird Count.

To participate, register at www.peecnature.org for the Big Yard Day and stop by Dave Yeaman’s house anytime between 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. “Everybody learns something and has fun or my job is not complete,” says Yeamans, who also is a caring host.

Participants are encouraged to wear natural-colored clothing, move gently, and whisper to improve the chances of seeing a wide variety of birds.

DOE Taps Todd Shrader To Lead Carlsbad Field Office

on September 2, 2015 - 7:31am

New Carlsbad Field Office Manager Todd Shrader, third from left, during a tour last November at Hanford with EM Office of River Protection Manager Kevin Smith, right, Waste Treatment and Immobilization Project Assistant Manager Bill Hamel, left and EM Acting Assistant Secretary Mark Whitney. Courtesy/DOE

WIPP News:

The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the selection of Todd Shrader as the manager for the Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO).

“Todd Shrader is a proven leader and experienced engineer who has successfully tackled some of DOE’s toughest issues,” said Monica Regalbuto, Assistant

Pajarito Environmental Education Center Leads Efforts To Certify Los Alamos As A Community Wildlife Habitat

on September 1, 2015 - 6:38pm

PEEC Board members celebrating the certification of the nature center as a Wildlife Habitat, from left, Jeremy Campbell, Bob Walker, Jennifer Macke, Selvi Viswanathan, Esta Lee Albright, Michele Altherr, Nancy Arendt, Felicia Orth, Ann Shafer, Sue Watts, Mary Carol Williams, Becky Shankland, Talia Dreicer, Karla Sartor and Rebecca Oertel. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

A team of Pajarito Environmental Education Center volunteers is working to make Los Alamos the first certified Community Wildlife Habitat in New Mexico.

To date, our community consists of 126 backyards, four common areas, and

PEEC: September Night Sky Planetarium Shows

on September 1, 2015 - 7:44am

Night Sky Milky Way Galaxy Astrophotography from Wikimedia Commons by ForestWander. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Do you want to know how to identify more of the planets and stars in the night sky?

Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is holding star shows in the Los Alamos Nature Center planetarium at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5 and 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12.

Each show will introduce celestial objects easily viewed through binoculars this month including planets, the lunar eclipse, star patterns, star clusters, nebulae, double stars, and other celestial objects.

The September Night

Los Alamos Arms Control Group Considers Support Of Iran Policy

on August 31, 2015 - 1:18pm
 
LACACIS News:
 
The Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security (LACACIS) is considering the adoption of a statement of support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the US, UK, France, Russia, China, Germany, and the European Union.  
 
The LACACIS draft policy statement can be read by visiting www.lacacis.org and clicking on Policy Statements.  
 
The position will be discussed and voted on at a meeting at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 4, at the United Church Christian Education Building Lounge (room 212), 2525 Canyon Road.  
 
The public is invited, but

Holy Ghost Canyon Open For Labor Day Weekend; Expected To Close For Repairs Sept. 8

on August 31, 2015 - 1:12pm
SFNF News:
 
SANTA FE  The popular Holy Ghost Canyon on the east side of the Santa Fe National Forest will be open to recreationists over the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend. 
 
On Tuesday, Sept. 8, the Forest expects to implement a closure order to protect public health and safety during the reconstruction of Forest Road (FR) 122, also known as Holy Ghost Road. 
 
FR 122 was severely damaged by flooding after the 2013 Tres Lagunas Fire.
 
The restricted area includes land within 500 yards on either side of FR 122 as well as recreation residences, the Holy Ghost campground and group site, and the

Private Well Water Precautions For San Juan County & Other Affected New Mexico Residents

on August 31, 2015 - 1:00pm
NMED News:
 
SANTA FE  Private domestic water well owners in San Juan County and other parts of New Mexico inundated by floodwater caused by recent heavy rain are being advised to take precautions.
 
Flood water can be tainted by sewage leaked by flooded septic systems, or other contaminants, and the floodwater can contaminate water wells.
 
For private domestic water well users whose wells have been inundated by the floodwater, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) recommends the following actions:
 
1. The well water should be vigorously boiled for 5 minutes before use for drinking,

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