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Valles Caldera Trust Releases Landscape and Restoration Stewardship Plan Draft EIS

on August 12, 2013 - 1:37pm

Valles Caldera Trust Releases Landscape and Restoration Stewardship Plan Draft EIS
  • Public Input Requested

JEMEZ SPRINGS --- The Valles Caldera Trust (Trust) has released a 10-year plan for the proposed stewardship of the Valles Caldera National Preserve (preserve.)

The Landscape Restoration and Stewardship Plan (Stewardship Plan) Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) details a number of actions aimed at reducing the potential for severe burning and moving the forest to a more sustainable and resilient condition.

Udall, Heinrich Call For Emergency Help To Support Food Bank

on August 9, 2013 - 7:30am


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udalland MartinHeinrich called on Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to make emergency purchases for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to ensure food banks in New Mexico and across the country are able to help families in need.

TEFAP buys food and makes it available to agencies, such as New Mexico’s Human Services Department, which work with the state’s major food banks to distribute to food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters.

In a letter, Udall, Heinrich and a bipartisan group of 20 other senators urged Vilsack to

Food Aid Cuts to Affect 442,000 New Mexicans

on August 8, 2013 - 6:57am


ALBUQUERQUE—Around 442,000 people in New Mexico will see a cut in their food assistance benefits this fall, when a temporary boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) is set to expire.

This is according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) discussed in a new report from the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Nearly half of all New Mexico children—42 percent or more than 215,000 children—benefit from SNAP. All of them will be impacted by this cut.

'Make It In America' Added to Agenda

on August 5, 2013 - 8:59am


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján announced that legislation he has introduced to increase partnerships between businesses and national laboratories has been included as part of House Democrats’ Make It In America Agenda (MIIA.)

Luján’s legislation authorizes a dedicated fund to provide for the government’s share of Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) that support maturing lab technology and transferring it to the private sector.

Udall Unveils Major Legislation to Reform FISA Courts

on August 5, 2013 - 8:13am


WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Tom Udall, D-N.M., joined by Senators Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., unveiled two bills that would ensure FISA courts properly balance the need to protect national security with constitutional and statutory requirements to safeguard individual rights to privacy and liberty.

The first bill, the FISA Court Reform Act of 2013, would create a Special Advocate with the power to argue in the FISA courts on behalf of the right to privacy and other individual rights of the American people.

Heinrich Includes Amendment Expanding Tech Development

on August 4, 2013 - 6:59am

Sen. Martin Heinrich


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tuesday, July 30,  U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., a member of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, successfully included an amendment to S. 1317, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Reauthorization Act of 2013, to expand the development and testing of new space technologies within NASA's Flight Opportunities Program. 

The NASA Reauthorization Act of 2013, including Sen. Heinrich's amendment, passed the committee and can now go to the full Senate for consideration. 

"This critical program

Udall: Time to Reform ‘Broken’ Chemical Safety Law

on August 1, 2013 - 7:33am

  • Senate should build on bipartisan agreement and pass law to protect Americans from dangerous chemicals


WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a hearing of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Tom Udal, D-N.M., urged his colleagues to work together to pass major bipartisan legislation to protect Americans from toxic chemicals.


Udall, who chairs the EPW Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health, has been leading a bipartisan effort with Senator David Vitter (R-La.) to update and replace the federal government's much-criticized

Is Bandelier the 8th Wonder of the World?

on August 1, 2013 - 7:25am

VirtualTourist News:

Voting is now open at VirtualTourist for the favorite 8th wonder of the World and Bandelier National Monument is on the list of possiblities.

Voting is open June 3 through Sept. 30. Vote here.

Udall: We Need a Functioning FEC to Reform our Campaign Finance System

on July 28, 2013 - 11:09am

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M. called for a functioning Federal Election Commission (FEC) to enforce federal campaign finance laws.

His remarks came during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Rules & Administration to consider President Obama's nominees to serve on the FEC.

"As you know, I am a strong supporter of reforming our campaign finance system. I believe one important step is to have a functioning FEC, where all six seats are filled with commissioners in terms that haven’t expired.

Los Alamos Resident Awarded 2013 Harvard Stem Cell Institute Internship

on July 27, 2013 - 10:55am

Los Alamos resident Meghan Montoya awarded HSCI internship. Courtesy photo


HSCI News:

HSCI, Cambridge, MA – Meghan Montoya, a Los Alamos, New Mexico resident, and a junior at the College of William and Mary, is one of 44 undergraduate students accepted into the 2013 Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) Internship Program, which provides participants with a challenging summer research experience in a cutting-edge stem cell science laboratory.

She was connected to the HSCI through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Exceptional Research Opportunities Program.

Montoya is spending 10 weeks, from

VA Seeks Feedback For Open Burn Pit Registry

on July 25, 2013 - 8:20am

Marine Lance Corporal Richard Carmichael disposes of trash at the burn pit on Forward Operating Base Zeebrudge in Afghanistan's Helmand province. DOD photo

VA News:

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is asking veterans to help create its Open Burn Pit Registry for military service members, civilian personnel and veterans who were exposed to toxic chemicals and fumes from open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Udall coauthored the legislation to create the burn pit registry, which the president signed into law

Udall, Corker: End Use of Burn Pits in Afghanistan

on July 24, 2013 - 8:22am
A bulldozer dumps a load of trash into a burn pit just 300 yards from the runway at Bagram Airfield, January 2012. An Army memo from 2011 found the burn pit is associated with 'long-term' health effects on soldiers at Bagram. Courtesy/U.S. Army

WASHINGTON, D.C.– U.S. Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) announced they have sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel asking for immediate action to halt the use of open-air burn pits at two camp sites supporting Operating Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Their letter follows reports by the Special

Valles Caldera Trust Seeks Public Input

on July 23, 2013 - 8:26am

VCT News:

JEMEZ SPRINGSThe Valles Caldera Trust is asking for public input as the staff continues its efforts to establish a comprehensive strategy for future public access on the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

The trust is preparing a Transportation Recreation and Suitability Study (TRSS) to develop the permanent transportation and recreation infrastructure beyond the future visitor center. A critical piece of that study is to acquire public feedback on several topics related to transportation, recreation and infrastructure development.

“Ever since we began the public access and use

NWS Program Offers Lightning Safety Information

on July 22, 2013 - 7:07am

NWS News:

Thunderstorms are a fact of life in New Mexico but the dangers of lightning have not received the recognition of the dangers of flooding associated with Monsoon Season.

Unfortunately, there have been at least two "close" calls related to lightning in Albuquerque and Santa Fe this month. Nationwide, there have been 11 lightning fatalities this year, including a 54-year-old male recently, who was walking near a reservoir in Navajo County in Arizona.

Two separate lightning strikes in Colorado July 18 caused serious injuries.

Udall Advances Two Bills Supporting NM Small Businesses

on July 21, 2013 - 7:49am

Sen. Tom Udall, D-NM hosts New Mexico Chamber leaders at a meeting on economic development on Capitol Hill. Courtesy photo


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-NM, Friday announced two bills to help New Mexico small businesses grow in the tough economy and continue to create jobs.

The bills, the Helping Our Middle Class Entrepreneurs (HOME) Act and the Expanding Opportunities for Main Street Act, are the result of Udall’s conversations with small business owners across New Mexico about ways the federal government can streamline contracting and reduce unnecessary red

Veteran Journalist Helen Thomas Dead at 92

on July 21, 2013 - 3:05am

HELEN THOMAS July 20, 2013

Legendary Washington reporter Helen Thomas died Saturday at the age of 92 following a long illness, the Gridiron Club and Foundation reports.

Thomas covered the White House for 49 years, reporting on every U.S. president from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama,

The trailblazer broke many barriers for female journalists during her nearly five decades on the White House beat for United Press International and Hearst newspapers.

Thomas established a number of firsts for women journalists including becoming the first woman officer in the White House Correspondents


Luján Addresses Cost of Inaction on Climate Change

on July 19, 2013 - 8:26am


WASHTINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District and a member of the Safe Climate Caucus spoke on the House floor Thursday about the increasing costs of climate change and the need to take action. 

The Safe Climate Caucus is a group of Democratic members who are highlighting the need for action on climate change through daily floor speeches and other activities. Click here to watch Luján’s speech.


E.U. and U.S. to Extend Scientific Cooperation on Measurements and Standards

on July 19, 2013 - 8:13am

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-PA, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Patrick Gallagher, Joint Research Centre Director General Dominique Ristori and European Parliament Member Edit Herzog at a signing ceremony July 17. Photo by K. Delak/NIST

NIST News:

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the U.S.

Udall Calls for Reform to Fix Broken Senate

on July 17, 2013 - 8:04am


WASHINGTON –Tuesday, following a rare meeting of Republicans and Democrats to discuss how to end unprecedented obstruction, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said he was hopeful that the Senate would move forward to confirm several nominees for key administration positions.

But he added that “obstruct and delay” has become the norm, and said a permanent change in the Senate rules must be made so the Senate can get work done for the American people.

Since 2009, Udall has called on the Senate to reform its rules – including by requiring a talking filibuster. 

“I have said for a

Emergency Stabilization Plan Approved for Thompson Ridge

on July 16, 2013 - 10:39am


VCNP News:

JEMEZ SPRINGS – The Thompson Ridge Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team has received final approval for its emergency stabilization request and recommendations involving burned areas affected by the Thompson Ridge Fire.

“Now that the plan is approved, we can move forward with the treatments suggested by the assessment team,” said John Barksdale, Thompson Ridge BAER implementation team leader. “Once we are staffed with specialists to oversee projects, we will begin implementing those treatments.”

Initial treatments could begin as early as next week.

'Canes of Power' Showing at Bandelier July 20

on July 16, 2013 - 9:58am
Three Laguna Canes. Photo by Silver Bullet Productions at Laguna Pueblo


Saturday, July 20 at noon, Bandelier will present the very special documentary, "Canes of Power" in the theater at the park Visitor Center.

In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln presented silver-headed ebony canes to the Governors of the 19 New Mexico Pueblos to recognize their authority, sovereignty, and relationship with the Federal government. Similar canes had been presented by the government of Spain in 1620 and that of Mexico in 1821.

Narrated by actor Wes Studi, the Silver Bullet Productions film "Canes of

Comment on State Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan Through Aug.15

on July 16, 2013 - 8:43am


The New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is in the process of updating the State Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan.

The Plan presents the State's mitigation strategy for reducing the impact of natural disasters.

The State Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan includes the following sections: natural hazard profiles, risk assessment, vulnerability, capability and recommended mitigation actions. The Plan provides an overall strategy that can be used to guide natural hazard mitigation planning and project implementation throughout the State.

Approximately 70

Luján Discusses LANL, Sandia With Moniz

on July 15, 2013 - 11:51am

DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz, left, met with Rep. Ben Ray Luján to discuss the role of Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories. Courtesy photo


WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District and a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee released the following statement after meeting with Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz: 

"Today I had an opportunity to discuss with Secretary Moniz the important role that Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories play in New Mexico.

“As Co-Chair of the Technology Transfer Caucus, I was

Letter to the Editor: Climate Must Be Considered Over Profitability

on July 15, 2013 - 8:13am
Los Alamos

President Obama’s leadership on capping carbon emissions is long overdue with the impending climate crisis. 

Special interest groups can no longer decide the fate of the environment we all share. New Mexico is already experiencing the effects of climate change. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, more than 60 percent of New Mexicans live in conditions of exceptional drought. This drought is aggravated by increasing global temperatures and extended periods of time without precipitation.

We need to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, but natural gas is not an

Udall: $1.9 Million in Grants for Homeless Veterans

on July 15, 2013 - 8:09am
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, has announced that three New Mexico nonprofit organizations will receive a combined $1.9 million in grant funding to provide services to veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Goodwill Industries of New Mexico will receive $1,085,481 to serve veterans in 26 counties throughout the state, including the tribal lands of Cochiti, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, Zia, San Felipe, Santa Ana, Santo Domingo, Navajo,