Many uncertainties surrounding the definition of “Waters of the U.S.” have plagued the regulatory landscape since 2001 and ultimately resulted in the Trump-era Navigable Waters Protection Rule. Also known as the “Dirty Water Rule,” the Trump administration’s rule has impacted New Mexico more than any other state in the nation.
The state Environment Department, which had committed to adopting the Clean Cars standards in 2020, opposed climate activists’ petition, saying they were understaffed but would start a rulemaking in December. Supporters of Sierra Club and other groups submitted nearly 1,000 comments to the EIB, and several volunteers gave oral comments at the July 23 meeting where the board heard our petition. Unfortunately, the EIB rejected the petition.
The Caja del Rio is part of the vital Western Wildway Priority Wildlife Corridor that runs along the Upper Rio Grande Watershed from Colorado through New Mexico. The plateau and canyons are vital habitat for a diverse range of plants and animals, and the area is recognized by the National Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area.
Trapping season will be upon us beginning November 1. While we still are celebrating that the New Mexico Legislature passed and the governor signed Roxy’s Law banning traps from public land, it won’t take effect until April 1, 2022.
On Friday, Oct. 1, members of the Greater Chaco Coalition delivered stacks of comments representing nearly 2-million protests collected since 2016 opposing federal fossil fuel leasing to the Bureau of Land Management’s state headquarters in Santa Fe. Representatives once again shared a timeline of extractive colonialism in New Mexico and once again, urged agency officials to stop sacrificing more New Mexico land for oil and gas.
Election day is November 2, and in odd-numbered years like this, we vote on non-partisan elections, which include municipal and certain other local elections. The Rio Grande Chapter has endorsed mayoral and city council candidates in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces. In addition, the Chapter has endorsed candidates for the Boards of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, which do great conservation work at the local level. Finally, we have endorsed candidates for the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Directors, which is ground zero for equity issues and climate education. Read about the endorsements here, and please vote!
AlbuquerqueTim Keller, MayorLan Sena, City Council District 1Cynthia Borrego, City Council District 5Tammy Fiebelkorn, City Council District 7Rob Grilley, City Council District 9 Albuquerque Public SchoolsEmma Jones, District 5Josefina (Josie) Dominguez, District 6Julie Brenning, District 7 Santa FeAlan Webber, MayorSigne
A broad coalition of New Mexico advocates today applauded Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for announcing an executive order to protect 30% of the state’s land by 2030. The order—titled “Protecting New Mexico’s Lands, Watersheds, Wildlife, and Natural Heritage”—is a critical step to conserving the state’s treasured landscapes and biodiversity for generations to come, while bolstering our economy, expanding access to the outdoors, and increasing opportunities for hunting and fishing.
A coalition of New Mexico community, environmental, and justice organizations warned state and federal lawmakers of the risks of diving head-first into fossil-fueled hydrogen projects. The groups’ letter provides guidance on the context and safeguards that must be enacted before hydrogen projects are considered in the San Juan Basin, and in New Mexico generally. The oil and gas industry has lobbied for billions in taxpayer funds for hydrogen in the coming federal infrastructure bill, and states, including New Mexico, are scrambling to win those funds for “hydrogen hubs.” But hydrogen derived from fossil gas presents significant climate and health dangers, driving new methane, carbon dioxide and other emissions as well as a massive new market for fracked gas, just when scientists tell us it is most urgent to dramatically scale back our consumption of fossil fuels.
Senator Martin Heinrich released a letter yesterday to several environmental groups confirming that he supports ending federal subsidies to oil and gas companies. Heinrich’s message came in response to a letter from environmental groups and lawmakers across the state, who have been urging lawmakers to take action on subsidies as part of the upcoming spending packages.