Feds OK Gila River diversion — with conditions

Gila River, photo by Alan Stark
by Allyson Siwik
Gila Resources Information Project and Chapter Water Committee On November 23, the U.S. Department of the Interior signed off on the New Mexico Unit Agreement, triggering the next phase of environmental and financial feasibility assessment of the Gila River diversion project under the National Environmental Policy Act. The Department of Interior insisted on “Supplemental Terms” being added to the agreement to clarify for the New Mexico CAP Entity, the local group now at the helm of planning ...
/ Latest News, Water

Quarry keeps infringing on the Franklin Mountains

Photo of CEMEX plant, below Franklin Mountains
By Jim Tolbert
El Paso Group CEMEX continues to carve out ever greater portions of our beautiful Franklin Mountains at the corporation’s McKelligon Canyon Quarry. Not only is CEMEX’s quarrying doing irreparable damage to the mountain, but its operations continue to compromise the respiratory health of people living in nearby neighborhoods. Sadly, the red rhyolite and limestones that they quarry are overused in El Paso landscapes, roadways and medians. Texas Parks and Wildlife Attorney Laura Russell has admitted that ...
/ El Paso Group, Land, Latest News

Bill would protect Castner Range

Photo from top of Castner Range
Janae’ Reneaud Field
Frontera Land Alliance On December 16, Congressman Beto O’Rourke introduced the Castner Range National Monument Act [ HR 4268 ]. This bill would protect Castner Range in perpetuity by making it a national monument. Castner Range is a 7,081-acre mountain range surrounded by the Franklin Mountains State Park in Northeast El Paso, and the Sierra Club El Paso Group is part of a coalition working to protect. Overview Castner Range occupies 11 square miles on the eastern slopes of the ...
/ El Paso Group, Land, Latest News

Rio Rancho targeted for drilling

Photo of Rio Rancho, looking towards Sandias
By Benton Howell
Rio Grande Chapter When an energy company comes to town and asks for quick response to its requests to drill a fracking well within a water-conservation area, and about 2 miles from a residential community, it already has some issues to overcome. But when it asks for a waiver from following the process that the county ordinance has in place to regulate such proposals, things can get unpleasant fast. This is what happened in Sandoval County in ...

Get out to the Bosque!

Photo of Canada Geese in the Rio Grande Bosque
Saturday, January 16. Bosque by Wheelchair — see the Sandhill Cranes at Los Poblanos Fields. Open space will open area to cars. Trails are hard-packed clay. Also to be seen are hawks, Canada geese, the occasional road runner, crows, perhaps a few song birds and coyotes. 10 a.m. Bring cameras and binoculars. Contact Colston Chandler, ccent@swcp.com, 505-343-9498. Saturday, February 6. Poetry in the Bosque: Winter is a good time to see porcupines curled up, high in leafless trees, and bald eagles perched across ...

Berry reneges on Bosque agreement

Photo of Albuquerque bosque with city-bulldozed trail
By Richard Barish
Bosque Action chair In February, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry plowed a trail through the Bosque with no advance notice to anyone. A public outcry ensued. As a result, in March, the City, the Sierra Club, and the Bosque Action Team negotiated procedures to allow adequate public input into future Bosque projects. The agreement was unconditional and not dependent on enactment into law, but City Councilors Isaac Benton and Ken Sanchez thought it would be a good idea ...

Jeff Potter, 1955-2015

Photo of Jeff Potter
By Ray Powell
Former State Land Commissioner A life worth celebrating! Jeffrey William Potter, an active member and leader of our Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club, died on Dec. 3, 2015, from brain cancer. Jeff was born in Los Alamos, on June 30, 1955. He graduated from Los Alamos High School, the University of New Mexico (B.A. fine art and B.S. biology) and the University of Georgia (M.S. Biochemistry). He retired from the UNM Cancer Center as a research ...

Game Commission Nixes Federal Funding

Photo of NM Game Commission
By Teresa Seamster, Northern Group chair The 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan took two years to develop and was prepared with the cooperation of many state partners, such as Natural Heritage New Mexico at UNM, Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at New Mexico State University, state Forestry and the Surface Water Bureau. A simple request for a 10-year renewal of federal funding for the Wildlife Action Plan suddenly took on aspects of a showdown between Game commissioners and the ...
/ Latest News, Wildlife

Bosque update – December 2015

The City has now revealed what its public process will be for the extension of its trail north of I-40 to Campbell Road this winter.  As you probably know by now, the administration reneged on its agreement to follow a process that had been negotiated and agreed to by the administration, the Sierra Club, and the Bosque Action Team. This agreement would have provided for two public meetings and two thirty-day comment periods. First, the City will continue to take comments on ...

Grassroots Lobbying Training – Las Cruces, Albuquerque, Santa Fe

Header image for the Rio Grande Sierra Club "Politics" web page.
Are you wondering how things work at the Roundhouse? Are you concerned about the new composition of the State House of Representatives? Are you worried about legislation that could harm all New Mexicans? Are you looking for a way to help? Join our Grassroots Lobbying Training. Learn how the legislature works, what elected officials are thinking, the importance of their staff, and how to communicate your message effectively. In the first part of the training, you’ll learn the concepts behind lobbying; ...