Southwest Chief gets lifelines

Photo of Amtrak for Sierra Club article on changes to Amtrak service in New Mexico
By Norma McCallan, Chapter vice chair You may remember that the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, which owns much of the tracks in New Mexico that the Southwest Chief travels daily between Los Angeles and Chicago, announced it would not renew its contract with Amtrak, due Dec. 31, to maintain the tracks since there is now little freight traffic along this section. This would seriously affect New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas, since the tracks and signaling devices are in serious need ...
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Bernalillo County Okays Santolina master plan

Bernalillo County Okays Santolina master plan
By Chantel Chavez and Antonio Maestas, Southwest Organizing Project The residents of Bernalillo County are wrestling with questions about the well-being of New Mexico after the Bernalillo County Commission approved the Santolina development master plan on June 16. In this time of drought, residents are worried about how the lack of water will affect their everyday quality of life. Even before the proposed mega-development, the drought made many question the longevity of our agricultural livelihoods, as well as the health ...
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Be an Abq Bosque Sentinel and protect urban open space

Photo of the Rio Grande Bosque by Bryan Raymond
Albuquerque is one of only two urban places in the country that protects its riparian zone as a natural place rather than a developed urban park. To help protect what makes our Bosque so special, we’re forming a Bosque Sentinels Program. If you are interested, you can select a part of the Bosque that you’d like to monitor. You’ll get to know the terrain and be able to report to Open Space if there are litter, fire or vandalism problems ...
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/ Land, Latest News

Deal shuts door on funding for Gila River alternatives

Gila river for Sierra Club article on Gila River diversion project
By Allyson Siwik, Chapter Executive Committee, Gila Resources Information Project/Gila Conservation Coalition After weeks of negotiations, the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission approved in June a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) to form the entity that will be responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the billion-dollar Gila River diversion project. As of press time, nine local governments have signed the agreement in advance of the July 3 deadline. Local governments are signing on to financing a $1 billion ...
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Gains and losses for clean water in dairy settlement deal

Dairy cows for Sierra Club article on regulations on dairy farm water quality
By Dan Lorimier, Chapter Conservation Coordinator At its May 12 meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico’s Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) adopted sweeping amendments to the existing discharge rules for our more than 150 Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) dairies. Thanks to a last-minute settlement among the Citizens Dairy Coalition (our coalition, represented by New Mexico Environmental Law Center); the state Environment Department; the Attorney General’s Office; and the dairy industry, the new rules retain the state’s ability to closely ...
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Solar Summer: step back from the abyss and act

Solar Summer: step back from the abyss and act
By Camilla Feibelman, Chapter director Sierra Club members and activists come from all backgrounds. But I think on Thursday, June 18, we all felt a little bit Catholic, and those of us who are Catholic or were raised so might have been especially proud. Pope Francis brought his powerful voice to the science of climate change and made a call to action to all people to protect our delicate planet from the ravages of climate destruction. But that day was ...
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/ Climate Change, Latest News

Clean-water groups appeal copper rule

Chino Copper Mine aka Santa Rita for Sierra Club article on clean water groups appeal copper ruling in NM Supreme Court
By Allyson Siwik, Rio Grande Chapter Executive Committee and Director, Gila Resources Information Project The New Mexico Attorney General and water-protection groups have filed petitions with the New Mexico Supreme Court seeking reversal of the Court of Appeals’ opinion upholding the validity of the Copper Rule, which regulates discharges from copper mines. Contrary to state law, the Copper Rule makes polluting groundwater at mine sites legal as long as contamination is contained. The petition, filed by New Mexico Environmental Law ...
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A message from the new Rio Grande Sierra Club chair

Photo of new Rio Grande Chapter Sierra Club chair David Coss
By David Coss, Rio Grande Sierra Club Chapter chair I am honored and excited to become the chair of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club executive committee. I have always been enchanted by our New Mexico environment and I look forward to this opportunity to work for its protection through the Sierra Club. I have had a great career in natural-resources management for state government, as an officer and organizer in the labor movement and as an elected leader ...
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Attend August 27 NM Game Commission meeting to protect carnivores

Speak up for carnivores
The New Mexico Game Commission is proposing rule changes that will affect carnivore populations. You need to speak up now to protect carnivores. Members of the public testified that politics is the source of these proposals and not science. Carnivores are crucially important to the integrity of ecosystems, specifically:
  • they contribute to riparian forests and stream health
  • traps are cruel and indiscriminate and should have no part in managing cougars or any wildlife
  • the opportunity for viewing these large ...
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/ Wildlife

Results of recent endorsements

Photo of John P. Kelly for the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter website
The Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter endorsed multiple candidates in local 2015 elections, including candidates for the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy Distract, Valencia County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Doña County Soil and Water Conservation District. Here are the results of those endorsements: June 2 Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District elections:
John Kelly: WON, Janet Jarratt: LOST May 5 Valencia County Soil and Water Conservation District elections:
Andrew Hautzinger (write­-in candidate): WON May 5 Doña Ana County Soil and ...
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/ Elections, Politics