photo of meadow jumping mouse

Jody Benson, 
Pajarito Group Newsletter editor

Los Alamos County Council almost joined Doña Ana and Santa Fe counties in approving a resolution requiring the state and Congress to fully fund the Endangered Species Act.

White Rock resident Donald Jones introduced the citizens’ petition at the Council meeting on November 17. It reads, “The County fully supports the Endangered Species Act and strongly encourages Congress to continue full funding and enforcement without interfering with science-based decisions about the level of endangerment or protection of individual species.”

We say “almost joined” because, as often happens with the County Council in issues regarding environmental protections, the county kicked the issue into the future, sending it back to staff, with Susan O’Leary (D) recommending that the Los Alamos resolution be modeled after the one passed in Doña Ana [ link to resolution ].

Pajarito Group Chair Mark Jones reminded the Council that this is a moral issue. “Are we going to give to our grandchildren the kind of world we grew up in or are we not?” Jones said. “The Endangered Species Act is just one, but one very good tool for making us look at what we’re doing and take mitigating action, if necessary, to help with some of the unintended consequences of our normal life. And we need that type of act to keep us from just accidentally destroying the world that our grandchildren are going to live in.”

The vote was 5-1, with the usual dissenting voice being Realtor James Chrobocinski, the first-year Republican councilor who has succeeded in leading his fellow councilors into derailing or deferring every effort to protect the local environment.

Neither Councilors Rick Reiss (R) nor Steve Girrens (R) wanted to spend money on a study, and Reiss stated that he drew the line on the ESA language requiring halting and reversing the trend toward extinction no matter what the cost. He said that could mean even at the cost of human life.

Girrens said he didn’t want to send a message to Congress that endorses Congress fully funding any special interest.

Read the Los Alamos Monitor reporter Arin McKenna’s excellent coverage of the meeting.

Photo of meadow jumping mouse from the US Fish & Wildlife Service


Progress on Endangered Species in Los Alamos