BLM Defers on Fracking Leases near Chaco Canyon
Yesterday, the Bureau of Land Management deferred for the third time the sale of three oil and gas lease parcels and approximately 2,122 acres of federal mineral estate on Navajo allotment lands in the Greater Chaco region. A broad coalition of local and regional watchdog groups submitted comments opposing the lease sale for fracking near Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The comments focused in part on the agency’s woefully insufficient management plan for the region, which treats the Greater Chaco’s communities and landscapes as a sacrifice zone. BLM’s deferral of these leases, for the third time, illustrates the need for the agency to complete its ongoing resource management plan amendment before continuing to lease and authorize the development of any additional public lands for oil and gas. http://bit.ly/1LSSdPZ – Pagosa Daily Post
An experiment in privatizing public land fails after 14 years — High Country News Tom Ribe Opinion Feb. 12, 2015 Web Exclusive
It is no secret that some state legislators in the West want to boot federal land management agencies from their states. They argue that agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service cost too much and are too detached from local values, and that states could make money by running our vast open spaces like a privately owned business.
The Cato Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based libertarian think tank, is of that opinion and has developed models to replace federal agencies with private interests. What many people don’t know is that Congress implemented one of the Cato Institute’s ideas in 2000, on the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico. For some critics of the federal government, this was the experiment in land management that would signal the end of the BLM and Forest Service in the West.
The Cato experiment in New Mexico, however, failed, chewed up by the friction between monetizing the “services” that landscapes provide — recreation, timber, grass, wildlife — and fulfilling citizens’ expectations for public access and protecting natural resources. For example, New Mexicans had very little tolerance for paying high fees to visit public property that had already been paid for using federal Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars.
Sunday, March 13th, 2016 at 12:05am
There are many reasons New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment. Its abundance of UNESCO World Heritage sites is one of them.
It is one very prestigious list on which our state’s No. 1 ranking is a good thing….
There are 1,031 World Heritage sites around the world, including such bucket-list places as the pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and Machu Picchu in Peru. All three of those places are still on my big-wish list.
If you want to see the complete list, go to whc.unesco.org/en/list .
There are 23 World Hertiage sites in the United States. You’ve probably been to some of them. …
[E]nchanting New Mexico has three – more World Heritage sites than any other U.S. state. They are Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Taos Pueblo and Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
If three’s not impressive enough, a fourth New Mexico site is under consideration for inclusion – White Sands National Monument. …
Of course, each site has its own website with complete information about how to get there and what you’ll find:
• Carlsbad Caverns National Park: www.nps.gov/cave
• Chaco Culture National Historical Park: www.nps.gov/chcu
• Taos Pueblo: www.taospueblo.com
• White Sands National Monument: www.nps.gov/whsa
Arroyo Hondo Pueblo Project examines several attempts at establishing communities at site over the centuries
Friday, February 5th, 2016 at 12:05am
From a settlement of about 100 rooms begun around the year 1300, the Arroyo Hondo Pueblo turned into a boom town of some 1,000 rooms and 10 plazas by 1330. But then, by 1345, it was abandoned.
People returned around 1370, building a more modest settlement of about 250 rooms on the remains of the earlier town, Schwartz said, but then disappeared again around 1425.
The boom and bust was not unusual for area settlements then….
Unlike many pueblo ruins found in the Santa Fe area, those at Arroyo Hondo haven’t been claimed as ancestral dwellings of any of the current Pueblo peoples, Schwartz said.
Go to the new website arroyohondo.org for a treasure trove of information about the Arroyo Hondo Pueblo near Santa Fe, its excavation work and scientific findings.
A trail running near the entire length of the Rio Grande is a wonderful idea. It’s great to see it moving forward. Now, let’s add train service, beginning with Bernardo and Bosque del Apache.
The Rio Grande Trail proposal is still in its infancy. Legislation took effect July 1 of last year, calling for the trail’s establishment. The trail commission’s early January meeting in Las Cruces was its third session.
Tell the profiteers “NO! Not this time.”
Albuquerque Journal | Acoma families inhabit Sky City live a lifestyle that’s millennia old, and share the ancient story of the pueblo with visitors By Glen Rosales / Journal Staff Writer, Sunday, October 25th, 2015 at 12:02am
Sitting high atop a mesa, commanding a view of the surrounding countryside, Acoma Pueblo has been a bastion for the Native Americans of the area for hundreds of years.
In fact, it’s the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States, dating back to about 100 A.D., with some of the current adobe dwellings more than 400 years old.
And it’s also one of the most accessible of the pueblos as Acoma not only encourages visitors, but makes it an easy endeavor with guided tours, acomaskycity.org, said Melvin Juanico, group tour director for the pueblo.
Nice one-page article with photos. We haven’t seen all of these, but most.
New Mexico lives up to its nickname – the Land of Enchantment – with glittering deserts, vast underground caverns, gem-rich mountains and hundreds of years of human history
My letter was just one of several objecting to the Game Commission.
Time to get some new commissioners
THE NEW MEXICO Game Commission is charged with managing wildlife for all of us. Recent decisions show there is no representation for those of us who think wildlife, including the top predators, should be protected from slaughter. We are the majority yet completely unrepresented on the commission.
The terms of three of the commissioners expire on Dec. 31. All New Mexicans who believe wildlife has a right to more than a brutal death should implore Gov. Susana Martinez to appoint at least one commissioner to represent the majority.
MARK JUSTICE HINTON
Elizabeth “Beth” Atkinson Ryan [attorney, oil and gas, hunter, NRA] – 2015
Robert Espinoza, Sr. [hunter, NRA] – 2015
Paul M. Kienzle III [attorney, hunter] – 2015
Note that the terms of 3 of these commissioners expire at the end of 2015. Their replacements will serve 4 years (2019). Lean hard on Governor Martinez to appoint new people to replace them, at least one representing those of us who hate the slaughter and butchering of public wildlife on public lands for private profit.
Notice the current representation:
Elizabeth “Beth” Atkinson Ryan [attorney, oil and gas, hunter, NRA] – 2015
Robert Espinoza, Sr. [hunter, NRA] – 2015
Paul M. Kienzle III [attorney, hunter] – 2015
William “Bill” Montoya [actual wildlife management training] – 2017
Ralph Ramos [hunter, guide] – 2018
Bob Ricklefs [rancher] – 2018
Thomas “Dick” Salopek [hunter, NRA] – 2017
New Mexico State Game Commissioners
Paul M. Kienzle III [attorney, hunter]
P.O. Box 587
Albuquerque, NM 87103-0587
Paul Kienzle is an attorney in Albuquerque. He hunts and fishes on public and private lands and is committed to protecting people’s right to do so. He enjoys shooting sports. He is passionate about New Mexico’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms for lawful hunting and recreation purposes. He is interested in putting more youth, adults and first-time hunters in the field. He was educated at Duke University and the University of Illinois College of Law. The New Mexico Senate confirmed his appointment Feb. 25, 2013. Kienzle represents Game Commission District Five. His term expires Dec. 31, 2015.
William “Bill” Montoya [actual wildlife management training]
125 Little Creek Hills Road
Alto, NM 88312-9503
Home: (575) 336-2533
Cell: (505) 412-0290
Bill Montoya is a former director of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. He worked for the Department for 28 years, overseeing conservation and game management before taking over the director’s position. He is also the former president of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. He holds a degree in wildlife management from New Mexico State University. The New Mexico Senate confirmed his appointment Feb. 25, 2013. Montoya represents Game Commission District 1. The district is composed of Curry, De Baca, Roosevelt, Chaves, Lincoln, Otero, Eddy and Lea counties. His term expires Dec. 31, 2017.
Robert Espinoza, Sr. [hunter, NRA]
P.O. Box 6792
Farmington, NM 87499
Work: (505) 324-8208
Robert Espinoza Sr. a resident of Farmington for more than 50 years, owns and operates a metal fabricating and construction business in Farmington along with his two sons, Tiger and Benny. He formerly served as President/Executive Director of United Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife New Mexico, and is active in several other sportsmen’s and conservation organizations, including the Mule Deer Foundation, National Rifle Association, Wild Sheep Foundation, Sportsmen and Landowners Coalition, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Safari Club International. A lifelong avid sportsman, he devotes most of his time and efforts to promoting our hunting and fishing heritage in New Mexico and enhancing the habitat for New Mexico’s wildlife, with a big focus on promoting youth actives and opportunities. The New Mexico Senate confirmed his appointment Feb. 25, 2013. Espinoza represents Game Commission District 3. The district is composed of San Juan, McKinley, Cibola, Valencia, Sandoval, Los Alamos and Rio Arriba counties. His term ends Dec. 31, 2015.
Ralph Ramos [hunter, guide]
Home: (575) 526-1314
Ralph Ramos, a native of Hurley in Grant County, is a Middle School Principal in Las Cruces, having served that community and Las Cruces Public Schools for 18 years. He has taught Agriscience and served as advisor to the local Future Farmers of America chapter for eight years before moving into administration. He holds a BS and MA in Agricultural Education from NMSU. He is a lifelong professional sportsman and guide and has hunted throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and South Africa as he is currently serving as a hunting industry pro staff member. His passion is educating the public through articles and videography, as well as presenting elk and turkey calling seminars for Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and other organizations. He is a member of: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Rifle Association, Mesilla Valley Sportsman’s Alliance. Ramos is one of two commissioners appointed at-large. His term expires with the close of the 2014 legislative session. His term expires Dec. 31, 2018.
Bob Ricklefs [rancher]
Robert Ricklefs has been ranch superintendent at Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico since 1981. He is in charge of wildlife management, livestock, agriculture, water rights, timber management and range management. He is a member of the Colfax regional water planning committee and is a founding member of the Cimarron Watershed Alliance. He contributed to the first black bear study in New Mexico and has been a cooperator in other New Mexico bear and cougar studies. He is a past member of the New Mexico Bureau of Land Management Advisory Council and currently serves as a board member with the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the University of Wyoming. Ricklefs represents Game Commission District 4. In his personal time, he enjoys camping with family and grandchildren. His term expires Dec. 31, 2018.
Elizabeth Atkinson Ryan [attorney, oil and gas, hunter, NRA]
PO Box 1612
Roswell, NM 88202-1612
An experienced oil, gas and energy attorney, Elizabeth “Beth” Atkinson Ryan focuses her practice in the areas of oil and gas title examination, regulatory, transactional, and everyday operational matters. Partnering with Joel M. Carson III, they created the law firm of Carson Ryan LLC in January 2014 after Ryan’s own firm, Ryan Law Firm, P.C. expanded at an extraordinary pace in 2012 and 2013. Appointed by Governor Susana Martinez in 2011, Beth just completed four years of service as a member of the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB). She is a member of the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Landman’s Association and is a Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. She is an active member of Safari Club International (SCI) and the local SENM SCI Chapter, National Rifle Association (NRA), and a voting member of the Chaves County DWI Planning Council, a subcommittee of the Chaves County Commission. Beth also serves on the Board of Directors of Lovelace Regional Hospital in Roswell. She has had a passion since a young age for hunting and outdoor adventure. Beth is a summa cum laude graduate of Lubbock Christian University with a B.A. in Humanities with an emphasis in pre-law and a minor in Biblical studies. She received her J.D. cum laude from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2006. Ryan is one of two commissioners appointed at-large. Her term expires Dec. 31, 2015.
Thomas “Dick” Salopek [hunter, NRA]
975 Holcomb Road
Las Cruces, NM 88007
Work: (575) 526-5946
Fax: (575) 526-0867
Dick Salopek of Las Cruces is a third-generation pecan farmer in the Mesilla Valley. He is an avid hunter, bowhunter and outdoorsman. He is co-owner of Tom Salopek Farms, Western Blend, Salopek 4-MP and Robledo Pecan Sorting. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Dona Ana County Planning & Zoning Commission, the New Mexico Pecan Grower’s Association, and is treasurer of the Dona Ana County Farm Bureau. Salopek has been on the Board of Councilors at Citizens Bank. He is also a member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the National Rifle Association. He holds a B.A. in Agronomy and Soil Science from New Mexico State University. Salopek represents Game Commission District 2. The district is composed of Catron, Socorro, Grant, Hidalgo, Luna, Sierra and Doña Ana counties. His term ends Dec. 31, 2017.
Clipped from: http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/commission/meet-the-commissioners/
With luck, we’ll be rid of all the self-serving fools on the New Mexico Game Commission. With that in mind, recall the fall of Scott Bidegain, who pocketed a wad of cash for setting up the slaughter of a cornered cougar by even-more-loathsome turds from Texas and Oklahoma. The noble Bidegain had previously participated in the sport of kings: coyote slaughtering. What a fine New Mexican!
Each of the current commissioners is of the same ilk and could be brought down by their own cruelty. Let us pray.
Game Commission leader resigns after cougar killing
By Staci Matlock, The New Mexican
State Game Commission chairman Scott Bidegain, who state conservation officers a week ago accused of helping four other men illegally kill a cougar on his family’s ranch near Tucumcari, resigned over the weekend. …
Cited along with Bidegain was Larry H. Webb of Newkirk; Billy G. Ivy of Canyon, Texas; Chad W. Hassell of Childress, Texas; and Jason E. Roselius of Oklahoma City. Roselius was cited for killing a cougar without a valid license. It is unclear whether the men shot the cougar or their dogs cornered and killed the cougar.
A few people decided to take the last wild river in New Mexico away from all of us and sell it to a few. And no one can stop the few from screwing the many.
At Monday’s meeting, Interstate Stream Commission staff acknowledged that evaporation and reservoir seepage will eat up nearly half the water before it ever reaches any farms or cities. The law under which the project would be built authorized 14,000 acre feet per year on average from the Gila, but the actual yield will likely be between 6,000 and 8,000 acre feet, ISC staff member Ali Effati told the commission.
The commission’s vote on the diversion recommendation was not unanimous. Commissioner Blane Sanchez objected and Topper Thorpe chose not to vote, a decision that spurred cheers from people in the audience who have been critical of diversion.
Slides at the link.
Rock of ages: Up to 70,000 petroglyphs may exist along Mesa Prieta | Albuquerque Journal News By Jackie Jadrnak / Journal North Reporter PUBLISHED: Friday, November 21, 2014 at 12:05 am
Along the entire Mesa Prieta, which stretches to the confluence of the Rio Grande and Rio Chama, and the first Spanish settlement of San Gabriel, some 70,000 petroglyphs are estimated to exist. They include abstract images, except for human handprints and animal footprints, from the Archaic Period (2,000 to 5,000 years ago), a host of human, animal, cosmic and geometric forms from the Puebloan Period (beginning in 1200 A.D.), and even more from the Historic Period, which begins with the Spanish arrival in 1598 around Ohkay Owingeh.
In their typical multi-prong attack, the Republicans cut funding to public land services, then accuse those services of being unable to handle the task. The goal is to pass the lands to local governments where it will be much easier to bribe politicians and cherry-pick the best lands. When the burden of land management falls on local governments, they will fail and throw up their hands and sell the lands. ROBBERY!
If local governments happen to bankrupt themselves trying to manage public lands, all the better, because then local governments will have to beg corporations to take over a wider array of public services. This is the most transparent of vile schemes. [hat tip to Meg Adams]
These types of land-grab schemes are as old as the railroads. But the chief salesman for this latest land seizure campaign, the American Lands Council, is having some success pitching state legislators on “model legislation” to enable these transfers. The legislation was drafted with the help of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, which receives financing from the utility industry and fossil-fuel producers.
It is unclear whether such legislation is even enforceable.
Continue reading the main story 423Comments
Still, even the Republican National Committee has bought the snake oil the American Lands Council is selling. Last January, the committee endorsed the transfer of public lands to the states. In addition, the United States House of Representatives, controlled by Republicans, endorsed the outright sale of our public lands.
Like other Westerners who value our shared lands as assets to be used, enjoyed and passed to future generations, I find this dispiriting to see. And for an overwhelming majority of public land users in the West who pay their grazing fees and play by the rules, the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion of Cliven Bundy and the American Lands Council is not so much a movement as another special-interest-financed boondoggle.