Head north of Albuquerque and look over toward the Rio Grande and its forest, or bosque. Within that green ribbon of trees, you’ll also spot leaves that are reddish brown. Even from the Interstate, the dying trees are obvious.
Those leaves belong to tamarisk, or salt cedar. More than a century ago, the trees were introduced to control erosion and act as windbreaks. But they have overtaken riverbanks across the southwestern United States, sucking up water and choking out native species like cottonwoods and willows.
Federal wildlife managers are stepping into uncharted territory and are asking social media users for help in naming what will be one of the nation's newest urban wildlife refuges.
The refuge in New Mexico has yet to be formally established, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Southwest Region is getting a jump on things by asking people to suggest names on its Facebook page.
Voting started Friday and the list of suggestions has grown.
The favorites include Valle de Oro — Spanish for Valley of Gold — National Wildlife Refuge.
The U.S. Forest Service is proposing a prescribed burn in the Pecos Wilderness near Santa Fe to reduce the possibility that a wildfire could severely damage the city's watershed.
The Espanola Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest has scheduled a meeting Sept. 20 to gather public comments and provide more information about the proposal to burn 2,900 acres in the wilderness area upstream from McClure Reservoir, which is east of Santa Fe and stores water for the city.
Animal conservationists are worried that hundreds of Gunnison's prairie dogs relocated from the city of Santa Fe to the El Malpais National Conservation Area in west-central New Mexico could become targets for shooters.
The nonprofit environmental group WildEarth Guardians is asking the Bureau of Land Management to consider restrictions on recreational shooting in the prairie dog relocation spot.
University of New Mexico professors and researchers have been awarded funding from the National Institutes of Health to implement a science enrichment program for several middle schools in rural New Mexico.
The funding will be doled out over five years and will target both tribal and predominantly Hispanic schools.
The university says there's a steady decline in the number of American Indian and Hispanic students graduating with science and engineering degrees.
Here, where the Alameda Bridge crosses the Rio Grande on the north side of Albuquerque, you can see what New Mexico’s weak monsoon season looks like on the ground.
The water is braided around sandbars and islands. It’s so shallow that even where the river is flowing, sand is visible just a few inches below the surface. Two Canada Geese honk beneath the bridge, then take off. When they land again, their feet are barely covered by the water.
A federal judge has denied a motion by a former St. Vincent Hospital executive facing fraud charges to dismiss a civil suit against him.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that U.S. District Court Judge James Browning recently denied that a motion to dismiss the lawsuit against Richard Crabtree on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired.
A jury trial in the civil case is scheduled to take place in May 2013.
Authorities say a New Mexico state police officer is under investigation for taking a cell phone photo of a man shot and killed by state police.
KOB-TV reports that New Mexico State Police Chief Robert Shilling apologized Tuesday for the actions of the unnamed officer.
A picture depicting the body of Sam Pauly who was fatally shot by state police in October his Glorieta home was recently sent to KOB-TV. State police shot Pauly after reports of a road rage complaint earlier in the evening.
An Albuquerque real estate executive is set to be sentenced after admitting to a Ponzi scheme that bilked 600 investors of $75 million.
A federal judge is expected to sentence Doug Vaughan on Wednesday to no more than 12 years under a plea agreement reached in December. The sentencing would wrap up a criminal case that ruined lives across eight states.
It is unclear whether the 65-year-old would be sent to a minimum-security federal prison camp for white-collar criminals or a traditional lockup with more hardened convicts.
An Albuquerque attorney says he has a recording of Governor Susana Martinez's chief of staff, Keith Gardner, telling one of his clients that he never uses state email to conduct business because he didn’t want to "go to court (or) jail."
Defense attorney Sam Bregman released the audio Tuesday. He represents fired Department of Corrections worker Larry Flynn in a wrongful termination case. It was in that case that the Martinez administration's use of private email accounts was first revealed.
The U. S. Forest Service has approved Taos Ski Valley's request to expand its expert terrain by 60 percent with two new lifts that will take skiers to popular high alpine areas currently accessible only to hikers.
The plan also calls for upgrades to three other lifts, thinning of trees to expand two new glade areas for advanced intermediate to expert skiers, construction of a permanent tubing facility, a snowshoe trail system and a lift-served mountain bike trail for summer visitors.
Soil issues have caused a delay in construction of a new 65,000-square-foot casino for the Downs of Albuquerque.
General manager Darren White says the building now will open about a month later than planned, early in the second quarter next year. He says engineers had found some areas where soil was not compacted deeply enough to meet specifications.
The construction also is expected to impact parking at the upcoming New Mexico State Fair.
After more than two weeks, the Fox Mountain Pack alpha female wolf is still on the loose, foiling The Fish and Wildlife Service’s best efforts to trap and move her to an Arizona Sanctuary. For wolf advocates this is good news, because it's another day she can spend raising her pups. But for ranchers, it means a habitual livestock killer is still an active threat to their cattle. The Mexican Gray Wolf reintroduction program has been controversial since its inception, but a new coexistence plan seeks to fix that...through compromise.
It sort of felt like a party at a recent health fair at the Rio Arriba County Health Commons in Española. And perhaps it is something to celebrate when you can get lunch, hear some traditional mariachi music by El Trio de los Gallos, and get immunized against pneumonia and whooping cough for free, all at the same time.
On Tuesday in Las Cruces, New Mexico State University hosted the 57th annual New Mexico Water Conference. This year’s conference was titled “Hard Choices” and its participants were trying to figure out how New Mexicans can adapt to water scarcity.
At the conference, there were federal and state water managers, scientists, activists, farmers—anyone with an interest in understanding how New Mexico’s water is managed and how it’s going to be managed in the future, as water becomes increasingly scarce.
Hearings resume on Aug. 28 on drilling wastes generated by the oil and gas industry. At issue are rules put in place under the previous administration governing thousands of waste pits and underground storage tanks.
KUNM Call In Show 8/30 8a: Should New Mexico expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act? The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the federal government cannot force states to expand the program that provides healthcare to the poor. Gov. Susana Martinez's administration says the decision has not been made, yet. We'll hear from a community advocate and a physician. We'd like to hear from you, too! Email email@example.com, post your comments online, or call in live during the show.
A Curry County Commissioner wants to know why county officials said a report about a jail assault was just being started when it appeared to have been nearly complete.
Commissioner Robert Sandoval says he believes there's been a "huge cover-up" surrounding the report of the June 27 assault.
County Attorney Steve Doerr had claimed the report was ordered after the county was threatened with a lawsuit two days after inmate Jaime Perez was assaulted by another inmate. He claimed it was therefore protected by attorney-client privilege.
Federal authorities say they are looking for possible victims of a New Mexico man who authorities say talked about raping and cooking children and is charged in a massive child porn investigation.
Richard Dates is scheduled Monday to appear for a preliminary hearing in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque. The 67-year-old was charged last week with possessing child pornography in a case that began in Massachusetts with the arrest of a Sheraton hotel manager.