Monday News Roundup: Heinrich Proposal To Expand Access To Public Lands

Sep 30, 2013

Heinrich Proposal To Expand Access To Public Lands - Associated Press

New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich is proposing legislation to expand access to federal lands for hunting, fishing and other recreation.

Heinrich introduced the measure last week in Washington, D.C., and said it will require federal agencies to identify lands they manage that lack routes for public access. The agencies will have to develop a plan for access to those lands with a significant recreational potential.

Heinrich's legislation also would earmark federal funds to buy easements and rights-of-way from adjacent landowners willing to sell some of their property to provide roads or trails to reach otherwise inaccessible public lands.

National Wildlife Federation Director Jeremy Vesbach said the legislation could help open landlocked public lands for hunting, fishing, hiking and other recreation.

Gallup Public Radio Fined $12K By FCC - Associated Press and The Gallup Independent

Gallup Public Radio has been fined $12,000 by the Federal Communications Commission for failing to update its public file.

The Gallup Independent reports that the FCC fine came after the station admitted to the oversight in its license renewal application.

Station Manager Rachel Kaub says the punishment is fair and manageable. She says the problem has been fixed.

Kaub says her recommendation to the KGLP Board of Directors would be to pay the $12,000 immediately.

The station is known as KGLP and operates the radio station on 91.7 FM.

NM Marketplace For Insurance Opens This Week - Associated Press

As a state with among the nation's highest uninsured rates, New Mexico has a lot at stake with a new health insurance marketplace that starts enrolling customers this week.

Individuals and small businesses can begin shopping for insurance Tuesday through a health insurance exchange that's envisioned as a shopping center for health coverage from private insurers. Coverage begins in January.

Enrollment can be done online through the state exchange website, by telephone or in person at about 160 locations across the state, mainly medical clinics and hospitals.

Nearly a fourth of New Mexico's population lacks health insurance.

Although the uninsured are the main target of the exchange, it's available to others as well. Individuals who buy their own insurance can go to the exchange to look for better options.

BLM: Hikers Find Ancient Basket Near Socorro - Associated Press

Archaeologists have been able to date and preserve an ancient basket after hikers discovered the artifact on New Mexico public land.

The Bureau of Land Management says test reveal the basket dates between A.D. 690 and 970.

Official say the hikers found the partially buried basket in January 2009. It was tucked under a rock overhang in northwest Socorro County.

One of the hikers led a team of two archaeologists and a law enforcement special agent to the site. The basket was carefully removed and prepped for transport to the Museum of New Mexico's lab in Santa Fe.

Inside the basket were white crystals that appeared to be salt. Scientists are still trying to determine the salt's origin.

BLM officials say the basket will be turned over to the museum.

ASU-UNM team build 'net-zero energy home' - Associated Press and The Arizona Republic

A team of students from Arizona State University and the University of New Mexico have collaborated to create a net-zero energy home.

The Arizona Republic reports the ASU/UNM team will compete this week against 19 other entries at the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon in Irvine, Calif. The event is a Super Bowl of sorts for solar-powered homes aimed at creating a new generation of builders who think green.

The event is held every two years since it takes that long to dream up, engineer and construct these sustainable homes, which are judged on performance, affordability and livability.

The ASU/UNM's 850-square-foot home has a radiant heating and cooling system that uses water-filled capillaries above a plaster ceiling as a way to cool or heat the home.