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KUNM News Update
Mon December 16, 2013
Monday News Roundup: Horse Slaughter Plants Preparing To Open
Horse Slaughter Plants Preparing To Open- Associated Press
After months of legal wrangling and false starts in a battle to resume domestic horse slaughter, plants in New Mexico and Missouri are working to begin processing equine for human consumption.
The efforts come on the heels of an order late Friday by a federal appeals court that lifted an emergency stay on the companies' plans.
Blair Dunn, an Albuquerque who represents Valley Meat Co. of Roswell and Rains Natural Meats of Gallatin, Mo., says the plants Monday "are pushing full steam ahead to be ready to go as soon as possible."
Rains Natural Meats, he says, even has horses on site. But it's unclear if the plants will open before Christmas or wait until after the holidays.
The Humane Society vows "the fight for America's horses is not over."
NM To Measure Gaps Between Water Supply, Demand - Associated Press and The Albuquerque Journal
The state of New Mexico is reviving its effort to calculate the gaps between its finite water supplies and the needs of a growing population so that it can help prioritize state projects and policies to deal with the gaps.
But the Albuquerque Journal reports that critics believe that the state's top-down approach in its water planning is bypassing the voices of local water users.
A similar planning process was launched more than a decade ago, but efforts to complete the project faltered.
The planning process has revived a conflict between community leaders and state government over who will control the numbers.
In the past, communities developed their own supply and demand projections.
This time around, the state says it will calculate the numbers for each region.
Manhattan Project National Park Proposal Rejected - Associated Press and The Los Alamos Monitor
A proposal to establish a national historical park to commemorate the World War II Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb has been rejected.
The Los Alamos Monitor reports that hopes that the proposal would pass this year were dashed when U.S. Senate rejected an amendment attaching the bill to the National Defense Authorization Act.
The top-secret Manhattan Project operated from December 1942 until September 1945 and resulted in scientific and technological advancements that ushered in the atomic age and helped the United States win the war.
Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico expressed disappointment in the proposal's failure but vowed to keep fighting for passage of the bill.
NMSU To Participate In Program For Healthy Kids - Associated Press
New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service is participating in a program to help rural communities improve access to healthy eating and physical activities for children.
NMSU Extension offices in Quay Grant and Torrance counties have been selected to administer the state's initial projects, which is to look at regional needs.
Many rural communities lack access to affordable fresh, nutritious food, and it is difficult to walk or bike to destinations and participate regularly in physical activity and recreational sport programs.
The program was developed by Oregon State University and is being conducted in Washington, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.
GROW Healthy Kids and Community is funded by a $4.87 million grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
NV Sage Grouse Critics Say Feds Bent On Listing - Associated Press and Elko Daily Free Press
An ex-state lawmaker and longtime critic of U.S. land managers says he's convinced the feds have already made up their mind to list the Greater sage grouse as a threatened or endangered species.
But a Bureau of Land Management official says that's not the case and insisted at a public meeting in Elko this week they want the community's input on how best to save the troubled bird without a federal listing.
Ranchers, miners, energy developers and state officials fear restrictions on the use of public lands in sage grouse habitat would have deep economic consequences in the rural West.
Former Republican Assemblyman John Carpenter told the Elko Daily Free Press he believes the government is determined to list the chicken-sized game bird as part of a bigger strategy to lock up federal lands.