The majority of roads in the Santa Fe National Forest will now be closed to motorized travel, according to the Albuquerque Journal. But two environmental groups say the plan still leaves too much of the forest open to vehicle traffic.
The Record of Decision came after nearly six years of analysis and public comment. The Forest Service evaluated more than 7,000 miles of roads and trails and designated about 2,400 miles where motorized travel will be allowed. It also prohibited off-road motorized travel.
A New Mexico wildfire that destroyed 242 homes and businesses is now 95 percent contained as crews finish mopping up around the fire's perimeter.
Crews demobilized some equipment Friday as they restored containment lines around the 69-square-mile Little Bear fire to a more natural state. Firefighters were also able to take advantage of rain on the blaze's southern end.
The lightning-caused fire is burning near Ruidoso and started June 4.
Businesses in Ruidoso are open despite some road closures due to fire operations.
ByMegan Kamerick and The Carlsbad Current-Argus and The Associated Press
The U.S. Department of Energy is eying two sites in Eddy County to store 10,000 metric tons of mercury (about 22 million pounds). A site in West Texas was DOE’s preferred storage spot, according to the Carlsbad Current-Argus. But now the federal agency is exploring two locations near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad.
Jody Knox, president of the Carlsbad Department of Development, said her board supports the proposal.
On Thursday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will be hosting a public meeting about a proposed uranium deconversion plant near Hobbs, N.M.
In 2009, International Isotopes submitted an application to the NRC, which oversees the nation’s nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities. At the proposed Fluorine Extraction Process and Depleted Uranium Deconversion Plant, depleted uranium hexafluoride will be “deconverted” into fluorine products for commercial sale.
A wildfire in a wooded area along the Rio Grande on the northern edge of New Mexico's largest city has charred about 360 acres. Authorities say the fire continues to burn on both the east and west sides of the river but is a combined 50 percent contained.
State Forestry spokesman Dan Ware said Thursday that the Romero fire hasn't burned any structures since it began Wednesday afternoon. Its cause remains under investigation.
Biologists are trying to save a threatened trout species in southwestern New Mexico, even as crews around the West struggle to contain blazes that have charred hundreds of square miles of forested countryside.
The concern is that after the fires, summer rains could choke waterways with ash, soil and charred debris. A team is using electroshocking devices to temporarily stun the Gila (HEE'-luh) trout. The fish are then scooped up and ferried to a hatchery in northern New Mexico for safe keeping.
A proposal to create the Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area has taken a small step forward. A House subcommittee heard testimony on the measure, sponsored by Representative Ben Ray Lujan. It now goes to the full committee for markup. Questa mayor Esther Garcia spoke at the hearing. A corresponding bill, sponsored by Senator Jeff Bingaman, has already been sent to the Senate floor.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency has moved forward on a set of rules to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new coal-fired power plants. Because the rule would have no effect on existing plants, New Mexico will be largely unaffected. But Shrayas Jatkar with Sierra Club New Mexico, says as the state has been repealing its own rules to limit carbon emissions, this development sends an important message. Jatkar says the Sierra Club will be working to inform residents about the rule during the 60 day comment period that begins now.