drought

Local News
6:51 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Positive Growth, Overall Decline In NM Piñon And Juniper Forests

Credit dharma communications via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The most abundant types of forest in New Mexico are made up of piñon and juniper trees.

A five-year inventory of the state's forested lands shows the popular trees cover more than 13.6 million acres.

The inventory also shows piñon woodlands that are old enough to produce harvest-worthy quantities of pine nuts occupy about 8 million acres in New Mexico.

Read more
Local News
1:19 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Recent Rain Didn't Relieve Drought, Or Even Come Close

Credit National Drought Mitigation Center

    

We’ve gotten some rain recently in New Mexico, but that doesn’t mean the drought is letting up. Climatologists say it’s going to take more than just a sprinkle or two.

Extreme drought conditions are actually spreading in parts of New Mexico, despite the arrival of monsoon storms. A new map from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows drought conditions worsening, especially in San Juan and Rio Arriba counties.

Read more
Local News
5:11 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Favorable Weather May Slow Wildfire

Management efforts of the Diego Fire burning in the Santa Fe National Forest near Abiquiu reservoir have been upgraded after the fire grew exponentially on Sunday afternoon.
Credit Rita Daniels

UPDATE 7/2 11:30a: The Associated Press reports a wildfire burning in northern New Mexico's Jemez Mountains continues to expand but officials say expected favorable weather may help.

Officials said Wednesday morning says the lightning-sparked Diego Fire has burned more than five square miles, an increase of about 400 acres since Tuesday.

However, the fire remained zero percent contained.

Still, some residents say they felt isolated and uninformed about the fire's dangers. And ranchers who have livestock roaming in the fire area are worried about their cattle.

Read more
Local News
1:53 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

How About That Storm Thursday Night?

Lightning strikes in Albuquerque.
Credit Nathan Orona

I have always associated the word "monsoon" with India. Conversely, words like "arid" and "parched" I associate with the Southwestern United States, not just as descriptions, but as central facts about the regions.

These associations are incorrect.

Read more
Poverty and Public Health
5:45 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Navajo Nation Declares Drought Emergency

Plants and dunes on the Navajo Nation.
Credit Margaret Hiza-Redsteer, USGS Flagstaff, AZ / USGS

Navajo President Ben Shelley has declared a state of emergency for drought conditions on the Navajo Nation. Officials are concerned ongoing drought may be creating unsafe conditions for people who need drinkable water.

Read more
New Mexico People Places and Ideas
11:52 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Can We solve New Mexico’s Water Shortages? How Did We Get Here?

Fri. 7/5 8a:  Our water supply is shrinking, we are in the midst of a seemingly endless drought and our groundwater buffer is gone. In the shadow of global climate change and under constant pressure from population growth, agriculture and a struggling Rio Grande ecosystem, something has to change.Dr. Fred M. Phillips directs the hydrology program in the department of earth and environmental sciences at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Dr. Philips joins host Stephen Spitz to to explain how this happened, and explore our limited policy choices.

Local News
5:23 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Drought Expected To Continue To August

A dry winter, strong winds, and above average temperatures have caused the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declared much of the state to be in a drought emergency.
Jeff Witte with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture says that farmers with the ability to pump groundwater will be able to plant some crops this year. However, Witte says he's optimistic that farmers and ranchers in New Mexico will be able to continue providing viable crops to the state

Read more
Conservation Beat
1:58 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Report says climate change will slam state economy

Drought is one of the major impacts of climate change in New Mexico.
Courtesy U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Climate change is a threat to New Mexico’s natural environment and a new study argues that makes it a serious economic threat as well.

Tourism, the creative arts, agriculture, ranching, and the dairy industry all stand to lose millions of dollars, according to Demos, the public policy group that published “New Mexico’s Rising Economic Risks from Climate Change.” The report is authored by Robert Repetto, author of the 2011 book, "America’s Climate Problem: The Way Forward." He is a senior fellow in the United Nations Foundation’s climate and energy program.

Read more
Local News
8:33 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Cibola County added to list of drought disaster areas

Drought and climate change are causing extensive forest dieback in the U.S. West as well as worldwide. This photo shows dead ponderosa pines in the Jemez Mountains killed by a combination of drought stress and attacks by bark beetles on weakened trees.
Craig D. Allen , USGS

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture has added a New Mexico county to its list of primary natural disaster areas due to drought and excessive heat.

Cibola County joins 39 counties in eight states in the latest designation Wednesday.

In all, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared nearly 1,300 counties in 29 states as disaster areas during the current crop year. Much of New Mexico and the Southwest is already on the list.

Read more
Local News
3:48 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Saving fish from a drying river

Biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army Corps of Engineers seine a pool, then sort through the fish for endangered silvery minnows.
Laura Paskus/KUNM

The monsoon rains arrived this month, but it’s still hot and dry in New Mexico.

The ongoing drought is placing stress on the state’s rivers and streams, including the Rio Grande. And while cities and farmers still receive their shares of water, each summer, one user gets left out—the Rio Grande itself. Like it has every summer for the past decade, the Rio Grande downstream of Albuquerque is drying.

Read more