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"Pray for Drought"

Jan 13, 2012
Jenny Rollo / Creative Commons

Not exactly the concluding words you’d expect at a gathering of New Mexico’s water masterminds.  But at this year’s statewide meeting of the New Mexico Water Dialogue, amid all the talk of acre feet, appropriative rights model water codes, pipelines, contracts and all that wata’ yada yada, the underlying message was clear: something has to be done, and fast.  The Western US is already using more water than there is, there has not been comprehensive reform of the water rights system in New Mexico since 1907, and we are far behind our neighbors in terms of getting existing rights sorted out a

Think...Local, Act Local?

Jan 11, 2012

In the last few weeks I’ve found myself pondering the question of local vs. global in the environmental movement.  The philosopher Peter Singer often cites WEH Lecky, a 19th century historian who saw human concern as an expanding circle starting with the self and gradually growing outward to include nations, all humanity and the animal world.

Environmentalism and Democracy

Jan 6, 2012

Some interesting thoughts from State Senator Cisco McSorley at yesterday's meeting on environmental literacy.  Is an environmental movement the indication of a healthy democracy?

The "C" Words

Jan 6, 2012

To me, the most interesting question in this story about Environmental Literacy is whether advocates will be able to frame the proposed graduation requirement as a tool to help teachers and students excel in a system focused on evaluation (in other words, improve test scores) or whether it will be seen as one more subject to be squished into an already-packed school year.  It’s a relevant debate.

Unfortunately, my suspicion is that as soon as the words “climate change” enter the story (which they do, at about 1:14), there are some people who will immediately see this as a political issue.

Bird Tally Update

Jan 6, 2012

This just in!  A summary of the entire Sandia bird count from leader Rebecca Gracey:

Dear Sandia Mountains CBC Participants,

The snow kept many of you from the locations you usually look for birds, but it brought some species that we had not seen on the count in many years to the plowed roadsides in the east mountains. These included the  Western Meadowlark, last reported in 2006, Horned Lark in 2007, and Red-winged Blackbird in 2005.

There were some great finds and a few misses. The finds included four species that had never been seen on the count before:

Bird Tally

Jan 3, 2012

When I left the mountain to produce this story (and warm my non-gaiter-protected frozen toes), Dave Mehlman and Jesse Vooz had spotted a total of 11 bird species.  By the end of the day, the list was substantially longer: 27 species, including four raptors.