The State Engineer has denied an application to pump 54-thousand acre feet of water per year from an aquifer west of Socorro. That's about half of Albuquerque's annual water use.
The application was submitted by Augustin Plains Ranch, LLC in 2007 and quickly met with resistance from over a thousand stakeholders, including the Interstate Stream Commission, the state Department of Game and Fish and several Pueblos.
Still the process was allowed to move forward for years…until a hearing examiner heard arguments on a motion to dismiss in February.
As Albuquerque is mired in debate over a proposal to improve the I-25/Paseo del Norte interchange, local leaders have been hearing from a visitor with some different ideas about infrastructure and development. Chuck Marohn with the Minnesota-based organization Strong Towns, is an engineer and planner with a growing national audience.
For the last several years a diverse coalition has been working quietly to lay the groundwork for a new Wilderness Area near Taos. With New Mexico’s senior Senator and long-time wilderness advocate, Jeff Bingaman, set to retire soon, the group recently took its campaign public. KUNM’s Conservation Beat reporter Sidsel Overgaard headed north to find out more.
Trustees of the Valles Caldera National Preserve held their spring meeting today and expressed optimism about the ecosystem’s recovery after last summer’s Las Conchas fire. KUNM’s Carrie Jung has more.
Thu 3/15 8am: When it comes to recycling in New Mexico, there is nowhere to go but up. And that’s the plan! Major efforts are underway to improve the state’s recycling rate, but what will it take to get us caught up with the rest of the nation? What would it take to get YOU in the recycling spirit?
On a recent sustainability report card, Taos Ski Valley earned one of the worst scores in the western United States. But as KUNM’s Carrie Jung reports, it’s a grade that resort managers say only paints part of the picture.
The Bernalillo County Commission will consider a proposal to require inspections of aging septic systems next week. The commission scrapped one ordinance last year that would have required all older systems to be replaced by 2015. Advocates of the new measure say it’s a reasonable compromise. But opponents say it’s just unfair. KUNM’s Sidsel Overgaard reports.
Find a scedule of public meetings on this issue here.
New Mexico’s largest electric utility released numbers today showing a 25 percent increase in earnings from 2010 to 2011. Environmentalists say those profits are just one more reflection of PNM’s misplaced priorities.
This is the general area where the Las Conchas fire started.
A picture out the bus window between Valles Caldera and Bandelier. In the front are trees in an area that has been burned about every seven years. Behind, is an area that had not been burned previous to Las Conchas.
Bill Armstrong, with the Santa Fe National Forest, points out burn features from the bus.
The Xeriscape Council of New Mexico holds its annual Water Conservation Conference and Expo starting Thursday. This year, the event is dedicated to a man who worked for decades to transform Albuquerque into a more water conscious place. KUNM's Conservation Beat reporter Sidsel Overgaard has this remembrance.
For the first time, a New Mexico county is putting to the test a state law passed in 2001…and federal authorities are responding with a lawsuit. KUNM’s Conservation Beat reporter Sidsel Overgaard explains.