Stats, Findings (and Some Surprises) About Sandoval County

By Tiffany Avery
Director of Marketing & Communications


Avalanche Consulting, a leading economic development consulting firm from Austin, Texas, revealed its findings from the Target Industry and Laborshed Study at the Quarterly Luncheon of the Sandoval Economic Alliance. The findings were presented by Tony DeLisi, Senior Consultant with the firm. The Study confirmed many aspects of the Sandoval County economy while revealing some exciting surprises.

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Sandoval County Hosts First Marketing Workshop for Home Office-Based Entrepreneurs

 Melissa Perez, Sandoval County Public Information Officer


Sandoval County’s Office of Business Development and Tourism is working to help local businesses thrive by hosting the first marketing workshop for home office-based entrepreneurs on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at the El Zocalo Event Center from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Participation in the workshop is free and will be paid for with funds from a $10,000 grant received through the State of New Mexico Economic Development Department. The Feb. 28 workshop, with a presentation by Director of Marketing and Communications Tiffany Avery, from Sandoval Economic Alliance, will focus on how home office-based entrepreneurs can develop a custom business marketing plan. Specifically, the workshop will focus on the following topics:

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Sandoval County Assessor Offers Veterans Tax Exemptions

Melissa Perez, Public Information Officer


Sandoval County Chief Deputy Assessor reminds veterans living in the county that they could qualify for exemptions that could reduce their property taxes.

“It breaks my heart when a veteran comes into our office who is eligible for these benefits but never knew about them,” said Chief Deputy Assessor Christie Humphrey.

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This Time Last Year; The Pronghorns Are back



Image ScienceBlogs

Eclectic animal, the Pronghorn, here with all its derived parts explained.

(This was first posted February 5, 2017)

40 or so Pronghorns  are being reintroduced to their historic rangeland along the Interstate-25 corridor between Albuquerque and Santa Fe on Santa Ana Pueblo reservation land, within the daily track of many travelers from the Jemez to lands beyond our nook. The Pueblo tribal council looks forward to establishing a sustainable population over the coming years.

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County’s El Zocalo Center Hosting Rural Economic Development Forum


The last in a series of forums focusing on economic development in rural central New Mexico communities will take place in Bernalillo on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017.

This forum will focus on the challenges, barriers, smart goals, and assets to formulate a concise framework for the drafting of a regional economic development plan. The meeting is part of a collaborative effort among officials from Sandoval, Los Alamos and Bernalillo Counties.

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Risky Changes to NM Public Health On Tap at State Water Commission Hearing

Ramona Blaber



This media alert came in late, just after 5 p.m., perhaps too late for most people with an interest in the matter to react, but, better late than never, here it is:

WHEN: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | 9:00 a.m. MT

WHERE: Room 317, State Capitol Building | 490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501

WHO: — Impacted residents of New Mexico’s “Dairy Row” — Members of the Citizen Dairy Coalition, the community group Rio Valle Concerned Citizens, and the organizations Amigos Bravos, & Gila Resources Information Project   — Representatives of the Sierra Club, Rio Grande Chapter

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Of Big Oil and Gas in Sandoval County

By Anita Amstutz


Jobs, jobs, jobs. It’s the rallying cry of our time. And why not? Right livelihood brings self respect, good wages, and ability to take care of one’s own and participate in the human community. Unfortunately the public is continually handed the tired myth that we must have jobs at any cost. Ultimatums and lame excuses frame an either or proposition.

Recently the citizenry of Rio Rancho and surrounding communities of Sandoval County saw this golden calf paraded out again by the County Commissioners and the oil and gas industry—-we must bow down to the sacred, hungry machinery of big oil and gas or else we will not have jobs, jobs, jobs.

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Free Small Business Marketing Resources Workshop


Local small business owners are invited to Bernalillo’s El Zócalo Plaza on Friday, October 27, 2017 to learn about the free marketing and promotions resources available through the Sandoval County CNM Digital Media Lab.

The lab offers a list of services ranging from designing business logos and web sites to developing mobile apps and producing promotional videos. All services are free to local business owners.

A workshop to showcase these services is scheduled for 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Friday, October 27, 2017 at El Zócalo Plaza, 264 Camino Del Pueblo, in Bernalillo.

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People’s Rally and Press Conference on the Sandoval County Oil and Gas Ordinance


Tribal allies and community, citizen and environmental groups will gather before the Oct. 19 Sandoval County Commission meeting to rally against the county’s exclusion of Sandoval residents from the process of creating an oil and gas ordinance. The Stoddard oil and gas ordinance lacks water and public health protections, meaningful tribal consultation, and does not require public notification or input during the drilling approval process.

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Construction Boom at the Southern End of Sandoval County

Photos R.W.

So far, so good. Anyone travelling over the Rio Grande bridge in Bernalillo during the rush hour(s) hits pretty much the same degree of congestion as before. The plan to ease this problem is likely to make it much worse in the short term. Work on the new bridge that will carry the extra lanes has just started, but looks like it is moving at apace.

Work at the  $50 million expansion project at the Santa Ana Star Casino that, as far as I know is  mostly a hotel, is at a more advanced stage. Certainly looks impressive; it would easily dominate downtown Albuquerque if placed there.

First the bridge:

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Rio Puerco Valley Stories (and Ghosts)


Nasario Garcia.

On Oct 5, 2017 between 6 p.m. and 8p.m. at the New Mexico History Museum acclaimed folklorist Nasario García returns to the now abandoned villages of his youth in New Mexico’s Río Puerco valley to revive stories and ghosts in a landscape that also remembers him.

There will be a brief presentation before the screening and a Q&A after the screening.

In addition, the film will be broadcast on New Mexico PBS on October 12 at 7pm.


see a trailer at

A Call to Residents of Sandoval County

Laura Robbins


This is a reminder about action to be taken by the Sandoval County Commission. The Commission is about to vote on an extremely permissive Oil and Gas Ordinance that could radically affect the quality of our lives as well as property values in a large part of Sandoval County.

Here’s how the Commission plans to make it easy for oil and gas companies to drill near your home or ranch or farm:

  • NO public notice
  • NO public hearing

Your wakeup call will occur when the company starts drilling next to your home.

Sounds unbelievable?

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Sandoval P & Z Commission Sides With Big Oil and Gas Over County Residents

Miya King-Flaherty,

Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Public Lands Fellow

Vote recommends ordinance that would allow drilling without public notice or groundwater monitoring

Late Tuesday night, the Sandoval County Planning and Zoning Commission voted 3-2 to recommend an oil and gas ordinance that would bypass citizens’ input and endanger drinking water for families in Sandoval County and elsewhere.

Commissioner Dan Stoddard’s ordinance, recommended Tuesday with few changes by the P and Z Commission, would give county staff sole authority to approve or deny drilling applications.“Staff could allow oil and gas drilling without public notice, hearings or a vote by the county commission,” Rio Grande Sierra Club Public Lands Fellow Miya King-Flaherty said.

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See Who’s Hiring in Sandoval County

Employers with the most job openings:

Click on the name of the organization for more information.

Convergys: 140
Bank of America: 70
Alliance Data: 24
Rio Rancho Public Schools: 23
Amfabsteel: 18 (email resume)
PCM: 18
UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center: 12
City of Rio Rancho: 8
Phat Steel: 6 (email resume)
Hyatt: 5


To read the rest of the monthly newsletter from the Sandoval Economic Alliance, click Continue Reading.

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Sandoval County Gained $1.6 Billion in Wealth Between 1992 and 2015

By Tiffany Avery, Director of Marketing & Communications


Sandoval County gained $1.6 billion in adjusted gross income (AGI) from 1992-2015, making it one of only two counties in New Mexico to increase in wealth during that time, according to the US Census Bureau and the IRS Division of Statistics. Of the $1.6 billion, most came from neighboring communities: $566 million from Bernalillo County, $85 million from Santa Fe County, and $26 million from Los Alamos County. An additional $65 million moved to Sandoval from California: $44 million from Los Angeles County and $21 million from Orange County.

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Brick Laying Ceremony for the Jemez Place Subdivision Demonstration House

By Tiffany Avery

Director of Marketing & Communications, SANDOVAL ECONOMIC ALLIANCE

Jemez Pueblo leadership, in collaboration with the Jemez Community Development Corporation, will hold a block laying ceremony for the new Pueblo of Jemez Self-Help Demonstration House that will be the first home built within the newly completed Pueblo Place subdivision.

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 No Buses and Rail Runner on Sunday Schedule for July 4th Holiday

Auguste Meyers


Rio Metro buses or connecting bus or shuttle service will not be running on Independence Day and  the New Mexico Rail Runner Express will run on a Sunday schedule on Tuesday, July 4th this year.

The Holiday Train Schedule can be found at

Rio Metro Customer Service Representatives will be available by phone at 866-795-7245 and 505-245-RAIL (7245) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4th.

Contact: Augusta Meyers, MRCOG Communications Mgr. (505) 239-8612,

Jemez Fire Slowing but Extent of Blaze Increased to 1,315 Acres     

By R.W.

Photo R.W.

Most of the blaze so far has affected lower level growth, just as in the Pino fire of 2014, shown above, and not been a high intensity crown-top fire.


It is still early to tell, but the El Cajete Fire seems to have run into a dead end with burn scars around it, not that much new fuel to feed on and is showing first signs of slowing down.  If the wind does not change direction and pick up too much, the acreage that is currently ablaze might mark most of the extent of this fire.

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El Cajete Fire Continues to Burn

By R.W.

Photo R.W.

The wind has changed direction from overnight, but otherwise no notable improvements in the behavior of the El Cajete Fire has been observed, with 0 percent of the over 700 acre blaze contained. The good news is that no human casualties or damage to property have been reported, with firefighters taking measures to save structures in the path of the flames. They have been conducting back burns between the fire and people’s homes to create protection zones.

Air temperatures are high, and humidity levels low; forecasts call for these conditions to continue into the foreseeable future, leaving no option but “full suppression” for the fire on part of the firefighting crews. The fire continue to head in a southeasterly direction, just as it was yesterday. Also, just as through most of the day yesterday, NM Highway 4 remains closed from its intersection with  NM Highway 126, above which, on the stretch leading to Valle Grande, the worst fire conditions are occurring.

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Forest Fire in the Jemez, Highway 4 Closed, Evacuations Taking Place

Update: Julie Anne Overton of the Santa Fe National Forest reports that the Cajete Fire is spreading fast and had reached 600 acres by 6 p.m. About 300 structures, mostly homes, are at risk. The blaze is still about 20 miles from Los Alamos, but burn scars from previous fires in the area may keep it from hitting the city.

 Communities along N.M. 4 are still being evacuated, including Los Griegos, Sierra los Pinos and Ruby Hole. Visitors and employees of the Valles Caldera National Preserve west of Los Alamos were also being evacuated.

State Police have closed N.M. 4 between N.M. 126 and  N.M. 501 and it is expected to remain closed through the night.

This map courtesy of . The moving east surrounded by old burn scars but, there is still timber to feed on.

Smoke was first reported to Santa Fe Dispatch at 10:47 a.m. So far the fire, now called the Cajete Fire, is 0 percent contained, estimated at 100 acres, spreading  fast and moving to the east with high growth potential affecting mostly ponderosa pine with some mixed conifer and aspen on the north slopes.

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Hikers Lost in the Jemez

Update 9:25 p.m.: Bernalillo County Sheriffs Office says its Air Unit assisted the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office with locating 3 stranded hikers in the forest area near Jemez, it was originally believed one person may have died. They made no confirmation of this; their announcement so far carried no details of the hikers’ condition.

As of 8:20 p.m. there have been no updates on this story in any New Mexico publications. This story  is confusing since Sandoval County Sheriff’s Departament is also reported to have been conducting a similar search near Mount Taylor for three hikers, one of whom is reported to have died. Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) issued this statement, presumably referring to the situation in the Jemez:

BCSO Metro Air Unit will be launching in reference to a search and rescue call for Sandoval County. Five people are stranded. One person had a heart attack and the others may be suffering from dehydration. BCSO will assist fire and rescue in locating the subjects and shuttling personnel.


A rescue operation is going on somewhere in the Jemez, where five hikers are reported to be lost. The report is very unclear, and says that they are lost near Jemez Pueblo, but this could mean somewhere in the mountains near the reservation. One of the hikers is reported to have suffered a heart attack, which implies that the sheriff’s deputies conducting the search have contact with the group, but are unable to locate them.

A sheriff’s office helicopter shuttling rescue personnel to and from the area may be visible over the valley.