Deer Creek Fire and Other Forest News

By Julie Anne Overton

SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST

 

Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) plan to manage the lightning-caused Deer Creek Fire on Peggy Mesa by using low-intensity fire on the ground to achieve multiple resource benefits.

The Deer Creek Fire started Sept. 15 on Peggy Mesa in the old San Diego prescribed burn area and adjacent to the site of this summer’s lightning-caused Peggy Fire.  Objectives for managing the Deer Creek Fire include:

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Science Deniers and Creationists Propose New Science Curriculum for New Mexico Schools

By R.W.

The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) is proposing new science teaching standards that question climate change, deny evolution and promote the oil and gas industry. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and the state’s Education Secretary -designee Christopher Ruszkowski have followed the Trump administration’s lead and “politically sanitized”, as they will have it, the vocabulary and content of science teaching standards.

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Hard Work Pays Off On Bandelier’s Frijoles Canyon Trail  

By Chris Judson

BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT

Photo NPS

Trail tread before and after rehab

One of Bandelier National Monument’s most scenic and popular trails, the Frijoles Canyon Trail between Upper Crossing and Alcove House, can now be hiked without having to climb over the huge logjams and other barriers caused by the floods following the 2011 Las Conchas Fire.   For several years volunteer crews have been gradually working their way up the canyon, making spaces in the debris piles, removing hundreds of fallen trees, and re-establishing the trail tread.  In places a new trail alignment had to be located and approved.  Then this year, efforts included not only the Bandelier staff and local volunteers, but also the Rocky Mountain and YMCA Youth Corps.  With everyone’s hard work, there is again a real trail for the entire five-mile distance, and the effects of the floods are impressive parts of the landscape rather than obstacles.

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Deer Creek Fire Smoke Rises Over the Nascimientos

Photos R.W.

Smoke from the lightning strike caused Deer Creek Fire has now become visible in the southern parts of the Jemez Valley.  It started on Sept. 18 when it was estimated at about eight acres, but has most likely grown by now. No new reports on its progress have yet been posted  on New Mexico Fire Information or the Santa Fe National Forest sites.

The fire is burning on the Jemez Ranger District next to the site of the Peggy Fire.

 

Smoke Rising Over Gilman and Two Other Fires in Santa Fe National Forest

By Julie Anne Overton

SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST

Three lightning-caused fires on the Santa Fe National Forest are putting up visible smoke today as crews keep an eye on the Deer Creek, Beaver Creek, and Ojitos Fires.

A lightning strike on Friday started the Deer Creek Fire, estimated at about eight acres, on the Jemez Ranger District next to the site of the Peggy Fire which started on July 18.  As crews monitor the Deer Creek Fire, which is about 2 miles northwest of the Gilman Tunnels, smoke has been reported from US Highway 550 and may impact the Pueblo of Jemez and the communities of Gilman and Cañon.

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Visitors and Users Urged to Boil Water Prior to Drinking at Chaco Culture National Historic Park

CHACO CULTURE NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK

Photo R.W.

Wall at Chaco Culture National Historic Park .

The New Mexico Environment Department’s (NMED) Drinking Water Bureau (DWB) is confirming a required “boil water advisory” for the Chaco Culture National Historic Park Water System.

Chaco Culture National Historic Park Water System is required to issue the advisory today after bacteriological contamination (E. coli) was detected in repeat drinking water samples from the water system’s distribution system. Chaco Culture National Historic Park Water System is required to notify all water system users of this finding.

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The Many Cultures of Conquest

 By Matthew J. Barbour

Regional Manager, CORONADO AND JEMEZ HISTORIC SITES

Photo by Matthew Barbour.

Ranger Ortega works on installing new Indios Amigos display at Coronado Historic Site. 

Since opening in 1940, Coronado Historic Site has interpreted the impacts of the Coronado Expedition on the discovery and colonization of New Mexico. The core exhibit begins with an overview of Pueblo life followed by the arrival of the “Spanish” in 1540 and later settlement. These “Spanish” are projected as being of Western European descent and of the Catholic faith, but were they?

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New Light on 550

Photos R.W.

Not quite Fall yet, but the light has changed, falling at sharper angles. Add swirling clouds, virgas over the skyline, shafts of sunlight and the odd lashings of rain, and the ride home to the Jemez late this afternoon got high marks.

 

 

 

 

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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Non-Hunting Outfitter/Guide Applications for SFNF Special Use Permits

By Julie Anne Overton

SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST

Commercial outfitters and guides who provide non-hunting outdoor recreational activities on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) have until Oct. 10, 2017, to apply for a new special use permit to operate in 2018.  Commercial services that require an outfitter/guide permit include river rafting, rock climbing, hiking, bicycling, backpacking, jeep tours and similar activities.

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Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs of New Mexico

Tashina Silversmith

American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico

American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico (AICCNM) is offering  an afternoon of networking and scheduled presentations at their upcoming monthly lunch mixer on Thursday, September 21st from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center – Private & Pottery room.

This month featured will be authors of Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs of New Mexico, Surpassing Barriers and Stereotypes

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Heaps of (Multi-Species) Stories

Subhankar Banerjee
Professor of Art and Ecology & Lannan Foundation Endowed Chair of Land Arts of the American West

Vast number of caribou and vast number of snow goose overlap in space but not in time on the Arctic tundra and get entangled through their droppings that lead to nourishing. That we can call, multi-species world-making. And the art of telling the story? Multi-species storytelling. There is more. “We are the caribou people,” say the Gwich’in indigenous people of the Arctic North America. That is multi-species cosmology. Soon a heap of stories form and become a powerful agent of political action to resist oil extraction and advocate for environmental justice and conservation. And that would be—multi-species cosmo-politics.

See here the rest of the University of New Mexico Art Museum monthly newsletter.

Beaver Creek Fire in the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District

By Julie Anne Overton

SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST

Reported: Members of the public reported seeing smoke on Sept. 10, 2017, and the Barillas Fire Lookout Tower confirmed smoke and an approximate location on Sept. 11.

Cause:  Unconfirmed, but lightning is the most probable cause.

Size: Estimated at 1-2 acres.

Location:  On the southeastern edge of the Pecos Wilderness on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) near Hermit’s Peak and about 4 miles south of the village of Rociada.

Vegetation:  Mixed conifer.

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Bandelier Welcomes Artist In Residence Paul Cruz

By Chris Judson

BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT

Photo: NPS Photo 

Bandelier Artist In Residence Paul Cruz and some of his original jewelry pieces.

Recently, Bandelier National Monument welcomed the park’s Artist in Residence for September, Paul Cruz.  Paul is no stranger to the area, as he was born in Espanola and still has many relatives in the area.  In fact, for those familiar with the Los Alamos Ranch School and the Manhattan Project, his grandfather was Bences Gonzales, a hardworking and well-loved character through those years in Los Alamos history.  Cruz’s mother and her siblings grew up in Los Alamos.  His uncle, Ray Gonzales, wrote the book, “A Boy on the Hill”, about growing up on “the Hill” during the Ranch School years.

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Large Animals Thrive in the Jemez in Improved Forest Conditions

Video: New Mexico State University. 

An article in the Las Cruces Sun-News explores the results of habitat restoration  through prescribed burns and forest thinning that have been part of the Southwest Jemez Collaborative Landscape Restoration Project.

The study results so far give interesting insights into the changing conditions into the Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve in the mountains above us.

The link to the article is here.

 

Bandelier and Friends of Bandelier Introduce New Wilderness Ranger

By Chris Judson

BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT

Photo:  NPS Photo

Bandelier Wilderness Ranger Bob Loy  

Bandelier National Monument recently welcomed their newest seasonal ranger, Colonel (RET) Bob Loy.  Ranger Loy will serve as the Dorothy Hoard Wilderness Ranger at Bandelier. The position is sponsored by the Friends of Bandelier as a memorial to the founder of the organization, Dorothy Hoard, who was also instrumental in the designation of the Bandelier Wilderness.  According to Bandelier Superintendent Jason Lott, “Many people know of Dorothy because of her guidebook to hiking in the park.  It’s so appropriate to have a ranger specifically for the wilderness, to help visitors appreciate and understand it as Dorothy did.”

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 Looking Beyond the Oxymoronic Past of Coronado Historic Site through Field Work

CORONADO HISTORIC SITE

Photo: Shelley Thompson

Coronado Historic Site Ranger/Researcher Ethan Ortega accepts prestigious Cordell-Powers Prize at 2017 Pecos Conference.  

Coronado Historic Site Researcher/Ranger Ethan Ortega was awarded first prize in the prestigious Cordell-Powers competition at the 2017 Pecos Conference for his research at Coronado Historic Site.

After proclaiming itself as the authority on Middle Rio Grande Pueblo culture and first European contact, the “facts” printed on monument panels are being rewritten.  Ranger Ortega’s presentation was entitled: False Truths, Restored Ruins, and New Artifacts: Looking Beyond the Oxymoronic Past of Coronado Historic Site through Field Work.

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SFNF Waives Fees for National Public Lands Day; Volunteers Needed for Trail Improvement Projects

By Julie Anne Overton

SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST

The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) invites you to celebrate National Public Lands Day on the SFNF on Saturday, Sept. 30, by volunteering to work on popular multi-use trails that need a little TLC.  Or, take advantage of the third fee-free day of the year to visit your favorite sites on the forest for free.

National Public Lands Day is the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands.  Last year, over 200,000 volunteers at 2,600 locations accomplished $18 million in public land improvements.  This year, the SFNF is offering two great opportunities to get outside with friends and family while practicing environmental stewardship:

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New Mexico Culture Squared (NMC2) Presents Los Luceros FREE Harvest Festival

By Mary Ann Hatchitt 
LOS LUCEROS

Photo: NM Department of Cultural Affairs. 

Historic Los Luceros.

New Mexico Culture Squared (NMC2), a program of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, will present a Harvest Festival and a free outdoor concert at the Los Luceros Historic Site in Alcalde on Sunday, September 17, 2017 from 9:00AM to 3:00PM.

This FREE event includes a farmers’ market, apple harvest activities, cider-making, tours of the sites, serenaded tours of the orchard, many other family-friendly activities on the stunning Los Luceros Historic Property.  Musical entertainment will be provided Lone Piñon, an acoustic trio from New Mexico whose music celebrates their region’s cultural diversity. www.lonepinon.com/

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True Breed of Sheep Created in NM

By Craig Massey

NEW MEXICO FARM AND RANCH HERITAGE MUSEUM

Photo: New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum.

Two Debouillet ewes from the Jones Ranch near Tatum, N.M., are part of the livestock collection at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum.

 

There aren’t many things in our state that are more New Mexico True than Debouillet sheep.

The breed originated in southeastern New Mexico, and the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces has a new display that chronicles the development of this type of sheep. The Museum also has two Debouillet ewes among its livestock collection.

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Why So Blue

By R.W.

The Sandias as seen from U.S. 550 during the last few days.

There is a fairly contained, small, piñon/juniper wildfire burning nearby, on Borrego Mesa, and a prospect of several prescribed burns later this month on the Española Ranger District, just announced by the Santa Fe National Forest. None of that is, or will be, responsible for the smoke blurring our horizons and creeping into our bedrooms now, and likely to continue doing so through the rest of this Summer and into Fall.

This smoke blowing our way, and across the lower 48, is from the wildfires burning through the Northwest and Midwest, including vast conflagrations in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho,  Montana, Utah and British Columbia.

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Udall, Heinrich and Luján Urge Secretary Zinke to Defer All Leases on Land Near Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Photo R.W.

Pueblo Bonito interior at the Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján urged Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to uphold the agreement to defer all leases on land near Chaco Culture National Historical Park. The area is currently undergoing review by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to plan the best way to appropriately manage and protect this unique archaeological site and the surrounding land. The BLM previously agreed to defer all leases within a 10-mile radius of Chaco Canyon until all Tribal consultation and community outreach has been completed and a Resource Management Plan Amendment (RMPA) for the San Juan Basin has been finalized. However, the BLM recently began the process of leasing areas within the 10-mile radius.

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Attorney General Balderas Statement on President Trump’s Decision to End DACA

Hector Balderas, New Mexico Attorney General

THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO

Hector Balderas.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas released the following statement in response to President Trump’s decision to end DACA:

“With the decision to end DACA, President Trump is compromising the safety of our communities and our nation, and he is putting the security of thousands of New Mexicans who contribute to our classrooms, public safety and economy at risk. Losing hundreds of thousands of future police officers, members of the military, doctors and teachers will create an unacceptable public safety threat in the United States. My office will continue to use all means necessary to push back against harmful rollbacks that target Dreamers.”

 

State Employees Raise more than $13,500 for Disaster Relief

 Susana Martinez, Governor

THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO

 

Partnership also Highlights how New Mexicans can Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

Governor Susana Martinez and Red Cross New Mexico announced that state employees raised more than $13,500 in this year’s Dollars for Disaster campaign. The sixth annual partnership between Red Cross New Mexico and New Mexico state employees raises money to provide relief to victims and help to emergency responders throughout the state.

“From fires, floods and other emergencies, New Mexicans know more than most how important it is to be prepared – and how to come together to help those in need,” Governor Martinez said. “I’m proud that our state employees are leading by example to help fellow New Mexicans. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with the Red Cross and other partners across the state to help those in need.”

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Big Chief Lives

Photos R.W.

A vivid landmark on the the road to and from town, the Big Chief has lingered for the last few years, seemingly abandoned. This is how the stop on U.S. Highway 550 looked back in 2008 (note the gas price):

 

And here it is now, with new life being breathed into it (BTW, look how smoky the landscape seems, with the Sandias barely visible, and how healthy the weeds have become):

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Continental Divide Trail Remains Closed

By Julie Anne Overton

SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST

The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) has extended the closure of a segment of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) on the Coyote Ranger District to provide for public safety as fire crews continue to work on the Ojitos Fire in the Chama River Wilderness.  The temporary closure is in effect until Dec. 31, 2017, unless it is rescinded earlier.

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Tax Reform = Tax Breaks for the Super Rich

By  Sharon Kayne, Communications Director

NEW MEXICO VOICES FOR CHILDREN

 

 

 

Average New Mexicans would not benefit much from President Trump’s tax reform proposal, which would give the biggest tax breaks to New Mexico’s millionaires. That’s according to a report released recently by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).

“We should be very clear: what the President and Republican leaders in Congress are proposing is not tax reform,” said James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, which works with ITEP on fiscal policies. “Trump, Ryan, and McConnell are pushing massive tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations. These tax cuts will be paid for by cuts to Social Security, health care, education, and other programs that benefit working families and the whole nation.” 

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