Jemez Ranger District Plans Vallecitos Prescribed Burn

Julie Anne Overton



Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest hope to take advantage of unseasonably favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts, to resume the Vallecitos prescribed burn on the Jemez Ranger District.

Ignitions could begin as early as Tuesday, Nov. 28, on the final 91-acre unit in the Vallecitos treatment area adjacent to the East Fork trail head and NM Highway 4.

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Udall, Luján Address Health Issues for Urban Native Americans


U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján and U.S. Senator Tom Udall.


U.S. Senator Tom Udall and Congressman Ben Ray Luján introduced bicameral legislation to improve Medicaid for Native patients who receive services at Urban Indian Health Programs. The Urban Indian Health Parity Act is also cosponsored by U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich.

The Indian Health Service (IHS) is the primary federal agency responsible for providing health care to American Indian and Alaska Natives through federally operated facilities that provide services directly on reservation lands, Tribally run facilities, and urban Indian nonprofit run facilities. All three types of facilities are available in New Mexico.

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Bandelier Concession Closed Until March


The retail and food and beverage concession operation at Bandelier National Monument will be closed beginning November 21 and is expected to reopen in March 2018. There is currently no other food and beverage option at the monument. Other park services, including the trails and Visitor Center, remain open as scheduled. For more information, visit

Three New Exhibitions Open at Newly-Refurbished Museum of Art


Laura Gilpin, Campo Santo at El Valle, 1961, gelatin silver print, 9 1/2 × 7 5/8 in


The New Mexico Museum of Art launches its Centennial year celebration Saturday, November 25, after being closed more than two months for a significant renovation.  Three new exhibitions opened as New Mexico’s first Museum sets out on its second century.

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Expanded Schedule for Bugg Lights Opening Night


Join us on Saturday, November 25 for the opening night of the Bugg Lights display at the Harvey House Museum in Belen. This free, family-friendly event will feature a dazzling array of holiday lights, beautifully decorated trees, and whimsical characters at the Harvey House, as well as a parade and holiday festival on Belen’s Main Street!

Expanded Schedule & Free Shuttles! Visitors from north of Belen are encouraged to take the Rail Runner. There will be an additional southbound train for the event, as well as free shuttles.

See the Special Schedule

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If We’re Busting the Budget, Let’s Spend on Real Needs

By U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich


Republicans seem to believe we can afford massive amounts of additional deficit spending, because their tax plan busts the budget by $1.5 trillion over 10 years to provide more tax breaks for the wealthy and special interests. If Republicans insist on deficit spending, imagine if instead we invested in our people and communities.

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Bandelier Open on Thanksgiving, November 23, and Celebrating OptOutside on Friday, November 24 

By Chris Judson
Many locations throughout the area will be closed for Thanksgiving, on Thursday, November 23, but Bandelier National Monument will be open, with Visitor Center hours 9 AM – 3 PM.  Every year many visitors, some with their Thanksgiving guests, come to enjoy the park in the morning while the turkey is cooking, or in the afternoon to walk off some of their holiday feast.

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Ranger Ethan Ortega is now the Historic Site Instructional Coordinator

By Matthew J. Barbour, Regional Manager


After an exhaustive search, New Mexico Historic Sites is pleased to announce that one of its own, Ranger Ethan Ortega, has been selected as the new Instructional Coordinator. He replaces Instructional Coordinator Sharon Walker who departed Coronado Historic Site on June 15. During her relatively brief two-year tenure, Ms. Walker visited over 50 public schools and published 11 lesson plans utilizing Common Core State Standards for literacy.

The role, as envisioned for Mr. Ortega, is quite a bit different from the one Ms. Walker held. He will not only service Coronado Historic Site, but the entire Northern Region of New Mexico Historic Sites. It will include duties both at Jemez and Los Luceros (situated in Acalde, New Mexico). Mr. Ortega will work in tandem with Jemez Instructional Coordinator Marlon Magdalena on public outreach and digital media promoting the sites. However, Coordinator Ortega’s primary role –at least initially- will be on re-imagining the exhibits at Jemez Historic Site.

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Play Eight-Player Super Smash Bros. on the Nature Center Planetarium Dome

By Sandra West


Play an eight-player Super Smash Bros. tournament on a 10’ x 20’ screen. Find out on Tuesday, November 21, when the Los Alamos Teen Center and Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) will project the video game onto the planetarium dome at the Los Alamos Nature Center. This event is free and open to the public. The tournament starts at 6 p.m., so bring your friends and quick reflexes.

This fun evening will take place at the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road. It is free to attend, and no registration is required. For more information about this and other Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) programs, visit, email or call (505) 662-0460.

Cacti are Cool:  Celebrating Indigenous Ecological Practices with DIY Terrariums

Cacti are Cool:
Celebrating Indigenous Ecological Practices with DIY Terrariums

Friday, December 1 | 10am – 12noon

MoCNA Project Lab

Take a moment to stop and smell…the cactus! Spend a morning learning about indigenous dryland and desert ecological practices through our current exhibition, Desert ArtLAB: Ecologies of Resistance, and then put that knowledge to use by building your own cactus terrarium.


This event is limited to 20 participants with a fee of $10 for materials. For more information and to RSVP, please contact MoCNA Membership + Programs Manager Andrea R. Hanley (Navajo) at (505) 428-5907 or

New Mexico Attorney General Balderas Issues Gift Card Advisory

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas issued tips for both givers and receivers of gift cards this holiday season, noting that the use and abuse of gift cards has continued to increase with the increase of online shopping.
“Scammers are out to steal from you, especially during the holiday shopping season. They are ready to prey on your love and generosity for family and friends, so be diligent and protect your money from these thieves,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “Purchasing gift cards as holiday gifts has become increasingly popular, but there are reasons for both the gift-giver and the gift-card-receiver to take care in the transaction.”

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Coming Attractions

Jennifer Olson


Walter sez that this coming Saturday’s adundance will come by way of lettuce, spinach, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, pak choy, tatsoi, radishes, turnips, carrots, winter squash, chard, kale, collords, and maybe some beets cauliflower and brocolli, And of course, there will be quince preserves and most likely yogurt, and possibly some surprises.

He also said his magic (my word) garden would continue to produce unless it gets colder than 20 degrees. He’s nurturing seedlings right now and keeping them covered at night. amd with the weather we’re having, there just might be a Bodhi market for some time.

I will be out of town for a couple of weeks, so there will not be any FM news while I’m away, but the market will continue. So go. Wishing you good health for your smiling faces. Have a great Thanksgiving.

PEEC Receives Outstanding Environmental Education Organization Award

By Sandra West


PEEC was one of five award recipients at this year’s Environmental Literacy Summit, and received the only award given to an organization. PEEC educators Denise Matthews and Siobhan Niklasson are fifth and sixth from the left.


The Environmental Education Association of New Mexico (EEANM) bestowed their first Outstanding Environmental Education Organization Award on Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC). Siobhan Niklasson, PEEC’s Director of Education, accepted the award last Thursday, November 9, at EEANM’s 2017 Environmental Literacy Summit. “EEANM is a valuable resource and community for our state and we are honored to be recognized by them,” said Niklasson.

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Giant Beautiful Massive Trickle Coming Your Way

By R.W.

President Trump and the Republicans promised tax reform that would benefit the middle class, not the massive tax giveaway for the likes of himself and the other ultra-wealthy in his administration that is now being put forward.   The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy tells us that the new House GOP tax plan will allow the disparity in income in the country to grow with the richest 5 percent of households receiving  61 percent of the tax cuts over the next decade.

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New Mexico is in a State of Emergency due to the Opioid Crisis

Hector Balderas

State of New Mexico Attorney General 


Attorney General Hector Balderas sent a letter late yesterday to congressional leaders, urging them to repeal a 2016 federal law so registered drug manufacturers and distributors who have willfully contributed to the nation’s oversupply of pain killers (opioids), can be held accountable. The “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016” (P.L. 114-145) has severely limited the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) response to the opioid crisis. On average, over 500 New Mexicans die annually of a drug overdose, and approximately 70% of those deaths resulted from either opioid pain relievers or heroin. In more than a third of NM counties, over 80 of every 100 citizens has a prescription for opioids.

“New Mexico is in a state of emergency due to the opioid crisis that is ravaging our families, law enforcement agencies, healthcare system and economy,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas.

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Thanksgiving Schedule for NM Rail Runner Express & Rio Metro Buses

Railrunner and Rio Metro

Thanksgiving Day (11/23/17): There will be no Rail Runner or Rio Metro bus service.

Day After Thanksgiving (11/24/17): The Rail Runner will operate on a Sunday schedule. There will be no Rio Metro bus service.

See the Holiday Schedule

Bus Connections:

North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD): No service on Thanksgiving Day or the day after Thanksgiving with the exception of the Mountain Trail bus. (website)

New Mexico Park & Ride: No service on Thanksgiving Day or the day after Thanksgiving. (website)

Santa Fe Trails: No service on Thanksgiving Day. Saturday service on the day after Thanksgiving, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (website)

ABQ RIDE: No service on Thanksgiving Day. Saturday service on the day after Thanksgiving. (website)


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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Still Abuzz, After All These Months

Photos R.W.

I know, official winter doesn’t begin for well over a month yet, and most folks in the Jemez have already had their first season-closing freeze and are all set for their long dark chill ’till late March, early April, while here, we nestled up in the warm glow of red earth and red rocks you see no smoke rising from our chimneys,  it’s still Summer, late Summer perhaps, no decent banana crop ’till climate change gets a good hold, but the air dense with more bugs than through all the past months of this year, doing what they do with their loads of pollen buzzing from flower to flower and birds gasping for a sip from the bowl of fresh well water provided for their comfort in this bit of a drought, drought lite, but growing, sharing it with the odd chipmunk, rabbit, even the occasional lizard or the neighbor’s cat.

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Institute of American Indian Arts November 2017 Artist-in-Residence Program


Athena LaTocha.

The Institute of American Indian Arts(IAIA) continues their series of month-long artist residencies at the school which began in August, 2015 and announces the Artist-in-Residence Schedule of Activities for November 2017. Native and First Nations artists were selected to come to Santa Fe to make art and interact with both the campus community and the Santa Fe arts community. The program includes public receptions and artist talks from each of the artists. A selection committee of students, faculty, and staff reviewed applications for the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Artist-in-Residence (A-i-R) Program and selected artists for the 2017 sessions.

The November A-i-R artists are: Athena LaTocha (Hunkpapa Lakota/Keweenaw Bay Ojibwe),
Frank Buffalo Hyde (Nez Perce/Onondaga), Jason Brown (Koyukan Athabascan), and
Wanesia Spry Misquadace (Fond du Lac Ojibway).

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The Basin in Our Corner

Photo Courtesy EcoFlight

Oil and gas production sites in the Four Corners.

An entry in EcoFlight describes in word and images the San Juan Basin, which has contributed more than eight percent of the nation’s current natural gas supply. Our area has produced more than 370 million barrels of oil and nearly 38 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.  There are currently more than 20,000 producing wells with a prediction of up to 5,000 additional wells targeting natural gas in the upcoming years.

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Voices of Counterculture in the Southwest: the Lama Foundation



Join the New Mexico History Museum every second Saturday of the month from June 2017-February 2018 for a presentation and conversation-style gallery talk in conjunction with the current exhibit, Voices of Counterculture in the Southwest.

Siddiq Hans von Briesen, the brother of Lama Foundation cofounder Barbara Durkee, was an early communard at Lama. Von Briesen will speak about the commune’s evolution over its fifty years.

Lama Foundation sits in a forested area at 8,800 feet on the western aspect of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range north of Taos, New Mexico. In 1967 local artist Herman “the hermit” Rednick found a piece of land with a natural spring and encouraged Steve and Barbara Durkee and Jonathan Altman to establish their alternative-living effort there. The Durkees had been living in Garnerville, New York, where their social circle of artists had become known for psychedelic light shows and experiments with LSD. Drawn to nature, the two ventured to the Southwest in search of an idyllic place to situate a new commune. Shortly after founding Lama, they imposed a rule forbidding the use of illegal drugs on the property. As a result, some original numbers decamped immediately. Gradually the commune flourished as the residents constructed uniquely impressive buildings and devoted themselves to spiritual practice from every persuasion. Lama Foundation is one of very few of the communes that remain in the northern Rio Grande Watershed.

More  News From the Wooded Areas Up Above Us and All Around Us

Julie Anne Overton


The Santa Fe National Forest invites fuelwood permit holders to take advantage of recent thinning projects along Forest Road (FR) 376 near the Gilman Tunnels to collect firewood for the winter.

The wood has already been felled, limbed and bucked into six-foot lengths for the convenience of the public.  All you need to collect up to five cords of wood is a valid fuelwood permit which can be purchased for $20.  The FR 376 fuelwood area will be open until Dec. 31, 2017.

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Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree Permits On Sale Nov. 20; 4th Graders Can Get One Free


Permits to cut your own Christmas tree on the Santa Fe National Forest go on sale Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, at Forest Headquarters, all Ranger District offices and select third-party vendors.

As part of the “Every Kid in a Park” initiative, every fourth grader is eligible for a free holiday tree permit.  In order to redeem the free permit, the student must present a valid fourth-grade pass, downloadable at  Once the pass is printed out, the fourth graders must bring a parent or guardian over the age of 18 with them to the nearest SFNF office to pick up the permit.  The free permits can only be fulfilled at a Santa Fe National Forest office.

The nonrefundable Christmas tree permits are for personal use only and may be purchased for $10 by check, credit/debit card or cash through Dec. 23, 2017.  Permit purchasers will receive a tree tag, map and guidelines for harvesting a tree.

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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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Winners of the 2017 Filmmakers Announced



New Mexico State Film Office Director Nick Maniatis announced the winners of the 2017 New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase which took place November 4 & 5, 2017 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

The following winners were announced in seven (7) categories:

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