Patrick Lohmann

Patrick Lohmann

Patrick Lohmann has been a reporter since 2007, when he wrote stories for $15 apiece at a now-defunct tabloid in Gallup, his hometown. Since then, he's worked at UNM's Daily Lobo, the Albuquerque Journal and the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Clock is ticking on burn scar agriculture as waterways remain clogged

By: - October 13, 2022

If the vital irrigation infrastructure winding through the 500-square-mile burn scar in northern New Mexico isn’t repaired in the next few weeks, advocates warn that the charred and flooded region could lose at least a year’s worth of agriculture and ranching. And funding that could help won’t likely come in time. Historic irrigation channels known […]

NM water commission goes into closed session to talk ‘forever chemicals,’ despite transparency concerns

By: - October 12, 2022

A board tasked with renewing a water discharge permit for the Cannon Air Force Base went into closed session for its deliberations Tuesday amid concerns about how often the public gets looped in on the base’s release of so-called “forever chemicals” into surrounding areas.  The New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission voted 7-3 to discuss […]

Big law firms circle burn scar to get some of $2.5 billion NM fire payout

By: - October 11, 2022

Now that a huge compensation program is on its way to the burn scar of the biggest fire in state history, private law firms are increasing efforts to convince victims that they need a lawyer to get a piece of the $2.5 billion pie.  But attorneys with New Mexico Legal Aid say Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon […]

Gold King Mine settlement funds so far not spent on affected farmers, lawmaker says

By: - October 7, 2022

State agencies will soon accept bids to spend millions in settlement money from a contaminant spill that turned northern New Mexico rivers yellow in 2015, but two state lawmakers expressed concerns that the money won’t reach people who need it most.  It’s still early in the process for millions in settlement funds to be paid […]

Heinrich says $2.5 billion in aid for northern NM fire victims major step in restoring region

By: - September 29, 2022

New Mexico’s senior United States Senator said he expects the $2.5 billion in compensation for victims of the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire will go a long way toward revitalizing a 500-square-mile section of northern New Mexico and life for those in it.  The United States Senate on Thursday voted to approve a short-term spending bill […]

Federal legislation aims to improve FEMA response to wildfires

By: - September 29, 2022

A bill cosponsored by New Mexico’s United States senators aims to help the Federal Emergency Management Agency better help victims of wildfires. Such blazes are growing in number and intensity across the West.  U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-California) said Wednesday on the Senate floor that FEMA has gotten “pretty good” at responding to floods, tornadoes […]

Proposed $2.5 billion for wildfire victims is almost triple the last time feds lit NM on fire

By: - September 28, 2022

The $2.5 billion included in the new congressional spending plan greatly exceeds the amount Congress awarded the last time the federal government accidentally let a prescribed burn escape in New Mexico, according to a Source New Mexico review. Despite the high number, some state lawmakers are worried about the federal government’s long-term commitment to restoring […]

Congress spending plan includes $2.5 billion for Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire victims

By: - September 27, 2022

The new congressional spending plan announced overnight includes $2.5 billion for those affected by the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire, according to the bill text.  The spending package funds the U.S. government until Dec. 16 and includes a couple of other Democratic priorities, including $12 billion for Ukraine and $20 million to help Jackson, Miss. after […]

During NM visit, Pelosi hints aid to fire victims will come sooner than expected 

By: - September 27, 2022

Those who suffered damage or injury due to the biggest fire in state history could be in line to receive substantial compensation sooner than expected, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during a visit to Albuquerque on Monday.   The Hermits Peak Fire Assistance Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-Las Vegas, N.M.), requires the […]

More than 10% of New Mexicans eligible for student debt relief, numbers show

By: - September 23, 2022

Figures released this week show that more than 1 in 10 New Mexicans are eligible to have some of their student loan debt wiped out. According to the White House, 215,900 New Mexican borrowers are eligible for at least $10,000 in debt relief, not to mention a slew of other changes meant to ease the […]

New map shows where burn scar threatens historic acequias

By: - September 22, 2022

After months of effort, contractors with the New Mexico Acequia Association have a clearer picture of the 200-year old acequias in the burn scar of the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire.  The irrigation ditches are carved through much of northern New Mexico, and there are about 80 in the 530-square-mile burn scar north of Las Vegas, […]

As government roadblocks pile up for acequias in the burn scar, visions spring of a gran limpia

By: - September 22, 2022

Those who rely on historic irrigation ditches in the burn scar of the biggest fire in state history continue to face government roadblocks as they try to get acequias flowing and life to return to the charred landscape.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency only recently verbally agreed to accept applications from local acequias for funding […]