Environment & Climate Change

Should NM political maps be based around acequias? Group makes the case.

BY: - September 21, 2021

When rural New Mexicans gather each year for “la limpia de la acequia,” it’s about more than just clearing the vital irrigation channels of dirt and debris, according to the New Mexico Acequia Association.  The annual ritual, in fact, shows how communities are shaped around acequias and why political districts should be drawn with the […]

Struggle over tax break for inherited farmland churns below surface in reconciliation bill

BY: - September 21, 2021

WASHINGTON—Agricultural groups and farm-state lawmakers notched a significant win when U.S. House Democrats chose not to touch a big tax break for inherited property, avoiding for now a confrontation. But opponents remain wary that the idea could come back at any time as Democrats shape their massive $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, and search for […]

Biden administration moves Bureau of Land Management HQ back to D.C. from Colorado

BY: - September 20, 2021

President Joe Biden’s administration announced on Sept. 17 that it would return the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management to Washington, D.C., reversing a controversial decision by the Trump administration — with the support of a bipartisan array of Colorado political leaders — to relocate the office to Grand Junction. The BLM’s Grand Junction […]

Memory of a River: In another hot year, we fail the Rio Grande

BY: - September 18, 2021

In a crinkly government report from the 1920s, two photographs show what the Rio Grande looked like south of Socorro near the town of San Marcial, the remnants and memories of which are submerged today under the sludge and sand of Elephant Butte Reservoir’s northern extent. Taken from a bluff above the Rio Grande, the […]

Popular app AllTrails leads people to sacred sites, some on tribal lands

BY: - September 18, 2021

Leaving the hazy Albuquerque skies, escaping the smoke of distant wildfires covering the Sandia Mountains, you cross west past Nine Mile Hill — maybe make a quick stop to place a wager at the casino — and then drive on until you reach the red rocky mesas. Here, 18-wheelers from the east are the only things […]

Oil industry tailored air quality law with help from NM’s top environment official

BY: - September 18, 2021

Last legislative session, one of the bills that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham championed was the Clean Fuel Standard Act. Her administration touted it as a market-based approach to climate change that would require fuel companies to reduce the amount of carbon in their fuels in New Mexico.  Among those tasked with shepherding the act forward […]

House spending bill would ban Chaco-area drilling; advocates say it’s not enough

BY: - September 15, 2021

A provision in the House of Representatives’ plan to spend $3.5 trillion would ban new oil and gas drilling around the Chaco Canyon National Historic Park, though an alliance fighting to protect the 1,000-year-old site says it doesn’t go far enough. Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate have worked out details on the package […]

Agriculture section of reconciliation bill centers on fighting climate change, enhancing research

BY: - September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Agriculture Committee on Monday finished marking up its section of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The agriculture portion would provide funding for historically Black land grant colleges and investments in urban agriculture, along with boosting U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to address climate change threats in farming. The $66 billion agriculture measure passed along […]

House reconciliation bill targets four local plans for oil and gas leasing, mining

BY: - September 14, 2021

Proposals targeting specific areas for conservation in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and federal waters off Louisiana’s coast made their way into the gigantic budget reconciliation bill that Democrats are moving through Congress. The portion of the $3.5 trillion package approved on a party-line vote by the House Natural Resources Committee last week includes nationwide measures […]

Acequias can help fend off some climate change impacts, researchers say

BY: - September 9, 2021

Centuries-old acequia systems in New Mexico can help offset some effects of climate change, according to Dr. Connie Maxwell, a researcher at the Water and Community Collaboration Lab at New Mexico State University.  Her presentation to legislators on Tuesday, Sept. 7, says acequias can mimic slowly melting snowpack, the biggest source of water in the […]

COMMENTARY

As Colorado River Basin states confront water shortages, it’s time to focus on reducing demand

BY: - September 6, 2021

The U.S. government announced its first-ever water shortage declaration for the Colorado River on Aug. 16,  triggering future cuts in the amount of water states will be allowed to draw from the river. The Tier 1 shortage declaration followed the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s forecast that the water in Lake Mead – the largest reservoir […]

Cracks in a riverbed where there should be water

House Dems kick off reconciliation process with $30 billion Interior bill

BY: - September 3, 2021

The House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday inched toward approval of a $30 billion bill to fund climate, tribal and environmental programs. Thursday’s meeting marked the first time a congressional committee considered any piece of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending plan meant to fundamentally change U.S. health, climate, education and tax policy. Democrats plan to move […]