Environment & Climate Change

White House announces increased wages, support for firefighters

BY: - June 21, 2022

Firefighters have been working around the clock to battle one of the worst wildfire years ever in New Mexico with minimal pay that doesn’t always cover the bills. On Tuesday, the White House announced steps that the Biden-Harris administration is taking to increase wages and support systems for federal wildlife firefighters. These steps include temporary pay increases […]

Leger Fernandez: Forest Service ‘undervalued’ NM region where prescribed burn was ignited

BY: - June 21, 2022

The Forest Service’s first big error when it came to a recent escaped prescribed burn in Northern New Mexico was deeming the area where the agency ignited the fire to have only “moderate” value, U.S. Rep Teresa Leger Fernandez told Source New Mexico.  The detail was included in an 85-page report released Tuesday, a review […]

Five tribes sign historic agreement to preserve Bears Ears National Monument

BY: - June 21, 2022

Ink hit paper this weekend, and the five tribes that successfully won a battle with the federal government to create Bears Ears National Monument have it in writing that their interests must be part of land management plans going forward.  President Joe Biden issued a proclamation last October that preserves more than 1.36 million acres […]

No floods reported over weekend, but they’re expected soon in the burn zones

BY: - June 20, 2022

Residents in northern New Mexico are preparing for floods and solidifying evacuation plans, but so far, no floods have been reported. There is a flood watch for Mora County and San Miguel County around the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon fire for Tuesday. This doesn’t mean it will flood, but it is possible, according to the National […]

Electric appliances and technology could help mitigate climate change but are costly

BY: - June 20, 2022

As climate change accelerates, one possible solution – relying more on electric vehicles and appliances – remains out of reach of many Americans because of the higher cost. Electric appliances and technology can cost hundreds or even tens of thousands of dollars more than those that use fossil fuels such as gas, oil or coal, […]

Meteorologists warn about flood risk intensifying over the weekend due to wildfires

BY: - June 17, 2022

Monsoon season already causes concerns for a potential risk for flooding in New Mexico, but the enormous wildfires roaring across the state have created rough soil conditions that increase the risk of flooding, according to meteorologists. Wednesday kicked off the monsoon season in New Mexico, where a shift in wind direction created potential for thunderstorms. […]

EPA announces toxic ‘forever chemicals’ are far more dangerous than previously thought

BY: - June 17, 2022

The Environmental Protection Agency announced this week it takes far less exposure to two widespread toxic chemicals to endanger people’s health. This advisory could impact cleanup of plumes of the chemicals already found in New Mexico water sources. The chemicals are two well-known PFAs — shorthand for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.  PFAs don’t break down […]

NM reaches $32M settlement for 2015 Gold King Mine spill that turned the Animas River yellow

BY: - June 16, 2022

State officials on Thursday gathered in Farmington to announce a $32 million settlement with the federal government after its contractors caused nearly 1 million pounds of heavy metals to flood into the watershed serving parts of New Mexico and the Navajo Nation seven years ago. On Aug. 5, 2015, contractors for the Environmental Protection Agency […]

Ranchers carry heavy workload, strain against second-largest wildfire in NM

BY: - June 15, 2022

Outrunning a setting sun and a raging wildfire, fifth-generation rancher Loretta Rabenau wrangled her cattle to safety from fires last month when firefighters’ told her she had an hour to do so. It’s something she won’t forget for the rest of her life. Scorching swaths of  the Gila National Forest, the Black Fire has forced […]

Federal agency warns Colorado River Basin water usage could be cut as drought worsens

BY: - June 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — The federal agency in charge of managing much of the West’s water warned Tuesday that it will act unilaterally to reduce water usage in the Colorado River Basin if state and tribal leaders can’t reach an agreement this summer.  Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille C. Touton told a U.S. Senate committee that states […]

30% of New Mexicans seeking FEMA help got denial letters, but they can still get aid

BY: - June 14, 2022

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has so far deemed 740 applicants ineligible for federal aid for damages caused by the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon fire, though an official stressed Monday that the door is still wide open for those people to get FEMA help.  Spokesperson Angela Byrd provided new numbers to Source New Mexico about applications […]

Black Fire spreads in hot, dry conditions

BY: - June 13, 2022

From a comparatively small blaze of just 150 acres to ravaging over 311,000 acres of southern New Mexico in just a month, the Black Fire is on the path to becoming the largest wildfire in the state. Dry weather across the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness in the next few days will likely speed the […]