Environment & Climate Change

Poor pay and benefits deplete U.S. firefighting workforce

BY: - April 27, 2022

When wildfire season roared into New Mexico in mid-April — even earlier than usual in our warming world — firefighters answered the calls for help. They showed up across the state to race the dry winds driving flames into the mountains, along the Rio Grande, and into neighborhoods and across ranches.  Some of the men […]


6 wildfire terms to understand, from red flag warning to 100% containment

BY: - April 27, 2022

A wildfire fueled by dry, windy conditions forced hundreds of people to evacuate homes in Arizona in mid-April, following fires that destroyed more than 200 homes in New Mexico and threatened communities in several other states over the previous weeks. It was another reminder to be prepared for what U.S. forecasters warned would be a risky spring for wildfires. I’m a fire ecologist and director of the Southern […]

Chaco National Historic Park a dark landscape with a dark sky mostly dominating the photo.

Proposed drilling ban around Chaco Canyon gets support from All Pueblo Council of Governors

BY: - April 27, 2022

About three months ago, staff from the Santa Clara Pueblo Tribal Historic Preservation Office were doing a field research survey at Dalton Pass, a cultural site in McKinley County west of Crownpoint. The staff gazed in disbelief upon a ceremonial kiva pit with a barbecue grill in the middle, along with treadmarks going right over […]

Residents staying in Mora are running out of food, official says

BY: - April 26, 2022

ESPAÑOLA VALLEY — Mother Nature showed some sympathy to the people of Northern New Mexico by dropping a smattering of snow over massive wildfires, sparing villages and giving fire crews some leverage in slowing the massive Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak fire. But it didn’t make too much of a dent in extinguishing the flames up north, […]

Lujan Grisham calls on local governments to ban fireworks sales around New Mexico

BY: - April 25, 2022

As at least 20 wildfires consumed thousands of acres this weekend, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that she would ask local governments to temporarily ban the sale of fireworks around the state. State government can ban the use of fireworks — and it has — but under the law, banning sales is something that has […]

With 20 active fires in a single April day, N.M. braces for longer, more dangerous season

BY: - April 25, 2022

Caught between three wildfires, Adam Torres and his mother, Josephine, sped east on an empty northern New Mexico highway on Saturday afternoon, allowing themselves a breather only when towering pillars of smoke were finally in their rearview mirrors. They stopped their caravan of trucks and a trailer carrying four horses, 20 chickens and a cat, […]

People remained in Mora despite warnings that fire could destroy their town, rep. says

BY: - April 25, 2022

ESPAÑOLA VALLEY — As the massive fires in Northern New Mexico burned through more acres and emitted huge plumes of smoke into the sky this weekend, some people refused to leave their land and their farms, pinning their hopes on coming stormclouds and a promise of some precipitation.  Late Sunday, Northern New Mexicans forced to […]

Weather service warns of ‘dire’ fire risk today, citing high winds and drought

BY: - April 22, 2022

The National Weather Service in Albuquerque issued a special warning Friday and through the weekend about fire risk, citing a perfect storm of weather conditions amid a climate-change-caused drought.  “We have a dire and very dangerous weather situation on our hands today,” said Todd Shoemake, an NWS meteorologist, during a briefing Friday morning.  Winds across […]

The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 26, 2022.

3 big reasons why the Biden climate agenda is floundering

BY: - April 22, 2022

President Joe Biden’s climate agenda took a hit this month when the Interior Department said it would open 144,000 acres of federal land up for oil and gas development to comply with a court order to restart fossil fuel development. The announcement marked yet another setback for a presidential climate plan that was once seen […]

BLM opens lands back up to oil and gas leases

BY: - April 21, 2022

With a small post on the Bureau of Land Management website, the open sign to lease new mineral exploration on federal lands is back up. Notices for sale of oil and gas leases on public lands were posted this week following a judge’s order in 2021 that the Interior Department must begin auctions for land […]

Final decision on asphalt plant on Santa Fe’s South Side expected this summer

BY: - April 21, 2022

A final decision on whether an asphalt company can expand its operations on Santa Fe’s South Side is expected this summer, after community groups appealed the project’s approval by state environmental regulators and hundreds of local residents petitioned Monday for the decision to be overturned. Associated Asphalt and Materials, LLC in 2019 applied for a […]

Interior Department announces funding for tribal communities to address climate change

BY: - April 20, 2022

Tribal nations across the country have the opportunity to receive funding to address the unique impacts climate change has within their communities. “As the effects of climate change continue to intensify, Indigenous communities are facing unique climate-related challenges that pose existential threats to Tribal economies, infrastructure, lives, and livelihoods,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in […]