Environment & Climate Change

Hot takes: NM pols point fingers at the feds for megafire

BY: - May 16, 2022

U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján and co-sponsors of an act to compensate victims of what will soon become the biggest fire in New Mexico history would prefer you call the blaze simply the “Hermits Peak fire.” The “Hermits Peak Fire Assistance Act,” introduced this week, seeks to compensate victims of the out-of-control fire. The blaze […]

Pueblos again seek inclusion in Rio Grande decision-making

BY: - May 16, 2022

Members of six New Mexico Pueblos are calling for a seat at the table from the body that oversees how the Rio Grande’s water is split, managed and used between states.  A coalition representing Cochiti, Santo Domingo, San Felipe, Santa Ana, Sandia and Isleta attended the annual Rio Grande Compact Commission meeting on May 6.  […]

U.S. House vote to expand federal firefighters benefits seen as step toward parity

BY: - May 16, 2022

WASHINGTON – Years after firefighters extinguish a blaze, after the smoke has lifted and ashes have cooled, the people who risked their lives to contain the fire face another danger: cancer and cardiovascular disease resulting from exposure to smoke and heat. Government and academic studies have shown firefighters are 9% more likely to develop cancer […]

Agriculture department offers help to those who lost livestock, pasture, trees or bees in NM wildfires

BY: - May 12, 2022

The United States Agriculture Department recently released a list of resources to farmers, growers and ranchers affected by the New Mexico wildfires.  Biden approves disaster funding for NM wildfires: Here’s how to apply and what it covers About 3,800 adults who live within the Santa Fe National Forest boundaries are employed on farms, according to […]

Democrats from the West push update of 150-year-old federal mining law

BY: - May 11, 2022

Democrats in Congress are hoping to overhaul the nation’s 150-year-old system for mining the elements needed for battery manufacturing, as high gas prices and Russia’s war in Ukraine underline the need to transition from oil and gas to renewable energy sources. U.S. House Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva of Arizona and U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich […]

Governor promises a temporary halt to prescribed burns while wildfires rage in New Mexico

BY: - May 10, 2022

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Tuesday that it was “negligent” for the United States Forest Service to ignite a prescribed burn in early April, and that she has received assurances that there will be no more prescribed burns in New Mexico in the short-term — at least not while fires continue to rage […]

Forecasts showed 25 mph gusts on the day U.S. Forest Service ignited prescribed burn

BY: - May 10, 2022

The Santa Fe National Forest team that ignited a prescribed burn last month reviewed forecasts beforehand that predicted wind gusts up to 25 mph and very low humidity, according to National Weather Service records.  U.S. forestry staff lit the fire anyway and lost control of their burn. It went on to become the Hermits Peak […]

U.S. Forest Service defends prescribed burn that caused Hermits Peak fire

BY: - May 9, 2022

A United States Forest Service spokesperson said the prescribed burn that got out of control to become the Hermits Peak fire is a rare occurrence, and she defended prescribed burns as a necessary risk required to protect the nation’s forests.  The service is also conducting a “review” of Las Dispensas prescribed burn April 6 south […]

Biden approves disaster funding for NM wildfires: Here’s how to apply and what it covers

BY: - May 5, 2022

President Joe Biden declared the ongoing wildfires in New Mexico a major disaster yesterday, and the categorization releases federal funding for people who’ve been impacted in recent weeks. The money comes after a request from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who said such funding could be nearly “unlimited” depending on the hardships faced by those in […]

Small particles from wildfire smoke can lodge deep within your lungs, aerosol scientist explains

BY: - May 5, 2022

Hermits Peak is one of Alex Huffman’s favorite hikes in the world. He grew up and spends time in the mountains outside of Las Vegas in northern New Mexico. His family has had a cabin in nearby Gallinas Canyon since before he was born. “Some of my earliest memories are there,” he said. “That’s where […]

Cerro Grande fire expert: Feds doing a prescribed burn in spring ‘extremely risky’

BY: - May 4, 2022

The guy who literally wrote the book on the destructive Cerro Grande fire in New Mexico said federal officials ignored the notorious blaze’s lessons when they decided to ignite a prescribed burn on a windy April day this year, sparking what’s now known as the Hermits Peak fire.  “It’s clear that it was an extremely […]

NM governor to the feds: Stop igniting prescribed burns in windy, dry conditions

BY: - May 4, 2022

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is calling on the federal government to change its rules around prescribed burns after one such blaze grew out of control in early April. It’s contributed to one of the biggest fires in state history that today is threatening homes, farms, villages and cities.  What’s now known as the […]