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May 7, 2014

WaterSMART Funding Opportunity Available to Establish or Expand Watershed Groups

The Bureau of Reclamation's Cooperative Watershed Management Program is accepting applications from entities seeking to establish or expand watershed management groups.  Funding is available for states, Indian tribes, irrigation districts, water districts or other organizations with water or power delivery authority located in the western United States or United States Territories to establish a watershed group.  Funding is also available for an existing watershed group to expand.  Applications are due on June 6, 2014 at 3 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. – 5/7/2014

May 2, 2014

Feds, ICE arrests over 600 gang suspects” – Las Cruces Sun News

More than 600 suspected gang members have been arrested in the Homeland Security Department's largest crackdown on street gangs, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Thursday. – 5/2/14


Governor names Las Cruces to New Mexico panels” – Las Cruces Sun News

Gov. Susana Martinez announced a number of appointments to New Mexico boards and panels on Thursday. – 5/2/14


"N.M. Gov. Susana Martinez announces summer food program for NM kids” – Las Cruces Sun News

Gov. Susana Martinez says the state is ready to help children who face the threat of going without a meal once school lets out for the summer. Martinez announced this year's food service program during a visit to Albuquerque on Thursday. She'll be in Espanola on Friday to talk more about the program. – 5/2/14

April 24, 2014

State Fights for Uranium Mine Contamination Clean-Up“ – Grant County Beat

New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Secretary Ryan Flynn and Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) Secretary David Martin have sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offering assistance to help the EPA and the Navajo Nation determine the full extent of environmental contamination at uranium mine sites and the best use of funds that resulted from a major settlement between the federal government and a former major uranium mine company that operated in New Mexico.  – 4/23/2014

More information:

Addressing Uranium Contamination on the Navajo Nation – Environmental Protection Agency

"New Mexico offers help with uranium mine cleanup“ – Santa Fe New Mexican, 4/24/2014


Comment Period Opens for Proposed Rule on the Definition of ‘‘Waters of the United States’’ Under the Clean Water Act

On April 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Definition of ‘‘Waters of the United States’’ Under the Clean Water Act; Proposed Rule. Publication in the Federal Register marks the beginning of a 90-day comment period that ends July 21, 2014. The proposed rule is generating discussion in the environmental and business communities, and may have implications for the Gila River

More information:

Lawmakers push EPA for more time on water rule“ – Santa Fe New Mexican, 4/4/14

Feds release proposed changes to Clean Water Act“ – Santa Fe New Mexican, 3/29/14

EPA Proposes Biggest Step for Clean Water in a Decade“ – Environment New Mexico, 3/25/14


April 25, 2014

Chaco Canyon’s International Dark Sky Park Celebration April 24-26, 2014

Chaco Culture National Historical Park is celebrating its official designation an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association this weekend. Chaco is one of only four official “dark sky” U.S. national parks. The others are Big Bend National Park (Texas), Death Valley National Park (California), and Natural Bridges National Monument (Utah). Chaco was recognized as a “dark sky” park in 2013, but the celebration had to be postponed because of the government shutdown in fall 2013. The Chaco Culture National Historical Park International Dark Sky Park Application has a wealth of information about the requirements to be recognized as a “dark sky” site, and includes information about the ancient practices and traditions of astronomy at Chaco.


Radioactive Leak At WIPP Was Preventable, Report Says“ – NPR

The U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management Accident Investigation Report says the release of radioactive material into the environment from the Feb. 14 accident at the underground Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M., could have been prevented. The accident at the nuclear waste dump that resulted in the contamination of 21 workers resulted in part from "poor management, ineffective maintenance and a lack of proper training and oversight," the report concludes. – 4/24/14

April 22, 2014

Court urges rewrite of child porn law” – Las Cruces Sun News

New Mexico's Supreme Court on Monday overturned more than two dozen convictions in separate child pornography cases in a ruling that drew sharp criticism from Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, a former prosecutor.  The court said state law is unclear about the circumstances under which prosecutors can bring more than one charge against someone for possessing multiple pornographic images of children. – 4-22-14


"U.S. justices deliver blow to 'Rails-to-Trails' policy" – Reuters

Although the case involved a situation along a hike and bike trail in Wyoming, the case has implications even in the cities and rural areas of New Mexico.  Santa Fe has several former railroad right-of-ways that have been converted to hike and bike trails.  One need only take a look at the Santa Fe Bikeways & Trails Map and the names of the trails. – 3-10-14

More information:

Rails to Trails Conservancy Website

Full text of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Ruling in the case