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Public Comment Sought On Tsankawi Management Plan

on December 19, 2014 - 8:51am
The Ancestral Pueblo people who lived at Tsankawi Pueblo carved a network of trails into the volcanic tuff mesa. Courtesy/NPS
The present-day trail around Tsankawi includes several ladders to get visitors up and down the mesa where the pueblo was built. Courtesy/NPS


Bandelier National Monument Superintendent Jason Lott announced today that the public is invited to review and comment on the park’s Tsankawi Unit Management Plan and Environmental Assessment.  

The plan and environmental assessment evaluate a range of alternatives to improve resource protection, address

Terry Brunner Addresses Affordable Care Act

on December 19, 2014 - 8:39am
Terry Brunner
USDA Rural Development Director

Living in a rural community shouldn’t have to come with a hefty price tag for healthcare. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, it no longer has to.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is already making a difference in the lives of millions of rural Americans, including families right here in New Mexico Prior to the ACA, many rural families had a hard time finding affordable insurance coverage, paying an average of nearly half of their costs out of their own pockets.

Today, thanks to the ACA, families in New Mexico can choose from a

Study Shows Cataclysmic Event That Killed Dinosaurs Also Profoundly Effected Mammals

on December 19, 2014 - 8:03am


The extinction of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago is thought to have paved the way for mammals to dominate, but a new study shows that many mammals died off alongside the dinosaurs.

Metatherian mammals--the extinct relatives of living marsupials ("mammals with pouches", such as opossums) thrived in the shadow of the dinosaurs during the Cretaceous period. The new study, by an international team of experts on mammal evolution and mass extinctions, shows that these once-abundant mammals nearly followed the dinosaurs into oblivion.

When a 10-km-wide asteroid struck what is now

CEMRC Releases Final Summary Report On WIPP

on December 18, 2014 - 1:11pm

WIPP News:

The Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center (CEMRC) has posted its final summary report regarding the Feb. 14 radiological event that occurred at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

CEMRC is a division of the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University that provides independent monitoring of the WIPP facility.

Following the radiological release that occurred at WIPP, CEMRC increased its monitoring activities – both at the WIPP site and in the surrounding area.

Los Alamos County Recount Numbers Issued In New Mexico Commissioner Of Public Lands Race

on December 18, 2014 - 10:31am

Presiding Judge Sanchez, center, explains recount procedures to recount election clerks Dec. 11 for the New Mexico Land Commissioner race. From left, District Judge Designee George Chandler, Recount Election Clerk Peggy Pendergast, Sanchez and Recount Election Clerk Stephen Ciddio. Courtesy photo


The original Los Alamos County totals in the Dec. 11 recount for the New Mexico Land Commissioner race were 3,781 for incumbent Ray Bennett Powell, a Democrat, and 3,741 for Republican challenger Aubrey Dunn. The final totals are Powell 3,782 and Dunn 3,743.

Before the recount, there

Santa Fe National Forest Office Holiday Hours

on December 17, 2014 - 1:05pm

SFNF News:

All Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) offices will be closed for the holidays Thursday Dec. 25, Friday Dec. 26 and Thursday Jan. 1, 2015.

For additional information about the Santa Fe National Forest’s holiday hours, contact a local Ranger District or the Forest Headquarters at 505.438.5300.


Senate Confirms Estevan López As New Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner

on December 17, 2014 - 1:00pm
Estevan López
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined the Senate Tuesday in confirming Estevan López, a native New Mexican, as Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. 
López, who previously served as director of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, replaces former Commissioner and fellow New Mexican, Michael Connor, who was confirmed as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Interior in February. 
"Water is a defining issue in New Mexico and across the Western United States today, and the Bureau of Reclamation plays a

Udall Addresses New Cuba Relations; Prisoner Release

on December 17, 2014 - 11:35am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall released a statement today on the president’s announcement that he has taken steps to normalize relations with the country of Cuba and has secured the release of American prisoner Alan Gross, who had been held in a Cuban jail since 2009. 

In November, Udall traveled to Cuba with Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., where they met with Cuban officials as well as religious and business leaders to discuss the impacts of the embargo and travel restrictions on American and Cuban families.

Holiday Laser Light Show At NMMNHS Planetarium

on December 17, 2014 - 8:29am


Celebrate the holidays with the sights and sounds of laser concerts in the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (NMMNHS) Planetarium.

Two laser systems will fill the planetarium dome with choreographed light, allowing the music and light to envelope the viewer. More than a million laser-generated hues and colors poetically express each timeless track.

For only four afternoons, families can see favorite holiday songs transformed into a feast for the eyes in Winter Holiday Celebration.

Entry Gift To National Parks Benefits Bandelier

on December 16, 2014 - 7:21am



When looking for holiday gifts, Bandelier suggests considering giving gifts of entry to all the National Park areas in the country for a full year.
Drop by the Visitor Center at Bandelier and buy an Interagency Annual Pass. With this pass, the recipient can visit all the National Park Service areas across the country (think Petroglyph, Pecos, Grand Canyon, Everglades, Glacier, Rocky Mountain and 395 others.
The pass also includes areas under the Bureau of Land Management like Tent Rocks - Kasha Katuwe, US Forest Service including Mount St Helens and the

Udall Secures Tech Transfer Provisions For N.M. Labs

on December 15, 2014 - 7:21pm

  • Provisions in defense and appropriations bills increase funding and direct Energy Department to emphasize tech transfer 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall today announced that two major bills passed by Congress last week include key reforms he has championed to improve technology transfer at New Mexico's national laboratories and create new businesses and jobs in New Mexico. 

Udall is pushing the federal government to improve its tech transfer efforts to bring to market research being done at Los Alamos and Sandia national labs as well as White Sands Missile Range and the

State Supreme Court Reverses Environment Department’s Attempt To Block AG From Water-Rule Hearings

on December 15, 2014 - 7:01pm

  • Court allows hearing to remain in Roswell in split decision

The Supreme Court on Monday unanimously struck down the Water Quality Control Commission’s unprecedented decision to block the Attorney General’s Office from upcoming hearings on the rule that protects New Mexico water from industrial dairy waste.  

On another issue, a writ filed by New Mexico Environmental Law Center representing Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, the court, in a split decision, allowed the commission to hold its only hearing on the dairy rule in Roswell.

The Sierra Club wants a hearing in Roswell,

New Paseo Del Norte/I-25 Interchange Opens Tonight

on December 15, 2014 - 12:16pm


ALBUQUERQUE — At 8:30 p.m. today, Gov. Susana Martinez, alongside local and federal officials, will open the brand new Paseo Del Norte/Interstate 25 interchange.

Martinez’s administration worked with the Legislature to secure $30 million for the project, which was then combined with additional funding from the City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, and the federal government. This critical transportation infrastructure project was completed on budget and on time.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry, City Councilor Dan Lewis, Bernalillo County Commissioner Lonnie C.

Heinrich Introduces Bill To Establish Tech Transfer Maturation Program

on December 15, 2014 - 7:34am


WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, introduced S. 2973, the National Laboratory Technology Maturation Act.

The bill would launch a new National Laboratory Technology Maturation Program (NLTMP) at the U.S. Department of Energy to facilitate successful commercialization of laboratory-developed technologies.

The new program would provide funding to each national laboratory to be used by small businesses with a licensed technology from a laboratory, such as Sandia National Laboratories or Los

Reprimanded Los Alamos Surgeon Practicing In Iowa

on December 14, 2014 - 1:24pm

John Dirk Wassner, M.D.


Former Los Alamos surgeon John Dirk Wassner was granted reinstatement of his permanent Iowa medical license subject to a Consent Agreement Dec. 8.

Wassner, 67, who studied medicine at the University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, was disciplined by the New Mexico Medical Board, which issued him a public reprimand Oct. 3, 2013 for failing to report an adverse action taken by a healthcare entity in violation of the New Mexico Medical Practice Act.    

Under the terms of the Dec.

New Mexico’s Drug Overdose Fatality Rate Drops 16 Percent

on December 14, 2014 - 10:06am

Gov. Susana Martinez

SANTA FE — Gov. Susana Martinez has announced New Mexico’s drug overdose fatality rate decreased 16 percent between 2011 and 2013.

According to the most recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New Mexico’s drug overdose fatality rate decreased from first in the nation in 2009 to third in 2012. New Mexico has now fallen below West Virginia and Kentucky in drug overdose death rates. This is the first time since 1992 that New Mexico has not been ranked first or second nationally in drug overdose fatality rate.

“New Mexico continues to

LANL Programs Among Items Approved In Appropriations Bill

on December 14, 2014 - 9:16am

  • Appropriations bill funds PILT, lab programs including B61, N.M. military bases, WIPP recovery, technology transfer, water projects and other programs  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich joined the full Senate in voting 56-40 for a so-called “omnibus” appropriations bill to fund the government, including critical New Mexico programs, through September 2015, the end of the Fiscal Year.

The bill includes full funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, which helps pay for

Udall, Heinrich Announce Momentous Gains For New Mexico With Passage Of Public Lands Package

on December 13, 2014 - 1:26pm

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall


WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., applauded the passage of a historic public lands package today. Several conservation and energy bills championed by the senators were included in the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act. The end of year package passed the Senate by a vote of 89 to 11 and now goes to the President for his signature.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

"This is an exciting day for everyone who enjoys public lands and parks in New Mexico.

Heinrich To Serve On Senate Armed Services Committee

on December 13, 2014 - 10:01am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich


  • Position will be instrumental in Senator’s commitment to New Mexico

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., released the following statement after receiving an assignment to serve on the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services.

Heinrich currently serves, and will continue to serve, on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources, Intelligence, and Joint Economic Committees.

"I look forward to serving on the Senate Armed Service Committee to ensure our men and women in uniform have the resources they need to keep our nation safe and to

2015 Brainpower & Brownbags Lunch Lectures Part 1: January–June

on December 13, 2014 - 9:07am

'Roundhouse' Capitol building in Santa Fe in 1967, by Dick Kent. Palace of the Governors Photo Archives 091176. Courtesy/NMHM

NMHM News:

SANTA FE—From a dauntless woman warrior to the inside scoop on the New Mexico Legislature, the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library’s Brainpower & Brownbags Lunch Lectures offer a wealth of learning.

Organized by Librarian Tomas Jaehn, the monthly lectures are free and open to the public (and, yes, you can bring a lunch). Each lecture begins at noon in the Meem Community Room; enter through the museum’s Washington Avenue doors. Seating is limited.

Valles Caldera Trust Commits To Smooth Transition To National Park Service Management

on December 13, 2014 - 7:45am

VCNT News:

Jemez Springs - The Valles Caldera Trust has issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Senate's passage of legislation transferring management of the Valles Caldera National Preserve to the National Park Service:

The Valles Caldera Trust’s Board and Executive Director are committed to a smooth transition to National Park Service management of the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

Congress Approves Valles Caldera National Preserve And Manhattan Project National Historical Park!

on December 12, 2014 - 7:00pm

Valles Caldera National Preserve. Courtesy/NPS

NPCA News:

With today’s Senate passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, Congress has approved the most significant expansion of the National Park System in nearly three decades.

The legislation includes the approval of Valles Caldera National Preserve and the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Las Alamos as well as Hanford, Wash., and Oak Ridge, Tenn.

“This bipartisan legislation represents years of work by community members, business leaders, scientists and National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA),” said Clark

Luján Issues Statement On Passage Of Spending Bill

on December 12, 2014 - 9:15am

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement Thursday after voting against an omnibus appropriations bill.

“It is deeply disappointing that Congressional Republicans have used this process to pass damaging provisions that roll back critical Wall Street reforms and further undermine campaign finance rules.

Governor Unveils New Teacher Support Package

on December 11, 2014 - 9:40am

Gov. Susana Martinez


Gov. Susana Martinez has announced a package of key initiatives to support New Mexico’s teachers, starting with increasing pay for beginning teachers for the second year in a row.

The Governor also outlined a new initiative, called the “school supply bucket,” to provide teachers with funds to help purchase materials for their classrooms. She also introduced New Mexico’s "Teachers Pursuing Excellence" (TPE) program to place the most effective teachers in mentorship positions supporting teachers who could benefit from additional, job-embedded training.

Udall Urges Congress To Pass Bill, Avoid Shutdown

on December 10, 2014 - 8:00pm

U.S. SENATE News:    
  • Appropriations bill funds PILT, lab programs including B61, N.M. military bases, WIPP recovery, technology transfer, water projects and other priorities    

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, welcomed the release of a so-called “omnibus” appropriations bill, which includes critical funding for New Mexico and keeps the government running through September 2015, the end of the fiscal year.

The bill funds many New Mexico priorities that Udall has fought for, such as the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program,