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Environment

Lightning Starts Small Fire At Valles Caldera Preserve

on June 27, 2016 - 10:28pm

The Valles Caldera National Preserve. Courtesy photo

VCNP News:

JEMEZ SPRINGS – A new wildland fire is burning in the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The Big Hat fire, discovered after last week’s thunderstorms, is estimated to be approximately two acres in size.

It is located on Banco Bonito, east of the staging area in the southwestern portion of the preserve.

Consent Order Governing Legacy Cleanup At Los Alamos Finalized

on June 27, 2016 - 1:18pm
NMED News:
 
SANTA FE  The New Mexico Environment Department signed and finalized the Consent Order between the State of New Mexico Environment Department and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Environmental Management office, which will guide and govern the cleanup of legacy waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
 
“The new Consent Order will accelerate the pace of environmental restoration activities in and around Los Alamos,” New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn said.

Gardeners Take Over Nature Center Tuesday

on June 27, 2016 - 1:16pm

Visit the Los Alamos Nature Center Tuesday to learn valuable tips on gardening. Photo by Siobhan Niklasson

PEEC NEWS:

Green-thumbed gardeners will be taking over the Los Alamos Nature Center at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The Master Gardeners, Los Alamos Garden Club and Summit Garden Club will all gather at the nature center to share valuable information and answer questions related to gardening. This event is free and open to the public.

This fun evening will take place at the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road. It is free to attend, and no registration is required.

CCNS Challenges EPA To Terminate LANL Outfall From Clean Water Act Permit

on June 27, 2016 - 6:56am
CCNS News:
 
Outfall No. 051 at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a discharge pipe connected to the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility (RLWTF). 
 
After November 2010, the RLWTF became a zero-liquid-discharge system. Since then LANL has been using a Mechanical Evaporator System (MES) to evaporate treated water into the air, and nothing has been discharged through the Outfall. Nevertheless, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) still includes Outfall 051 in the Clean Water Act permit that it issues to LANL. 
 
This has a serious impact.

A Starry Night At PEEC Honors Sen. Martin Heinrich

on June 26, 2016 - 8:50am
'A Starry Night in Seville' includes an auction with items ranging from sculptures and paintings to a weekend in a cabin and a hike to see petroglyphs. This road runner sculpture is on its way to the auction. Courtesy photo
 

PEEC News:

Everyone who’s in town July 2 is in for a treat. Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is partnering with Pig + Fig and Pajarito Brewpub to create a special dinner 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday July 2 at the Los Alamos Nature Center.

Sen.

Alert: Snakes Are Out, Active And Biting Dogs

on June 25, 2016 - 9:09am

A horned rattlesnake. Courtesy/wikipedia

News Alert:

Christine DuBois asked the Los Alamos Daily Post to alert the community about recent incidents of snakes biting dogs on local trails.

Her dog was bitten by a rattlesnake just northwest of Mitchell Trail Head at around 5:15 p.m. Friday. The snake did not warn before it struck her dog in the back leg. She rushed him to Smith Veterinary Hospital in Santa Fe where he received two vials of anti venom. While still unsure as to his prognosis, the vet was hopeful.

In another recent incident, a local search and rescue dog was bitten by a

Los Alamos Nature Center: How To Find The Right Volunteer Opportunity

on June 25, 2016 - 8:04am
Christa Tyson is the volunteer coordinator at PEEC. Courtesy photo
 

Natali Steinburg has volunteered at PEEC since 2005. Courtesy photo
 
By CHRISTA TYSON 
PEEC Volunteer Coordinator
 
In the midst of political season, I like to remind people of an anonymous quote that has stuck with me over the years; “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.”
 
There are numerous volunteer opportunities available with the Los Alamos Nature Center.

Summer Family Evenings: Goats At PEEC June 29

on June 25, 2016 - 7:05am
Drop by the Los Alamos Nature Center to meet goats of the Pajarito Plateau. Photo by Jessica Ross
 
PEEC News:
 
What is it like to raise goats on a small-scale farm? What uses are there for goat milk?
 
At this week’s Summer Family Evening, Jessie Ross of Gypsy Mountain Ranch and Deb Wood of Second Bloom Farm will be around to answer these questions. They will teach how to make cheese, lotion, soap, and more.
 
Even better, these presenters will bring some of their goats – both big and small – to demonstrate the different breeds that thrive on the Pajarito Plateau.

TALES OF OUR TIMES: Time To Teach Civic Statistics

on June 24, 2016 - 12:34pm

Tales of Our Times
By JOHN BARTLIT
New Mexico Citizens
for Clean Air & Water

Time To Teach Civic Statistics.

I've never been much for bumper-sticker slogans, because answers to anything are not five-words simple. Rule #1: Never say never. 

One fine day I found myself locked in Santa Fe traffic behind a bumper sticker as sage as Obi-Wan Kenobi of “Star Wars” fame. The wise sign said: Don’t Believe Everything You Think. ...First came a small twinkle. Then meanings came clear as stars at nightfall. A constellation or two took shape. And so this column.
    
Our expanding society is losing a sense

Black Bear Captured On Barranca Mesa

on June 24, 2016 - 10:06am

This black bear is spotted Thursday afternoon in a tall cherry tree on Barranca Mesa. Photo by Ken Hanson

NMG&F Ofc. John Martsh aims a tranquilizer gun at the bear in an effort to safely capture her for relocation. Photo by Ken Hanson

LAPD Ofc. Tim Lonz and Animal Control Ofc. Tom Beyer hold the groggy bear with a control pole so NMG&F Ofc. John Martsh can administer more sedative. Photo by Ken Hanson

NMG&F Ofc. John Martsh checks the age of the bear and determines she is about 18 months old. LAPD Ofc. Tim Lonz holds the bear's head. Photo by Ken Hanson

From left, LAPD Officers James Keane

Gold King Mine Spill Citizens’ Advisory Committee Meeting Monday

on June 23, 2016 - 9:01pm
NMED News:
 
SANTA FE  New Mexico’s Gold King Mine Spill Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC), based out of San Juan County, New Mexico, meets at 5:30 p.m., Monday, June 27 in the San Juan Community College Student Center- SUNS Room (accessible through the Henderson Find Arts Center).
 
Eric Frey, with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, will present on concentrations of contaminants in fish tissue and the Department’s ongoing work as part of the New Mexico’s Long-Term Impact Review Team for the Gold King Mine Spill.
 
The Citizens’ Advisory Committee is a group of 11 citizen

Public Input Sought For Community Wildfire Protection Plan

on June 23, 2016 - 8:52pm
Dan McCarn
 
COMMUNITY News:
 
As some of you know, I was asked by Wildlands Fire Chief Ramon Garcia to be part of the Core Team in the update of the Los Alamos County Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP).
 
The Forest Stewards Guild through Matt Piccarello has put together an online questionnaire for Los Alamos County, and I would appreciate your help in distributing this throughout the Los Alamos community.
 
Please Distribute This Questionnaire To Your Neighbors & Friends In Los Alamos
 
Los Alamos County is in the process of updating the 2009 Community Wildfire Protection Plan

New Mexico Sues Colorado In U.S. Supreme Court Over Gold King Mine Spill And Historical Acid Mine Drainage

on June 23, 2016 - 4:36pm
NMED News:
 
SANTA FE  New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas and Gov. Susana Martinez announced New Mexico filed a lawsuit in the United States Supreme Court with the State of New Mexico Environment Department to hold the State of Colorado responsible for the downstream contamination of the Animas and San Juan watersheds in New Mexico that was caused by continuing acid mine drainage and the 2015 Gold King Mine massive waste spill.
 
In addition to Colorado’s direct role in the Gold King Mine release, Colorado is directly responsible for the hazardous conditions that preceded the

Jewell Announces $452 Million In Payments To Local Communities To Support Vital Services

on June 23, 2016 - 9:30am
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell
 
DOI News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to rural communities, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced more than 1,900 local governments around the country are receiving a total of $451.6 million under the 2016 Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.
 
The payments represent the largest amount ever allocated under the PILT program to compensate counties and local governments for their support of national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands and waters as they forego property

DOE Invests $82 Million In Nuclear Technology

on June 21, 2016 - 4:35pm
DOE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced more than $82 million in nuclear energy research, facility access, crosscutting technology development, and infrastructure awards in 28 states.
 
In total, 93 projects were selected to receive funding that will help push innovative nuclear technologies toward commercialization and into the market. These awards provide funding for nuclear energy-related research through the Nuclear Energy University Program, Nuclear Science User Facilities, and Nuclear Energy Enabling Technology programs.

Northern New Mexico Resource Advisory Committee Accepting Funding Applications

on June 21, 2016 - 7:11am
USDA News:
 
SANTA FE  The Northern New Mexico Resource Advisory Committee (NNMRAC) is seeking proposals for projects that enhance forest ecosystems and restore and improve land health and water quality on the Cibola, Santa Fe and Carson National Forests and adjacent lands in Taos, Sandoval, Mora, San Miguel, Rio Arriba, Torrance, McKinley and Cibola Counties.
 
The NNMRAC has up to $473,000 to allocate to projects through the congressional re-authorization of Title II of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act.

New Mexico Demands Greater Scientific Integrity And Regulatory Honesty From EPA

on June 21, 2016 - 6:46am
Although the Animas River fosters many recreational activities; when it arrives in New Mexico it borders agricultural and residential lands. Residences at Cedar Hills, New Mexico on the Animas River pictured here. Courtesy of S. Palko-Schraa.
 
NMED News:
 
SANTA FE – June 14, the New Mexico Environment Department provided official comments to the U. S.

Udall Opposes Poison Pill Riders In Interior And Environment Appropriations Bill

on June 21, 2016 - 6:20am
SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, lead Democrat on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, stood up against poison pill provisions (riders) that would permanently weaken core environmental laws that protect our air, water, health and endangered species.
 
During a markup of the appropriations bill that funds critical Interior and environment programs -- including many New Mexico priorities -- Udall also successfully secured a bipartisan agreement to boost wildland firefighting for fiscal year 2017 by more than $600

Battleship Fire 100 Percent Contained!

on June 20, 2016 - 8:06pm

SFNF News:

Location:

  • Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest
  • South of Battleship Rock off of N.M. 4 and in proximity to the Hummingbird Music Camp, the YMCA Camp Shaver, Jemez Falls and multiple recreation sites

Start Date: Reported June 19, 2016

Size: Approximately 3 acres                                                     

Percent Contained: 100 percent

Cause: Human                                                                             

Growth Potential: Low

Vegetation: Heavy fuels, dead and down timber, Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir                 

Summary:

Heinrich Speaks At White House Renewable Energy Summit, Highlights Emerging Technologies And Need To Modernize Electric Grid

on June 20, 2016 - 11:43am
SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, June 16 spoke at the White House summit on Scaling Renewable Energy and Storage with Smart Markets, where he underscored the importance of energy storage, modernizing our electric grid, and growing our nation's clean energy economy.
 
The event brought U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dr.

Governor Directs National Guard To Take Extra Measures To Secure Evacuated Communities, Prepare For Flooding

on June 19, 2016 - 7:50am

Gov. Susana Martinez

STATE News:

TIJERAS – Gov. Susana Martinez announced Saturday that she has directed the New Mexico National Guard to take extra measures to secure evacuated communities and prepare for flooding.

In response, the National Guard will deploy additional guardsmen to patrol communities that have been evacuated to stop any threats of looting. The guardsmen also will begin assisting with the placement of sandbags and other flood controls in affected areas to help stop potential flood damage.

“As our coordinated response to the Dog Head Fire moves forward around the clock,

EPA Proposes Thousand-Fold Increase In Radioactivity For Drinking Water Following Emergencies – Public Comments Due July 25

on June 18, 2016 - 7:22am
Courtesy image/CCNS
CCNS News:
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety reports that late last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) quietly released draft guidance to be used following a radiation contamination incident that would allow radioactivity in drinking water at concentrations vastly greater than allowed under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Under the proposed Protective Action Guides (PAGs) for drinking water, no actions to protect the public would be taken even if the radioactivity in drinking water were dozens or thousands or millions of times higher than Safe Drinking

Fans And Friends Of Bandelier Invited To July Reunion

on June 17, 2016 - 7:47am
Courtesy photo
 
BANDELIER News:
 
Anyone who has worked at Bandelier National Monument, or who is or has been a volunteer, partner, member of the Friends of Bandelier, or has a close and personal connection to the Monument, is invited to a very special gathering. 
 
As a part of the celebration of Bandelier's Centennial year, the park is hosting a reunion Saturday, July 23. As Superintendent Jason Lott said, "A connection with Bandelier is a cherished part of many peoples' lives, and we hope to include friends and co-workers past and present in this celebration during the park's

Genomics Conference Started When Human Genome Sequencing Finished

on June 16, 2016 - 3:59pm

The 11th Annual Sequencing, Finishing, Analysis in the Future Meeting June 1-3 had more than 300 people in attendance, a capacity audience in the ballroom at the La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe. Photo by Roger Snodgrass/ladailypost.com

 

By ROGER SNODGRASS
Los Alamos Daily Post

An annual conference of researchers, technologists and funders in the soaring field of genomics held its 11th event June 1-3 in Santa Fe. The conference has grown from about 70 people when it began in 2006 to more than 300 this year.

Chris Detter, founder and chairman of the organizing committee of the 11th

NASA: Largest Planet Discovered To Orbit Two Suns

on June 16, 2016 - 3:39pm
Artist's impression of the simultaneous stellar eclipse and planetary transit events on Kepler-1647. Courtesy/Lynette Cook
 
NASA News:
 
If you cast your eyes toward the constellation Cygnus, you’ll be looking in the direction of the largest planet yet discovered around a double-star system.
 
It’s too faint to see with the naked eye, but a team led by astronomers from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and San Diego State University (SDSU) in California, used NASA's Kepler Space Telescope to identify the new planet, Kepler-1647b.
 
The discovery was

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