El Paso Group Endorses Franklin Mountains Conservation Petition Calling for Saving Land on Both Sides of the Franklin Mountains

Map of City Owned Land Included in Petition

The Sierra Club El Paso Group has endorsed the Franklin Mountains Conservation Petition calling for Saving land on both sides of the Franklin Mountains. The petition asks the El Paso City Council to pass the following ordinance:

A membership moment – please take a minute to consider your Sierra Club membership

Takota, a Golden Eagle from the El Paso Zoo at the Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta in 2010 by Rick LoBello

I have always admired and respected the Sierra Club. When I worked in the national parks we all heard the story of John Muir and I can really relate to what he said in The Yosemite in 1912… "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike."

Rio Grande Chapter voted Best Environmental Group by Santa Feans!

The Santa Fe Reporter's Best of Santa Fe issue came out July 15. Thanks Santa Fe; we're working to be even more effective in shaping environmental policy and actions. Click here to see the Reporter issue: http://bit.ly/1qfK9x8

Be a voice for Mexican wolves

Wolf1 © 2006 Larry Allen

July 15, 2014
Wolves need you to speak out at public hearings to save them from extinction.

The Fish and Wildlife Service will soon be releasing the Draft Environmental Impact statement for new rule changes that will determine the future of our Lobos. There are only 83 wolves in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona, and the proposed rules will likely have provisions that make it easier to kill them and dim their chances for recovery. There should be some good provisions too that need to be supported.

How to help wildlife through the human zone

This bobcat kitten was brought to the Wildlife Center from a backyard.

By Katherine Eagleson, Wildlife Center, Española, 06/30/14

In the United States we have done a pretty good job of saving scenic places. A lot of wildlife lives in those places.

But when a drought lingers year after year and depletes food sources, or a wildfire burns the habitat to dirt, or maybe it’s just time for the youngsters to move out, make a life of their own, spread the gene pool, how do we accommodate wild animals’ need to move?

Badly, that’s how we have done it so far. We have not planned well to give wildlife the corridors they need to move safely between habitats. We have also misled the public by giving the impression that wildlife managers can collect wildlife from backyards and parks and homeowners’ association properties and transport them to some wilderness nirvana.

BLM considers fencing to protect prairie dogs

By Teresa Seamster, 06/3014
A surprise population of Gunnison’s Prairie Dogs living on the Caja del Rio has encouraged a Forest Service biologist and the Northern New Mexico Group to map burrows and ask BLM for protection from off-road vehicles.

When I first heard about the prairie dogs it was in the context of how barren the BLM land was on the Caja and how it looked as if there were no longer prairie dogs out there. Later, I was asked if I could come out and see if there were any Gunnison’s out there.

The result was unexpected.

La Bajada mining decision delayed

Painting of La Bajada by Rio Grande Chapter member Jeff Potter

By Teresa Seamster, Northern New Mexico Group co-chair, 06/30/14
At its June 11 meeting, the Santa Fe Board of County commissioners failed to vote on an application for a basalt mine on La Bajada Mesa, even in the face of nearly 1,000 opponents at the meeting and 250 email comments from Northern New Mexicans Group members and supporters.
Fifty acres of La Bajada Mesa is under threat of the strip mining.The applicant, Rockology LLC, would also use thousands of gallons of potable water daily just to reduce dust at the site.

Norma McCallan: Our Living Treasure

Norma McCallan with, from left, her son Chris, County Commission candidate Henry Roybal and Tom Gorman

By Mona Blaber, Chapter communications coordinator, 06/30/14
Norma McCallan, co-chair of the Northern New Mexico Group and a cornerstone of the Rio Grande Chapter, was honored June 22 as a Santa Fe Living Treasure.

The Santa Fe Living Treasures program, celebrating its 30th anniversary, honors people over 70 who make a difference in the community. Last fall, Norma was also chosen by The Santa Fe New Mexican as one of its annual 10 Who Made a Difference.

Mountainair community opposes CO2 pipeline in New Mexico

Abo Ruins are among the site threatened by the pipeline

By Teresa Seamster, Northern New Mexico Group vice chair. 06/30/14
The sweeping open spaces of Abo and Tenabo west of Mountainair are as ancient and majestic as any in the state. It is hard to imagine this area ever becoming industrial or polluted.
Nonetheless, the proposed 213-mile CO2 Lobos pipeline through New Mexico is about to cut through landscapes like this, dismantling cultural areas and destroying underground vegas forever, unless people act.
The people of Mountainair have been taking action.

Report shows dangers of Four Corners coal ash; plant wants 25 more years

Chaco Wash Four Corners Morgan Lake

By Norma McCallan, Chapter vice chair 06.30.14
The Sierra Club released reports in May on some of the nation’s most dangerous coal-ash sites, including the coal-ash storage at Four Corners Power Plant near Fruitland, N.M.

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