September 14, 2018

NM Environment Review: Who cares about the Rio Grande?

Laura Paskus

Rio Grande at San Antonio earlier this week

All week, we track environment news around the western United States, finding the most important stories and new studies you need to read to understand what’s happening with water, climate, energy, landscapes and communities around New Mexico. Then Thursday morning, you get that news in your Inbox.

You can subscribe to that weekly email here.

Here’s a snippet of what subscribers read this week:

• On Sunday, the New York Times ran a provocatively-titled op-ed, “The Rio Grande is Dying. Does Anyone Care?” The op-ed has some disappointing errors in it, as anyone familiar with the Rio Grande and the Colorado River noticed. But having covered the Rio Grande since 2002, I feel like I’m in the unique position to answer the question posed in the headline. Yes. A lot of people care, especially right here in New Mexico. But more people, especially in New Mexico, still need to understand the laws and policies that affect the river, as well as issues like climate change, water management and how state, federal and local agencies and officials affect river conditions.

At NM Political Report, we’ve been covering Rio Grande issues relentlessly. You can see all that coverage here. And we’ll have more coming up soon.

• Speaking of the Rio Grande, some hikers are charting out the course of the Rio Grande Trail. The Associated Press has a story about that.

• The Albuquerque Journal’s Joline Gutierrez Krueger doesn’t usually stray into environment reporting. But she does love a good mystery. So her recent column, “On the trail of the medallion trees,” is pretty delightful. “Each medallion – an aluminum or brass or steel washer about 1½ to 2 inches in diameter – is screwed into the tree over the hole where a core sample was taken to determine the tree’s age,” she writes. “A historic event that corresponds with the germination date, or GD, is stamped on the medallion.”

And the next time I’m hiking in the Sandias, I’ll definitely keep my eyes peeled for the “Mozart’s 1st Symphony” tree or the “Grimms Fairy Tales” tree.

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