April 5, 2019

NM Environment Review: Rivers, trees, books

Laura Paskus

Irrigation season has begun in the Middle Rio Grande Valley

All week, we look for stories that help New Mexicans better understand what’s happening with water, climate, energy, landscapes and communities around the region. Thursday morning, that news goes out via email. To subscribe to that weekly email, click here.

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

Springtime is particularly exciting in New Mexico this year! After last year’s dismal flows on the Rio Grande, it’s great to see the river running this spring and to watch some of the restoration areas in the Albuquerque area filling with water. If you’re on Twitter, I’d love to see your photos of rivers, streams, springs and seeps around the state. Recently, folks have shared their photos of the Sandias, from the Black Range and the Rio Grande. Keep ‘em coming!

Meanwhile, here’s some news from around the state:

• Albuquerque is considering a plan to limit single-use plastic bags, straws and takeout containers. And last week, city councilors held a Clean & Green Town Hall to talk about the issue.  

• Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a number of environment bills this week, including one creating the Outdoor Recreation Division and some related to transparency and energy. And Elizabeth Miller has a story, “Oil and gas had little to fear during legislative session.”

• We mentioned in last week’s email that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency didn’t have money to spare this year for a Superfund cleanup in Socorro. There was funding, however, for cleanup of a serious site down in Roswell. That site includes a 550 acre plume of contaminated groundwater from dry cleaning operations.

• On KUNM’s Let’s Talk New Mexico this week, the topic was urban forests. If you missed the show Thursday morning, you can catch it in the archives.

• And speaking of water…I wanted to mention two other things. I’m only about halfway through the book, but if you haven’t read Heather Hansman’s book, Down River, I highly recommend it. It’s about the Green River, a tributary of the Colorado River, but I think New Mexicans will love it, too. And on April 19, there’s a unique event happening at the University of New Mexico Art Museum. As part of a collaborative performance, six singers will embody the flows of the Rio Grande. According to the description for “There Must Be Other Names for the River,” the score is based on historic river flow data. There’s more information online here.  

Don’t forget to subscribe to the weekly email, so you can read all the news. Just click here.