reening Ways         for earth-wise days
UPDATES: 11/28/2017 minor changes to stale font in one area; 12/3/2014 ARTICLES ON ENVIRONMENT RELATED ISSUES - VARIOUS SOURCES Air Beetles - Forests Drought Environment Children and Teen Education Fire Green Movement or Related Activities Oil & Gas Power Plants Schooling Streets, City Expansion Into Areas with Pinion/Juniper terrain Water Comment: some of these topics blend into each other - for example, articles on power plants also often involve discussions of air and water quality                                                                                                                                                                                                                      AIR The Navajo Tribe is in the process of purchasing power plants which are undergoing major changes. Regional Haze Discussed: Environment officials hear public opinion on power plants.  By Debra Mayeux and Lauren Duff. ( vol 2 no 43 july 27, 2012). Energy experts say drilling can be made cleaner.  Kevin Begos and Seth Borenstein, The Associated Press.  Page A2, 12/11/2012. Talks about differences in air pollution between Colorado and Texas oil drilling activities. BEETLES - FORESTS “A forest’s ranger’s goal: Halt the march of beetles near Cascade Creek.”  Front page, The Durango Herald, by Dale Rodebaugh.  8/31/2013.  Excerpt:  “Dead or dying trees along US Highway 550 north - rust colored stains on an otherwise verdant landscape - are telling Matt Janowiak something he doesn’t want to hear - bark beetles are at work.  Janowiak, the US Forest Service’s Columbine District ranger, last week in the Cascade Creek drainage unveiled a plan to forestall an iainvasion of voracious beetles similar to the beetle attacks on the eastern side of the San Juan National Forest....Janowiak referenced the West Fork Complex fires that ripped through 109,615 acres of largely beetle-killed spruce in the forests between Pagosa Springs and Creede this summer and the beetle-kill that is advancing relentlessly 1.5 to 2 miles a year in the Pine River drainage.” DROUGHT “Forecasts bleak for Farmington area.  Adequate Hydration:  Officials say despite limited rain water supply remains stable.”  Clip below photo in article: “Water levels have fallen on the Animas River, as seen from a bridge near Berg Park in Farmington on Monday.  Flow rates on the river are between 35 and 56 percent of the normal rate.”  Excerpt from article:  “New Mexico’s drought conditions are the worst in the nation with much of the state, including San Juan County, classified as extreme, according to the US Drought Monitor.  An extreme classification on the scale is the second most intense classification.”  By Greg Yee, Farmington Daily Times front page.  7/11/2013 “Severe drought brings early no-burn resolution.”  Note from article:  San Juan County and the cities of Aztec, Bloomfield and Farmington have been under severe drought conditions for several months, which has brought about several circumstances regarding fire, open burnin and fireworks throughout the region.”  Tri-City Tribune, Vol. 3, No. 6, front page by Debra Mayeux.  6/7/2013 FIRE As fire nears, South Fork evacuates.  Wolf Creek closes as massive blaze torches beetle-killed spruce.”  The Durango Herald, 6/22/2013.  Front page, article by Shane Benjamin. “Feds Make Trade-Offs.  Fire-prevention funds get cut as West burns.”  The Durango Herald, 6/20/2013.  Front Page, article by Nicholas Riccardi and Mead Gruver, Asaociated Press. “County, state, feds all take part, and it ain’t cheap.”  Note from article:  “Smokey Bear was right on one count: only you can prevent wildfires.  What he didn’t say was: You pay for the cost of fire suppression....When crises strike, firefighters are dedicated to their task.  But myriad agencies, multiple responsibilities and sometimes muddy bookkeeping make it difficult to figure out who owes what once it’s over.”  The Durango Herald, 6/20/2013.  Front page, article by Dale Rodebaugh. “Officials impose fire limits.  County, Southern Utes, agencies set restrictions for Southwest Colorado.” Notes from article:  “With five wildfires burning across the state, La Plata County, BLM, the US Forest Service and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe will be implementing stage 1 fire restrictions.”  The Durango Herald, 6/19/2013.  Front page, article by Emergy Cowan. GREEN MOVEMENT OR RELATED ACTIVITIES Green Revolution Gained Momentum May 2013 - Green Candidats Sweep LPEA Vote New Mexico and San Juan County need improvements in bicycle-friendly measures: “Report: New Mexico unfriendly to cyclists.” By Ryan Boetel  Farmington Daily Times. 5/23/2012 OIL AND GAS “12,000 BLM acres back on market for drilling: San Juan Citizens Alliance questions transparency of agency’s leasing decisions.” The Durango Herald 6/20/2013.  Front page, article by Emery Cowan. “Under pressure to push gas.  Race for Carbon Dioxide is producing dividends, environmental issues.”  The Durango Herald 6/22/2013.  Front page, article by Emery Cowan POWER PLANT UPDATES “Sacrifice or opportunity zone? San Juan is energy, pollution epicenter.” By Mona Blaber and Norma McCallan, Four Corners Section of the Rio Grande Sierran, p. 5, July/August/September 2013.  Note: excellent informative article on pollution issues in San Juan County and northwestern New Mexico. “Losing Money, Jobs: City Talks Alternatives on regional haze plan.”  By Debra Mayeux, Tri-City Tribune.  Front page, 8/16/2013.  City of Farmington Council including City Councilor Jason Sandel is contesting NM and Federal clean air demands. “PNM agrees to shut half of San Juan coal plant: but where are the renewables?” PNM, NM agree to reduce coal.  Deal would reduce millions of tons of carbon dioxide....According to the deal, PNM will continue operating Units 1 and 4 at the San Juan coal plant indefinitely but will install on these two remaining units a cheap pollution control technology called Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR)   by Jan. 31, 2016....” By Shrayas Jatkar Beyond Coal organizing representative p. 9 Rio Grande Sierran April/May/June 2013 “Recent Developments on Power Plant Issue: Power   plant   awaits   coal   contract.      FARMINGTON   —   Plans   to   partially   decommission   Four   Corners   Power   Plant   are   on   hold   while   the   plant's   operator   and   mining   company   BHP   Billiton   negotiate   a   contract   to supply two remaining units with coal.” Farmington Daily Times article by Chuck Slothower  Updated:   12/06/2012 Schooling Navajo uranium mine clean-up program “Navajo program trains people to clean uranium mines.”  By Jenny Kane  Article in Native Sun put out by the Farmington Daily Times,  12/7/2012  (this is also notated in the DVD section under the DVD, The River That Harms.  This article discusses the Superfund Job Training Initiative on the Navajo Reservation, with a recent graduation ceremony of 20 Navajo graduates a the Gallup Community Service Center. San Juan College Biology Projects - hantavirus, goji berry, broccoli “San Juan College students project to promote undergraduate research.” By Greg Yee    Front page story 12/10/2012 The article discusses a video which depicts three summer research projects on hantavirus, the goji berry and compounds found in broccoli as part of an interdepartmental project aimed at promoting community college level research and engaging students with real world experience.    The college “wants to spur more undergraduate research at the college.” Streets, City Expansion Into Areas with Pinion/Juniper terrain “Widening Foothills: Council to Staff: Design Project in one phase not two.”  Tri-City Tribune, Vol. 3, No. 38, June 21, 2013.  Front page, by Debra Mayeux.  Note from article: “The Farmington City Council tabled a plan to design a widening project for Foothills Drive to Lakewood Drive, because the council wants a design for the entire length of Foothills Drive.” Environment Children and Teen Education “Summer Adventure.  Camp teaches kids self-confidence through outdoor activities.”  Tri-City Tribune, June 21, 2013, p. A9 by Lauren Duff.  Note on article:  “Juvenile probation teenagers rappel down a 75 foot cliff in Glade Run Recreational Area as part of the annual Summer Adventure Camp organized by the Farmington Police Department’s school resource office division.” Other Areas Near Four Corners “Railway plan moves forward.  Navajo Nation plans great economic opportunity.”  Tri -City Tribune, Vol. 3, No. 37.  Front page by Lauren Duff.  Note on article: “The Navajo Nation is moving forward with plans to develop an industrial park and railway depot in Thoreau.  This could mean rail is on its way to San Juan County.”  6/14/2013. Water (also found in Water Resources section) “Opening Lake Nighthorse by 2014? Hold your horses. Delays are part of the lake’s complicated history.”  Excerpt: In defiance of gravity, water  from the Animas River is piped 600 feet up the hillside from Santa Rita Park to Lake Nighthorse reservoir.  The pumps are so powerful that they could suck the Animas River dry. Almost two years after the reservoir was filled in June 2011, local government officials have not allowed kayaking, bird watching or mountain biking on the 5,500-acre site. Lake Nighthorse might be a case of politics proving to be a bigger obstacle than the laws of physics.  About two miles from downtown Durango, the lake is a temptation for all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts, but it is not yet accessible to the public. Officials now are saying 2014, but they have delayed the opening before.”  Durango Herald 3/23/2013. “No doubt it is a bad drought. Southwest Colorado counties declared disaster areas.” 7/5/2013 Durango Herald front page by Dale Rodebaugh  staff writer.  Excerpt: “The drought conditions that have a firm grip on Southwest Colorado don’t show signs of releasing their hold quickly, a climatologist at the National Drought Mitigation Center said Wednesday.The three-month outlook appears dry and hot. The federal government on Wednesday declared six counties, including La Plata, as primary natural disaster areas because of ongoing severe drought conditions. A couple of events that don’t bode well are happening, said Mark Svoboda.The drought has definitely shifted to the West, Svoboda said, referring to his office’s color-coded map that shows Southwest Colorado in red (extreme drought) but not the purple of exceptional drought that is choking Colorado’s plains counties. Southeast Colorado is in the third year of drought.” Excerpt: “Water Shortage May 27, 2013--Federal, state, tribal Colorado River users to meet in San Diego about water supply concerns (Washington Post) Top water decision-makers from seven Western states plan to join conservation groups and Indian tribes in San Diego on Tuesday to begin hammering out rules for squeezing every useable drop from the overtaxed Colorado River. The work meeting hosted by federal water managers comes amid dire predictions for the waterway. The U.S.”  From: “Water shortages likely!“  Talon, www.  6/16-30/2013.  p. 3  By Robert E. Oxford 505-330-8374.  Excerpt of most of article - please contact Robert Oxford for more information.  “The outlook for shortages, especially on the Animas River, looks almost certain.  Even with the monsoon, you and I know the rains hardly ever come at the right time and the right amounts to eliminate shortages.  The Animas River apparently reached a peak of about 2500 cfs the last week of May, according to my records.  This compares to other years of up to 9000 cfs.  I don’t have data on the San Juan River but I know snowmelt had occurred by June 1st.  Releases from Navajo Reservor for NIIP (NAPI), Jicarilla contracts, Hammond and the fish flows will automatically require 750-900 cfs below the dam and 1,000-1200 cfs to NAPI, or about 4000 acre feet per day demand.  The elevation of the lake is now about 6020 and 5990 is the lowest level NIIP can get water because of the limitation of gravity flow to the reservoir supplying water via the NIIP canal.  Thirty feet of depth in Navajo Reservoir represents about 300,000 AF so at 4,000 per day divided into 300,000 it appears there will be enough water for 75 days or until the middle of September.” Bloomfield area emergency backup water issues: Politicians debate $2M Bloomfield water project.” James Fenton,   Farmington Daily Times 11/30/2012.
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