Gila River Festival – September 13-16


The 8th annual Gila River Festival – in and around Silver City, New Mexico – will celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of the Gila River, NM’s last free-flowing river. Attendees will have opportunities to enjoy expert-guided field trips in the Gila National Forest and along the Gila River, a keynote talk and writing workshop by master storyteller/author Craig Childs, horseback riding, kayaking, visual and performing art exhibits and performances, a film fest, downtown art walk and more.


The Wild River Speaks!” is the theme of the festival. It’s all about stories that connect people to place and community. Guggenheim Fellow photographer Michael Berman’s new book of photos and essays, Gila: Radical Visions, The Enduring Silence will be released during the festival. There will be an opening reception, photography exhibit and book signing at the Bear Mountain Lodge.


Attendees may also witness “The Great Conversation,” a dialogue about personal connections to the Gila River and its watershed among four individuals with different backgrounds and perspectives. They are Pat Toomay, former NFL lineman for the Dallas Cowboys and writer for High Country News, nature and science writer Sharman Apt Russell, The Wilderness Society’s NM state director Michael Casaus, and Red Paint Pow-Wow founder, Joe Saenz.


Guided hikes offered will include birding, geology, medicinal plants, archaeology and rock art. A river kayak trip and a bus tour is also planned. Joe Saenz of WolfHorse Outfitters will offer horseback riding and will talk about the Apache philosophy as it relates to the Gila River.


The Western NM University Expressive Arts Department will offer a live performance of The Singularity, about man’s evolving relationship to water and nature, and our love affair with electronic gadgets. There will be an opening at WNMU’s McCray Gallery of Electro Gila: The Power of Water, a visual multi-media electronic art exhibit. Video shorts will be shown at various locations downtown and at WNMU during the Festival.


For a full festival schedule and to register, contact the Gila Conservation Coalition at 575.538.8078 or




NM PRC Petitioned for Clean Energy Standard

Last month 33 New Mexico organizations representing business, consumer, Native American, environmental, health and other interests, petitioned the NM Public Regulation Commission to establish a voluntary Clean Energy Standard (CES) for electric utilities. That standard would have utilities reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 3 percent per year. The utilities could avoid expensive retrofits and recoup the costs of installing new renewable energy facilities under the proposed rule.


Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that has been shown to significantly contribute to climate disruption. NM has seen its share of climactic changes recently, with two years of record setting wildfires, severe drought conditions and triple-digit temperatures.


Steve Michel, Chief Counsel for Western Resource Advocates’ Energy Program, said “The proposed CES not only provides a mechanism to address risk in a manner and timeframe that protects both utility customers and shareholders, but also accomplishes its important clean air policy objectives with a market-based, technology-neutral, low-cost mechanism.”


The petitioners include the American Lung Association, Amigos Bravos, NM Solar Energy Association, Rio Grande Restoration and the Santa Fe Innovation Park.




New Clean Car Standards Will Slash Pollution and Cut Oil Use

The Obama administration’s new clean car standards will double the fuel efficiency of today’s vehicles by 2025, drastically reducing emissions of carbon and cutting oil use in New Mexico and nationwide. The standards will cover new cars and light trucks in model years 2017-2025, and require those vehicles to meet the equivalent of a 54.5 mile-per-gallon standard by 2025. A joint analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Union of Concerned Scientists projects that by 2030 in NM alone, the standards will cut carbon pollution from vehicles by 1.5 million metric tons–the equivalent of the annual pollution of 240,000 of today’s vehicles–and save 135 million gallons of fuel. The new standards are also projected to save the average consumer $8,000 in fuel savings over the lifetime of a new vehicle.


Together with the administration’s standards covering vehicles in model years 2012-2016, the new standards and their projected cuts in carbon pollution represent the largest single step the US has ever taken to tackle global warming. “Future generations may well look back on this as a decisive step toward breaking our destructive oil addiction,” said Sanders Moore of Environment New Mexico. Physicians for Social Responsibility joined ENM in applauding the announcement.


Design Santa Fe 2012: Unleashing Creativity • Oct. 4-6

As a UNESCO-designated Creative City, Santa Fe is well suited to host an annual celebration of design ideas, products and applications. The eighth annual Design Santa Fe is intended to stimulate the design community through a Design Dialogue luncheon, demonstrate the diversity of good interior design with a Home & Garden Tour, showcase local design-related businesses with a Design Crawl, inspire new forms and design concepts through a Design Lab juried exhibition. Proceeds will benefit the St. Elizabeth Shelter and the Santa Fe chapter of Architecture for Humanity. For ticket information and further details, visit or call 505.983.8817.




NM Watershed Forum 2012 Workshops

In September and October, seven New Mexico watershed organizations will present a series of intensive two-day watershed restoration and protection workshops under the banner of the 2012 NM Watershed Forum, a biennial event sponsored by the NM Environment Department. Interested residents, land stewards, landowners, and professionals are invited to attend. The workshops will offer the latest information, lessons learned, and success stories. For details, contact the organization that is coordinating the workshop that interests you.

The workshops include:

Sept. 21-22, 9 am-4:30 pm at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center in Santa Fe: Caring for Arroyos in Your Neighborhood. Presented by the Santa Fe Watershed Association.


Sept. 26-27 at the Brush Ranch in the Pecos area: The Changing Landscape: The Pecos Watershed and its Future. Presented by the Upper Pecos Watershed Association. 505.757.3500 or


Sept. 28-29, 8:30 am-4:30 pm at the Juniper Hill Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Las Vegas, NM: Preparing for and Adapting to Drought in Northern NM. Presented by the Quivira Coalition.


Late Sept. or Early October in Mosquero, NM and Mills Canyon of the Canadian River: Canadian River Riparian Restoration Project – Treatment Results and Discussion. Presented by the Canadian River Soil and Water Conservation District and NMSU’s Range Improvement Task Force. 575.646.2362 or


Oct. 4-5 at the Grant County Convention Center in Silver City, NM: Rainwater Harvesting: A Graceful Resolution for the Urban River. Presented by Stream Dynamics, Watershed Management Group of Tucson, AZ. the town of Silver City, and the Gila Resources Information Project. 575.590.0549 or


Oct. 6-7, 9 am-5 pm at Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center in Cerrillos, NM: Watershed Restoration: The Cutting Edge – Catching Storing and Using Water Where it Falls. Registration: $35. Scholarships available for Galisteo Watershed residents.


Oct. 17-18 at the Farmington Civic Center and nearby valleys: Four Corners River Health Workshop: Collaborating for Water Quality in the San Juan Basin. Presented by the San Juan Watershed Group. 505.334.3090, ext. 116 or




SFPS Indian Ed Program Awarded Grant for Youth Public Art Project

The Santa Fe Public Schools Indian Education Program has been awarded $25,000 from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. The NMAI Arts Organization Leadership Award is designed for a Youth Public Art Project. The community serviced by this project is to include American Indian students within the Santa Fe Public Schools as well as local surrounding pueblos.

The grant is to benefit children by allowing them an opportunity to work with local artists to learn a new art medium such as mixed media, paint & pottery, photography & film, and incorporating themes such as: Dropout Rates, Identity, My Community: Past and Present, Bullying, and Growing Up Urban. Students involved with the project will receive an art kit with quality supplies for their use creating works at home and to use after the program ends.

Participating artists will include those who currently live in the Southwest, including those from tribes throughout the US. An eight-minute video of the Youth Public Art and Community Workshop projects will be created.

For further information, email, or visit




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