Green Fire Times

The Green Fire Times is published by Skip Whitson, edited by Seth Roffman with design by Anna Hansen, webmaster Karen Shepherd and Breaking News editor Stephen Klinger. All authors retain all copyrights. If you need to contact a particular author, or want to write for us, please be in touch.


Posts by Green Fire Times

Profile of the Santa Fe Watershed Association on its 20th Anniversary


Kristina G. Fisher


With education, stewardship, advocacy and on-the-ground restoration, the Santa Fe Watershed Association has worked tirelessly since 1997 to protect and restore the health and vibrancy of the Santa Fe River and its watershed for the benefit of people and the environment. 


When the river comes to life with flowing water each spring, it is thanks in part to SFWA’s advocacy of the 2012 “Santa Fe River Target Flow for a Living River” ordinance, which made Santa Fe the first city in New Mexico to set aside water to provide for annual river flows. For over 15 years, the SFWA More >

Journey Santa Fe’s 10 Years of Weekly Community Dialogues


Seth Roffman


JourneySantaFe was created to offer a platform to all sectors of the community and to provide ideas and information “that can effect change and solutions for the greater good.” Since 2007, JSF has offered weekly presentations by notable people who are engaged in environmental, social, cultural, political and policy issues that impact Santa Fe and New Mexico. Journey’s events take place every Sunday at 11 a.m. for about an hour, at Collected Works bookstore. The dialogues are usually moderated by author/entrepreneur Alan Webber or former KSFR News Director Bill Dupuy. The events are recorded by Geoff Cheshire and broadcast More >

Acequia Madre Spring Cleaning


Phillip Bové


Every year at this time, cleaning the Acequia Madre is paramount on our minds. As the mayordomo used to say, “It is the first priority.” To the old people, it was time to sacar (clean out) the waterways. I like to hear stories of the old parciantes (water-rights owners), like the time there was a fish in the acequia, escaped from the reservoirs; or when they would wait for St. John’s Feast day, when everyone would enjoy the water. Making dams to trap the water was fun. They weren’t deep enough to swim in; only to wade in ankle-deep. We More >

OP-ED / The President’s Budget and Executive Order Rolling Back the Clean Water Rule

What They Mean for New Mexico


Rachel Conn



Water is precious in New Mexico. Without it, our way of life is threatened and our communities suffer.


On Feb. 28, 2017 President Trump signed an executive order rolling back the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Water Rule, also known as the Waters of the U.S. Rule. This order reverses years of work to ensure that New Mexicans have clean water needed for drinking, irrigating and recreating. The order directs the EPA’s director, Scott Pruitt, to initiate the lengthy legal process of rescinding and rewriting the rule. This could take years. This order and More >

OP-ED / The Counterculture: A Great Underground


Jack Loeffler


Jack Kerouac referred to it as the subterraneans in his novel of that name. Gary Snyder traces it back in time as the great underground. Asha Greer refers to it as the marginaux. Theodore Roszak dubbed it the counterculture in 1969. I think of it as a great stream of interwoven cultures of practice of resistance and creative alternatives to a mainstream culture whose hierarchy are defined by economic status, white supremacy, and politics governed by corporate mandate. The Civil Rights Movement, Black Panther Movement, Women’s Liberation Movement, Gay Liberation Movement, Psychedelic Movement, Chicano Movement, American Indian Movement, Back-to-the More >

Newsbites – May 2017


Water Case Moves Forward

Aquifer Science is wholly owned by two shell corporations, one of which is a subsidiary of Vidler Water Co., a major water developer in the western U.S. The company proposed a luxury resort/subdivision north of Sandia Park, but the project has been dormant (with the exception of the water rights fight) for more than a decade. The companies have spent more than $5 million to date to obtain the water rights, which could be sold to a third party if granted.

The residents are represented by the nonprofit New Mexico Environmental Law Center. NMELC asked the court to More >

What’s Going On? – Albuquerque – May 2017


May 4, 11:30 am–1 pm

Water as Destiny Series

Hotel Andaluz, 125 Second St. NW

“Exploring the Nexus between Water & Economic Development.” 2nd luncheon in a series on regional water innovations. Speaker: John Freisinger, president, Technology Ventures Corp. $50/$30/$25. Presented by Urban Land Institute-NM.


May 7–10

Governor’s Conference on Hospitality and Tourism

ABQ Convention Center

Presentations, panel discussions and demonstrations related to hotel & tourism sales, tourism/product development, operations management, hotel & tourism marketing. $229–$429. Presented by the NM Hospitality Assn.


May 10, 9–10:30 am

Agricultural Collaborative

MRCOG Office, 809 Copper NW

Monthly meeting of citizens, growers, farmers, producers, food processors, buyers, representatives from agencies & organizations. 505.247.1750,, More >

What’s Going On? – Santa Fe – May 2017


May 3, 9, 13, 20

Sustainable Santa Fe Community Conversations

Help SF become a thriving green city and leader in caring for our environment, economy and each other. Learn about the ongoing development of SF’s 25-year Sustainability Plan. Share your ideas and creative solutions. 5/3 and 5/9, 5:30–7:30 pm. Intro by Mayor Javier Gonzales. 5/3: Genoveva Chávez Center, 3221 Rodeo Rd; 5/9: Hotel SF, 1501 Paseo de Peralta; May 13, 1–3 pm: Southside Library, 6599 Jaguar Dr; May 20, 2–4 pm: Chainbreaker, 1515 5th St. Food, refreshments, childcare, bilingual services provided.


May 5, 4:30–6:30

Climate and Social Justice Poster Contest

SF Community College

High More >

What’s Going On? – Taos – May 2017


May 4, 9 am–4 pm

Taos Land and Water Conference

Sagebrush Inn and Conference Center

Dialogue with local experts, practitioners and community members. Keynote by Dr. Sylvia Rodríguez. Panel presentations on climate change, innovation in agriculture and more. Sponsored by Taos Land Trust, Amigos Bravos, NMSU Taos Cooperative Extension Services and Alianza AgriCultura de Taos. $15 includes lunch. Students free.


May 30–Sept. 29

Earth Bag Building Workshop

Learn to build a sustainable, affordable, off-grid solar home.


Third Weds. Monthly

Taos Entrepreneurial Network

Taos County Courthouse Mural Room, Taos Plaza

Networking, presentations and discussion. Free.


Farmer-to-Farmer Training

Taos County and Española Valley

Learn to be an organic acequia farmer. The NM Acequia More >

What’s Going On? – Here & There – May 2017


May 6–7

Zuni Pueblo MainStreet Festival

Zuni Pueblo, NM

5th annual celebration of local businesses and artists. Presentations, traditional dancers, carnival.


May 16-18

Recycling Facility Operators Course

ABQ, Carlsbad, Ratón, Silver City, NM

The NM Environment Dept. Solid Waste Bureau, in partnership with the NM Recycling Coalition, hosts two recycling and two compost facility operators certification courses each year.


May 2017–July 2018

New Mexico Agricultural Leadership Program

NM State University, Las Cruces

Designed for men and women in the early stages of leadership careers in agriculture, food and natural resources. Participants meet 8 times over 15 months including 6 in-state seminars and in Washington, D.C. 575.646.6691,,


May 29–Aug. More >

Journey Santa Fe: A Conversation with Dr. Veronica García , Superintendent, Santa Fe Public Schools

Journey Santa Fe sponsors Sunday morning gathering of progressive thinkers who explore, through presentations, issues that influence our daily lives and the lives of future generations. All conversations are FREE and OPEN to the public and take place at 11 am at Collected Works Bookstore & Iconik Coffee House (202 Galisteo St. in Santa Fe, NM).

April 30, 2017 – Sunday, 11 am @Collected Works Bookstore & Iconik Coffeehouse

A Conversation with Dr. Veronica García , Superintendent, Santa Fe Public Schools Journey Host: Alan Webber

Veronica García has pushed for a comprehensive approach to educational reform by advocating for increased funding for programs More >

Hundreds to Participate in May Day Marches and Rallies Across New Mexico on Monday

SANTA FE, NM–On Monday, May 1, International Workers Day, hundreds of immigrants and allies will participate in marches and rallies across New Mexico as part of a national day of action, according to Somos un Pueblo Unido, an immigrant-led activist group.

The Trump administration continues to use its power to ramp up deportations of immigrant workers, families and youth. In addition to tearing families apart, these actions could devastate local economies, especially in New Mexico’s rural communities. Immigrant workers throughout the state are rising up to defend their families and remind lawmakers how vital they are to key industries and local More >

Trump executive order imperils several New Mexico National Monuments

As expected, President Donald Trump issued an executive order Wednesday instructing the Department of the Interior to review all national monuments protected in the last 21 years.

This could impact Organ Mountains and Rio Grande del Norte National Monuments, established in 2014 and 2013 respectively. Both national monuments are important economic drivers for the local community, providing tourism and jobs. What’s more, national monuments and other protected public lands provide gateway communities with a competitive edge in attracting employees and businesses. The order could ultimately upend protections for millions of acres of public lands across the country.

It appears the executive order More >

Journey Santa Fe: No program Easter Sunday

Journey Santa Fe sponsors Sunday morning gathering of progressive thinkers who explore, through presentations, issues that influence our daily lives and the lives of future generations. All conversations are FREE and OPEN to the public and take place at 11 am at Collected Works Bookstore & Iconik Coffee House (202 Galisteo St. in Santa Fe, NM).

No Program on April 16, 2017 Collected Works Bookstore is closed for Easter Sunday

April 23, 2017 – Sunday, 11 am at Collected Works Bookstore & Iconic  Coffeehouse

The Year of the Library, Celebrating Santa Fe’s Successes and Planning for the Future. With Libraries Director PAT HODAPP More >

Journey Santa Fe: Today’s Challenges On Immigration and Sanctuary Cities

Journey Santa Fe sponsors Sunday morning gathering of progressive thinkers who explore, through presentations, issues that influence our daily lives and the lives of future generations. All conversations are FREE and OPEN to the public and take place at 11 am at Collected Works Bookstore & Iconik Coffee House (202 Galisteo St. in Santa Fe, NM).

April 9, 2017 – Sunday, 11 am @Collected Works Bookstore &  Iconik Coffeehouse

Today’s Challenges On Immigration and Sanctuary Cities, With Somos Un Pueblo Unido Executive Director MARCELA DIAZ Journey Host: Alan Webber

Solos Un Pueblo Unido is a community-based, immigrant led organization for worker and racial More >

Decolonizing Nature: Resistance, Resilience, Revitalization

 An interdisciplinary environmental justice conference hosted by UNM, April 19–22


Subhankar Banerjee


The colonization of nature under capitalism is rooted in an ethos that views human beings as separate to and above nature—Earthmasters for whom the planet is an inexhaustible reservoir of natural resources to be exploited. With profit as the prime motive, the resources are denuded beyond sustainable limits for the disproportionate benefit of a wealthy few. Pollution and waste from this activity also are skewed in their impact, in this case to the substantial detriment of poor and marginalized people, indigenous communities and biotic life. Capital’s colonization of nature has More >

Earth Day Events




April 19–22, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Earth Day Celebration

ABQ Biopark

Learning experiences that explore how our actions matter to plants, animals and the ecosystem. Discovery stations and hands-on activities. $4–$12.50. 4/19: The Aquarium; 4/20: The Zoo; 4/21: Tingley Beach; 4/22: The Botanic Garden. 505.848.7180,,


April 20, 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

UNM’s 9th Annual Sustainability Expo

Cornell Mall, east of the Student Union building, 8900 Central SE

Local growers’ market, alternative transportation, interactive displays and demos on energy conservation, waste reduction and sustainable lifestyle practices. Handcrafted art, entertainment and food trucks. Organized by UNM Sustainability Studies students.


April 22, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.

Resilience Garden

Indian Pueblo Cultural More >

Northern New Mexico College’s Renewable Energy Festival


“Bringing Power to the People” April 21–22


Northern New Mexico College in Española will host its first annual Renewable Energy Festival on April 21 and 22. The event will provide opportunities for the public to learn about and get involved with the transition to the new energy economy.


Friday evening, from 6-8 p.m., there will be a reception and performances at NNMC’s Nick Salazar Center for the Arts Theater featuring Dancing Earth Indigenous Contemporary Creations, youth hoop dancers from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, Peñasco Theater Collective, Moving Arts Española, Mina Fajardo Chuscales Flamenco, Cipriano Vigil, Marcos Cavalcante and David García, and the Sikh More >

Seeking True North: Realigning Northern New Mexico College with a Quest for Excellence and an Ethic of Service


Alejandro López


There is no place in the world where I would rather be.

— NNMC President Rick Bailey, Ph.D


If institutions, like the individuals who steer them, become infirm, lose their strength and sense of direction, can they recover their health, power and bearings? Northern New Mexico College, with new president Dr. Rick Bailey at the helm, will soon demonstrate that this may indeed be the case—if he is able to translate his vision into reality.


Founded as a land-grant institution under the Territorial Constitution in 1909, NNMC had its beginnings in an educational process aimed specifically at developing certain skills and abilities More >

Education as Offering: Braiding Community, College and Plant Stories


By Patricia Trujillo Ph.D., with NNMC students Joy Dili, Erik García, Evelynne González, Michelle Martínez, Codiee Myles, Shayna Porter, Nicole Soderberg and Tatiana Smith


We dedicate this article to the late Emily “Awa Povi” Martínez from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. Joy Dili interviewed Ms. Martínez for the Plant Stories assignment featured in this article. She was an elder who shared important plant knowledge and the Tewa names of plants. She passed away very shortly after the interview. We offer our story to honor our elders and ancestors.


Many of us in the Norte are taught since a young age to give a ceremonial offering More >