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When was the last time you saw a road-killed rabbit, porcupine, deer or other wild animal? Or, when was the last time you saw a report on television of another bear-sighting in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Española or another New Mexico community? Each occurrence of one of these events is indicative of a wildlife habitat connectivity issue. Wild animals use travel corridors to move from one core living area to another in search of their basic survival needs: food, water, shelter and space in which to live and reproduce in their natural environments. These habitat linkages are vital to maintaining More >
Generally, when we think of wildlife corridors, we think of natural bridges joining larger habitats. The “bridges” allow mammals to move safely across, under or through human developments that have fragmented wildlife habitats. There are other ways to think about corridors. Migratory birds need safe refuges and refueling stops on their sometimes thousand-mile journeys. Think of the rufous hummingbird, which ventures farther north than any other hummingbird and is the smallest long-distance migrant. I have seen them by the dozens in Cordova, Alaska in early May. They dive-bomb every other hummingbird at my feeders in August here in New More >
Mary Ellen Hannibal offers a gripping and informative look at the founding of bioconservation, the scientists and controversies behind environmental science, and the ambitious, necessary extension of theoretical knowledge into practical application with the formation of connected wildlife corridors from Canada to Mexico. Giving equal time to anecdotes and interviews, Hannibal supports her engaging and swift narrative with hard facts. This book is far more engrossing and dramatic than the title suggests; it goes beyond the politics of wildlife protection to present a real history of America’s habitat, the animals within it, the people who study them, and the disparate More >
Jan-Willem Jansens and Charlie O’Leary
Edge Effect, Core Areas and Linkages
Hunters, naturalists and biologists know that many animals migrate and hang out along edges between landscapes or ecosystems. This is not unlike how humans prefer to sit or walk at the edge of a space. Edges offer certain benefits, such as shade, better views, hiding places and more diversity, which is often essential to feel safe, sheltered and comfortable. This phenomenon is called the “edge effect.” In nature, edges are transition zones between two different ecological areas or landscape types. Due to the continuity and diverse ecological benefits of edges in More >
New Mexico Wildways (NMW) was founded in 2009 to address the need for a coordinated, accelerated approach to protection and restoration of key wildlife linkages connecting existing protected areas in New Mexico, with an initial focus on the Galisteo Wildway—one of the most ecologically critical wildlife linkages in New Mexico.
Formation of NMW resulted from the need for collaboration among a wide range of conservation partners in order to accelerate and better coordinate wildlife corridor protection programs. The resulting coalition has worked hard to bring TrekWest to northern New Mexico and will selectively utilize the diverse skills, capacity and experience of More >
New Mexico Renewable Energy Development Requires Reliable but Environmentally Benign Transmission Corridors
The Land of Enchantment may be best known for its breathtaking vistas, scenic mesas and majestic sky islands, but New Mexico may also have the greatest promise for renewable energy of any state with plentiful solar, wind and geothermal resources. A handful of wind and solar projects have been completed, with more in various stages of planning and construction. One critical factor limiting full-scale energy development in NM is the lack of suitable transmission to distribute electricity to urban markets.
Several recent government actions have been critical in advancing development of transmission in the state. In 2009, the state Legislature More >
Hunting in New Mexico’s Acequia Communities Goes Way Back
Juan Estévan Arellano
Acequia people and hunting go way back in northern New Mexico. When the harvest was brought in and the cattle were back in, eating the rastrojo (chaff) after a summer in the sierra (mountains), people prepared for the caza (hunt).
In the past it wasn’t for trophies at all; it was a matter of survival. People from all the villages would all get together and assemble a team of hunters to go after cibolo (buffalo).
Every able-bodied man in the village (and this meant kids in their early teens) would gather and elect someone who had More >
An Interview with Greg Cajete
We are all related, sharing Mother Earth, interconnected in the intricate web of life—species to species. One depends upon the other. In the Native view, these complexities are reflected in everyday life. Greg Cajete, Pueblo scholar, director of Native American Studies at UNM and author of Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence, explains the Native perspective regarding animals and why this is vitally important for the 21st century.
SG: What brought you to these perspectives on Native Science?
GC: I became interested in “Indigenous Philosophies of Nature” as a result of my studies in bio-ecology, animal behavior and American Indian storytelling More >
What Does a Big Restoration Project Really Mean?
Those living in northern New Mexico during the Las Conchas Fire will never forget when fire exploded across the southwest Jémez Mountains, roared through canyons and flaming out across the mesas. The fire started on June 26, 2011 near Las Conchas in the Valles Caldera National Preserve when winds toppled an aspen tree onto a power line. The rest is history.
In the first 13 hours, driven by strong and unpredictable winds, the fire burned 43,782 acres at a rate of about one acre per second. Wildlife that couldn’t run, fly or burrow More >
Stitching Together New Mexico’s Streams and Rivers and Boosting the Outdoor Economy
Dam-building beaver (Castor canadensis) once occupied most streams in New Mexico below tree line. The loss and absence of beaver from significant portions of their historic habitat has disconnected aquatic systems and considerably undermines resilience and adaptation to climate change.
Restoration of aquatic, wetland and riparian ecosystems by beaver can be a simple, elegant and cost-effective way to reconnect currently disjointed fish populations and adapt to climate change. The connectivity of these aquatic ecosystems is critical for fish species whose populations have dwindled and been separated into isolated More >
I live at 6,800 feet in altitude. Last year many of us enjoyed fruit from our trees and shrubs for the first time in several years. A cool spring delayed blossom eruption until temperatures warmed beyond hard-frost likelihood. It will not be a repeated pleasure this year. In late April temperatures in the teens eliminated any hope of fruit developing from bulging buds. Broad-tailed and black-throated hummingbirds are mobbing my feeders. There are very few flowers. Bees are coming to hummingbird feeders. There are very few flowers. A combination of extended drought and late spring freezes has taken a More >
See how the built environment can contribute to a healthier, more sustainable community.
The annual Greenbuilt Tour, presented by the US Green Building Council—NM Chapter—on June 8-9, highlights building practices that are attractive, practical and affordable. There are 18 homes on this year’s tour, from Albuquerque, Río Rancho, Placitas, Sandia Park, Santa Fe, Lamy to Abiquiú and Valdez. They were selected as examples of the whole-house design approach, integrating tight construction and energy-efficient building envelopes with healthy indoor living environments. There are examples of passive solar design; straw bale, pumicecrete, and adobe construction; innovative heating and cooling systems, including geothermal, cooled More >
It’s summer. A hot and dry one. You’re outside gardening until the heat becomes too much and you head inside to chill, but the heat is radiating down on you, so you turn on the swamp cooler or air conditioner. Then you remember last month’s electric bill and you turn the coolers off and look for a fan that uses less electricity, and you wonder, “Isn’t there a better way to live?”
Yes there is! It’s as easy as painting your roof white, but not with off-the-shelf house paint! According to local independent contractor John Grisak, there are over 1,000 More >
What do you do when the choice is obvious, but when the decision resulting from this choice challenges the law, the status quo, and the popular culture? Such a choice was put before the Mora County Commission this past April. In spite of this conflict, Chair John Olivas and Vice-chair Alfonso Griego voted to pass into law a “Bill of Rights” protecting citizens’ health, safety and welfare over complying with state and federal legal doctrines that give “big oil” the privileged rights to drill and frack Mora County.
The end of slavery, the recognition of women’s rights and the civil More >
“Dramatic Decline” Warning for Common Plants and Animals
A paper published last month in the journal Nature Climate Change says that more than half of common plant species and a third of animals could see a serious decline in their habitat range because of climate change. Scientists quoted in the paper say, however, that the losses can be reduced if rapid action is taken to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
A separate new study has found that frogs, toads, salamanders and other amphibians in the US are dying off so quickly that they could disappear from half their habitats in the next 20 More >
This Time, This Place Exhibition
Open Space Visitor Center, 6500 Coors NW
Photo exhibit by local photographers of Open Space lands: the West Mesa, the Río Grande Valley and bosque, foothills of the Sandias. Reception: 6/8, 3-5 pm
June 3-8, 10 am-4:30 pm
UNM Science and Math Learning Center
Scientific and Community Panel Forums. Four panel discussion focus on the design and implementation of a solutions-based sustainable industrial pollination framework to protect the N. American food supply. 6/3: Organic beekeeper Tomas Urrea, author Dr. Valerie Solheim; 6/4 keynote: permaculturalist Dr. Paul Wheaton. Tickets: $18-$25. 510.213.4402, firstname.lastname@example.org
June 3, 10-11 am
Wildlife Habitat Garden Tour
ABQ Garden Center, More >
Through Jan. 5, 2014
New World Cuisine: Histories of Chocolate, Mate y Mas
Museum of International Folk Art
Exhibit focuses on the mixing of food cultures in the Americas. 505.476.1200, internationalfolkart.org
Through March 16, 2014
Cowboys Real and Imagined
NM History Museum
This exhibit explores NM’s contribution to the cowboys of both myth and reality from the 1600s to the present day.
Spring Festival and Children’s Fair
El Rancho de las Golandrinas, La Cienega
June 2, 10 am-5 pm
Savor the Flavor Festival
Museum of Intl. Folk Art, 706 Cam. Lejo
Locally owned NM food business will operate booths offering food for sample and sale. Presented by Delicious NM and the More >
National River Clean-up Day
NM Trade Mission to Mexico City
Business opportunities for NM-Mexico trade facilitated by the NM Economic Development Dept’s Office of Intl. Trade. Info: 505.827.0315, Edward.email@example.com
June 3, 21 Application Deadlines
Con Alma Health Foundation Grants
Grants to nonprofits that promote health equity in NM. 6/3: Grant cycle for Small Grants, 6/21: Northern NM Health Grant Group. Details: http://conalma.org
Pack Light, Be Light
Ghost Ranch Conference Center, Abiquiu, NM
Introductory backpacking seminar. Classroom sessions and 3-day backpack trip. $495 + lodging & meals. 877.804.4678, ext. 4152, www.ghostranch.org
Kit Carson Electric Co-op Annual Meeting
Taos High School Gymnasium, Taos, NM
June 15, 2:30-3:30 pm
Earth Sheltering More >