June 2017

La Bajada Village

Surviving the Depression (1929–1941), Enduring World War II (1942–1947), Abandonment, 1950s Drought, Revival (1960–80), Struggle to Remain a Village (1980–2017)


Part III of three articles by Hilario E. Romero



It is truly amazing that the village of La Bajada is still functioning. The concluding article of this series outlines challenges the village endured. The U.S. Census of 1920 shows the Montoya family as the most numerous of families in the village. By the 1940s they were joined by the Gallegos, Sánchez, Ortiz, Gonzales, Dimas, Baca, Armijo, Lucero, Valdez, Martínez, Lueses and Benavides families, among others. With the arrival of the U.S. highway More >

OP-ED: Alejandro López The Path, the Road and the Superhighway

Where are we going?


At the start of the movie Excalibur, when rival groups of roving medieval knights go in search of the Holy Grail, the prevailing culture’s worldview has given rise to dark, heavy armor and apparel, which make the humans clunky and repulsive. As the people of that era merge with their own creations, their society reshapes the people’s consciousness in endless circles of cause and effect.


Then, a sudden revolution in consciousness occurs, and the armor and garments become elegant and resplendent. This revolution has a comparable effect on the bearing and comportment of the people and, in turn, on More >

Lisa Law and Ray Belcher

Vintage New Mexico


Vintage photos spanning 50 years, by two of New Mexico’s longtime residents and photographic chroniclers, Lisa Law and Ray Belcher, are on exhibit this summer at Edition One Gallery. Both photographers offer insight into lands and residents of New Mexico. The exhibition features a selection of one-of-a-kind prints.


Lisa Law has photographed the shifting tides of American culture. Her photography often reflects a sense of intimacy and spontaneity. Law is known for chronicling the era of hippie migration from the West and East coasts to New Mexico, along with their intersections with elders from Taos Pueblo and the communities More >

Embracing the Future to Preserve the Past

How Northern NM College’s El Rito Campus is going solar


Mohammad Ali Musawi


If you regularly make the journey north on NM 554, next winter part of the landscape you are used to seeing will begin to change. Upon entering El Rito, instead of scattered chamisa and sage, you will be greeted by about 4,000 shimmering blue and silver solar panels that could well be mistaken for a body of water from a distance.


The solar array, which will sit on seven acres on the Northern New Mexico College (NNMC) campus in El Rito, is part of an ambitious six-year plan by More >

Española Community Market

A Food Co-op Serving the Española Valley


Andy Salazar


When the Española Community Market (ECM) Cooperative opened its doors on the city’s main street almost five years ago, its founders’ intent was clear. They wanted to start a cooperatively run business that could provide the valley’s residents with organic and locally grown foods. They believed in the typical values associated with a co-op: autonomy, self-responsibility, democracy, community, equity and community solidarity. The co-op’s mission was embodied in its by-laws: “ECM is organized to provide high-quality, natural and organic products at the lowest prices possible, as well as education [about the products it More >

The Río Chama Watershed Congreso


Rosemary Romero


The second Río Chama Watershed Congreso was held in March at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiú, New Mexico. The congreso was convened to discuss issues related to watershed governance and to explore opportunities for broad collaboration to improve conditions in the watershed.


A congreso is an annual meeting where information is shared and everyone is welcome at no cost. For this congreso there was a combined benefit of science from agencies and nonprofits. Participants included the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, acequia parciantes (water rights holders), conservation organizations, students and many others.


Steve Harris, project leader for the Río Chama Watershed Project, More >

Native Medicines for New Mexico Pollinators


Melanie Margarita Kirby


Sol, agua, tierra. The combination of sunlight, water and earth gives us sustenance by nurturing the growth of plants. Plants exchange pollen—their life-giving force—and in doing so, give birth to seeds. These seeds carry on the stories of the plants, from one generation to the next. And while seeds are the stories, who are the storytellers sharing the pollen?  

Those who tend to the elements are considered caretakers of creation. They are the storytellers sharing the seed stories. But before they are able to share these stories with their comadres and compadres and their communities, the seeds themselves had midwives. More >

OP-ED: War on Forests

A Response to “New Mexicans Need Fire-Adapted Communities” (March 2017 GFT)


We, the members of the forest conservation organization Once A Forest, are horrified that Green Fire Times printed a pro-development, anti-environmental, non-historical piece of propaganda by Eytan Krasilovsky as the cover story for its March 2017 issue. The idea that the plants and animals that compose our forests suffer from a deficiency of fire is an outrageous lie, propagated by the U.S. Forest Service in the service of commercial interests that are rapidly destroying our planet. The idea that there are too many trees in the forest, and that we should More >

The Forest Steward Guild’s Response

New Mexico’s ecosystems have evolved and have been shaped by fire


Eytan Krasilovsky


The Forest Stewards Guild prides itself on its mission and principles1 which put the needs of the forest first, and state that the “well-being of human society is dependent on responsible forest management that places the highest priority on the maintenance and enhancement of the entire forest ecosystem.”


With this mission and these principles, the Guild’s Southwest Program implements long-standing forest resilience, fire-adapted communities and forest stewards youth corps programs. These principles are the roots of all of our members’ forest stewardship ethic, which aligns our organization with land ethic More >

Fires of Change and Landscapes of Life and Death

Two exhibitions presented by 516 ARTS deepen relationships to life, death and the fragile ecosystems we inhabit.


“Generally, the idea of death makes people slightly, if not wholly, uncomfortable,” writes curator Mary Anne Redding, “especially when it’s the intimate idea of human death… or the mass destruction of life and landscape after a devastating fire. Yet many artists explore the shape of loss as a meditation on the landscape of death, whether contemplating their own or through a more universal meditation on loss and grief.”


This month presents an important opportunity to look at and deepen our relationships to life, loss, death More >

What Does It Mean to Work for Gender Justice in New Mexico?


Fatima van Hattum and Sarah Ghiorse


What does it mean to work towards gender justice in a time when political leaders on the national and state levels are actively defunding programs and services critical to women and communities most impacted by structural inequities? Over the past year, NewMexicoWomen.Org (NMW.O), along with a team from University of New Mexico, engaged with women and communities around the state in dialogues on this topic. This month we will publish the results in a two-part report titled The Heart of Gender Justice in New Mexico: Intersectionality, Economic Security and Health Equity.


Perhaps the most important theme More >

OP-ED: Pam Roy / Soda Tax and Health: The Work Continues


Just because the voters defeated Santa Fe’s proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages on May 2 doesn’t mean that the city’s dietary health problems have gone away. While the price of soda will remain the same, the ballot initiative did heighten awareness of problems associated with unhealthy eating.


Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in particular and unhealthy foods in general is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic in the United States. According to Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, one in three children in the U.S. is overweight or obese, with the trend disproportionately affecting Hispanic and Native American More >

Newsbites – June 2017

National Parks and Monuments May Lose Protections

National monument designations make lands off-limits to commercial development. President Trump has described national monuments created since 1996 that cover more than 100,000 acres as “a massive federal land grab” that “should never have happened.” The president has proposed reducing or redesignating 27 monuments in 11 states. Under an executive order, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was instructed to produce a final report in 120 days.


Conservationists see Zinke’s review as the first step in turning over monuments to become federal land that can be transferred to state trust lands required to generate income for the More >

What’s Going On? – Albuquerque – June 2017


June 7, 8:30 am–4 pm

NM Recycling Coalition

ABQ Museum, Ventana Salon

Annual meeting and professional recycling training. 6 CEU credits towards NMED and National Sustainable Resource Management Recertification. $100/$175. 505.603.0558, www.recycyclenewmexico.com


June 7, 5:30 pm

First Forum Lecture

National Hispanic Cultural Center

1701 4th St. SW

“Advancing Healthy Politics in New Mexico.” Join New Mexico First for an evening on strengthening and rewarding a healthy democracy in the Land of Enchantment. Featured speakers: retired U.S. Senators Tom Daschle and Trent Lott, co-authors of Crisis Point: Why We Must – and How We Can – Overcome Our Broken Politics in Washington and Across America. Bipartisanship awards will More >

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


June 4–6

Next Generation Water Summit/Green Expo

SF Convention Center

Learn about new tools and models for building to become radically more water-efficient. An event for policymakers, building designers, builders/developers, water conservation professionals, water system designers, landscape designers, land use planners, etc. Educational sessions. Keynote speakers: Ed Mazria, Mary Ann Dickinson. Registration: $299/$50 students. 6/4: Green Expo and Green Home Show. Hosted by the City of SF, SF Green Chamber, Green Builder Coalition, Santa Fe Area Homebuilders Association. www.NextGenerationWaterSummit.com


June 5–30

Art of Academics through Native Connections

Gonzales School

Free, full-day program for rising 1st through 8th grade Native American students. Students work on literacy, math More >

What’s Going On? – Taos – June 2017


June 1–Sept. 29

Earth Bag Building Workshop

Learn to build a sustainable, affordable, off-grid solar home. 575.770.0085, earthandsunsustainablebuilders.com


June 4, 11, 25; July 2,9,16, 1–5 pm

Indigenous Herbalism and Healing Series

Arroyo Seco, NM

Seven classes taught by Grandmother Flordemayo, Emigdio Ballon (Bolivia), Henrietta Gomez (Taos Pueblo), Howard Badhand (Lakota), curandera Tonita Gonzales, Tiffany Freeman (Cree). $350. Natives from local pueblos may pay on a donation basis. 914.400.7558, www.nativerootshealing.com


June 17, 12–6 pm

Rally for the Río/Río Grande del Norte

Orilla Verde Recreation Area

Pilar, NM

Reconnect with the río and conservation organizations. Food, music, fun. Kids welcome. Free float trips for Amigos Bravos members from Los Ríos River Runners. Directions, More >

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


June 4, 9 am–4 pm

Corrales Garden Tour

Corrales, NM

Sweet Tree Farm, devoted to preserving heirloom trees and plants is one of six distinctive, private gardens on the self-guided tour. Tickets: $12/adv., $15 day of tour. www.corrales-gardentour.com, Info: 505.350.3955 or info@corrales-gardentour.com


June 4–10

Geology of Northern NM

Ghost Ranch Education Center near Abiquiú

Class includes 3 full-day excursions, including the Valle Caldera, Río Grande Gorge and a mining district near Dixon. 505.685.1000, ghostranch.org


June 5, 10 am–2 pm

Economic Development Incentives Workshop

El Zócalo, 264 S. Cam. Del Pueblo, Bernalillo, NM

Learn about NM incentive programs, tax credits, financing programs and more. NM Dept. of Workforce Solutions, USDA, Realty One More >