GFT May/June 2022

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Green Fire Times is a platform for regional, community-based voices—useful information for residents, businesspeople, students and visitors—anyone inter ested in the history and spirit of New Mexico and the Southwest. GFT’s small, dedicated staff and multitude of contributors generate articles documenting the interrelationship of community, culture, the environment and the regional economy. The sustainability of our region affects all of us, and requires people from all backgrounds working together to create solutions. One of the unique aspects of GFT is that it provides multicultural perspectives that link green, cutting-edge innovations with time-honored traditions.

Storytelling is at the heart of community health. We have an opportunity to change the story going forward, which can lead to positive transformational change. GFT shares inspiring stories of hope and community action. By helping our communities discover who they once were and what they can become, a more positive future can be created.

Of course, it is an extremely challenging time to continue to produce a free, quality, independent publication. Production costs have greatly increased. Many local and regional publications have folded or have been bought up by corpo rate entities. Fortunately, a growing number of publications are receiving boosts from nonprofits that are devoted to protecting journalism. GFT is owned by Southwest Learning Centers, Inc. (est. 1973), a nonprofit educational organi zation. SWLC provides a mentorship program for some of GFT’s writers, aspir ing journalists and documentarians.

Green Fire Times is struggling to survive. We also need funding to upgrade our online archive and make 13 years of articles more accessible to community members, students and researchers. Don’t assume that someone else will help. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation through our website, or send a check made out to Southwest Learning Centers (with a notation ‘for GFT’) to P.O. Box 8627, Santa Fe, N.M. 87504-8627. Also, please advertise! The print edition—currently published every other month, while our website is updated more frequently—is widely distributed from Albuquerque to Taos and beyond. For a rate sheet, visit GREENFIRETIMES.COM

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U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) toured the John T. Har rington Forestry Research Center in Mora, N.M on April 20, days before the center was evacuated due to wildfires in the area. (See page 17.)

© Seth Roffman


Every Community Has a Story

I live in Agua Fría Village, five miles southwest of the Santa Fe Plaza. It has probably been there since 1603, plus, it was home to Native Americans dating back to 7,500 BCE. Our elders told us that if we found an old nail in the dirt, it was the an tepasados (ancestors) trying to tell us something. It is considered lucky. There are at least 1,200 small communities in New Mexico that have no formal government, meaning that they are not an incor porated village or town. The only organizational structures they have are the mayordomo of the acequia and the may ordomo of the church. Mapmakers, and eventually the Census Bureau, for the last 200 years, have referred to them as “Places of Set tlement”—a definite spot on the map. But to those that live there, it is so much more. Every community has a story—from its initial settlement and through the ages. A history of good times and bad times. A shared story of why the place, the land, the water and the people were truly important.

In New Mexico, that means communities of Hispanos, Indigenous (usually Puebloan) Native Americans and Genízaros (typical ly, Indigenous or orphaned Hispano children who had been captured and enslaved by other Indian tribes,

whom Franciscan monks were under legal obligation to rescue by paying ransom and caring for in frontier communities) who settled an area of the state sometime after colonization in 1598 and remained there for gener ations—some to this day. What held people at a place most often was a good farming and ranching area settled by their parents and grandparents. So, that initial family drove communities into existence. These communi ties are spread out all over the landscape but are threatened by unbridled development, much like Cieneguitas, the farming community based on a series of springs, that was obliterated by the cancerous growth (annexation) of the City of Santa Fe.

Santa Fe County in the 1990s created a countywide plan, which they referred to as “Places of the Heart.” The planning done by professionals and citizens struggled to deal with the 36 Traditional Communities in the county (the simple definition of “traditional” being a place of settlement over 100 years in age). The county planners (including former UNM Professor of Architecture and Planning Arnie Valdez) recognized there was something special and unique about each community that needed to be recognized and preserved. To me, it was reminiscent of querencia, or the “sense of place.”

Querencia is a metaphysical concept in the Spanish language. The term comes from the verb “querer,” which means “to desire.” It has also been defined as “homing instinct, a favorite place” – Larousse Gran Diccionario Español Inglés – English Spanish (1994).

In the book: Querencia: Reflections on the New Mexico Homeland, Levi Romero wrote an introduction titled: Mi Querencia: A Connection between Place and Iden

tity. As he explores this concept, it really defines what that “sense of place” actually means to a person and a community-at-large. There is an ethnic identity, a cultural landscape and an awareness of belonging. It truly is a concept that tugs at the heart—a magical, spiritual embodiment of “who you are and where you are from.” Throughout the book, Romero quotes his friend and mentor, Juan Estévan Arellano whose writing graced the Green Fire Times until his untimely death in 2014.

As people settle into a Traditional Community, they need to learn about its history, culture and customs.
These communities are threatened by unbridled development.
Santa Fe County created a countywide plan, which they refered to as “Places of the Heart.”
Cooking a cabrito (little goat) with beans underground for a birthday celebration in the Village of Agua Fría. Photo by William Mee Above: Children outside home in Agua Fría Village, 1910. Museum of NM #014105 2010 Santa Fe River blessing procession passes the San Isidro Church in Agua Fría

The Santa Fe City Council, in the early 2000s (which included two historians), denigrated Agua Fría Village as not being a true “village” because it did not have a plaza. We have come to find out that most villages do not have a plaza, but are instead deemed to be a village because they settled next to a source of water and have a crossroads, like feeders into El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro.

As people settle into a Traditional Community, they need to learn about its history, culture and customs. These are things that need to be preserved and adapted to. It may be difficult for someone from New York, L.A., Miami or Portland to understand this. They cannot change a traditional community into New York or L.A. Instead, build on what is here. Recognize your community’s humility and deep reverence for and connection to the land and water.

So, what should “newcomers” do? You can “fit in” by respecting the culture and trusting and honoring its elders. It is more than not knocking down an old adobe structure on your property and adding a swimming pool where it stood. It takes finding out about your community’s story. It is attending community events and joining in the pot-luck. Maybe it is slowing down and listening to others. Helping by volunteering to plan La Posadas for Christmas, and San Isidro Day, May 15. Newcomers can have a real place in the community by coming to understand its values and needs. They can volunteer to be the secretary of the Acequia Association, a thankless job for many of our elders.

After a few years, you too will have that reverence for and connection to the land and water. You will hear the New York Philharmonic when the Coro plays at church. You will run around in the rain like a nut after a long dry spell, take a picture of the smallest flowers, stop work to listen to a quail, stop the local acequia meeting to watch a sunset, and wonder in the mystical certainty of community life. ¢

William H. Mee is the president of the Agua Fría Village Association, Acequia Agua Fría, and the Agua Fría Wellowners’ Association. He is a retired state employee, farmer-rancher and amateur historian.

Fría, 1912.

Día de San Juan Fiesta (June 24)

child is Herminio Baca (1911-2006). From

collection of Elvira Baca Montoya (1908-2002)

Learn to build an adobe house. Discover the secrets of cultivating algae and creating biofuels. Study aquaponics and hydroponics. Find out how to grow using controlled environment agriculture systems. Do all these things and more at Santa Fe Community College! Summer and Fall now registering. Sustainable Technologies at SFCC LEARN MORE. SFCC.EDU/SUSTAIN | 505-428-1270 Workers in Agua
They came from a field to the
to celebrate. The

A Letter from the City of Santa Fe Historian

Dear Fellow Santa Feans,

In August 2021, Santa Fe’s City Council voted unanimously to appoint me as the fourth city historian. This ceremonial position allows me to serve as a resource for historical information and to record and reflect on community strengths and con cerns. To promote critical dialogue, during a process of broad public engagement, I present knowledge with transparency that promotes understanding and stewardship of both tangible and intangible cultural history.

As I accepted the appointment, I thought about the network of organizations within the city and region that care about issues of equity and justice, and how decisions are made through the political process at the state’s capitol. Equity cannot happen without justice. In order to have a system-level change, we need people-power—the majority of people fighting for that change. So, how do we get there?

I echo the mantra of many social justice organizations, “that our community needs to have honest dialogue about our society, humanity and the future—but that requires trust. Trust requires truth. Truth leads to accountability, which leads to tangible change.”

Bringing to light aspects of our sometimes dark history is not easy, but we can do so with the intention of building trust through honest dialogue. And if, in our quest for truth and reconciliation, our approach is truly equitable, we must acknowledge the power dynamics which have failed to affirm Indigenous ownership of land, and si lenced certain knowledge, languages and accounts of lived experiences. Our collective wisdom has the power to inform our society, shape laws and social policies, and serve as a guide for future generations.

The human occupation of Santa Fe has, in many ways, been dependent upon in nate connections with the natural world, as well as spiritual and cultural ties to the environment. Both the corridor between México City and northern New Mex ico, and the Santa Fe Trail, were routes used to trade goods, share stories, cultural practices and ideas with Indigenous communities of the Southwest region for hundreds of years before the Spanish arrived.

Colonial governance transformed the landscape through land grants, and introduced new species of plants and animals. Hispano res idents joined forces to combat oppressive policies of corrupt politicians and stolen land grants. They also instituted environmental stew ardship practices of farming and acequia maintenance, and established annual cultural celebrations.

Santa Fe’s history also includes very significant and stark events such as the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, The Long Walk, in which hundreds of Navajos were marched through the city to an internment camp at Bosque Redondo (1864-66), and the confinement of Japanese Americans at a prison camp during World War II.

Transformative changes have shaped the city and its governance, such as the ending of human slave trade and forced labor practices, and prison reform. The population and social structure were also impacted by assimilation practices at three Indian schools, an influx of tuberculosis patients, and new resources and a new population brought by the railroad. These changes fueled gentrification and urban development, to the detriment of the natural environment.

In our most recent history, hundreds of area residents have come together to advocate for a “Living River,” just housing rights and eviction protection, women’s rights, prison reform, anti-discrimination policies for African Americans, a clean environment, nuclear disarma ment, global peace and solutions to the current climate crisis.

Today, diverse multicultural arts, cultural and educational institutions give Santa Fe a strong sense of place. Santa Fe is unique in that it is both a small town and an international center. Thousands of visitors from around the world enjoy the city’s historic architecture, recreational opportunities, art markets and multi-ethnic cuisines.


Since my appointment as historian, I have gathered thoughts and ideas from the commu nity for the creation of ArcGIS Storymaps, which is being developed to serve as a tool to enhance learning and build knowledge of Santa Fe’s past. This digital tool reflects historical truths and uplifts our multicultural community’s shared values.

People’s lived experiences are key to a deeper understanding of history.

The public is invited to click on three Storymap links featured on the city’s website, and browse resources that include archival photos, histor ical essays, videos and maps. The first Storymap features historically significant places in Santa Fe and the surrounding area. The second, “Layers of Santa Fe,” is an assembly of maps starting with spatial geology, topography, types of vegetation, air flow, and land use of the state and region. The third offers lesson plans and resources for K-12 teachers, with question prompts and ideas for how to use the historical Storymaps.

During the summer of 2022, the City of Santa Fe Arts and Culture Department will also share a virtual interactive tool for younger generations that offers perspectives on history and place. Its content is meant to spark important conversations about the values of our society and the future society we wish to create.

We live in an age where vast amounts of information are available through the internet. The digital learning tools being created for Santa Fe are simply a compilation of infor mation from scholars, residents, leaders, and different perspectives that serve to tell one collective truth—our shared history.

The Truth & Reconciliation process that the city of Santa Fe is embarking on requires acknowledgement of harsh truths and historical trauma that persists from centuries of pol icies of eradication, assimilation, oppression, displacement and erasure. It will take concert ed work from all elements of our community to build trust and move toward understand ing and peace. Each of us must do our research and learning, and then decide what we do with that knowledge. Your ideas, feedback and suggestions about how I can incorporate the history of Santa Fe into my creative endeavors for the city are welcome.

Valerie Rangel has a background in Cultural Anthropology of the Southwest and Native American Studies. She has a graduate degree in environmental studies and public health. She has taught college history classes, worked as an archivist for the New Mexico Records Center and Archives and for the New Mexico Office of the State Historian.

Wildfire smoke hangs over downtown Santa Fe, April 2022 © Seth Roffman




As you browse the ArcGIS Storymaps, take some time to think about the following questions:

1. Is there a specific period of history, area of interest, or place for which you feel more information and historical research could help the community of Santa Fe?

2. Are there sites in and around the city that you feel should be promoted more? Is there information and perspectives from these places you think should be highlighted?

3. Is there an important moment or event that you feel should be commemorated by the city? How best can visitors, residents and youth learn about this history? (Digital format, book, website, etc.?)

4. What significant historical events do you feel should be taught in schools and promoted to visitors? Are there specific people associated with these events whose voices and perspectives should be uplift ed? Do you have any resources, information or links that could provide additional learning opportuni ties for the general public?

5. Can you identify any stories associated with specific places within the city and surrounding area that you feel the City of Santa Fe should highlight?

6. Are there important historic places that are threatened, are in need of restoration or have been lost?

7. Do you think that there are controversial places, monuments, or historic sites in Santa Fe? If so, where/what are they? How should their history and presence be addressed?

8. What recommendations do you have for a more equitable process that can ensure the history of diverse perspectives are included through the City of Santa Fe and collaborative agencies?

9. Do you have a story to share?

This is an important moment in time for the United States as a nation, for Santa Fe and for New Mexico to reflect on the historical context that has led to present-day conditions. It is important to recognize that people’s lived experiences are not always found in textbooks, but are also key to a deeper understanding of history.

Anyone interested in submitting a historical essay on a specific site, subject, or significant event, photos, news paper clippings, or other physical materials, please contact the Santa Fe Librarian. All Santa Fe residents who would like to digitally record their story are also encouraged to participate in the Neighborhood Historians

Project offered through the Santa Fe Library.

The Neighborhood Historians Project address es the imperative need for community-centered history-gathering, where the process is just as important as the content being recorded. Commu nity members will be trained to use professional recording equipment, gather oral histories among their friends and family, edit their recordings into fluid storytelling, and archive their creations in a public digital repository hosted by the Santa Fe Public Library. In addition to documenting community memory, we hope to foster a sense of belonging and cultural ownership among Santa Feans, providing space for them to tell their own stories on their own terms.

Through community workshops, storybooths and skills training, the Neighborhood Historians Project seeks to empower Santa Feans to become co-creators of a rich living history, encourage com munity dialogue, healing and a collective determi nation of where our story goes from here.

This program is made possible thanks to the Santa Fe Public Library, Northern Río Grande National Heritage Area, Littleglobe, NEWMEXICOWOMEN. ORG , National Endowment for the Arts, Santa Fe Arts & Culture Program, Manitos Community Memory Project, Capital High School, and the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library.

For more information, contact: Dylan Tenorio: 505.980.6218, DYLAN@LITTLEGLOBE.ORG





Many Worlds Are Born (Feb. 19 – May 14)

Technologies of the Spirit (June 11 – Sept. 3) Curated by Ric Kasini Kadour and Alicia Inez Guzmán, Ph.D.

516 ARTS, 516 Central Ave. SW, Downtown Albuquerque Free. Tues.–Sat. 12–5 pm; First Fridays, 5–7 pm 505-242-1445, 516ARTS.ORG

Millions of worlds are born, evolve and pass away into nebulous, unmeasured skies; and there is still eternity. Time always. — Rudolfo Anaya

Art Meets History spans two exhibitions. Both are accompanied by a series of in-person public conversations and activities that bring together historic content and contemporary art. The project looks at how the divergent histories of race, conflict and colonialism in New Mexico inform how we imagine our futures.

Many Worlds Are Born (Part 1) takes a cue from the late Chicano writer Rudolfo Anaya, best known for his fictional, but still true portrait of New Mexico, Bless Me, Última. The light, the land, the mysticism and the people were all his subjects—kinfolk in a constella tion that spanned generations. Along the same lines, the expansive content of this group exhibition also spans multiple generations and understandings of New Mexico’s many histories, worlds born from beauty, violence and a deep sense of place.

Artists in this exhibition include Margarita Paz-Pedro (Laguna Pueblo), Leo Vicenti (Jicarilla Apache), Joanna Keane López (Socorro), Juanita J. Lavadie (Taos), EveNSteve, Jeanna Penn, Marlena Robbins (Diné), Nikesha Breeze and Diego Medina (Piro-Man so-Tiwa).

Co-Curator Ric Kasini Kadour writes, “A premise of this exhibition is that history is not a single, linear narrative, but many threads woven together. Ruptures in the fabric of society can be traced to broken historical threads. While we may know our own history, we may not know the history of others. Erasure, denial, forced amnesia and an unwill ingness to confront inconvenient and uncomfortable histories allow systems of oppres

sion to persist. The antidote, I believe, is to learn as much as we can about the histories of others. Through this, we can repair the social fabric and build a society that is just and fair for all people.

Each of the artworks in this exhibition is rooted in the artist’s history. They are boxes to unpack, onions to peel. We invite you to enjoy these artworks and to dig into the histories behind them. This is not an exhibition you visit once. If so inspired, jump into these histories. Revisit the artwork. This is one way to do history, to do culture, to engage in a process of truth and reconciliation.”

Ciboleros & Comancheros: Commerce, Identity and History

On May 12, 6–7:30 pm, Juanita J. Lavadie and digital archivist Julian Hartke, in conversa tion with co-curator Alicia Inez Guzmán, will present “Ciboleros & Comancheros: Commerce, Identity and History,” two distinct histories of commerce in New Mexico. In the 20th century, trade shows and agricultural fairs were integral to the exchange of goods, ser vices and knowledge. They were also events where people came together across cultural lines to share what their communities produced. In her installation, Lavadie created four distinct Spanish Colonial personas, each of whom embodies an element of an 18th- and 19th-century trading expedition. Lavadie will speak about what can be learned from the personas that applies to contemporary life in New Mexico.

Artists in Technologies of the Spirit (Part 2) include Josh T. Franco, Moira García, Jackie Mitchell Edwards, Laurie O’Brian, Eric-Paul Reige (Diné) and Marcus Zúñiga, among others.

On July 14, Josh T. Franco and Cody Hartley, director of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, will explore the unintentional role of charismatic artists in gentrifying communities and erasing local histories, leading to the creation of art colonies like Santa Fe, which contin ue to face profound real estate crises. The free in-person and online conversation will be moderated by co-curator Alicia Guzmán, Ph.D. Register at 516ARTS.ORG/EVENTS

Guzmán writes, “These exhibitions challenge the persistence of both exotic and reduc tive visions, indeed the very notion that there exists a singular history of New Mexico. The artists draw from their own experiences and relationships to places across this region’s vast and mutable landscape, offering insight into their homes, their ancestors’ homes or the homes of their kin. They show not only the presence of conflict, assimila tion and contamination over the centuries, but also the resilience, dissent and the power of memory to transform the present and future. Altogether, they forge an archive of embodied views–New Mexico’s many worlds.”

Jeanna Penn, Winona Day Nursery from the series Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West (2022), watercolor, acrylic, marker, oil paint marker, inkjet prints on mounted watercolor paper. Image courtesy 516 Arts

To develop the projects on view, the artists engaged with the Albuquerque Museum Photography Archives, and many took part in Artist Lab: Art Meets History in New Mex ico, an educational program offered by the independent, contemporary art museum, 516 ARTS, and the national Art Meets History Initiative, a project of Kasini House. They were asked to examine personal and collective histories in New Mexico and the Southwest. In addition to the projects and installations across many mediums and contemporary art practices, a selection of historic reference photos from the muse um’s archives are on view.

A companion website (HTTPS://WWW.KASINIHOUSE.COM/MANY-WORLDS/INDEX.HTM L#INDEX ) shares longer commentaries about the artwork and photos, as well as links to additional media and resources.

Northern Río Grande National Heritage Area Grants Program

The mission of the NRGNHA is to help sustain communities, languages, cultures, traditions, heritage and the environment of Northern New Mexico. We provide grants and grant-writing support to community development programs, non-profit groups and organizations, and tribal governments engaged in efforts to sustain their communities’ traditions, heritage and culture.



Co-curators Alicia Inez Guzmán and Ric Kasini Kadour Left: Stages of Tectonic Blackness: Blackdom, Nikesha Breeze, Miles Tokuknow and Lazarus Nance Letcher (Live performance. Nov. 2021) Photo by Noël Hutton Above: recreated cibolero shirt woven by Juanita Lavadie

De quíen eres Thómas Romero?

“De quíén eres?” was the first question traditional New Mexicans always asked when meeting someone new. Why? Because in the beginning, when Hispanics first came to New Mexico, it was important for the health of the population to keep track of genetic lines. There were so few fam ilies, it was necessary to find out whose son or daughter you were before you could be introduced to a family. In an over-populated world, we seldom take time to find out who people are or where they come from.

Born Thomas Romero (he preferred to be called Tomás vs. Thómas), the former exec utive director of the Northern Río Grande National Heritage Area (NRGNHA) continued the practice of asking de quién eres, no longer for the sake of genetics, but because “he cared enough to listen and learn more about whomever he interacted with,” said Alexandra Hernández, from the National Heritage Area regional office. Tomás, a native son of la Santa Fe, was the kind of person who would sit and listen to whomever he was meeting with. Recently memorialized online by our former board president, Patricia Trujillo, Tomás was known as “a heart on legs.” Every encounter was a visita (a visit), more than a meeting. He personified the culture of northern New Mexico and the practice of la resolana, a simpler time when elders would sit with community, family, and share stories in the warm sun. Sadly, he left us on March 17, after 75 years on this earth.

Wherever he went, Tomás built community, as he did with the Alliance of National Heritage Areas, of which the NRGNHA is a part. There are 55 National Heritage Areas across 34 states. Our local Heritage Area was designated by Congressional Act in 2006. It is an honor to have been selected. National Heritage Areas create jobs and benefit local economies “through revitalization and heritage tourism.” Our NRGNHA has supported well over 70 organizations that continual ly depend on the small grants provided by the NRGNHA. Last year almost half of our budget was allocated to our small grants program. And when you look at the larger picture, “118 million leisure travelers participate in cultural and heritage activities, contributing $192 billion annually to the U.S. economy.”

Tomás’s greatest contribution to our communities of Río Arriba, Taos and Santa Fe is Land Water People Time, the annual magazine NRGNHA pub lishes with our partners at The Taos News. Those that knew Tomás always expected him to enter any meeting with a stack of magazines under his arm. The goal was and continues to be to highlight those people, places and events that reflect the authenticity of our culture, demonstrated through our traditions. Tomás knew, as I do, that tourism is not the focus of our organization. It is a byproduct, as is economic development. If we con tinue to be our authentic selves, the visitors will continue to come. It is the farmers’ green and red chile, the cocin era’s platos (cook’s plates), the weavers, colcha embroiderers, santeros, painters, writers, poets and spiritual expressions of our people that visitors come to see. In New Mexico, there is no need for re-enactments; we still feast, practice

our spirituality through dance and prayer, and continue to fill the galleries and markets with expressions of who we are. It is the people within our com

munities and the cottage industries that encourage tourism, and this continues to be integral to the economic health of our small communities and the economic engine that is the tourism industry in our state. Let us not forget that the slick ads only help promote what the people have created.

Land Water People Time is all that. Like Green Fire Times, which collaborated with Tomás on a themed edition in 2010, the magazine has highlighted those within our community that you may not have ever met, and in the articles, you get to find out quien eran, son.. Who are or were they? A few that have graced on our pages are no longer with us, but their stories live on.

Tomás Romero reflected all of that in a thought-provoking way. I wish I had had more time with him. There is so much to share and question. But isn’t that the way it is when we lose someone? That’s why we call our elders tesoros (treasures). What they bring to the table is more important now than ever but we are not sure how long any of them will be with us. In this fast-paced world of technology, we need to make time for the visita. “De quién eres?” reflects the human connection. With the passing of each elder, as in the case of Tomás, it is the responsibility of the next generation to represent. I cannot emphasize that enough.

Land Water People Time is your contri bution to the world Tomás Romero,

He personified the culture of northern New Mexico and the practice of la resolana.
If we continue to be our au thentic selves, the visitors will continue to come.
Tomás Romero (l) at Spanish Market in Santa Fe
© Seth Roffman

you should be proud. It continues to be the NRGNHA’s gift to the communities we represent. We are preparing for the next issue and are open to suggestions. Please help us name those unsung cultural icons who continue to express or demonstrate our culture, send ideas or suggestions to DIRECTOR@RIOGRANDENHA.ORG . We want to ensure that as we move forward without Tomás, we continue to represent in a thought-provoking and authentic way, as he would have expected of us. ¢

Margaret Campos is executive director of the Northern Río Grande National Heritage Area. HTTPS://RIOGRANDENHA.ORG

Agriculture, Implementation, Research & Education

Collaborating to build a regenerative regional food system

Agriculture Implementation Research & Education (A.I.R.E.) is a not-for-profit that is helping establish food sufficiency in Taos County by connecting youth to agriculture, building capacity for northern New Mexico farmers and ranchers (with an emphasis on Hispano and Native growers), and bringing healthy, nutritious food to communities with historically limited access.

Over the course of the last decade in Taos, several Farm to School collaborative pilot projects have been initiated that are educating and inspiring youth in the agriculture sector. One of A.I.R.E. and Growing Community Now’s main objectives is to build programs working directly with youth by empowering them to plant seeds and grow their own vegetables for a Farm to School lunch program. This puts knowledge of seed and food sovereignty into the hands of young people, showing them that they can make a substantive and lasting difference in their community.


The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino (WWW.LATINO.SI.EDU ), created by Congress in December 2020, will open within a few years. The NMAL will recognize the accomplishments, history and culture of the diverse Latino communities in the United States, and how they have informed and shaped U.S. history. The museum will also provide financial resources and collaborate with other museums to expand scholarly research, public programs, digital content, collections and more.

Jorge Zamanillo, executive director and CEO of HistoryMiami, is the first director of the new museum.

A Scholarly Advisory Committee has been established to provide guidance and input on a comprehensive plan to preserve, document, display/interpret and promote knowledge of U.S. Latino history, art and culture. The 18 members of the committee include leaders from across academic disciplines, such as architecture, anthropology, history and others. Together they will review exhibitions, long-distance learning and digital-engagement initiatives. Initial priorities include laying the groundwork for the museum’s collections, research and publishing vision.

Laura E. Gómez, of Albuquerque, Rachel F. Moran Endowed Chair in Law at the University of California, Los Angeles, is one of three UCLA academics who have been appointed to the committee. Gómez will contribute a focus on racial identity, racial inequality and legal history. Those topics documented are in her two books, Inventing Latinos: A New Story of American Racism (out in paperback, summer 2022) and Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race (10th-anniversary edition, 2018).


“We are proud to be framing this conversation for New Mexico and the nation. We know that addressing affordability is central to closing equity gaps for New Mexico’s students.”

– Patricia Trujillo, deputy cabinet secretary of Higher Education at the New Mexico Department of Higher Education.

With college enrollment still in decline, free college programs are one way to communicate to students, especially those who might not think they can afford college, that it is financially possible. New Mexico is the latest state to introduce a free college plan and has taken the brave step of making it a first-dollar program—meaning students can stack federal and state grants on top of free tuition and fees to pay for books, materials, housing, food, transportation, childcare and other college costs.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the New Mexico Oppor tunity Scholarship Act on March 4. It was sponsored in the state Legislature by Sen. Liz Stefanics (D-Dist. 39) and Rep. Joy Garratt (D-Dist. 29). The General Appropriations Act directs $75 million to the program. The governor’s office estimates that the plan will support up to 35,000 students beginning this fall, or more than half of the undergraduate students in New Mexico. Over 10,000 Opportunity Scholarships have already been awarded to students over the past two years through prior appropriations.

New Mexico’s Opportunity Scholarship is one of the most gen erous and wide-reaching promise programs in the country so far. Other states will be looking to see how successful—and expen sive—New Mexico’s program turns out to be. Many free college programs limit eligibility to recent high school graduates and fulltime students. The Opportunity Scholarship is open to graduating high school students and older students entering higher education later in life. Additionally, it is available to part-time students as well as full-time and can be used for career training certificates, as well as for associate and bachelor’s degree programs.

New Mexico residents interested in receiving the scholarship are encouraged to enroll in a New Mexico public college or university this fall and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students do not need to fill out any additional applica tions to receive the Opportunity Scholarship. More information is available at WWW.FREECOLLEGENM.ORG.

Most recently in 2022, the program was extended to include a hightunnel greenhouse at Taos High School along with a grow-dome to increase production and provide the opportunity for students to learn to manage planting, production and harvesting. The greenhouse was completed in December, 2021 and planted in January with the help of Southern Methodist University students during the COVID-19 remote-learning weeks. Additionally, the community project included a Cesar Chávez volunteer workday with the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and Enchanted Circle Americorps members.

Though the greenhouse and growdome are new to the high school, their impact is already palpable. In April, over 360 seniors and freshmen harvested and served salad mix, radishes, cilantro and turnips during a three-day retreat. Two weeks later, students harvested 70 pounds of salad mix (the equivalent of about 750 school lunches). The high school greenhouse production will provide salad and fresh vegetables for free USDA school lunches on an ongoing basis.

This spring, a paid internship program was launched to give high school students the opportunity to work with local farmers while having handson training to manage the school district’s year-round high-tunnel greenhouse production. They receive additional mentoring in preparation for employment and the possibility of creating their own farming businesses in the Taos community.

While our production programming is focused at the high school, a large


part of the work we do directly impacts elementary students as well. At Arroyos del Norte Elementary, 275 students (grades K-5) are planting and harvesting vegetables while receiving nutrition and garden education in the high-tunnel greenhouse that serves as an outdoor classroom. This greenhouse is in its third year of production with a seasonal rotation, starting with lettuce mix, spinach, chard, turnips and kale, yielding salad ingredients all winter long. In late spring, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, basil and chile are planted. These provide fresh produce for summer camp lunches, school food box programs for families and school lunches in August. This year, Arroyos students are planting a salsa garden for a district-wide salsa contest.


A.I.R.E. is continuing to expand its capacity for agriculturally based education, and we are excited to further this work after receiving a USDA Specialty Crop Grant. This will help support local, landbased, heritage and beginning farmers (who have been farming under 10 years). The grant is structured around an eight-part monthly workshop series throughout the growing season. The workshops will be hosted by four experienced local farmers.

Other elementary schools that benefit from our nutrition and garden education include Ranchos Elementary and Enos García, where the programming includes garden tasting events, cooking classes centered on traditional northern New Mexico foods such as atole and chicos, and planting and harvesting celebrations—all while learning about regenerative food production. High-tunnel at Taos High Below: Eating salad turnips L-R: Micah Roseberry (AIRE executive director) with Ríos Del Norte Co-op farmers Geronimo Romero (Geronimo’s Bakery), Angel Ortíz (Zitro Farms) and Moses Espinoza (farm intern) with local foods for CSA boxes. Photo by Elizabeth Evans
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One of those is Geronimo Romero, a traditional Taos Pueblo farmer and a board member of the Ríos del Norte Co-op. Romero is an experienced mentor who combines cultural farming traditions passed down from his grandfather with production acequia farming. He is currently planting heritage grains and market crops. He is also a traditional baker, making organic pueblo bread, and a vendor at the Red Willow Farmers’ Market at Taos Pueblo. He worked with Pueblo youth interns in 2019 as part of the A.I.R.E.’s New Farmers Program and Farm to Family Box project. His goal is to provide fresh, healthy food for children and elders.

Another farmer featured in our workshop series is Angel Ortíz of Zitro Farms. Ortíz, a sixth-generation northern New Mexico farmer, produced 5,000 pounds of carrots in 2019, which increased to 7,000 pounds in 2020 and 2021. Initially training with Don Bustos at La Placitas project in Albuquerque, he now leases land in Chimayó and Peñasco. He worked with five interns over the last three years through A.I.R.E.’s young intern program. Ortíz is experienced with numerous factors in our region, including microclimates, variation in elevation, irrigation techniques and varied frost dates.

The goal of the workshop series is to provide healthy, locally grown food for children through the USDA School Lunch Program, CSA shares for families in need and area food banks. By prioritizing distribution of nutritious local food, the grant will benefit Taos’ children and their families, farmers and ranchers, the local economy and northern New Mexico’s agricultural heritage, including its land and water.

Additional A.I.R.E. programming includes the Taos Farm to School Program; the Taos Community Farms CSA; a Farm to Family food box program, and the Ríos del Norte Farmer Rancher Co-op, an aggregate of local food producers working together to create a vertically integrated regenerative regional food system. To find out more about these programs, sign up for a farming workshop, or purchase a CSA-share contact, email GROWINGCOMMUNITYNOW@GMAIL.COM or visit AIRETAOS.ORG ¢

Micah Roseberry, director of A.I.R.E., has many years of experience with organic, sustainable and biodynamic agriculture. She was drawn to Taos in 1988 by Southwest Learning Centers’ Sustainable Native Agriculture Center project in Arroyo Hondo. HTTPS://AIRETAOS.ORG


An $80,000 grant from Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH), a national initia tive, is funding the creation of a central hub for New Mexico food supply chain data—to map how food travels from farms to plates.

The effort is being led by the New Mexico Community Data Collaborative (“Build ing Community Capacity to Move Data into Action”). The NMCDC has more than 200 partners that supply and map public health information. The collaborative shares the maps and data with local organizations that promote community assess ment and participatory decision-making. The NMCDA is a program of the Center for Health Innovation (CHI), the state’s designated public health Institute. CHI, headquartered in Silver City with offices throughout the state, focuses on bettering community health in underrepresented populations through developing and imple menting innovative policies, strategies and evidence-based models.

The New Mexico Food, Hunger and Farm (FHF) data will serve consumers, pro ducers and sales outlets and will address food insecurity issues in communities that have not had many healthy options. Improvements in the distribution infrastructure could reduce the time produce travels from farms, reduce shipping costs and lower food prices. It could also help farmers connect with new markets and allow restau rants and institutions such as school cafeterias and food banks to connect directly with farmers to purchase locally grown food.

The effort is being guided by organizations such as The Food Depot, ESHIP Río Grande, New Mexico Harvest, New Mexico Farmers Marketing Association, New Mexico School Nutrition Association and Farmington School Food Service Nutri tion.

For more information, contact NMCDC’s interim director, Emily McRae: 575-5970023 or visit WWW.DASHCONNECT.ORG/LAPP , HTTPS://NMCDC.MAPS.ARCGIS.COM/ HOME/INDEX.HTML and HTTP://CHI-PHI.ORG


Agriculture is part of the economic mainstream in New Mexico. But this year, due to the water crisis, as well as Río Grande Compact obligations and repairs to El Vado Dam, water managers must try to maintain a balance between agriculture and conservation, as there is no guarantee of the number or frequency of deliveries for irrigation. An emergency fallowing program is being instituted as a short-term fix.


Saturday, June 25, 2022

Family-friendly 20th Anniversary Festivities take place from 8am to 1pm at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market at the Railyard (1607 Paseo de Peralta).


• Welcome the day with a Native American Blessing of the Land, and a Native Flute performance by Marlon ‘Young Elk’ Magdalena of the Jemez Pueblo.

• Hear Mayor Alan Webber and Councilor Signe Lindell make a commemorative proclamation.

• Participate in family-friendly activities including face painting by Facepainterina.

• Be dazzled by Wise Fools stilt walkers and jugglers, and festive decorations.

• Enjoy music by local recording artist Robby Rothschild, with a special guest appearance by Round Mountain.

• Enter the drawing for free raffle prizes.

• Take home an eco-friendly, seasonal giveaway.

The Institute’s redesigned website will be launched with this celebration (

The region’s farmers have faced shortages for the past several seasons because of extreme drought. This year the state Legislature allocated $15 million to pay farm ers not to water some of their fields in the summer. This will benefit downstream agriculture, help maintain flow in the Río Grande and support the health of the bosque. It will also help the state meet water delivery obligations to Texas.

The program is not intended for long-term fallowing. It may attract farmers who want to rotate or rest some of their land for a season. The minimum land required is one acre for a payment of $425. The Middle Río Grande Conservancy District is particularly looking for projects that will boost irrigation efficiency on farms and improve the river channel south of Socorro.

Because New Mexico’s water debt to Texas (41 billion gallons at the end of 2021) continues to grow, the district set restrictions on storage for municipal and agricul tural uses, committed to divert only 50 percent of total inflows to the Middle Río Grande during spring runoff, and instituted staggered deliveries. This is intended to maximize Elephant Butte Reservoir. Abiquiú Reservoir may also be used. When stretches of the river begin to dry, specific sections will be kept wet for endangered species before flows are again diverted for farmers.

Drought and water-use restrictions in the Colorado River Basin are also in place. For the second year, allocations from the San Juan-Chama Project, which diverts Colorado River water into the Río Grande Basin, are expected to be about 60 per cent of normal.

Those with groundwater wells are less reliant on river flows and allocations, but they too must be focused on conserving water. Farm trainees in Bernalillo County’s “Grow the Growers” training program in the South Valley have planted crop variet ies that don’t need as much water. In addition to drawing from their main well, they harvest rainwater and have used mulch and wood chips to retain moisture.


Greenhouse Water Conservation

What is an article about greenhouses doing in a series about water, water conserva tion and, more importantly, going beyond conservation to create a net-positive water future? It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually spot-on, especially in New Mexico, where hot, dry conditions result in rapid evaporation of this precious, limited resource.

When we think of greenhouses, we tend to think of growing herbs and vegetables in doors during cold months, getting a jump-start on vegetable starts in early spring, and extending the growing season in the fall. Those are practical, well-established uses. But with a few tweaks to prevent overheating and, most importantly, to conserve water, greenhouses can also be used in the summer to easily grow food.

Unlike a hot, arid climate, the climate in a greenhouse is usually tropical, semi-tropical or Mediterranean.

As a semi-sealed environment that can be controlled, when you water a greenhouse garden, the water stays around longer, both in the soil for roots and in the air, where leaves can draw in moisture. A gallon of water used to water a patch of soil in heat that reaches 100 degrees (easy to imagine in New Mexico), with strong winds to move that heat, evaporates quickly. The same gallon of water in a carefully designed greenhouse results in high moisture retention and more bang for the buck.

Seasoned New Mexico permaculture gardener Amanda Bramble put it this way: “We live off rainwater catchment, so I track the usage closely. After doing this for 18 years, I know what works for making the most of the water that we’ve collected.

This growing bed in Ampersand’s high-tunnel greenhouse produces a variety of greens year-round.

Let’s start with a com mon sum mer issue: overheating. When it’s hot and sunny, we don’t want

to overheat a greenhouse and stress our plants. Incorporating sensible temperature controls means using vents and blowers that can maintain thermal homeostasis. Think about it: If the inside of a greenhouse is about the same temperature as the outside on a hot day, but has higher humidity, then why not grow inside? The greenhouse retains moisture. You thus have a better growing environment and save water.

Breakdown: Square-Foot, 90 Degrees Above and Below

On average, a greenhouse requires between .3 and .4 gallons per square foot per day on the hottest days to maintain an optimal moisture environment. Clearly, this varies plant-to-plant. There is no one-size-fits-all ratio, so it’s up to the user to decide if they’re going to apply water evenly and equally or provide differing amounts of water per plant. (You get to play God in your greenhouse!)

What about temperature? If it’s 105 degrees outside on a sunny day, most plants don’t like those temperatures and will protest, with slowed and strained growth. But you can shade a greenhouse, vent it properly, and bring down the tem perature to a more optimal growing environment. On average, vegetable and herb plants like to be somewhere between 80 and 85 degrees, and each species can vary widely in its resilience to temperature swings. Regardless, a well-designed greenhouse gives you the option of maintaining temperatures and moisture ratios. Remember, you are dealing with botanical averages when creating an environment for long-established plants to grow. Amanda Bramble says: “For a passive-solar greenhouse in our climate with no additional heating, creating a Mediterranean climate is the most practical goal.”

Greenhouses and Plant Evolution

Last year we had almost no rainfall before monsoon season. It was so dry in this area that everywhere plants were watered, the critters noticed. They honed in on the water and the green and came to feast. I realized that I was primarily feeding wildlife with my outdoor garden. But in contrast, the gardens in the greenhouses produced really well. They were protected not just from pack rats, mice and squirrels, but also from the strong winds. And it’s easy to shade the greenhouse as needed. All this means that my water goes a lot further for growing food. I’ve realized that for my situation, it doesn’t even make sense to grow annuals outside for the most part. This was one of the big inspirations for building our latest greenhouse: effective, efficient water use for growing food, especially as the climate becomes less predictable.”

What about summer monsoons? Rainwater catchment can divert water into the greenhouse, and once the appropriate system is set up, an efficient growing environ ment can thrive.

Heat, Humidity and Evaporation

Some basic variables to consider when designing a summer greenhouse are heat, humidity and evaporation—variables that, fortunately, have been figured out over the years. It’s not rocket science. You’ll be tinkering with them until you dial in your design and particular climate conditions, but rest assured, a practical and efficient

Plants didn’t evolve in the greenhouses we’re familiar with. But the Earth is basically a green house with a wide range of climates, so we can think of a greenhouse as an extension of the larger planetary greenhouse. Most of the vegetables and herbs we grow have been cultivated over centuries to become the ones we enjoy. To create environments where they can thrive requires taking a nuanced look at their needs and behavior. Greenhouses don’t have to be artificial; rather, they can be as natural as you’re willing to make them. In order to achieve an ideal summer growing condition, you need to learn the basic dynamics. If you simply vent a summer greenhouse with fans, you could inadvertently re-create the hot windy outside condition and defeat the purpose.


Summer greenhouse vegetable growing can be a productive, efficient way to grow food and conserve water. Since shade and water are both in short supply in New Mexico, and hotter temperatures, strong winds and drought are very real conditions, we want to use water as efficiently as possible. Summer greenhouse-growing is one way to do that. Coupled with rainwater catchment, greywater systems, mulch, and a range of practical systems, you can transform your homestead into a thriving oasis.


It’s best to learn from someone who knows what they’re doing. For local resources on green houses and greenhouse education, look no further than Amanda Bramble at Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center. Amanda offers workshops and consultation and is available in the Santa Fe area. For more information, visit: HTTPS://AMPERSANDPROJECT.ORG

Dan Antonioli is a green developer, licensed general building contractor and permaculture designer. His company, Going Green, provides assistance for green building projects. Visit

greenhouse is in your future if you’re willing to follow some basic guidelines.
With a few tweaks, greenhouses can easily grow food and conserve water.
You can transform your homestead into a thriving oasis.

Rooted in Traditional Indigenous Ways of Knowing

A Collaboration Between IAIA and the Jane Goodall Institute USA

The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) USA is partnering with the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) to in crease programming for both IAIA’s Land-Grant programs and JGI’s USA Roots & Shoots youth program in Indigenous communities. The new partnership is offering a summer internship for one IAIA student and five to eight mini-grants for Indigenous youth. A private launch event for the partnership will be lives treamed from the IAIA campus on May 12. Special guest speakers will include Dr. Goodall.

“The goal of the partnership is to raise the visibility of Land-Grant and JGI’s Roots & Shoots and expand programming, courses and workshops with local pueblos and Indigenous communities. We have an oppor tunity to strengthen our collaborations with local communities, continue to help preserve the knowledge of traditional agriculture, and inspire and empower Indigenous youth to make the world a better place for all living things,” said IAIA President, Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee Nation).

As a USDA 1994 Land-Grant institution, IAIA’s Land-Grant programs provide agricultural and nutrition al education to Indigenous communities nationwide, IAIA students, faculty and staff, through culturally based outreach and education. Community members gain skills and knowledge to ensure food security and enhance their health and wellness.

One of the programs, Indigenous Youth Agriculture, engages youth in innovative, hands-on learning experiences that instill a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment, and cultivate the mind while being sensitive to diverse cultural practices. The program is rooted in Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in combination with scientific principles of sustainable agriculture and teachings about

the role and sanctity of ancient seeds, ances tral ways of growing (with an emphasis on the American Southwest) and pre-contact foods. Youth also learn how to make healthy choices. The goal is to nurture their potential for thriv ing and becoming contributing members of their communities.

Land-Grant staff host webinars on ecological impact, nurturing and revitalizing local land scapes, and developing new pollinator habitats. The program recently established honeybee hives on campus. The “Thunder Bees” (named after IAIA’s Thunderbird logo) are helping support the revitalization of biodiversity on the campus and surrounding community.

The JGI USA program motivates youth in all 50 states and over 60 countries to use their voices and ideas to address issues that matter most to them in their communities. The decades-long work of Dr. Goodall aligns with IAIA’s mission “to empower creativity and leadership in Native arts and cultures through higher education, lifelong learning and outreach.” ¢

Top: IAIA President Robert Martin with honoree Dr. Jane Goodall

Left: Dr. Jane Goodall; Agricultural activities at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Courtesy IAIA.



Native American communities have sustain ably managed their lands for thousands of years, cultivating, adapting and transferring traditional ecological knowledge over many generations. This expansive reservoir of knowledge and deep connection to land keeps Native communities strong and encourages the land to be healthy and pro ductive. Such relationships acknowledge the importance of being in harmony with and having true connection with places.

First Nations Development Institute recognizes Native communities’ ability to steward their land to ensure their sustainable, economic, spiritual and cultural well-being. The organization created its Stewarding Native Lands program to provide financial and technical assistance to support Native ecological stewardship and improve Native access to and control of ancestral lands and resources.

In the past 20 years, green jobs–broadly defined as jobs that produce goods or services that benefit the environment–have been brought to the forefront of the climate change dialogue as a potential path toward climate change mitigation and economic development. First Nations has accepted applications from Native com munities that are in the early stages of developing and/or expanding programs that support green job development. The organization expects to soon award 10 grants averaging $100,000 each for the 12-month grant period ending May 31, 2023. The grant funding has been made possible by the Bezos Earth Fund.


The U.S. Department of the Interior announced in April that it is investing $46 million in Indigenous communities to address the impacts of climate change. This initial funding, available from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law appropriations, is available for projects and initiatives that address and strengthen climate resil ience and adaptation; community-driven relocation and protect-in-place activities; internships and youth engagement.

With this funding, the Interior Department will advance the Biden-Harris adminis tration’s equity and environmental justice goals by supporting collaborative and community-led planning, relocation expenses, infrastructure investments and other forms of assistance to Tribal communities.

“As the effects of climate change continue to intensify, Indigenous communities are facing unique climate-related challenges that pose existential threats to Tribal economies, infrastructure, lives and livelihoods,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Coastal communities are facing flooding, erosion, permafrost subsidence, sea lev el rise and storm surges, while inland communities are facing worsening drought and extreme heat.” “This funding is essential to advancing the all-of-government approach to supporting and empowering Tribal communities as they simulta neously face environmental impacts to physical, cultural and subsistence-based infrastructure,” said Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a total of $466 million to the Bureau of Indian Affairs over five years, including $216 million for climate resilience programs. Of that, $130 million is provided for community relocation, $86 million is provided for Tribal climate resilience and adaptation projects, and $43.2 million will be available to spend annually for five years. The announcement is supported by $21.7 million from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding and $24.5 million from fiscal year 2022 annual appropriations.

The Department is now accepting proposals from Tribes and Tribal organizations as part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Climate Resilience Program.


The energy market around the world is changing quickly. The Biden adminis tration has ambitious goals for a low-carbon economy to address the climate crisis. But rising gas prices and the war in Ukraine have ramped up the demand for minerals needed to electrify transportation. Copper, which is used in electric vehicle batteries, has been impacted by global supply chain disruptions.

Some coveted mining sites are on land sacred to Native Americans. For more than two decades, Río Tinto Copper has been trying to develop its Resolution Mine at Oak Flat, an ancestral San Carlos Apache ceremonial site near Globe, Arizona. The company says that the mine, which would be the largest in North America, would meet up to a quarter of current U.S. demand—and benefit Arizona’s tribes. But the ore would be exported for processing and would require large amounts of water to be extracted from one of the hottest places in the world—a region that is only getting drier.

Protest movements are growing. Oak Flats is one of several fights—from Ari zona to Nevada to Idaho—against mines being promoted as a way to support the country’s energy transition. Indigenous rights advocates say that the energy sector in the U.S. has long been subsidized by exploiting tribal lands, and that they’re once again being told to get out of the way for the greater good. Western Apaches are behind a legal challenge to halt a federal land swap passed during the Obama administration that allows the Resolution Mine to finally be devel oped. President Biden has promised a transition to cleaner fuels—and has also pledged to address historic injustices in Indian Country. He has ordered more tribal consultation on the land swap. A federal appeals court is expected to rule on the tribe’s challenge soon.


The Navajo Nation community of Kayenta, in northern Arizona, will receive nearly $1.2 million in federal funding from $9 million allocated for tribal communities’ renewable energy projects around the U.S. A solar microgrid project in Kayenta will provide internet service and electrify 24 homes that are not connected to the power grid. The Navajo Nation is contributing about $1.6 million to the project. The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority recently partnered with the Salt River Project, an Arizona utility, on two solar facilities that together produce 55 megawatts and serve 28,000 homes and businesses on the reservation.

The Pueblo of Laguna will install solar panels at community centers in four of the pueblo’s six villages—Mesita, Paguate, Paraje and Seama. The project is expected to generate 87 to 100 percent of the power needed and save at least 70 percent of the costs, according to a Department of Energy press release.

Elroy Keetso (Dine), the Pueblo of Laguna’s program planning manager, said that one of the tribal nation’s goals is energy sovereignty. “Being able to kinda control that inside Indian Country—that’s one of the big things—being able to not necessarily have to hook into big corporate energy companies,” he said. Keetwo hopes the panels will serve as a model for members of the pueblo.

The Energy Department is discussing with tribes other funding opportunities that are available through the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act approved in 2021.


Top: U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (blue shirt) toured the John T. Harrington Forestry Research Center in Mora. Tree seedlings in the center’s greenhouse include aspen (right); Above (r): Center staff (l-r): Collin Haffey, NM Forestry Division; Leslie Edgar, NMSU AES director; Owen Burney, director, JTH Forestry Research Center NMSU; Laura McCarthy, state forester


Facility that grows seedlings for reforestation evacuated due to wildfire

New Mexico’s forest ecosystems supply many resources, including 50 to 75 percent of all water used by municipalities and agriculture around the state. However, forest health in the Southwest is declining due to a combination of factors that include historic fire suppression, increased fuel densities, climate change reflected in higher temperatures and increased drought, and a lack of proper forest management. As a result, the region’s

dense forests are experiencing some of the most destructive wildfires in history, a trend that became all too evident in April.

Many of the forests that have succumbed to high-severity fires are not growing back. To meet the state’s current and future reforestation needs (currently estimated to be as much as 2.6 million acres, which would require 390 million seedlings), the New Mexico Reforestation Center is being established as a partnership of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) Forestry Division; New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) Department of Forestry; New Mexico State University (NMSU) John T. Harrington Forestry Research Center; and the University of New Mexico (UNM) Department of Biology.

The Reforestation Center will use research, education and training to help develop a reforestation economy that restores New Mexico’s forests and the ecosystem services they provide. In addition to restoring forest health, the program will benefit water quality and quantity, air quality, carbon sequestration, wildlife habitat and more. In addition to extensive planting operations and outreach activities, the center will support the reforestation pipeline, from seed collection to planting, and support climate-smart tree planting projects in urban environments to provide shade to cool urban surfaces. The effort could produce up to five million seedlings per year. Due to climate change, some could come from areas south of where the fires have occurred.

Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) recently secured $1 million in congressionally directed spending for the John T. Harrington Forestry Research Center in Mora for a comprehensive seed bank and seed conservation efforts. But a few days after Heinrich toured the facility on April 20, it was evacuated because of the wildfire threat, as tens of thousands of acres burned in northern New Mexico. Owen Burney, the Harrington Center’s director, said the staff was able to save the seed library, but thousands of seedlings could perish even if the fire doesn’t reach the center’s greenhouse. If the power is out for extended periods or they aren’t able to water the plants, the seedlings could die. Burney said that a planned state reforestation center should be located in an area less likely to experience large wildfires and should have backup generators.

According to a NM Political Report article (HTTPS://NMPOLITICALREPORT.COM ), Burney doesn’t necessarily blame agencies like the U.S. Forest Service for forest management problems. He says that they have struggled with lack of resources and funding—challenges the research center also continues to face. “If we don’t make the changes now at a scale that is massive on the management of these forests before the fire comes in and after the fire does come through, we’re going to have a problem that is going to affect air quality, water quality and overall human life,” Burney said. ¢


NM Land Conservancy and DoD Partner to Protect Historic Land

The New Mexico Land Conservancy (NMLC) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), seemingly unlikely partners, recently completed one of the nation’s largest conservation easements at the Armendaris Ranch, which spans Socorro and Sierra counties in southern New Mexico. The ranch is owned by Ted Turner.

Ron Troy, the Land Conservancy’s Southern New Mexico program manager, said, “This land is laden with important and unique natural and cultural resources, and the opportunity to permanently protect a property with conservation values of this magnitude was at the heart of our decision to tackle this project.”

The Armendaris Ranch stretches along the Río Grande from the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge at its northern border, then south along the river for almost 50 miles to the southern end of Elephant Butte Lake near the town of Truth or Consequences. From the river and lake, the land extends east toward the San Andres Mountains and the White Sands Missile Range.

The sheer size and geomorphological variability of the land supports over 500 vertebrate species, including some that are federally or state-listed. The entire Fra Cristobal Mountain Range is part of this vast landscape that is home to approximately 230 desert bighorn sheep. Large lava fields include the Jornada caves, which serve as a seasonal/migratory haven for more than one million bats of various species.

Recently discovered ancient footprints found less than 40 miles away (near White Sands National Park) demonstrate human activity in the area going back at least 20,000 years. There is also evidence of at least 10 different Indigenous cultural periods, dating from 11,000-year-old Clovis points to pre-Columbian rock art, along

with historical accounts of Puebloan, Mimbres, Navajo and Apache life. The borders of the land encompass a rich modern history as well, including the harshest section of the El Camino Real, the “Jornada Del Muerto”; Valverde, site of the largest Civil War battle fought in the Southwest; and at least 20 abandoned town sites.

The conservation easement will be held by NMLC. It will protect the land’s conservation and cultural values, while also permanently restricting certain uses of the land to keep it intact and relatively undeveloped.

The land includes a large part of the western buffer of the twomillion-acre White Sands Missile Range, which is administered by the U.S. Army. The easement was partially funded through the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program. REPI is a unique DOD program that protects high-priority military missions by helping relieve or avoid land-use conflicts near military facilities, promotes natural resource conservation and habitat protection to mitigate restrictions that inhibit military activities, and prepares for climate change

The conservation easement will protect the land’s conservation and cultural values, while keeping it intact and relatively undeveloped.
Amendaris bison, Fra Cristobal Mountains Courtesy Turner Enterprises

A unique and timely convergence of interests

impacts by enhancing military installation resilience. Nearly 830,000 acres have been protected under the program since its inception in 2002.

The conservation easement is the largest to ever be completed by any of the four military branches under the REPI Program. “Completion of this historic project has been a very high priority for White Sands Missile Range,” said Brian Knight, a senior team manager with the U.S. Army. “A large portion is in the Western Call Up Area, which is restricted airspace that WSMR can ‘call up’ in order to extend our military test and evaluation capabilities,” he added. “Working with our neighbors to create compatible land uses and minimize any encroachment to military airspace will sustain the unique capabilities that make WSMR the premier test and evaluation range in the country.”

The easement is also the largest completed to date by the NMLC and nearly doubles the acreage of the orga nization’s 115 conservation easements, from 340,000 acres to 655,000 acres throughout New Mexico and southeast Arizona. “The permanent protection of this land presented a unique and timely convergence of interests between the various partners involved,” said Scott Wilber, the Conservancy’s executive director. “This is truly a win-win-win for wildlife, the people of New Mexico and our national security.” ¢

Freelance writer and avid naturalist Edward Ashmead teaches adult basic education at Santa Fe Community College.

Map: Armendaris Ranch, courtesy New Mexico Land Conservancy Photo: Looking toward Amendaris with Fra Cristobal Mountains in the background
Armendaris Ranch bat flight Courtesy Turner Enterprises Amendaris Ranch Desert Bighorn Sheep Courtesy Turner Enterprises
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Taos has been selected to host the fifth New Mexico Outdoor Economics Conference. “I’m extremely excited to have this year’s conference in Taos,” said Jeff Steinborn, executive director of Outdoor New Mexico, which organizes the event. (Steinborn also represents state Senate District 36 in Doña Ana County.) “Taos is world renowned for its beauty, outdoor recreation, art and innovative sustainability initiatives—from clean energy to building practices. We will be featuring all of that and more.”

Last year’s event, held in Farmington, featured lively discussions inside the confer ence venue and at after-parties about outdoor recreation’s impact on communities and the landscape. The 2021 conference also featured the inaugural “Pitchfest,” where six companies selected by the state’s Outdoor Recreation Division threw their best business pitches in competition for $5,000 in marketing support.

The 2022 event will also feature three days of expert panel discussions, booths and exhibits hosted by outdoor recreation industry companies, outdoor recreation com munities and advocacy groups, as well as recreational field trips in and around Taos.

Taos County Manager Brent Jaramillo said, “The conference will provide an oppor tunity for local leaders to showcase the county’s natural beauty, and connect, edu cate and inspire leaders to grow the outdoor economy in a responsible way.” Town of Taos Marketing and Tourism Director Karina Armijo said, “Being chosen as the host city provides a platform to educate attendees about how the Taos community values sustainability, conservation, our historical assets, outdoor equity and the rich culture that is Taos.”

Visit OUTDOORECONOMICS.COM for more information.


In isolated pockets of the West, ranchers have begun to grasp the importance of an an imal for which, when spotted, it was long the custom to slam on the brakes, yank down a rifle, and with nary a second thought, dispatch. All the while, the critter is quite likely our easiest, most cost-effective, efficient and natural way to rescue those parched swaths so ubiquitous throughout the West, where lands have been skinned to the bone through overgrazing and other unsustainable practices. This potential remedy deserves its moni ker of “wetlands engineer.” I’m speaking of Castor canadensis, the beaver.

I want to be clear: I eat beef and am not knocking livestock grazing per se. But beavers, for reasons I’ll underscore, must be returned to their native habitat. If we ever hope to restore the integrity of our lands to any semblance of health, we need to protect stream-sides from hooved animals, permit runoff to soak into soils rather than scoot into downspout-like ravines to carve its way to bedrock, raise water tables, filtrate waters, foster wildlife abundance and biodiversity. The beaver can solve all of these issues with ease and at little cost, though not overnight, given the sad state of our environment.

Mark Twain once cracked: “If you’re ever so unfortunate as to fall into the Santa Fe Riv er, just stand up, dust yourself off and continue on your way.” This advice could pertain to countless so-called waterways that exist as powder-dry arroyos except on the heels of the occasional downpour, when they can carry lethal torrents.

Inventions and adaptations have saved time, effort and public monies in circumventing beaver damage.
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Craig Childs wrote: “Several million tons of sediment depart from the Southwest every day, carried in its warm, muddy rivers toward the nearest sea. The entire landscape is falling apart, too dry to hold on to its soil, too weathered to remain solid…” Perhaps the primary factor in this loss is that waters are no longer impeded by beaver dams, which once greatly slowed down their travels, permitted sediment buildup in catchment basins the ponds formed, and reduced erosion. (Craig Childs. House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American South west. Little, Brown and Company, Hachette Book Group USA. New York, NY. 2006.)

Future wars may be fought over water. Beaver dams store it. We can let it rush out to sea, con tinuing to destroy stream banks and river shorelines, or, through the encouragement of beavers and their works, allow waters to linger much longer in our lands.

Beaver dams raise the water table, creating the wetlands surrounding their ponds. Within beaver-engineered areas, snags provide homes for a variety of tree-cavity nesting birds. Beaver ponds, the bogs and meadows they evolve into, and the surrounding forest edges, provide habitat for innumerable plants, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Envi ronmentalist Blair Hurst pronounced, “It is estimated that up to 85 percent of wildlife in the West at some point in their lives depend upon habitats that the beaver creates.” According to the EPA’s website, “Wetlands are some of the most biologically productive natural ecosystems in the world, comparable to tropical rainforests and coral reefs in their productivity and the di versity of species they support.” (Blaire Hurst. “The American Beaver,” Walsh Environmental, Colorado Riparian Association, April 20, 2008. And United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Functions and Value of Wetlands,” EPA 843-F-01-002c; September 2001.)

Beaver streams are prime trout habitat, but as Ellen E. Wohl, professor of geology and Dis tinguished Professor at Colorado State University, warns, “Livestock grazing has been identi fied as the single greatest threat to the integrity of trout-stream habitat in the western United States.” Washington state scientists claim: “Overall, beaver ponds permit fish to avoid severe winter conditions and periods of low flow... More than 80 North American fishes have been documented in beaver ponds, including 48 species that commonly use these habitats, and the beaver ponds’ overall benefit to numerous fishes” is well known. (Ellen E. Wohl. Of Rivers and Virtual Rivers: Lessons from the Colorado Front Range. Yale Univ. Press, New Haven & London, 2001. And Michael M. Pollock et al. “The Importance of Beaver Ponds to Coho Salmon Pro duction in the Stillaguamish River Basin, Washington, USA.” North American Journal of Fisheries Management 24:749-760, 2004.)

Not only can the works of beavers store water and raise the water table; their ponds filter pollutants. Arthur Gold, University of Rhode Island Professor of Natural Resources Science,

and his then-doctoral student, Julia Lazar, found that “beaver ponds create ideal conditions for nitrogen removal, or denitrification [thus preventing algal blooms and dead fish]. The organic matter that builds up behind a beaver dam plays a key role. That’s where bacteria transform nitrates into nitrogen gas, which dissipates into the air. None of this would happen without the beaver dam because, for substantial denitrification to occur, the water must remain somewhat still and in place for days or weeks at a time.” (Todd McLeish. “Knocking Down Nitrogen,” Northern Woodlands, Spring 2016.)

Success stories harken from small pockets in Oregon, Idaho, eastern Nevada and western Utah, where ranchers and others are experiencing astounding success with beaver reintroduction. Award-winning writer Ben Goldfarb, in his fabulously written and deeply researched 2018 book (with a foreword by best-selling author Dan Flores), reports on some of these successes, one of which––Susie Creek in Utah––is also highlighted in a PBS Nature episode. A desert some 25 years ago, the reintroduction of beavers so restored life to its valley that it brought tears of joy to at least one elderly rancher who could recall the days of yore when the lowland had likewise sung with vibrancy. Goldfarb describes beavers as “ecological and hydrological Swiss army knives” in their ability to transform damaged ecosystems. (Ben Goldfarb. Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter. Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, Vermont. 2018. p. 154-159 & p. 10. And PBS Nature: “Leave it to Beavers.” S.32, Ep.11. 2014.)

The rodents must have a dependable water source before they can create wetlands. Beaver Dam Analogues, developed by Michael Pollock and colleagues in Oregon, sim ulate beaver dams and attract beavers’ return. Goldfarb describes efforts on a creek there that was transformed from a “moonscape to a lush wetland” and once more serves as a nursery for steelhead trout, contributing to a burgeoning steelhead run up the Columbia. “The powerful hypothesis that underpins the grand Bridge Creek experiment…is this: When Castor canadensis can’t repair a degraded stream on its own, Homo sapiens can give the rodents a leg up by imitating their works.” (Goldfarb)

Trees can be protected via fencing, or by applying abrasive paints or wrapping wire cages around their trunks. The crafty critters are infamous for flooding roads and plugging drainage ditches and culverts. But inventions and adaptations––such as Bea ver Baffles flow devices and Beaver Deceivers––by “Beaver Believers” such as Skip Lisle of Vermont and Mike Callahan of Massachusetts have saved significant time, effort and public monies in circumventing such damage.

Apparently, New Mexico has yet to catch on to the notion of utilizing this incredi ble creature to help restore waterways and lands. Goldfarb notes: “The longevity of cattle’s influence may explain why New Mexico’s beavers remain relatively scarce. In areas with healthy populations elsewhere, ecologists generally observe between one and three beaver colonies sharing a mile of stream. But when Brian Small, then a master’s student at the University of New Mexico, scoured the state’s public lands, he found but one colony every 50 miles. Wherever the Forest Service permitted cattle to graze, streamside plants––and the aquatic rodents that depend on them––remained scarce.” (Goldfarb)

What can we do? If you’re a rancher or land owner, you can encourage or learn to live with this wetland keystone species and protect waterways. You will be rewarded. We can all contact our federal and state legislators and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and urge that our laws be changed to foster these crucial animals. WildEarth Guardians of Santa Fe, which is at the forefront of efforts to reintroduce the beaver, could certainly use donations. ¢

Freelance writer and avid naturalist Edward Ashmead teaches adult basic education at Santa Fe Community College.

New Mexico has yet to catch on to the notion of utilizing this incredible creature to help restore waterways and lands.
“Up to 85 percent of wildlife in the West at some point in their lives depend upon habitats that the beaver creates.”
– Blair Hurst


From Defenders of Wildlife’s Defenders Magazine

By building dams and lodges, beavers are considered ecosystem engineers. Their dams raise water levels, slow water speed and change water direction, which can increase wetland size, enhance wildlife and plant diversity, improve water quality and maintain stable water tem peratures. Beaver ponds provide habitat for freshwater fish, migratory birds, amphibians and other wetland species.

Importantly for the hot, dry Southwest, beavers can play a signifi cant role in addressing climate change and the biodiversity crisis. But beavers can also sometimes cause trouble for irrigators and property owners. However, there are solutions that allow humans to coexist with this furry engineer.

In northern New Mexico, traditional farmers of Spanish, Mexican and Native American heritage have been living in a standoff with beavers for at least 400 years. Community acequias, historically engineered canals that carry snow runoff or river water to distant fields, are the oldest water management institutions of European origin in the United States. These irrigated agronomies date to the time of the first settlement by Spaniards during the late 16th century and some even to earlier Native American communities. Irrigators communally govern acequias, with local precedents and traditions, sharing water equitably during times of scarcity.

In 2021, Defenders of Wildlife initiated a cost-share program to help pay for costs associated with beaver coexistence in northern New Mexico. The goal of the program is to encourage peaceful coexistence

with beavers by assisting communities with design and funding projects that reduce negative impacts from beavers.

Santa Fe County, which manages Los Potreros Open Space in the traditional, Hispanic farm ing community of Chimayó, approached us after beavers recently moved onto the property. As a community that relies on water for survival, the farmers are concerned with beaver activity that blocks their ditches and brings down valued trees. They are also worried that beaver ponds may flood access roads and neighboring yards if not properly mitigated.

Working with the county and the local nonprofit organization Río Grande Return, Defenders is listening to the farmers’ needs and designing a system of pond flow devices and barriers that will allow the community to maintain its centuries-old system of sustainable agriculture while allowing for beaver presence and biodiversity restoration. The design will allow some water to flow through the beaver colony while slowing it down and storing it for the dry summer months. Barriers will prevent the beavers from blocking ditch headgates, ensuring water flows as designed. We hope this collaboration improves the relationship between the community and beavers in areas surrounding the county property.

Coexisting with wildlife is integral to Defenders’ mission to protect all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. Working on the ground, with people in communities who share land, water and air with wildlife, is one of the most effective ways to get positive results for humans and wildlife. We are hopeful that our partnership with Santa Fe County, Río Grande Return and the traditional farming communities of New Mexico will spawn a healthy and happy relationship for the next 400 years. ¢

Patricia Estrella is the Southwest field conservation representative for Defenders of Wildlife. Her areas of expertise include the Endangered Species Act, wildlife policy, wildlife biology and conservation.


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Full program at &

We have been working with communities to design systems to protect beavers and maintain traditional agricultural practices.
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To understand how to create a more resilient water system, we have to start at the beginning with the natural water cycle, and then see how human development has interrupted it and caused unintended consequences. As shown in the graphic below, the natural water cycle starts with sun heating surface water, causing some of it to evaporate and collect into clouds. The clouds are drawn toward the cooler land, where it rains, filling rivers and lakes and recharging groundwater through the natural moist sponge of healthy landscapes.

As our need for water grew over time, we came up with ways of diverting it from nature. This worked well for a long time, but as the population grew, the amount of water needed increased, and we dammed more rivers and drilled more wells to extract more ground water. This contributed to an interruption of the natural water cycle, adding to the drying-out of the natural environment. The reduced supply of water during drought has exacerbated a growing compe tition for water between urban development and agriculture. Now, climate change is further stressing an already stressed system.

Strategies for conserving water have been fast evolving. Fixtures and appliances are more water-efficient than ever. However, no matter how hard we try, we can’t conserve our way to a more resilient water system. We need to take a new look at how we extract water, how we use land to work with nature, and how to return water and enhance the water cycle. While it may sound contrary to keep more water in the landscape to ensure there is more available for human needs, it is our best chance to create sustainable and reliable water supply systems.

We need a new way of thinking about water. Low-Impact Develop ment is a system and practice that uses or mimics natural processes that result in the infiltration, evapotranspiration, or use of stormwater to protect water quality and associated habitat. Green Infrastruc ture uses soil and vegetation to slow the rate of runoff and manage rainwater where it falls. Examples include rain gardens, green roofs and permeable pavement. These are used in urban settings to increase the absorption capacity of land. Along with regenerative agriculture, these strategies improve soil health, support ecological health and

Humans cleared forests for cities and farms, drying out the land, rivers and groundwater. Cities emit heat, which hampers clouds from coming over land until enough pressure is built up to overcome the resistance, resulting in heavier rain storms and flooding. Drier ground reduces soil moisture and groundwater recharge, which stresses forests and increases the risk and intensity of fires. Wildfires in western states have become more intense and destructive over the past several years. Since the natural landscape has been exposed and dried, it no longer works as a sponge, causing flooding and erosion. Soil moisture is also necessary for mi crobes in soil to help root growth and allow nutrients to feed plant life. Therefore, we are in effect working against nature, reducing the amount of water available, even as demand is increasing with new development.

reduce flood and fire risk by increasing soil moisture and creating soil sponges. Working with the natural water cycle increases resilience to fires, floods and drought. Consider the value of ecosystem ser vices that reduce losses by decreasing fire and flood risk. Ecosystem services include the public health benefits resulting from nature that is woven through the urban fabric. Vegetation also helps mitigate climate change by sequestering greenhouse gases. A rule of thumb is that one mature tree sequesters more than 48 pounds of GHG each year.

Working with the natural water cycle increases the amount of water available. As soil moisture decreases, like a dry sponge, it reduces its ability to absorb rainwater and runoff. Strategies to increase the absorption capacity of open land, both in cities and elsewhere, create a connected system that works to promote water availability and cool the urban heat-island effect.

Conventional agricultural practices also dry out the land, making it less absorbent, similar to the built environment. Regenerative agri culture practices reduce the amount of watering needed and make farms absorb more water to support the surrounding ecosystem and recharge groundwater. By starting at the headwaters and slowing down surface runoff and increasing absorbency, the watering season can be

To be truly transformational, these actions need to be part of regional efforts that work together.
Keeping more water in the landscape is our best chance to create sustainable and reliable water supply systems.

extended. More water in the environment also supports more plant growth, which in turn sequesters greenhouse gas emis sions, aiding in climate-change mitigation efforts.

To start envisioning a better water sys tem, start with the water basin. Then look to the most marginalized communities within the basin to provide leadership about how best to address historic and foreseeable water access and quality challenges and to un derstand which solutions provide the most co-benefits to that community. This often requires paying people for their time to participate in the process. Include the value of co-benefits or unintended consequences in the selection of approaches.

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Resources

We can leverage resources being made available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Infra structure Act). Existing water inequities in the U.S. include lack of access and contamination. These challeng es are front and center in the Infrastructure Act, which includes funding for water efficiency and recycling programs, rural water projects, WaterSMART grants, and dam safety to ensure that irrigators, Tribes and adjoining communities receive adequate assistance and support. It will also better prepare communities and ecosystems against the threat of wildland fire by making historic investments in forest restoration, hazardous fuels management and post-wildfire restoration activities across America’s national parks, forests and grass lands. This funding, which includes stewardship contracts, ecosystem restoration projects, invasive species detection and prevention, and native vegetation restoration efforts, is an

investment in the resilience and restoration of America’s lands. It also provides support for community-led transitions for the most vulnerable Tribal communities, including climate adaptation planning.

Also, consider the energy savings that water conservation and use of alternative water sources provide. The largest single municipal energy use, if the city runs its own water utility, is that water utility. Every bit of water conserved also saves energy.

Transitioning to a healthier water system that works with the natural water cycle will take planning and coordination among a wide range of groups and areas of expertise. Water conservation strategies need to continue to evolve, especially when they support the natural water cycle. To the left is an image of a water garden in Santa Fe as an example of using and enhancing the ability of impervious surfaces to absorb and store more water. The plants create shade, reducing evaporation and al lowing more water to infiltrate, recharging the groundwater and support ing healthy vegetation.

Local governments are in a unique position to facilitate transitional actions that improve the natural water cycle, reduce the urban heat island effect and support more vegetation within the urban fabric, which in turn increases the contact city-dwellers have with nature. However, to be truly transformational, these actions need to be part of regional efforts that include how we get water into cities and how wastewater is used after it’s treated. We need to reach across silos within government, such as community planners working with fire departments, emergency plan ning departments, and with private utilities, large landowners and other levels of government—regional, state and federal—to work in tandem. New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich’s Western Water Security Act of 2019 recognized the role of environmental restoration as a strategy, along with infrastructure improvements, groundwater management and water conservation in creating water security.

How will we know if what we designed will actually meet the goals? Since you manage what you measure, selecting metrics designed to track progress toward goals is essential. At the site scale there are tools, like the Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS), which was developed by community members in Santa Fe. WERS measures both indoor and outdoor water use. At the city scale, programs and policies designed to infiltrate rainwater into the groundwater and build the soil sponge can be used, and calculations of water infiltration and plant material supported can be measured. Overall, soil moisture is a key measure to the health of an environment, whether it be urban or not. The USDA has developed several ways of measuring soil moisture. Be sure to include all the bene fits, including greenhouse gases sequestration or reduction, the value of flood and fire risk reduction, and the value of retaining water within the environment and groundwater to be available during extended droughts. ¢

Katherine Mortimer is the founder and princi pal of Pax Consulting, LLC, a New Mexico business providing government and businesses with tools they need to achieve the interconnected pillars of sustainability: environmental steward ship, economic vitality, and most importantly, social justice. WWW.PAXCONSULTING.BIZ

Every bit of water conserved also saves energy.
Soil moisture is a key measure to the health of an environment.
We need a new way of thinking about water.
Water catchment rain garden in Santa Fe © Seth Roffman

The Next Generation Water Summit

May 19–21, Online and in Santa Fe

The Next Generation Water Summit (NGWS) brings together the building and development community, water reuse professionals and water policymakers in a collaborative setting to share best practices and learn about innovative water conservation and reuse techniques that can be used to comply with water conservation restrictions spreading across the Southwest. Over the past six years, the NGWS has attracted hundreds of attendees from across the country inter ested in learning about water in the West and conservation efforts around the world. Networking at the event has led to groundbreaking efforts such as an initiative to capture water-use data from hotels and restaurants.

The NGWS has featured keynote addresses from people such as:

· Jonathan Overpeck, dean of the School of Sustainability at the University of Michigan, co-recipient (with Brad Udall) of the Nobel Prize

· Professor Katharine Hayhoe, The Nature Conservancy’s chief scientist and 2019 United Nations Champion of the Earth award winner

· Former U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)

· Mary Ann Dickinson, former president and CEO of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, a non-profit dedicated to promoting efficient and sustainable use of water in the U.S. and Canada

This year, the opening keynote will be delivered by author Robert Glennon, professor of law and public pol icy at the University of Arizona. Glennon has received two National Science Foundation grants. He serves as an adviser to governments, corporations, think tanks, law firms and NGOs looking to solve serious challenges related to water sustainability and planning.

The NGWS kickoff on May 20 will feature U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM) and U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM). They will discuss current and future efforts by the federal government to fund water conservation and water projects in New Mexico and the West.

Fernández represents New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District. She holds a leadership role with the Congres sional Hispanic Caucus as Freshman Representative. Leger Fernández serves as chair of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States and has been appointed to the House Committee on Education and Labor, the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on House Administration.

Stansbury represents New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District. She has worked with federal, tribal, state and local organizations across the U.S., including—before being elected to Congress in 2021—as staff in the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and the Office of Management and Budget. She currently serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

The 2022 NGWS will be a virtual event, as it was in 2021. It will be held May 19 and 20, with local in-person events scheduled for May 21. The agenda includes over 20 sessions, such as:

“The Human Drivers of Efficient Urban Landscape Water Use” by Rolston St. Hilaire. Dr. St. Hilaire is a professor and department head in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State Univer sity. He holds a Ph.D from Iowa State University. St. Hilaire’s research is focused on plant stress physiology,

The remains of an old mill can be seen along the Río Embudo in northern New Mexico. © Seth Roffman

the development of tools that promote efficient water-use in residential landscapes, and mapping and categorizing land cover in urban ecosystems. He is the author of Land scape Plants for the Lower Río Grande Valley and has published over 126 papers in scientific journals and the popular press.

“Bioremediation Really Does Work” by Reese Baker. Baker, owner and founder of The RainCatcher Inc., is a certified permaculture designer who has been involved with green building, organic farming, water harvesting, erosion control, ecological restoration and permaculture in the Santa Fe area for more than 18 years. He holds a B.S. in Biology/ Botany from the University of New Mexico and is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Biology at UNM with a focus on the bioremediation of stormwater. He has also taught classes on water harvesting, permaculture and erosion control at Ecoversity, Plants of the Southwest, Santa Fe Preparatory School, Quivira Coalition, Earthworks Institute, Arboretum Tomé, Permaculture Institute, Santa Fe Botanical Gardens and Santa Fe Community College.

“Water Data: A 21st Century Approach to Man aging Water” by Stacy Timmons. Timmons is an associate director of Hydrogeology programs at the state geologic survey—the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Min eral Resources, in Socorro at New Mexico Tech. As a hydrogeologist working with and managing the Aquifer Mapping Program for the last 16 years, Timmons has worked around the state on hydrologic and geologic research. Her work has ranged from collect ing water quality and quantity data, mapping aquifers and helping build an understanding of the state’s complex hydrogeology. In 2019, she also began leading the implemen tation of the Water Data Act, a statute de signed to improve management, sharing and integration of the state’s water data from multiple agencies and organizations.

Hosts of the NGWS are the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce; Green Builder® Coalition; City of Santa Fe; KUELwater; the Santa Fe Area Homebuild er’s Association; and the Alliance for Water Efficiency. The title partner for this year’s NGWS is Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), in association with AVAN GRID. The education partner is Santa Fe Community College. The national media partner is Green Builder® Media. ¢

For more information about the Next Generation Water Summit, visit:


Glenn Schiffbauer is executive director of the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce.


Santa Fe Saves Water Day

Saving water has been a priority for our community since the City of Santa Fe took over the water system in 1995, and that will not change anytime soon. Water conserva tion is the cornerstone of the city’s plan to continue to increase water resiliency into the future. Our long-range planning shows that through continued conservation, diverse supply sources and infrastructure improvements already in the works, we can continue to enhance our resiliency. We are proud to be part of a community so fo cused on conservation, and we are here to help continue to navigate a future using less water.

The city is leading by example. We recently replaced and repaired fixtures in 15 city facilities including Bicentennial Pool, recreation centers, libraries and office complexes that together will save 2.3 million gallons per year—more than 50 homes worth of water use. Santa Fe businesses have contributed to the city’s success with over 450,000 gallons saved so far through the award-winning Santa Fe Certified Waterwise Business program, including 70 restaurants, five lodging establishments and 14 other certified businesses, along with a pilot project at St. Mi chael’s Village. Be sure to visit SAVEWATERSANTAFE.COM , check out who they are and sign up if your business is interested.

On May 21, we will be hosting Santa Fe Saves Water Day at Railyard Park as part of the city-sponsored Next Gener ation Water Summit, from 10 a.m. –2 p.m. The event is also aligned with National Kids to the Park Day. Partic ipants include the Xerces Society, Randall Davey Audubon Center, Santa Fe Botanical Garden, Santa Fe Watershed Association and several city departments. Attendees will be offered packets of native seeds, water activity booklets for the kids, water conserva tion kits, a shut-off garden hose nozzle and our Pollinator Resource Guide, which has discounts at local nurseries. It’s a great event for learning how to choose waterwise native flowering plants, trees, shrubs and cacti that support our urban forest and its pollina tors. A special scavenger hunt is planned to launch the Water Conservation’s Education Resource Booklet, as well as many other children’s activities.

Santa Feans have asked for more help select ing drought-tolerant and pollinator-friend ly plants and trees, and we have worked with our partners to make those available through local nurseries and on our website. Last March, Santa Fe officially became a Bee City, USA, committed to conserving native pollinators. Partners across the city established the TreeSmart Santa Fe Initia tive to ensure we have a healthy urban tree canopy to cool our city, conserve water and nurture vibrant, livable neighborhoods. The city’s Water Conservation Office has two types of demonstration xeriscape gardens: a native cactus garden installed by the Cactus Rescue Project, which so far has required no irrigation, and a drought-tolerant garden de

signed by the Santa Fe Master Gardeners Native Plant group, which requires minimal irrigation. Plant lists are available to download at SAVEWATERSANTAFE.COM to conduct a selfguided tour, or you can visit us in person on May 21 from 8–10 a.m. Water Conservation staff will be available to answer questions. Santa Fe Saves Water Day ends with a series of raingarden tours led by Reese Baker of the Raincatcher from 4–6 p.m., when the drawing will take place for five rain barrels.

This will be the fifth year that the city’s water conservation program sponsors the Next Generation Water Summit. The summit is designed to address community concerns with a series of presentations from local and national experts on Water and Growth. It is free for all city and county residents to attend and is a virtual conference, which allows you to access the presentations for 30 days following the main event on May 19-20. You can get more information and register for free at

We will keep looking for new and better ways to save water, and we thank you for the day-to-day, year-to-year efforts that have and will continue to ensure that Santa Fe has a resilient water future. Let’s keep it going. Sign-up for Eye-On-Water to detect leaks, and get rebates by shopping for qualified indoor appliances. Help us reduce potable water use outdoors by investing in rainwater harvesting and rainwater-based landscaping. Togeth er, we can navigate our future with less water. Visit


Christine Chávez is the manager of the City of Santa Fe Water Conservation Office. HTTPS://SAVEWATERSANTAFE. COM



In late March, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland underscored historic investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to strengthen Indian Country and address the Western water crisis.

While in Las Cruces, Haaland visited the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. Designated by President Obama in 2014, the monument has become a pillar of the region’s growing outdoor recreation economy. While there, Haaland heard from community members, local elected officials and tribal leaders, who have advocated for conserving and restoring public lands in southeastern New Mexico, about how their communities and businesses are benefiting from the designation. Haaland said that the locally led collaboration is emblematic of goals and principles outlined in the administration’s “America the Beautiful” initiative.

The Interior Secretary later traveled to the Doña Ana Village Historic District, the oldest permanent Hispano settlement in southern New Mexico, and visited El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail. Administered as a collaboration between the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Man agement, the trail preserves Indigenous, colonial and early 19th-century Mexican and American heritage.

Haaland and Assistant secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo then trav eled to Albuquerque to meet with Tribes from the Colorado River Basin focused on the historic drought and low-runoff conditions. The group discussed the low water levels at Lake Powell and Lake Mead in the Colorado River Basin and op portunities to work together to address the ongoing challenges, as well as other Tribal water management priorities in the Basin. Haaland emphasized that Tribal involvement will be critical in the upcoming efforts to develop post-2026 rules for coordinated operation of the lakes.

During the meeting, Haaland and Trujillo highlighted the Bipartisan Infra structure Law’s $8.3 billion investments in water and drought resilience that are helping fund water efficiency and recycling programs, rural water projects, WaterSMART grants, and dam safety.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will invest $420 million for rural water con struction activities in fiscal year 2022, as authorized by the Infrastructure Law. The investment in rural water systems includes work related to pipeline connec tions, construction of water treatment plants and intakes, pump systems, reser voir construction and other efforts to provide potable water to rural and Tribal communities. There are several rural water projects under construction and one new authorized project that are eligible for the funding across six states: Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Allocations for projects are based on project plans and significant accomplish ments that are projected to be completed with the funding provided, as well as the capability of recipients to implement the work quickly. “The Department is committed to bringing clean, reliable drinking water to rural communities to help strengthen resilience to climate change,” Trujillo said. “The significant funding for rural water construction will help us expedite project completion.”

Eastern New Mexico Water Pipeline

Trujillo made the announcement while in Albuquerque with New Mexico State Engineer Mike Hamman and Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority Chairman Michael Morris to highlight $160 million for the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System for construction of a 120-mile transmission pipeline that will provide critical water supplies to approximately 70,000 people who live in communities along the New Mexico-Texas state line, where the Ogallala aquifer is being pumped at a faster rate than it is being replenished. The Ute Pipeline Project has been decades in the making. The water will come from the Ute Res ervoir in Quay County, which stores the state’s share of the Canadian River.


According to a report filed before Special Master Judge Michael Melloy, attorneys repre senting Colorado, New Mexico and Texas in the contentious years-long Río Grande law suit before the U.S. Supreme Court have asked to extend settlement talks in the hope the dispute can be resolved without further litigation. The cities of Albuquerque, Las Cruces and El Paso, the federal government, regional farmers’ groups and irrigation districts are also represented.

The lawsuit has gone on for nine years, with $30 million in litigation fees paid by taxpay ers. Former New Mexico Attorney General Gary King filed a suit in 2011, alleging that the federal government gave too much Río Grande water to Texas because of a 2008 Operating Agreement which changed the equation for distributing water during drought and allowed districts to store water in New Mexico reservoirs. Texas then alleged that New Mexico had violated the 84-year-old Río Grande Compact and was taking too much of Texas’ share by over-pumping groundwater for crops, wildlife and cities. Texas has recently been experiencing its worst drought since 2011.

A mediator assigned to the case created a Technical Committee made up of expert engineers, hydrologists and administrators from each party to attempt to clarify the case’s complex issues. The first part of a trial took place over six weeks, ending in November 2021. Attorneys requested that the judge schedule the second part of the trial in October or November 2022, but that has been postponed by the settlement talks. A report on the talks is to be submitted in May.


Another attempt to fund irrigation projects in pueblos across New Mexico is being con sidered by Congress. U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) has asked the House Com mittee on Transportation and Infrastructure to include proposals benefiting the state’s water infrastructure in the 2022 Water Resources Development Act. Among Stansbury’s proposals is $200 million that would be used for pueblo irrigation if other such projects are included. “New Mexicans are deeply concerned about ensuring that our water infra structure is up to the challenge of responding to this drought and increasing hydrologic changes that we’re seeing,” Stansbury said in her testimony.

The Water Act authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to work on civil activities such as flood mitigation, improving water navigation and restoring aquatic ecosystems. The tribal projects do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Army Corps, so Stansbury’s request will need to go through the Bureau of Reclamation. If money for the projects is approved, the Bureau would facilitate funds for the tribal nations, which would then spend the money on infrastructure projects.

The Pueblo Irrigation Improvement Project was created under the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, introduced by then-Sen. Bingaman (D-N.M.) in his final term in office. Money was set aside to conduct studies, and nearly every pueblo concluded their reports by highlighting specific areas where water infrastructure projects are neces sary. In 2017, a study showed that $280 million is needed. Last year, Stansbury pushed an amendment to pay for the projects through the Build Back Better bill that stalled in the Senate. The amendment supports the 18 Pueblo nations along the Río Grande.

Rep. Stansbury’s 2022 Water Resources Development Act Requests: Increase funding to central New Mexico to help fund drinking water, wastewater, water security and stormwater projects; Fund a study for the Río Grande Basin improvement project to improve management flexibility and water security; Update a hydrologic analy sis study in Estancia so it can qualify for Army Corps projects; Reauthorize a share of the cost with the Army Corps to pay for the Middle Río Grande Flood Protection plan from Bernalillo to Belen; Funding to pay for Tribal Acequia Programs to study and implement solutions for invasive aquatic plants; Increase money for the Tribal Partnership Program, which connects tribal communities with federal government funding



On April 21, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), state Rep. Kristina Ortez (District 42), Taos County manager Brent Jaramillo, County Commissioner AnJanette Brush and interim town manager Andrew Gonzales met at a new net-zero-emissions home in El Prado. They discussed how the clean energy transition can play a critical role in meeting affordable housing needs, and ways to leverage public funding resources to make net-zero houses affordable for local residents. Homes like the “Zero E” model in El Prado are also a response to the climate crisis and the need to generate further demand and acceptance of carbon-free homes and transportation. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has endorsed the “2030 Commitment” as an industry pledge for netzero emissions in the built environment.

Last year, Heinrich, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, introduced the Zero-Emissions Homes Act, which would make the economic, environmental and health benefits of electrification more affordable and accessible for singlefamily and multi-family buildings. The Act was cosponsored by 11 senators, including Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and has received widespread support from many

organizations and nonprofits. “We’ll see what happens in the next month-and-a-half,” Heinrich said in an interview. “We may be able to get the zero-emissions home rebate into a Reconciliation package. It would dramatically incentivize this kind of building.”

“The point of that program,” Heinrich said, “is that it’s a point-of-sale rebate, meaning that you get the cost benefits when you need to buy that water heater or heat pump to heat and cool your home when, in the middle of July, your current unit dies. Most people—especially low- and moderate-income—don’t want to wait around for 14 months for a tax benefit. You want it up front so you can make an economic decision that’s an investment in the long-term. And so, we’ve tried to structure it so people can

get the best technology for the same price and then start getting the economic benefit month after month for the next decade or more for the life of those products.”

The El Prado home, designed by Joaquin Karcher of Zero E Design, LLC, was built to demonstrate that a zero-emissions home can now be constructed at the same cost as many conventional homes, and that a home’s quality can go up while requiring 90 percent less energy for heating and cooling. The super-insulated structure is built like a thermos, minimizing heat loss through the building envelope. The windows are triple-glazed with argon gas between the panes, and even the frames are fully insulated. A wholehouse ventilation system extracts warm, stale air and supplies fresh air from the outside through a heat exchanger. The exhausting air heats the cool, incoming fresh air, but the two streams don’t mix. Ninety-five percent of the exhaust heat is recovered. The indoor temperature is constant, summer and winter.

The net-zero house can be built for $272,000, and comes with an average electric bill of just $58 a month, including charging for an electric vehicle. “This kind of construction represents a change in how you use your money, not so much a change in how much money you use,” Heinrich said. “Money you’re spending on utilities never builds wealth. But if the same amount is going to create equity, that’s a game-changer.”

Building codes and a lot of builders hav en’t caught up to the technology. It’s going to take some education.
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich tours a home designed by Joaquin Karcher of Zero E Design, LLC.
“Utility costs are unmanageable. If you’re paying the same amount, but more is going to create equity—that’s a game-changer.” – Sen. Martin Heinrich

“The war and everything else is causing gas bills to go crazy,” Rep. Ortez said. “People can’t afford the way their home is being heated. We have the responsibility of communicating what it would mean to be free of the propane bill, the natural gas bill.” Ortez was successful in getting the “Community Energy Efficiency Development Block Grant,” or “CEED,” passed during the 2022 session. The legislation allows counties, municipalities, Indian nations, tribes and the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority to apply for block grants administered by the state’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department for targeted energy-efficiency projects in underserved communities. Projects could include replacing outdated appliances and retrofitting and weatherizing homes.

Clean, electric appliances currently available for space heating, space cooling, water heating, cooking and other household functions, in most instances perform as well, if not better, than their fossil-fuel counterparts. According to a report from the nonprofit Rewiring America, at least 57 percent of households in New Mexico—447,000—could save an aggregate of at least $131 million a year on energy bills if they were using all-electric equipment, and the biggest savings would be for 341,000 households that are currently using electric resistance (electric baseboards and such), fuel oil, or propane. They would save $385 per year on average. Manufacturing, installing and servicing those appliances would create millions of jobs across the country.

Not all energy is equal with respect to economics. Sen. Heinrich explained, “Your electric bill will benefit from running a heat pump instead of a gas furnace. The company that sends you that gas gets charged for delivering it, but the actual commodity charge is exposed to the market. This year we’ve seen fossil gas prices increase as much as 100 percent over the course of the year. With propane, we’ve actually seen unsustainable triple-digit price increases. Your electric bill isn’t exposed to those same commodity changes. So, when you fuel-shift over to electric, you’re actually insulated from these wild shifts in energy costs.”

“Electrifying our homes and businesses is one of the surest climate actions that we can take right now,” Heinrich said. “We can use already existing, proven technologies to dramatically reduce carbon pollution, create millions of good-paying jobs, and secure a more equitable future for our communities.” ¢



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News & Views from the Sustainable Southwest

In a statement, Questa officials said that the village “seeks to identify clean, lowcarbon electricity and renewable energy sources—specifically making green hydrogen from a PV array using an electrolyzer—that can provide significant local economic, environmental, reliability and other benefits. Community priorities will inform the effort, including on project size and technologies, investment strategies and community roles in ownership or operation of the technologies.”

“In the years since the closure of the Questa Mine, local leaders have worked incredibly hard to transform their community into a real model for sustainable economic development and diversification,” said U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM). “In the last decade, the Village of Questa has become a gateway community to the Río Grande del Norte National Monument and has helped local, clean energypowered businesses like Taos Bakes grow their manufacturing base.” U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) said, “These investments will empower Questa to address the climate crisis and bolster our local economies.” “Questa is a pillar of northern New Mexico,” said U.S. Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM-03). “DOE’s announcement recognizes the unique economic and environmental challenges Questa has faced, and it will support community-driven clean-energy opportunities and partnerships.” ¢

DOE to Assist with Locally Tailored Pathways to Clean Energy

Questa is the first New Mexico Community Selected

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the first communities selected as part of its Communities Local Energy Action Program (Communities LEAP), a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to help communities transition to clean energy. Twenty-two communities will receive support to create action plans that reduce local air pollution, increase energy resilience, lower utility costs and energy burdens, and provide long-term jobs and economic opportunities.

The program is supported by six DOE offices: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Fossil Energy and Carbon Management; Electricity; Indian Energy; Policy; and Economic Impact and Diversity. Communities LEAP implements the Biden-Harris administration’s Justice40 commitment, which aims to ensure that federal agencies deliver at least 40 percent of benefits from certain investments to disadvantaged communities, and advances the work of the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities, which is focused on delivering federal investment to hard-hit energy communities.

“Technical assistance programs like this will help ensure these communities are prepared for the many funding opportunities available from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law as we transition to a clean energy economy,” said Mitch Landrieu, White House senior advisor and infrastructure coordinator. In 2019, renewable energy investments in the U.S. reached $55 billion, and clean energy jobs paid 25 percent more than the national median wage. Workers in clean energy earned a median hourly wage of $23.89 compared to the national median wage of $19.14.

The LEAP communities will work with DOE and its network of technical assistance providers, government and non-governmental partners, community-based organizations, and utilities, as well as environmental justice, economic development and equitable investment organizations to develop roadmaps for clean energy economic development. Strategies will be pursued in:

Energy-efficient buildings and beneficial electrification

Clean energy development

Clean transportation and enhanced mobility

Carbon capture and storage

Critical minerals recovery

Resilient microgrids and energy storage

Manufacturing and industry opportunities

Questa is the first LEAP community selected in New Mexico. The majority-minority community in northern Taos County is neighbor to a superfund site, the former Questa Molybdenum Mine.


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in collaboration with the Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) STEM Research and Development Consortium (MSRDC), has awarded $3.2 million for eight projects at seven MSIs through its Science and Technology Research Partnership program. The projects are intended to support the Biden administra tion’s goals of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM fields and funding innovative clean-energy research and development.

The selected projects span a wide array of solar energy technology re search—from photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar-thermal pow er (CSP) to increasing energy resilience and supporting a just transition to 100 percent renewable energy in small cities. Rapid deployment of clean energy will require a substantial increase in climate- and sustain ability-focused workers, as well as reduced installation and operating costs in the solar industry sector. The projects will span two years and include career and performance training.

Two projects funded in the Southwest:

University of Arizona has received $400,000 to create a hybrid classroom and field-experience program to train members of under represented groups on solar technology and promote emerging career opportunities in clean energy.

University of New Mexico has received $400,000 each for two proj ects. The first will design new systems to grow agricultural crops under solar panels using machine learning and emerging PV technologies. The new field of agrivoltaics—combining agriculture with photovoltaic (PV) systems—has only been effective for a limited group of crops due to the amount of shading under solar panels. To address this challenge, this project will develop a system using semi-transparent solar panels that let more light through to the crops than traditional panels. Since they are bifacial, they can also use light reflected from the plants to produce more electricity. The team will evaluate both the PV system performance and crop yields.

The second project will demonstrate the potential of a cheaper, more reliable heat exchanger to generate electricity and decarbonize industrial processes in CSP plants.

The Village of Questa in Northern New Mexico


39 New Residential Solar Systems Are Being Installed

Santa Fe will soon have 39 more homes with solar energy systems, thanks to its Solarize Santa Fe pilot program. Through solar energy bulk-purchasing, the program helps homeowners of all income levels overcome the finan cial barriers of solar installation and save money on their energy bills. The power generated from these new installations will eliminate about 220 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year—the equivalent to driving 547,000 fewer miles per year or planting 3,600 trees, according to a press release.

The pilot program, open to any homeown er in the city limits, launched in Septem ber, 2021 and reached its contract-signing deadline on March

1. The Solarize team partnered with Santa Fe Public Schools (SFPS)—whose work force demographics reflect those of the city overall—for the initial outreach campaign.

The city worked with the Sierra Club and the Coalition of Sustainable Com munities–New Mexico to package low-cost solar installation with low-in terest loans. Sol Luna Solar, selected through a Request-for-Proposal (RFP) process, offered discounted prices. The team also encouraged local credit unions to create solar loans with lower interest rates. Participants in the pilot program were able to take advantage of a 7 percent discount from the aver age state rooftop solar price, saving over $600,000 across all contracts over the 30-year solar panel lifespan.

Santa Fe was one of more than 20 local governments across 15 states par ticipating in a Solarize cohort led by RMI and the World Resources Institute. “Santa Fe’s Solarize campaign had one of the highest conversion rates of resident sign-ups across all cities participating in the Solarize cohort,” said Ryan Shea, senior associate at RMI. The collective effort of this cohort has resulted in 650 contracts and over 5,650 kilowatt (kW) of residential solar, with 26 percent of contracts in low- and moderate-income households.

Due to the success of the pilot, the city is now working with program part ners to institute a larger program to help more homeowners go solar this year. For information, contact Neal Denton, Sustainability Officer: (505) 955-2229, NHDENTON@SANTAFENM.GOV


On March 30, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission unanimously approved an order adopting rules for community solar. Community solar allows developers to build small arrays to provide solar energy to subscribers such as low-income residents and renters who might otherwise not have access to renew able energy and benefit from reductions in monthly electric bills.

The PRC’s rules, years in the making, are essentially a pilot program that will help guide the construction and operation of community solar facilities. By fall, the commission will hire an independent administrator to select developers—includ ing possibly some investor-owned utilities—to build the projects and operate sub scriber organizations. Energy generated from the projects will typically use those utilities’ distribution systems.

New Mexico’s Community Solar Act, passed in 2021, requires the PRC to submit a report on the program in 2024. The Act set an initial cap of 200 megawatts to be proportionally allocated to the three investor-owned utilities until Nov. 1, 2024, after which, the commission will establish an annual cap. If rural electric coopera tive opt in, they must comply with the same requirements.

The PRC’s rule also specifies that community solar subscriber organizations issue a separate bill from the utility bill to prevent confusion by those who choose to sub scribe to an array. Thirty percent of the electricity derived from community solar must be designated for low-income customers, who will be verified through pro grams such as Medicaid or the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The Coalition of Sustainable Communities New Mexico will work with communi ty organizations to help get the word out about opportunities to participate.


In late April, leaders from the City of Albuquerque, the Jicarilla Apache Nation, PNM and Repsol were planning to cut the ribbon on the PNM Solar DirectSM facility, a 50-megawatt solar field located on 500 acres of Jicarilla land in northern New Mexico. The ribbon-cutting was postponed because of wildfires in the region. The project is currently the third-largest operational utility-scale solar array on tribal lands in the United States.

With Solar Direct, Albuquerque is now powering its local government operations with up to 88 percent renewable energy, 12 percent shy of the Keller administration’s 100 percent goal. In combination with its rooftop and onsite solar generation, the city is one of the top 15 local government renewable energy users in the U.S. and the highest user in a regulated utility territory. It is projected to save over $600,000 on utility bills in its first year. Additionally, City of Albuquerque’s solar usage is estimated to reduce over 50,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions yearly—the equivalent of taking over 11,000 cars off the road or powering more than 6,000 homes.

The Solar Direct program allows large electric customers to reduce their carbon footprint by voluntarily subscribing to the energy generated by the utility-scale solar field. The facility will provide power to municipalities, governmental, tribal and educational entities, as well as large commercial customers. In addition to Albuquerque, those entities include: Western New Mexico University, Walmart, Santa Fe County, Bernalillo County, City of Deming, Deming Public Schools, Grant County and Silver City.

“The fight against climate change is urgent and local. Solarize Santa Fe has made a real impact, helping more of our residents go solar.”
– Mayor Alan Webber


Almost $3 million from a coal-production fee Congress extended under the infrastructure law, administered by the U.S. Interior Department, has been received by New Mexico’s Energy and Natural Resources Department. Over a three-year period, the funding will help the state’s Abandoned Mines Lands program create an inventory of abandoned coal mines, reduce sinkholes and coal fires in the Gallup region caused by mining, and address stormwater flooding of legacy mines in Madrid. It will also be used to remediate some of the mines that were abandoned before federal regulations came into effect and to safeguard other sites.

That funding for fiscal year 2023 is just a start. New Mexico officials expect $3 million a year after that, plus an additional $2.4 million per year for 15 years. In addition, $11.3 billion in federal infrastructure money has been allocated for mine reclamation for states and tribes based on historic coal production.


Coal ash, left behind when power plants burn coal, contain toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury, lead and cadmium. It can pollute waterways and aquifers, poison wildlife and cause respiratory illness in those living near storage ponds. U.S. coal plants produce about 100 million tons of ash and other waste annually. There are an estimated three billion tons of coal ash spread across the country. New Mexico ranks 10th in the country for coal ash generation.

In January, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), citing deficiencies with groundwater monitoring, cleanup and other problems, ordered utilities to stop dumping waste into unlined ponds and to speed up plans to close leaking coal ash sites. The action is intended to protect communities and hold operators of industrial facilities accountable. EPA Administrator Michael Regan said that his agency would also work with state partners to reverse damage that has occurred.

In March, Arizona legislators, with the support of Arizona Public Service, Tucson Electric Power Co. and the Salt River Project, advanced legislation that would shift regulation of the disposal of coal ash from the EPA to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. Opponents of the plan, such as the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club, have suggested that the shift might weaken enforcement. The utilities say that the legislation will be more efficient and will require rules as strict as the EPA’s.


The extraction of rare earth metals is a national security issue because about 90 percent used in the U.S. is imported from China, and transitioning to a non-carbon economy with renewable technologies requires a secure supply chain. Rare earth metals are needed for their magnetic, conductive and fluorescent properties. They are used in everything from electronics such as LED TVs to communications equipment to electric vehicle batteries, solar panels and wind turbines. They also have a variety of military applications.

Sandia National Laboratories has applied for a patent on a process of extracting rare earth metals from coal ash using water, carbon dioxide, high pressure, and citric acid from limes. In December, 2021, Sandia researchers were awarded an R&D 100 “Gold Special Recognition in Green Technology Award” for this method. They say that the process would make it possible for the coal industry to recoup some of its cost for remediation.

A Canadian company, SonoAsh LLC, is also seeking to create a new domestic source of rare earth elements by processing coal ash with its patented technology that uses sound waves. SonoAsh was approved for a $1.48-million research grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in April, 2021. The grant was awarded to the New Mexico Institute for Mining and Technology as part of a collaborative partnership with Socorro-based research university, San Juan College and the state’s two national labs. San Juan College’s “Center of Excellence” will assist in training and developing a workforce to mine the minerals. New Mexico Tech is also one of DOE’s research projects investigating critical mineral production at current and former coal producing regions across the U.S.


SonoAsh, after more than a decade of research and development, is also working to turn San Juan County into a manufacturing hub for “green cement” by recycling coal ash. The Four Corners region has mounds of it readily available. The low-carbon processed ash is being promoted as a made-in-New Mexico product that can be mixed into traditional Portland cement. Or, it can be used to make construction materials. SonoAsh sees this as an opportunity to use industrial infrastructure left behind and create a next-generation industry in the wake of the coalfired power plants that are closing. The company envisions a network of green-cement plants in coal-producing regions across the country.

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UbiQD, an advanced-materials startup founded in 2014 with tech developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, produces materials that manipulate sunlight, allowing for energy generation and enhanced greenhouse operations. The company’s products utilize “quantum dots,” incredibly small pieces of photoluminescent material that can be adjusted based on size. The dots allow plants to photosynthesize more efficiently by shifting long-wavelength light to short-wavelength light. UbiQD has already come out with a greenhouse film, and in association with Heliene, Inc., a solar panel manu facturer based in Ontario, Canada (with factories in Minnesota and Florida), UbiQD is working on a new type of tinted greenhouse roof, to be developed over the next two years.

UbiQD has also started installing electricity-producing windows on commercial buildings. The windows’ glass is laminated with quantum dots in the middle. The dots release protons, which can be harvested by the windows, outfitted with solar cells, to create electricity. The windows were “made with support” from Glaz-Tech Industries in Albuquerque. UbiQD has an office in Los Alamos and employs 26 people full time.

Photo: Prototype electricity-producing quantum dot window developed by UbiQD, one square-foot in size, sits on a rock outcropping near the company’s headquarters in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Photo: PRNewsfoto/UbiQD, LLC


NeuroGeneces is dedicated to measuring and improving brain health. The Santa Fe-based startup, founded in 2016, offers a device that is affixed around the top of a person’s head that the company says helps enhance slow-wave sleep and cognitive function. Using certain sounds, the product may increase memory consolidation—the long-term storage of information in the neocortex. Founder Karen Crow says it is similar to a pacemaker for the brain in that it stimulates activity—but with sound, not electricity.

NeuroGeneces’s technology utilizes machine-learning algorithms designed to measure the health of a brain, providing an idea of how much it has aged and deteriorated. As the headband is used, it also learns about each person’s individual brain functions, al lowing it to provide more targeted audio stimulation. The company hopes its product can be used as a preemptive rather than reactive measure of brain health, and that it can play a role in stress recovery.

The startup won a grant from the Department of Defense (DOD) in collab oration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the study and development of its concept. The U.S. Air Force in particular has shown inter est in how the technology can enhance cognitive performance and training for pilots.


In 2021, Santa Fe Farms, a hemp company founded in 2019, purchased Fathom NM, which had a 50,000-square-foot building in Albuquerque’s Mesa del Sol development that Santa Fe Farms sought to expand. Fathom provided agricultural services to hemp farmers, as well as access to buyers and sellers. Santa Fe Farms then acquired Colorado-based High Grade Hemp Seed, which operated in the cannabinoid (CBD) market and had been looking to break into the industrial hemp market.

Santa Fe Farms is now rebranding as Element6 Dynamics. Element6 will cultivate and process hemp and create a carbon-neutral business model for a “climate-smart commodity.” “The new name elevates our global brand position and mission,” said CEO Kim Kovacs in a press release. “It represents a shift away from putting carbon into the atmosphere to taking it out.” Stuart Cowan, element6 Dynamics’ chief scientist, told Business First that the com pany’s business model also deliberately restores the fields and ecosystems it works with.

Element6 Dynamics plans to develop 60 processing sites to create hemp-de rived materials for the paper and plastics industries. “We are creating an industry that will ultimately impact new technologies and products that are grounded in science,” Kovacs said.


Santa Fe startup Ocean-based Climate Solutions uses an approach that “could be one of the leading technologies for removing CO2 from the atmosphere and getting back to a stable climate,” said founder/CEO Philip Kithil. The technology facilitates the capture and storage of carbon dioxide.

Ocean-based uses thousand-foot-long plastic tubes dangling deep in the water. As they bob up and down, water travels up the tubes, bringing nutrients closer to the surface, spurring phytoplankton growth. Phytoplankton consume carbon dioxide while producing oxygen, thereby reducing atmospheric green house gases while providing breathable air.

Since 2005, more than $4 million has been raised for tech testing and refine ment, according to the company’s website.


The annual R&D 100 Awards are often referred to as “the Oscars of Inno vation.” The science and technology competition recognizes new commercial products, technologies and materials that are available for sale or license. In 2021, Sandia National Laboratories won a R&D 100 Award for co-developing a stationary wind harvester that can provide distributed electricity generation with no external moving parts. It can complement rooftop solar set-ups and provide affordable, reliable power to warehouses, box stores, commercial buildings, military bases and remote locations, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.





The New Mexico Economic Development Department’s Job Training Incentive Program ( HTTPS://EDD.NEWMEXICO.GOV ) assists businesses of all sizes in all parts of the state so they can hire New Mexicans as they expand and create jobs. Com panies utilize JTIP even if they only need a few positions. The program helps pay for on-the-job or classroom training for newly created jobs of businesses relocating or expanding. It reimburses 50 to 75 percent of employee wages, with higher reimbursement for rural, high-wage positions and for companies hiring recent New Mexico graduates and veterans.

Some of the companies that have received JTIP funding in recent months include:

BRYAN’S GREEN CARE LLC (Hobbs) Six trainees. This veteran-, minorityand woman-owned company “stands for the Earth and provides medicine and teaching to the people on it.” Bryan’s manufactures CBD products derived from hemp, including oils, pain salves, skin products and edibles. Average Trainee Wage: $16.00. Total Award Amount: $40,936.

KILONEWTON LLC (Albuquerque) Six trainees and three interns. KiloNewton is a unique, service-based business providing technical and engineering analysis and software design for the renewable energy sector. The company’s research and development are primarily focused on the optimization of large-scale solar, wind and renewable technology. Average Trainee Wage: $30.08. Average Intern Wage: $18.50. Total Award Amount: $111,890.

LASEN, INC. (Las Cruces) Three trainees. LaSen develops biological detec tion systems for the Department of Defense. The company commercialized the Airborne LIDAR Pipeline Inspection System along with the software required to operate it. LaSen has flown over 350,000 miles of pipeline and detected more than 35,000 leaks, saving its clients millions of dollars and prevented billions of cubic feet of methane from escaping into the atmosphere. Average Trainee Wage: $25.83. Total Award Amount: $41,300.

PARADISE POWER COMPANY, INC. (PPC Solar) (Taos) 38 employees. PPC Solar specializes in the development, design and installation of commercial, utility and residential photovoltaic systems. The company has been serving both on-grid and off-grid communities in New Mexico and southern Colorado since 1979. PPC Solar has been awarded Step-Up funding, a program within JTIP that partially funds upskill training for current employees. Total Award Amount: $13,962.

SCEYE INC. (Moriarty) Six trainees. Sceye has developed airships made from a new, super-light, uniquely tough fabric. The airships are powered by a clean, ultra-efficient, solar energy system. The fleet will form a powerful platform for virtual infrastructure. Each airship is capable of carrying cameras, sensors, hy per-spectral imaging, radar and communications equipment. Sceye is expanding its operations in New Mexico to include engineering, production, operations and services for a customer base in telecommunications, earth observation, climate

monitoring and large-scale surveying markets. Average wage: $48.93; total award: $210,672

SYZYGY TILE (Silver City) Three trainees. Currently being sold at 140 locations across the U.S. and in Canada and México, Syzygy Tile originally grew out of the founder’s garage, later expanding into a 3,000-square-foot portion of the old electri cal generating station in historic downtown Silver City. The company makes hand made tile that is distributed by a network of authorized vendors. Syzygy’s manufac turing process leans almost exclusively on the handwork of individual employees. Average Trainee Wage: $12.75. Total Award Amount: $14,770.

UBIQD, INC. (Los Alamos) Five trainees. UbiQD manufactures high-performance cadmium-free photoluminescent “quantum dots” and composite materials. Their first commercial product, UbiGro®, for greenhouses, is a film that shifts the colors of sunlight to make plants grow faster and improve crop yield. Average Trainee Wage: $40.39. Total Award Amount: $116,776.

THE VERDES FOUNDATION 10 trainees. This nonprofit organization (“Inspiring wellness through cannabis”) is one of the longest operating cannabis production operations in New Mexico. The company has two adjacent production facilities in Albuquerque along with dispensary locations in Albuquerque and Río Rancho that are operated by registered nurses. Verdes produces a large variety of value-added products including edibles, tinctures and salves. Average Trainee Wage: $24.80. Total Award Amount: $105,324.


The New Mexico EDD’s Science & Technology Business Start Up Grants are avail able to New Mexico-based, for-profit science and technology companies with fewer than 50 employees.

Eligible businesses must work in one of the following fields: aerospace, biosciences, cybersecurity, intelligent manufacturing, sustainable and green energy. The Office of Science and Technology (OST), housed within the NMEDD, and the Technol ogy Research Collaborative (TRC) board review all of the applications and choose the annual awardees.

A few recent noteworthy awardees:

ALLERPOPS CORP. (Los Alamos) Allerpops remove the need for daily shots or pills by treating the root cause of airborne allergies. AllerPops lollipops provide relief lasting for months to years instead of mere hours by feeding good oral bacte ria through proprietary probiotic and prebiotic formula/foundation and all-natural ingredients.

ORCH TECH LLC (Pueblo of Ohkay Owingeh) ORC Tech is advancing the wire less industry through a portable, lightweight device that boosts incoming signals and improves local connections for cell phones, laptops, satellite and Wi-Fi internet receivers—without the need for power plugs, cables or batteries. The company has licensed this technology from NASA Johnson Space Center and is working to keep manufacturing and development in New Mexico.

STEM BOOMERANG (Albuquerque) STEM Boomerang is a workforce recruit ment platform that facilitates connections between employers and New Mexico graduates looking for career opportunities in the state. The goal is to r everse New Mexico’s brain drain by employing advanced technology alongside personal engage ment for recruitment, retention and repatriation of the state’s best and brightest STEM professionals.








Project looks at how divergent histories of race, conflict and colonialism in NM inform how we imagine our futures. Exhibitions accompanied by in-person public conversations and activities. 505242-1445, 516 ARTS.ORG , HTTPS://WWW.KASINIHOUSE.COM/MANY-WORLDS/INDEX.HTML#INDEX

MAY 17–19


Embassy Suites

Conference for people interested in learning from NM agricultural producers. Hosted by the NMDA and 12 organizations and agencies. $50 registration for students newly entering the industry includes 2-night hotel stay. $100 for current ag producers/mentors. 575-646-1864, WWW.NMDA.NMSU.EDU

JUNE 21–24


UNM, Albuquerque

Annual ASES Solar Conference hosted locally by the NM Solar Energy Association.




High-tech exhibit tells the story and honors the legacy. Presented by the African American Museum & Cultural Center of NM and the City of ABQ Dept. of Arts & Culture.



The New Mexico Healthy Masculinities Toolkit is a free resource created by the New Mexico Healthy Masculinities Collaborative: NewMexicoWomen.Org; New Mexico Health Equity Partnership; Tewa Women United; Together for Brothers; and the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico.

The toolkit is a collection of readings, workshops and exercises aimed at helping audi ences reimagine masculinities, raise awareness about the concept of healthy masculini ties, and provide skills and resources that promote self-awareness, healthy relationships and thriving communities. It is designed to act as a guide for facilitators to frame and engage in conversations and activities around healthy masculinities. It is intended as a living document and will be updated periodically in response to community input.

The website says: “We know that it may take generations to truly heal from the harms of patriarchy. This toolkit is not framed to heal individual or collective trauma; however, it may lead to transformations and understandings that contribute to such healing. The toolkit offers us the opportunity to become more aware of our conditioned behaviors in order to disrupt the harmful impacts of patri archy.”

The toolkit may be downloaded from the website, and you can sign up for updates about “train the trainer” workshops and funding opportunities to support this work. You can also follow the campaign exploring masculinity in New Mexico communities by using the hashtags #masculinitiesNM and #healthymasculinities.



National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 Fourth St. SW

Photos by Frank Blazquez, Bobby Gutiérrez, Pico del Hierro-Villa and Xime na Montez tell stories about what it is to live in NM. Masks required indoors. Tues.–Sun., 10 am–4 pm. 505-246-2613, HTTPS://WWW.NHCCNM.ORG/



African American Performing Arts Center New ideas and perspectives to elevate community engagement and enthusiasm for the future. This year’s theme is “Connection.” HTTPS://WWW.TEDXABQ. COM/



Children grades K-9 learn science through hands-on activities, games and art. City of Albuquerque Recreation. HTTPS://CABQ.ASAPCONNECTED. COM/?ORG=1082



“Art in NM and Beyond” A transformative look at pop culture, religion, tradi tion and identity. Intersections of art, science, technologies, cosmic musings, future-oriented visions. $6/$5/18 & under free. NHCC.ORG



“Gateway to the 19 Pueblos of N.M.” Museum galleries, exhibits, restaurant. Tickets $10/$8/$7. 505-843-7270, WWW.INDIANPUEBLO.ORG



In-person and online shopping, curbside and delivery available.




Mostly free rides and events presented by local governments, nonprofits and businesses. SANTAFEBIKEMONTH.COM

MAY 3, 9:30 AM


SF Farmers’ Market Water Tower

Performed by NM School for the Arts students to herald Tues. market opening. Free.

MAY 2–4


Crossing the Cactus Summit

SF Convention Center, 201 W. Marcy St. Educators and employers reimagine lifelong learning opportunities for workers including apprenticeships and disruptive technologies such as AI, CAD design, AR/VR and 3D printing. HTTPS://NEWCOLLARNETWORK.COM/ NEWCOLLARSUMMIT/ , HTTPS://WWW.CROSSINGTHECACTUS.COM

MAY 4, 9–10 AM


Stories of diversity and adaptation. Mornings with O’Keeffe series led by Christina Salvador, Santa Fe Botanical Garden. Free. HTTPS://MAILCHI.MP/ OKEEFFEMUSEUM/NATIVE-NEW-MEXICO-PLANTS?E=D1280ACB12

MAY 6, 11 AM–1 PM


Violet Crown SF, 1606 Alcaldesa St. Panel discussion with public, private and non-profit perspectives. $20–$50.


Presented by Urban Land Institute-NM. 505-433-1584, DANMAJEWSKI@ULI.ORG

MAY 7, 9 AM–1 PM


SF Farmers’ Market loading zone, Chili Line Ln. A response to the critical blood supply shortage. Call 505-246-1940 for an appointment or walk up to the Vitalant bloodmobile. Masks required.

MAY 11


Governing Body Meeting, City Hall

Discussion on funding for proposed projects, challenges and accomplishments. To review Action Plan draft through 5/11: Info: 505-316-4634; send written comments before the meeting to: CJMINNICH@ SANTAFENM.GOV

MAY 13, 5:30–7 PM


Randall Davey Audubon Center, 1800 Upper Canyon Rd.

Collaborative art piece features poetry on clay plaques by 24 NM poets, placed in envi ronments from the Wildlife Garden to the Acequia Trail. The haiku trail will be open year-round. HTTPS://RANDALLDAVEY.AUDUBON.ORG

MAY 16, 6 PM






Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, 710 Cam. Lejo

The Jemez Pueblo artist is MIAC’s 2020-2021 Native Treasures Living Treasure. 505476-1269, INDIANARTSANDCULTURE.ORG/

MAY 18 (5–8 PM), JUNE 15


Villa Linda Park /Online

Celebrate Native arts, culture, music, food. INDIGENOUSWAYS.ORG

MAY 19, 7 PM


The Lensic, 211 W. San Francisco St.

Story of the land told by tribal leaders, scientists, historians and educators. Film narrat ed by Tantoo Cardinal. Free. Donations encouraged. HTTPS://LENSIC.ORG/EVENTS/

MAY 20–23


SF Convention Center

Lectures, conversations, lunches with chefs and authors, free programs. William DeBuys, John Grisham, Ann Hillerman, Craig Johnson, Hampton Sides. Tickets start at $50. SFLITERARYFESTIVAL.ORG

MAY 21, 10 AM–2 PM


Railyard Park Outdoor Classroom

SF Water Conservation Office and partners present classes and activities. Learn about rainwater harvesting and how to create a waterwise pollinator garden. To confirm atten dance, email: CYCHAVEZ@SANTAFENM.ORG , SAVEWATERSANTAFE.COM

MAY 28–30


SF Convention Center

More than 200 artists. Jewelry, pottery, sculpture, basketry, beadwork, textiles and more. 100 percent of sales support the artists. Tickets for 5/28 night market with en tertainment and Living Treasure ceremony: $100. HTTPS://WWW.MUSEUMFOUNDATION. ORG/NATIVE-TREASURES/

JUNE 4, 10 AM–3 PM


SF County Fairgrounds, 3229 Rodeo Rd.

Friends of Folk Art’s fundraiser offers folk art from around the world and benefits ed ucational programs and exhibitions at MOIFA. Free. WWW.MUSEUMFOUNDATION.ORG/




Reunity Resources, 1829 San Ysidro Crossing Hands-on activities for children ages 5–10 based on what is happening in the growing season. Group games, free play, snacks and stories. $325/week. Some scholarships avail able. JULIANA@REUNITYRESOURCES.COM , HTTPS://WWW.REUNITYRESOURCES.COM/

JUNE 7–10

TERRA 2022

SF Convention Center

13th World Congress on Earthen Architectural Heritage. Looking back, moving forward. Advances in Conservation. Podium presentations, poster sessions, speaker meet & greet, tours, workshops, earthen architecture inspired art. WWW.TERRA2022.ORG/WEBSITE/8033/



Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, 710 Cam. Lejo Works by 30-plus artists, including Ramson Lomatewama, Preston Singletary and Adri an Wall. 505-476-1269, INDIANARTSANDCULTURE.ORG/



Recharge Academy (July 18–21), hosted by environmental organization Kid Wind, will train teachers on how to discuss and lead activities around renewable energy. $1,500/$1,000. KIDWIND.ORG/CHALLENGE/EVENTS/RECZK9N3XHCEN6JG

JULY 6–10



EXPOSURE: NATIVE ART AND POLITICAL ECOLOGY IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, 108 Cathedral Pl. International Indigenous artists’ responses to impacts of nuclear testing, accidents and uranium mining on Native peoples and the environment. HTTPS://IAIA.EDU/EVENT/ EXPOSURE-NATIVE-ART-AND-POLITICAL-ECOLOGY/


SPECTRUM – NANI CHACON SITE Santa Fe, 1606 Paseo de Peralta Through Diné creation mythology, Diné/Chicana artist Nani Chacon’s first museum solo exhibition explores cultural repair and colonial resistance through vibrant visual storytelling. SITESANTAFE.ORG

SEPT. 23–25

11TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EARTHEN ARCHITECTURE & CONSTRUCTION Scottish Rite Center/Online Podium presentations, poster sessions, meet & greet, tours. WWW.EARTHUSA.ORG


ABEYTA/TO’HAJILEE KÉ Wheelwright Museum, 704 Cam. Lejo Paintings, sculpture and jewelry by Narciso Abeyta (1918-1998), Elizabeth Abeyta (1915-2006), Pablita Abeyta (1953-2007) and Tony Abeyta. 505-982-4636

THROUGH JAN. 15, 2023, 10 AM–5 PM

#MASK: CREATIVE RESPONSES TO THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC Museum of International Folk Art, 706 Museum Hill $7/$12 505-476-1200, INTERNATIONALFOLKART.ORG

MON.–SAT., 8 AM–4 PM

RANDALL DAVEY AUDUBON CENTER & SANCTUARY 1800 Upper Canyon Rd. Free walks to see birds, Sat., 8:30 am. RSVP for Randall Davey House tours. RANDALLDAVEY.AUDUBON.ORG




NM History Museum, 113 Lincoln Ave.

$7 NM residents; $12 non-residents. Free to NM residents first Sun. each month; Free to NM seniors 60+ Weds. Children 16 & under free. Through Sept. 4. 505-476-5200, NMHISTORYMUSEUM.ORG

TUES., SAT., 8 AM–1 PM


1607 Paseo de Peralta


TUES.–SAT., 10 AM–6 PM


Southside Library, 6599 Jaguar Dr. Patrons may “check out” up to 5 packets at no cost.

WEDS.–SAT., 10 AM–6 PM; FRI.–SAT., 10 AM–6:30 PM


Interactive exhibits, play areas, weekly programs. Masks required for ages 2 and older. $10/$8/$7/$3/one & under free. 505-989-8359, SANTAFECHILDRENSMUSEUM.ORG



Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, 750 Camino Lejo

How trade transformed the art of Spanish New Mexico. $12/$5/under 12 free. 505-982-2226, RESERVATIONS@SPANISHCOLONIAL.ORG , SPANISHCOLONIAL.ORG


Local nonprofit Homewise, in partnership with SFPS, is offering up to $40,000 to eligible district educators looking to buy homes in the city. 505-983-9473, HTTPS://HOMEWISE.ORG


334 Los Pinos Rd., La Ciénega, N.M.

Living history museum. 200 acres, 34 historic buildings. 505-471-2261, GOLONDRINAS.ORG


710 Camino Lejo

“Here, Now and Always.” A new, reimagined exhibit opens in June. 505-476-1269


Seeking land, donated or for sale, to build affordable housing. Low-income homeowners help build homes and make mortgage payments to the nonprofit HFH. Property owners can qualify for 50 percent Affordable Housing tax credit through the NM Mortgage Fi nance Authority. 505-986-5880, ext. 109


Museum of International Folk Art (10 am–4 pm), Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (10 am–4 pm), N.M. History Museum (10 am–4:30 pm), N.M. Museum of Art (Tues.–Sun., 10 am–4 pm). NEWMEXICOCULTURE.ORG/VISIT


Paid training for Youth 16–24. Construction, Culinary, GED. 505-989-1855, WWW.SANTAFEYOUTHWORKS.ORG/SANTA-FE-YOUTHBUILD/


MAY 8, 1–2 PM


Millicent Rogers Museum, El Prado Cipriano Vigil, Ritual and Traditional Folk Music and Song of Northern NM.



Taos Plaza

JUNE 12, 1–3 PM

Millicent Rogers Museum, El Prado


Building Community: Wisdom of Place, Emotional Attachment & Paying it Forward



Millicent Rogers Museum, El Prado Cultural heritage exhibition shares migration experiences, creative practices and

stories of Hispanic New Mexican families from Taos County and its surrounding area. MILLICENTROGERS.ORG


MAY 6, 8 AM–5 PM


San Juan College, Farmington, NM

Connecting creative clusters in rural communities for economic development collaborations. HTTPS://SITES.GOOGLE.COM/VIEW/NMFILMANDMEDIA/HOME

MAY 7, 10 AM–2 PM


Tres Semillas (across from Bode’s), Abiquiú, NM

Locally grown starts and seeds. Food from Cafe Sierra Negra. 505-832-8408, INFO@NORTHERNYOUTHPROJECT.ORG

MAY 9–12



Focused on policy, systems and infrastructure. Presented by the National Indian Health Board. 202-507-4070, TPHS@NIHB.ORG



Local government entities with land management capacity includes pueblos, tribes, land grants, acequias, soil & water conservation districts, farmers, ranchers, businesses and nonprofits. HTTPS://WWW.NMDA.NMSU.EDU/NMDA-HOMEPAGE/ DIVISIONS/APR/HEALTHY-SOIL-PROGRAM/

MAY 13–15


San Francisco, Calif. and Online

“A Window Through” An inspirational opportunity to connect with leaders and visionaries that are on the frontlines of today’s most pressing challenges. HTTPS:// CONFERENCE.BIONEERS.ORG


Local Agriculture Market Program

USDA funding available to small, beginning and underserved farmers to create better markets for local and regional food producers by expanding opportunities to sell to institutions.


Dr. Bonavita Quinto MacCallum and Dr. David Fermin Arguello. Moderated by Dr. Trisha Martínez



Public Health for All: Building Communities That Thrive. Presentations by researchers, students, advocates and practitioners on public health and related disciplines. $195/$95. HTTP://WWW.NMPHA.ORG/2022-ANNU AL-CONFERENCE



Northern NM College, Española, NM

Free intensive college readiness program to help high school sopho mores, juniors, seniors, high-school equivalency diploma recipients and adults returning to college brush up on their math and writing skills. 505-423-2321, KRISTY.ALTON@NNMC.EDU



DOE grant opportunity. The goal is to produce strategies that minimize adverse impacts of ground-mounted solar energy on wildlife and maxi mize ecosystem benefits.


THROUGH JUNE 30, 5–6:30 PM


Online events for middle- and high-school youth & families to learn how to help care for acequia communities, land and water. 5/4: Ace quia history, storytelling & documentation; 6/15: Soil, water, forest and climate science; 6/30: Using tech to protect traditions: infrastructure, engineering and mapping. 505-995-9644, WWW.LASACEQUIAS.ORG/CA REER-LIVELIHOOD/

JUNE 13–JULY 1, M, W, F



United World College-USA’s program for youth 13–16 provides leadership skills necessary to plan and execute a project that addresses a social justice challenge in the youths’ home com munities. $295. HTTPS://WWW.UWC-USA.ORG/GLF

AUG. 4–14


Gallup, NM

Legacy, tradition, culture, heritage celebration. HTTPS://LNKD.IN/EPDZJUXG

AUG. 29–SEPT. 1


St. Paul, Minn./Online

Organized by the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals. HTTPS://LINKD.IN/GSK2B5Z3



19 Wheat St., Española, NM

Self-guided tours, 505-753-9505, JESSICA@NEWMEXICOWILDLIFECENTER.ORG



Fort Sumner, NM

“A place of suffering, a place of survival.” New exhibit examines the history of the Long Walk in the 1860s, when Diné and Mescalero Apache were forcibly marched to barren reservation in eastern N.M. Free. 575-355-2573, WWW.BOSQUEREDONDOMEMORIAL.COM


The National Center for Appropriate Technology offers a free program that teaches military veterans about sustainable agriculture and how to run an agricultural business.



Española and El Rito, NM

Northern NM College offers hands-on courses. HTTPS://NNMC.EDU/ WP-CONTENT/UPLOADS/2022/03/CARPENTRY-REGISTRATION-FORM_2022_ FILLABLE.PDF


Río Chama

Boaters running the Wild and Scenic section of the river are needed to collect insect samples. Training and sampling kits provided. RHETT@NMWILD.ORG


Online marketplace for Indigenous artists and entrepreneurs across Indian Country who have graduated from NM Community Capital’s programs.


Online or Outside

Youth educators are available for presentations and coordination of special projects with classroom and community educators on topics such as ace quia history, ecology and culture; local farming and ranching traditions, water, land and climate change. 505-995-9644, EMILY@LASACEQUIAS.ORG , WWW.LASACEQUIAS.ORG/YOUTH-EDUCATION


Community training on addressing trauma. A self-guided roadmap for those struggling with addiction. Free. NM Crisis Line: 1-855-662-7474


Free service provides N.M. communities comprehensive technical assis tance to create tourism products, and matching funding for implementa tion. Applications Accepted through May 1. Projects must be completed by June 30. HTTPS://WWW.NEWMEXICO.ORG/INDUSTRY/WORK-TOGETHER/ GRANTS/RURAL-PATHWAY-PROGRAM/

MAY 19–20

Generation Water Summit Virtual Conference

GROWTH GROWTH iin n the time ofthe time of DROUGHT DROUGHT

19 &

W a t e r D a t a : A 2 1 s t C e n t u r y A p p r o a c h t o M a n a g i n g W a t e r b y S t a c y T i m m o n s , A s s o c i a t e D i r e c t o r o f H y d r o g e o l o g y a t t h e N e w M e x i c o B u r e a u o f G e o l o g y a n d M i n e r a l R e s o u r c e s P o t a b l e R a i n w a t e r D e s i g n R e q u i r e m e n t s b y D a v i d C r a w f o r d , C E O o f R a i n w a t e r M a n a g e m e n t S y s t e m s T h e H u m a n D r i v e r s o f E f f i c i e n t U r b a n L a n d s c a p e W a t e r U s e b y R o l s t o n S t . H i l a i r e , P r o f e s s o r a n d D e p a r t m e n t H e a d o f t h e D e p a r t m e n t o f P l a n t a n d E n v i r o n m e n t a l S c i e n c e s a t N e w M e x i c o S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y T r a n s f o r m i n g T h i r t y L a n d s c a p e s : I n n o v a t i v e P o l i c y A p p r o a c h e s T h r o u g h o u t t h e W e s t b y L i n d s a y R o g e r s , P o l i c y A n a l y s t w i t h t h e W e s t e r n R e s o u r c e A d v o c a t e s T h e S t a t e

Details at
o f G r a y w a t e r i n t h e W e s t b y L a u r a A l l e n , a u t h o r a n d c o f o u n d e r o f G r e y w a t e r A c t i o n a n d D o u g P u s h a r d , E x e c u t i v e D i r e c t o r o f K u e l w a t e r a n d f o u n d e r o f H a r v e s t H 2 o S c h e d u l e d s e s s i o n s i n c l u d e : Co sponsored by City of Santa Fe Water Conservation Office Registration is FREE for City & County Community Members Come learn about rainwater harvesting and how to create a waterwise pollinator garden at your home or business. Rainbarrel Raffle (there will be 5 lucky winners!) Garden Demonstration Tours Native plants seed packets Water Activities Booklet for kids. Kids Water Education Outdoor Classroom and MUCH MORE! SANTA FE SAVES WATER DAY at the Railyard Saturday May 21 10am - 2pm Mark your calendar!
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