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An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988
  Public Safety
 

c. Rudi Klimpert

Public meetings planned for forest health in the Jemez Mountains

—Bruce Hill, US Forest Service

The Santa Fe National Forest is hosting a series of public meetings about the Southwest Jemez Mountains Landscape Restoration project and encourages the public to attend any of them.

Forest managers wish to reduce the threat of high-intensity, potentially destructive wildfires by restoring natural processes in the project area. A variety of treatments will be proposed including prescribed fires, mechanically thinning trees, improving watershed function and wildlife habitat, and removing invasive species.

The overall Southwest Jemez Mountains project is a long-term collaborative effort to restore sustainable ecological forest conditions on a landscape of approximately 210,000 acres in the Southwest Jemez Mountains. The area is composed primarily of the entire upper Jemez River watershed including the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve, 110,000 acres of the Santa Fe National Forest, as well as some private and Jemez Pueblo tribal lands. These public meetings kick off planning for the environmental impact statement needed on the 110,000 acres of national forest before certain treatments can be accomplished. 

Upcoming Meeting Schedule:

On March 29 at the Santa Fe National Forest Supervisor’s Office, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., or on March 31 at the VallesCaldera Science & Education Center in Jemez Springs, 90 Villa Louis Martin, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., meetings will be held to discuss where we’ve been, where we are, and what to expect next in the planning process. These meetings will be instructional on how to be informed and involved, and to get feedback on the draft purpose and need. The two meetings are the same. 

On April 12, at the Santa Fe National Forest Supervisor’s Office, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., or on April 14, at the VallesCaldera Science & Education Center in Jemez Springs, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., meetings will be held to get public feedback, suggestions, and ideas on the draft Proposed Action which is expected to be ready for review around April 4. The two meetings are also the same.

The public may also write to the Forest Service with feedback on the Purpose and Need to: Julie Bain, c/o Santa Fe National Forest, 11 Forest Lane, Santa Fe, NM 87508.


New survey finds 18.1 percent of households in NM unable to afford enough food in 2011

—Patricia Anders

According to a new report released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), eighteen percent of New Mexican respondants reported not having enough money to buy the food that they or their family needed at some points during the prior twelve months,

The report provides data on food hardship—the inability to afford enough food—for every region, every state, every Congressional District and one hundred of the country’s largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), including Albuquerque. For New Mexico, the numbers are troubling:

In 2011, 18.1 percent of New Mexicans said they were unable to afford enough food.

For the Albuquerque MSA, the food hardship rate was 20.2 percent in 2010-2011.

All three of the Congressional Districts in New Mexico had 18 percent or more of their residents reporting food hardship in 2010-2011.

Polling data released last month by FRAC confirms broad support among Americans for the federal nutrition programs and for a stronger role by government in ending hunger. Seven in ten voters said the federal government should have a major role in ensuring that low-income families and children have the food and nutrition they need. 77 percent of voters say that cutting food stamp assistance (SNAP - the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) would be the wrong way to reduce government spending.


 Ribbon cutting for Fire Station 21

Photo credit: —Photos by Sidney Hill
Santa Ana Pueblo Governor E.J. Lujan cuts the ribbon to mark the grand opening of Sandoval County Fire Station N0. 21. Left of Governor Lujan is State Senator Lynda Lovejoy. Right of thegovernor is Sandoval County Commission Chairman Darryl Madalena and Sandoval County Manager Phil Rios.

Sandoval County Station 21

Station 21 will provide fire protection and emergency medical services across southern Sandoval County, including the Pueblo of Santa Ana, Santa Ana Casino, Tamaya Hyatt Resort, the Town of Bernalillo, Zia Pueblo, Placitas, the Pueblo of Sandia and the Village of Algodones.

New SC fire station opens

—Sidney Hill,Sandoval County Public Information Officer

A grand opening and ribbon cutting took place on March 16 to celebrate the completion of Sandoval County Fire Station No. 21—the second combination volunteer and career fire station constructed by Sandoval County to meet the growing fire protection and EMS needs of this diverse community.

Station No. 43, located on the I-25 Frontage Road north of Highway 165 in Placitas, opened in November, 2010.

Volunteer and career personnel from Station 21 will provide fire protection and emergency medical services in the southern Sandoval County area, including the Pueblo of Santa Ana, Santa Ana Casino, Tamaya Hyatt Resort, the Town of Bernalillo, Zia Pueblo, Placitas, the Pueblo of Sandia, and the Village of Algodones.

Station 21 personnel will also respond to the City of Rio Rancho and the Village of Corrales when mutual aid is requested.

The grand opening included a tour of the station and remarks from local government officials who worked to secure funding for the facility.

The station is the result of an Agreement of Cooperation signed by officials from Sandoval County and the Santa Ana Pueblo on June 17, 2004. Under the agreement, the pueblo donated two acres of land to house the station. The pueblo also agreed to make yearly payments to the county for fire protection and EMS services on the pueblo.

Funding for the station came from a combination of state and federal funds. In 2004, the pueblo received $470,000 from the New Mexico Legislature to purchase a new ladder truck that has been housed in a temporary fire station on pueblo land north of the Santa Ana Golf Course. Three years later, the Legislature allocated $365,000 to fund the planning and design work on a permanent station.

In 2009, Sandoval County secured $2.7 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—also known as the Federal Stimulus Program—to fund the station’s construction.

A First for the Pueblo

“The Pueblo of Santa Ana has been anxious for the new Fire Station No. 21 to become operational,” says E.J. Lujan, Governor of Santa Ana Pueblo. “This is a first for the pueblo and will enhance the fire and emergency medical services for its tribal members, its business enterprises, and guests, as well as the communities in Southern Sandoval County. It’s also important to note that this project could not have become a reality without the cooperative working relationship with County of Sandoval, New Mexico Legislators, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

Fire Station No. 21 is located near the intersection of US Highway 550 and State Road 528. The 13,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility will house two full-time firefighters around the clock, in addition to three EMT/firefighters from the Sandoval County Fire Residency Program.

Personnel from the fire residency program are students working on their Fire Science degrees. They will be allowed to live at the station free of charge in exchange for working regular duty shifts as volunteer firefighters.

The station has six dorm rooms and three bathrooms to accommodate the personnel. The station is also equipped with four drive-through bays for firefighting equipment, an employee training room, a library, a fitness room, and a laundry, kitchen, and dining room.

“The grand opening of Sandoval County Fire Station No. 21 is the culmination of seven years of hard work and commitment by the Sandoval County Board of County Commissioners, Sandoval County Fire Department, and the Pueblo of Santa Ana Tribal Administration,” said Sandoval County Fire Chief Jon Tibbetts. “This project exemplifies the ability of local governments to work together to improve the health and safety of it residents and visitors.”

Darryl Madalena, chairman of the Sandoval County Commission, said that the opening of this new fire station is “a great success story, not only for Santa Ana and Bernalillo, but for all of Sandoval County. It was great to see so many different entities come together to complete this project. It’s just another example of how Sandoval County continues to lead the State of New Mexico into a bigger, brighter future.”
 
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