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An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

BLM seeks public comment on the revised statewide supplementary rules

—Jeffery Miller

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) New Mexico State Office is proposing supplementary rules for public lands within the State of New Mexico. These proposed supplementary rules are a result of a periodic review and are necessary for the protection of persons, public lands, and natural resources.

The proposed supplementary rules revise existing, outdated supplementary rules, and will apply to all the BLM-managed lands within the State of New Mexico. The rules are intended to create consistency among the various field and district offices, and will facilitate public understanding of allowable uses on lands administered by BLM in New Mexico. The proposed rules would not affect any planning areas or administrative boundaries.

The current supplementary rules were written in the mid-1990s for the Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Roswell Districts. The proposed rules will remove rules that are already covered by the 43 Code of Federal Regulations, revise some of the current rules for clarity, establish two new rules prohibiting drug paraphernalia and open containers of alcohol in a motor vehicle, implement decisions made in Resource Management Plans, and set all the rules as effective on all the BLM New Mexico-managed public lands.

The Notice of Proposed Supplementary Rules for Public Lands in New Mexico was published in the Federal Register on November 5, 2014. The Notice can be viewed at: The public is invited to provide comments no later than January 4, 2016. Comments may be submitted by mail to: Office of Law Enforcement, BLM, New Mexico State Office, P.O. Box 27115 Santa Fe, NM 87502-0115; hand-delivered to: 301 Dinosaur Trail, Santa Fe, NM, 87508; or emailed to:

For more information, contact BLM’s State Chief Ranger Jeffery Miller at 954-2206.

Deadline approaching for 2016 Master Gardener training program

December 11, 2015, is the deadline to apply for the NMSU Sandoval County Extension Master Gardener Training Program for 2016. The program is designed to train volunteers to educate and inform members of their communities about appropriate, sustainable, and environmentally friendly gardening techniques. First priority is given to Sandoval County residents.

To become certified as a Sandoval County Master Gardener, forty hours of classes are required, which include testing and thirty hours of volunteer work.

The Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program has limited seating. The cost is $125 dollars. The application is available online at:

The 16-week course will begin on January 12, 2016, and end April 26, 2016. Classes will be held every Tuesday from 1:00 until 5:00 p.m. at the DeLavy Historical House, located at 151 Edmond Road in Bernalillo. For more information, contact Lynda Garvin, Agriculture/Horticulture Agent at the Sandoval County Cooperative Extension Service at 867-2582 or toll free 1 (800) 678-1802.

New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. If you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the classes, call (505) 867-2582 during the application process.

MRGCD closes 2015 irrigation season  

—Tom Thorpe

Water deliveries ceased by October 31, bringing the 2015 irrigation season in the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD) to a close. A wildly unpredictable season started with a below-normal snowpack and predictions of a forty-percent runoff in April. Late spring snow and early rains made for a better-than-expected irrigation season, says MRGCD Water Operations Manager, David Gensler. “We never know what Mother Nature will do, but this year she provided for a full irrigation season with no interruptions and no water curtailments.”

The MRGCD began the 2015 irrigation season with no water in storage. But the heavy rains in May and June allowed the District to store more than ninety thousand acre-feet of water for future use. An unusually wet July allowed the District to operate without releasing much of its storage water in early summer, but roughly twenty-thousand acre feet was released in the dry and hot months of August and September when the natural flow of the Rio Grande was not sufficient to supply irrigators. Temperatures remained unusually high through October requiring additional releases.

Small diversions continued in November, at the request of Bureau of Indian Affairs, to provide deliveries to Pueblo irrigators. Some water must be moved downstream to Elephant Butte Reservoir during the winter months, per requirements of the Rio Grande Compact. Even with this requirement, the MRGCD will still have significant water in storage at El Vado Reservoir in northern New Mexico to begin the 2016 irrigation season.

Placitas Recycling Center Holiday Collection Schedule

The Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. every Saturday during December and January except for December 19, the Saturday before Christmas. To volunteer, call Max at 877-7745, or email: Located one-half mile east of Interstate 25, off exit 242 along the north side of State Highway 165. For more information, visit:

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