Reduce – Reuse – Recycle
The market for recycled materials is an ever changing and evolving
thing, and people often express confusion about what materials can
be recycled, what items need to be separated, and what needs to
be done before items are brought to the Placitas Recycling Center.
There are informational fliers available at the center during recycling
hours every Saturday from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. Here are a few requirements:
• Paper that has the same weight and feel as a paper bag
needs to be pulled out of newspapers and sorted as mixed paper.
• Only No. 1 and No. 2 plastic can be accepted. Usually the
number will be embossed, along with the recycling symbol, on the
bottom of the item. Take the caps off the bottles before bringing
them to the recycling center. Plastic bags cannot be recycled.
• Only corrugated cardboard can be recycled in the cardboard
trailer. And please, no pizza boxes, even if they are corrugated.
• Office paper needs to be separated from mixed paper. If
in doubt, sort as mixed paper.
• Only rechargeable batteries wrapped in plastic baggies can
• It is important to clean all food out of containers before
they are recycled and to rinse out plastic bottles. Food attracts
vermin and can create a serious problem for the recycling center.
Additional volunteers are always needed. They are invited to sign
up at the recycling center on Saturday mornings or to call Carmen
Ketchum, at 771-1311.
The harder they spawn, the quicker they die
—LAURA PASKUS, HIGH COUNTRY NEWS
After three years of stocking efforts—and an unusually wet
start to 2005—silvery minnows had a good run this spring in
the Middle Rio Grande. Now, as the river recedes, the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service says that more of the endangered fish can legally
be allowed to die.
Biologists found millions of the four-inch fish this spring, but
this summer, as the river dwindled, they counted far more dead minnows
than were allowed under the "incidental take" numbers
set by the service. Rather than ordering more water, officials upped
the allowable take from 760 minnows to 10,440.
Ironically, the increased take may allow the service to stock
minnows for the first time in the San Acacia reach of the river,
south of Albuquerque. In the past, officials feared intermittent
flows in that reach could cause fish losses to exceed legal take
limits. "[The San Acacia reach] is the center of the universe
for the silvery minnow now. Why not maintain and rebuild the population
down there?" says Jim Brooks, project leader of the Service’s
Fisheries Resources Office.
Changing the take numbers could also make room for other changes
to the agency’s 2003 minnow plan. That plan was supposed to
remain in effect for ten years, according to a provision in a rider
passed by Senator Pete Domenici, R-N.M. "[Domenici’s
law had] made it very difficult to challenge what they’re
doing on the river," says Letty Belin, an attorney who represents
conservationists on behalf of the minnow. Now, she says that in
her view, Domenici’s provision—and the ten-year requirement
it created—no longer apply.
High Country News (www.hcn.org)
covers the West's communities and natural-resource issues from Paonia,
Las Huertas Watershed Project hosts water-harvesting
As part of its ongoing lecture and workshop series, the Las Huertas
Watershed Project will host a workshop on water harvesting on Saturday,
October 22, from 9:00 a.m. to noon, at the Placitas Community Center.
Learn how to harvest rainwater on your property for a variety
of uses while also reducing storm-water erosion. Both home-built
and manufactured systems will be discussed. We'll begin with an
overview lecture presentation and poster showing of rooftop catchment/cistern
storage systems, and proceed to tour a selection of working water-harvesting
systems on Placitas homes.
Admission is free, and refreshments will be provided by Las Placitas
A hands-on workshop on building water-harvesting systems is also
being offered, beginning at 1:00 p.m. the same day, and continuing
through Sunday. Please call Vickie Peck or Reid Bandeen, at 867-1588,
to register for the hands-on workshop.
Bingaman says Congress must address global
On September 20 U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman participated in the
second hearing hosted by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources
Committee on global warming.
Bingaman, the top Democrat on the Energy Committee, has been a
lead advocate in the Senate for taking steps to reduce the greenhouse
emissions that cause global warming. Bingaman has said that one
of the shortcomings of the recently enacted energy legislation was
that it failed to address climate change.
In the hearing, Bingaman said failure to develop a policy to address
greenhouse gas emissions will in the long run hurt our nation’s
“I think the true uncertainties in the climate debate revolve
around what is to happen if we let this problem go unattended. As
time goes on without any effective action, we will lose the ability
to respond with measures that are both effective and moderate. Waiting
for the day when the only response we can implement would be to
drastically alter the way we use energy is not a sensible solution,”
Bingaman told Energy Committee Chairman Pete Domenici that he
appreciated the fact that he was willing to hold congressional hearings
on climate change and said he hoped the entire Senate would commit
itself to debating this issue in the near future.
Greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere are causing average
temperatures to rise at a rate outside the range of natural variability
and are posing a substantial risk of rising sea levels, altered
patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation, and increased frequency
and severity of floods and droughts.
Representative Udall introduces legislation
to block drilling in Valle Vidal
On September 15, U.S. Representative Tom Udall, D-N.M., introduced
legislation to permanently shield the one-hundred-thousand-acre
Valle Vidal Unit of the Carson National Forest from mineral extraction.
"The Valle Vidal is national treasure that is now threatened,"
Udall said. "Drilling in the Valle Vidal is not a long-term,
responsible energy strategy—we cannot drill our way out of
our current energy problems. After visiting the area on many occasions
and hearing from thousands of Americans, I have reached the inescapable
conclusion that the Valle Vidal should be protected in perpetuity
Udall's measure amends the forest-service management plan for
the Valle Vidal and bars mineral extraction. Importantly, the measure
does not change the area's status and will ensure that the current
recreational uses of the Valle Vidal will continue.
Thirty years ago, the Pennzoil Company purchased nearly five hundred
thousand acres of the land which was being used as a hunting park.
Pennzoil maintained the area as such until 1982, when it donated
a one-hundred-thousand-acre parcel of it to the federal government—at
the time, the largest donation in forest-service history. During
its ownership, Pennzoil never opened the area for oil and gas drilling.
Udall added, "What an ironic travesty it would be for the
government to now turn its back on this precious gift and allow
the area to be blighted. Recent economic studies demonstrate that
the protection of special public lands like the Valle Vidal is good
for local economies and that, in fact, exploitation of these places
for a few hours of energy can hurt long-term economic growth and
New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid stated, “I strongly
oppose oil and gas development in the Valle Vidal, and that is the
message I conveyed to the United States Forest Service. The fight
to preserve the Valle Vidal for New Mexico’s families is one
that I will vigorously wage.”
The Valle Vidal has important recreational, ecological, and economic
benefits. Many New Mexicans use the area to hunt, hike, ski, and
fish. The area is home to the state’s largest elk herd and
provides some of the best remaining habitat for Rio Grande cutthroat
trout. The rivers and streams of the area have been nominated as
Outstanding National Resource Waters under the Clean Water Act.”
Despite the importance of the Valle Vidal’s outstanding
recreational, scenic, and ecological attributes to New Mexicans,
the Carson Forest Plan is the forest service’s first step
toward opening the Valle Vidal to drilling. Their preliminary analysis
suggests that oil and gas development would result in the construction
of nearly two hundred well pads on the eastern portion of the Valle
Solar Association presents program on Earthships
The Albuquerque Chapter of the New Mexico Solar Energy Asociation
will host a program on October 25, at 6:00 p.m, called “Earthships.”
The speaker will be Amy Lay of Earthship Biotecture of Taos. The
program will take place at REI, 1550 Mercantile NW, right after
announcements from their regular meeting and is open to the public
and free of charge. For further information, call 246-0400 or visit
their Web site at www.nmsea.org.