In Gratitude

As I write the newsletter today, I look out a window above my art room desk and see an oak forest, snow-blanketed, and awaiting the imprint of tracks from our local band of wild turkeys. The other windy winter day while taking a morning walk with a friend above El Rito we witnessed a winter rainbow, wide banded and short, exactly marking the entrance to the National Forest further up the valley to our north where the gate is closed for the winter.

I am reminded, by putting my heart and mind out there in this landscape, why this place matters to me. And I just feel inspired to thank every one of you for paying attention to and protecting this wild and beautiful place where we live. Thank you for tuning in and participating when you can.

Thank you to all the artists who contributed their time and their inspired view of the Rio Chama Watershed in our annual fund-raising show last year. We need your vision to remind us about what we need to protect and why.

To Wendy Dolci, who represents our fiscal sponsor, Luciente – thank you for your steadfast guidance.

And special thanks to all of you who contributed financially to RACC in the last year, especially those who gave to us regularly (you know who you are!). You are keeping our doors and our will open. We just held our first monthly board meeting of 2019 and look forward to continuing our mission, one that we cannot do without you by our side.

Barbara Turner/ RACC Board of Directors

New Oil and Gas Threat Map

We’ll work toward putting this incredible map up on our website. There is nothing like an aerial view to make sense of the proximity of oil and gas development to our area. Thank you Carolyn for discovering this resource! This is a very cool interactive map that gives great perspective on New Mexico’s reach to become the number one oil play in the world. Take a look using the link below. Look for Lake Abiquiu to get your bearings.

When Presence Matters

President of RACC, Bill Clark, is on his way to Santa Fe this week to represent RACC by participating in two very important back to back events in Santa Fe. On Monday, January 28th from 2-5 PM, the Clean Energy Conference will be held at Temple Beth Shalom. The opening speaker is Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and her talk is entitled, A Vision for New Mexico and the Planet. You can then learn how to be an effective grassroots lobbyist with various breakout sessions, depending on your interests. One of the sessions is entitled, Oil and Gas Solutions.

The following day on Tuesday the 29th is Clean Energy Day at the Roundhouse. This event runs from 8AM- 3PM. As grassroots lobbyists, this Sierra Club event is your opportunity to help pass legislation that will help stop the climate crisis and protect your watershed.

You can see a schedule of events on their website here.

Three bills we are keeping track of at the Roundhouse are HB20 (the Community Solar Act), SB186 (Oil Conservation Division Powers and Duties), which would provide needed over site for oil and gas operations by the Oil Conservation Division, and HB206 (The Environmental Review Act). This last legislative initiative promotes the idea of a separate State Environmental Assessment program meant be more rigorous than the Federal NEPA program, one that we have repeatedly protested due to its clearly slippery loopholes. You can track these bills here.

These pieces of legislation will effect us locally and so we encourage you to advocate for these bills at the Roundhouse in person, or by contacting your representatives. Contact information can always be found on our website by clicking on the ACTION CENTER tab. Thank You!

Yes, another oil and gas lease sale is on the horizon.

March, 2019 marks the next oil and gas lease sale in New Mexico. As luck will have it, there are NOT any parcels within the Rio Chama Watershed that we are aware of at this point. However, one parcel is in Rio Arriba County. Stay tuned for information on how you can participate in protesting this lease sale. With the government shut down that just happened, protest period dates may change.

The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club is organizing to protest and more information about how to effectively participate will be forthcoming once the government is up and running again. RACC’s protest tactics from previous lease sales have been noted by the Sierra Club and Wild Earth Guardians and between all of us we will once again register our concerns with the BLM. You will find more information from RACC regarding this sale in a future “Watershed Alert” which will be sent to our mailing list. Stay tuned!