Earth Matters / Aldo Leopold Eco Monitors


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In this week’s edition of Earth Matters, co-producer Nathan Newcomer interviews students from the Aldo Leopold Charter School’s Eco-Monitoring Program.

Based in Silver City, Aldo Leopold Charter School launched their Eco-Monitoring program several years ago to give students the opportunity to participate in gathering data in the U.S. National Forest. They discuss much of the important work that the students do, including collecting data on soils, aquatics, range, forest, and wildlife.

They also discuss the importance of educating youth on the importance of conservation work, and how that translates into healthier communities and thriving local economies.

Tune in to this week’s Earth Matters to learn more.

Albuquerque Journal Editorial: Valles Caldera plan a win

Easier and more affordable access is coming to the Valles Caldera National Preserve in the Jemez Mountains.

And that means more people will be able to enjoy the 89,0000-acre preserve that features stunning mountain peaks, meandering streams, soaring views, vast plains and opportunities to fish, hike and photograph – and when in-season hunt wildlife – on the former Baca Ranch the U.S. government purchased in 2000.

Come October, management of the preserve will pass to the National Park Service. To date it has been managed by a trust, with access limited and expensive.

The new rules and fees were developed in collaboration with the Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and tribal and pueblo partners.

Under the new format approved by the Valles Caldera Trust Board of Trustees, the entrance fee will be $20 per vehicle and $10 per person for hikers or bicyclists – valid for seven days for all self-guided recreational activities including hiking, fishing, mountain biking and horseback riding. Special events, guided hikes, van tours and the use of the headquarters shuttle will also be free with entry.

The Valles Caldera opens Friday. It is a treasure, and care must be taken to preserve its integrity and beauty. But at the same time, the people who own it – U.S. citizens – should get to enjoy it to the extent possible as long as they do so respectfully. This plan looks like a winner from all viewpoints.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

Goal now is to get the most from monument – LCSN

Editorial: Goal now is to get the most from monument

Las Cruces Sun-News

POSTED:   05/15/2015 01:00:00 AM MDT

There was so much bitter debate leading up to the decision, that it seems hard to believe a full year has passed since President Barack Obama used his powers under the Antiquities Act to designate the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument on May 21, 2014.

The year since then has not brought the calamity monument opponents had warned that it would. The Potrillo Mountains have not been turned into a corridor for illegal drug smuggling. Nor has the year brought us much in terms of tourism growth or enhanced economic development, as had been promised by supporters. Those benefits will come in time, we believe.

There has been some work done on the monument in the past year. New signs were erected by the Bureau of Land Management to designate the new national monument. But, we won’t fully know about the monument’s impacts and benefits until the BLM completes its land use plan, and that is still expected to be years away.

In the meantime, a number of celebrations have been planned for next week to mark the monument’s anniversary. This Saturday and Sunday, the BLM will waive day-use fees at Aguirre Spring Campground and all fees, excluding the group site fee, at Dripping Springs Natural Area/La Cueva. The $7 campsite fee will remain in effect.

Tonight, a celebration will be held at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum with a tribal blessing and the unveiling of the OMDP Achievement badge for Girl Scouts. On Saturday, a hike will be held at the Dripping Springs Natural Area, followed by a big game cookout at the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park. An interfaith service is planned for Sunday at Dripping Springs.

The Las Cruces City Council is expected to declare today through May 22 as OMDP Celebration Week at its meeting Monday. Other events include a safety talk Tuesday, fiesta at the Mesilla Plaza on Wednesday, art show Thursday at the West End Art Depot and OMDP Monumental Opening Night next Friday for the opening game of the season for the Las Cruces Vaqueros baseball team.

There will also be a focus throughout the week on the potential economic opportunities the new national monument may bring for local businesses, said Carrie Hamblen of the Green Chamber of Commerce.

It took a lengthy effort to persuade the president to declare the monument, and the process was often quite contentious. We appreciate that not everybody in our community will be celebrating next week.

But the monument has been declared. The goal now should be to make the most of it.

Week of celebrations will mark Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks’ 1st Anniversary

For Immediate Release
May 16, 2015

Community events begin with May 15 kick-off;
Sen. Heinrich cookout on May 16

(LAS CRUCES) – Local businesses, civic groups and community leaders have planned a week of events and celebrations to mark the first anniversary of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument (OMDP), which was established by President Obama on May 21, 2014.

The week of celebration begins May 15 with a kick-off event, 5:30 p.m. at the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, sponsored by the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance.

In addition to the events, local businesses will be offering OMDP-related discounts and special offers throughout the week.

All events are open to the public. Visit here for a complete listing of all events.

In addition, local business owners have been featured in a series of short videos and profiles about what the monument means to them. These profiles and videos can be found here. Profiled businesses are also available for media interviews. Contact Carrie Hamblen at 575-496-5242 for details.

Organ Mountains Desert Peaks Anniversary Celebrations for May 15-17:

Friday, May 15th                                        5:30pm to 8pm                        

OMDP Kick-off Celebration at the Farm and Ranch MuseumFeaturing a tribal blessing, the unveiling of the OMDP Achievement badge for the Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest, entertainment, and booths and information related to the monument.  The event will feature a “class picture” taken of all of the groups and individuals who worked to help establish the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

Event co-sponsored by:  Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance

Location:  New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road, Las Cruces, NM 88011

Cost:  Free


Saturday, May 16th                                   8am to noon                                      

OMDP daytime activities at Dripping Springs Natural Area.  Features a bird walk, meet the Hermit of La Cueva, a hike to the Eugene Van Patten Ruins, and an expert talk about the geology of the monument.  The event ends with a special 15th birthday celebration of National Conservation Lands which will include cake and hands-on activities for kids of all ages.

Sponsored by:  Bureau of Land Management

Location:  Dripping Springs Natural Area, Dripping Springs Road.

Cost:  No fees charged May 16th and 17th at Dripping Springs or Aguirre Springs


Saturday, May 16th                                   5pm to 9pm                                       

OMDP Big Game Cookout at the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park featuring Sen. Heinrich.  Join Senator Martin Heinrich for elk tacos cooked on discos, local beer from High Desert Brewing, live music, and more.

Sponsored by:  New Mexico Wildlife Federation     

Location:  Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, 5000 Calle Del Norte, Mesilla, NM 88046

Cost:  $5.00 Day use fee may apply


Sunday, May 17th                                      9am to 10am                                               

OMDP Interfaith Service at Dripping Springs.  Religious leaders from the community will come together to host an interfaith service at the La Cueva amphitheater.

Sponsored by:  NM CAFé

Location:  Dripping Springs Natural Area, Dripping Springs Road.

Cost:  No fees charged May 16th and 17th at Dripping Springs or Aguirre Springs


For a full listing of all the week’s events, please visit:




NM Wild Supporters

NM Wild News

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