To The Ranch
How amazing, to be transported to New Mexico and the DH Lawrence Ranch through images and text [cover, March 20: “Ghost Ranch”]! Especially on this cold and snowy first day of spring in Wisconsin. I never dreamed I’d be able to see actual photos and learn so much! Thank you, heartfelt for this gift today!

Bravo for the northern Rio, bravo [, March 22: “Pres. Obama Declares Rio Grande del Norte a National Monument”]! Congratulations to the people of the Rio Grande del Norte and many thanks to Sens. [Jeff] Bingaman, [Tom] Udall and [Martin] Heinrich, and to Congressman Ben Ray Luján. Efforts leading to this step actually started about 15 years before 2007, when then-Rep. Bill Richardson assembled a cross-section of private and public representatives to explore the natural, historical and cultural aspects of the area. Until President Obama designated this newest unit of the National Landscape Conservation System 20 years later, efforts focused on the legislative arena—where state boundaries and congressional delegations are paramount.

As a state official on that early task force, I think it’s fair to say most of us knew that the real natural boundaries extended upriver into southern Colorado. It’s also true that the history of National Monument designations includes many cases of boundary expansion, as more becomes known and understood about the areas. Perhaps the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument will one day reflect its geologic, cultural and scientific contours rather than those of a political map. Until then, from the canyons and its environs, we’ll celebrate this important moment.
Geoff Webb

The Dirt, March 13: “Canine Assets”

Moral Progress
Laura Paskus has written another outstanding and sensitive article for SFR on animals/environment. Her knowledge (with her unique perspective of this major issue) offers incredible insight.
What always comes to mind in reading her articles on this important topic are the words by Gandhi: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Mary R Dykton
Santa Fe

Fighting Chance
Laura Paskus’ article on the disastrous [Fish & Wildlife Service] Mexican wolf program is a glaring example of the fallacy of wildlife “management.” These wolves never had much of a chance to begin with: When they were designated “experimental nonessential” (a political move to appease ranchers), it opened the door for an ongoing slaughter.

Since the livestock industry rabidly fights any endangered/threatened wildlife status, or any legislation to protect native wild animals, wolf re-introduction was, and is, a program set up to fail.
Maybe it’s time to try a new, more enlightened program? Why not designate the livestock industry “experimental nonessential” and get livestock off our public lands, say, for the next 100 years or so. Perhaps all of our native wild animals will fare better, and have a fighting chance, as their habitat deteriorates because of climate change—and because of the damage to the land due to livestock grazing. For more info:
Rosemary Lowe
Santa Fe

What a victory for the consumer rights of every citizen of Santa Fe [, Feb. 7: “Santa Fe to Consider GMO Labeling”]! Whether you love or hate genetically engineered food is a discussion for another time. This is about labeling, plain and simple. It’s about my right and your right to know what we feed our families. Period. If you love GE food with all your heart, then great, eat it. If you hate GE food, then great, don’t eat it. But how will we know unless it’s labeled? And regardless of how we feel about it, why wouldn’t we want it labeled? Thank you, City Council of Santa Fe, for championing the people. The many supporters of this resolution across the city look forward to you continuing to champion our right to know what is in our food.
Carol Norris
Santa Fe

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