Gov. Bill Richardson for many years has declared New Mexico the “clean energy state” and called for the export of electricity generated from wind to large markets such as California. Sounds good. But behind the hype, talk to any expert about future wind development in the state and it becomes clear there is one major problem: Transmission lines are already at capacity.
In New Mexico, environmental horrors abound. Corporations influence the government’s ability to regulate environmental emergencies, people who might otherwise be allies have faced off against one another in battle, and climate change is already punching its tentacles into the Southwestern landscape. SFR explores the potential, scary science fiction future.
As the economy continues to stagger and the effects of climate change become more obvious, many on the local front lines of the green-jobs movement believe the chasm between rhetoric and reality also grows more discernible. They say the state’s best hope for transformation—environmental and economic—may lie with its youth.
Using undercover sources, agents from the FBI and the US Bureau of Land Management spent more than two years infiltrating a tight-knit community of looters in the Four Corners area who dig up graves and pillage archaeological sites on public lands, then sell the items they find to dealers and collectors.
Under a questionable partnership, the Fish and Wildlife Service has managed to give away its statutory responsibility to recover endangered species to a consortium of agencies, allege critics of the way wolf introduction is being managed in the southwest. Wolves are being removed—or killed—by the very people charged with reintroducing the animals to the wild.
Signs of ancient life are everywhere in New Mexico. Consider the Galisteo Basin, just outside the city of Santa Fe, where hundreds of archaeological sites blanket the ground. These range from drawings etched hundreds of years ago onto boulders and scatters of flaked stone—where someone sat and chipped a tool, leaving behind bits and pieces of rock—to entire villages and sacred ceremonial structures.
But not everyone believes the State Land Office is properly overseeing the thousands of archaeological resources on state lands. As a result, archaeologists say, history is being lost.