New Mexico

Conservationists Applaud BLMs Decision To Defer Oil & Gas Drilling Near Cebolla, New Mexico (press release 2.4.14)

Agency heeds public concern regarding ground and surface water pollution from fracking.

The Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) Taos Field Office announced the deferral of 16 parcels encompassing 13,300 acres of public lands near Cebolla, New Mexico, from the October 2014 oil and gas lease sale, instead opting to conduct additional analysis. 

Proposal to Strip Federal Wolf Protections Faces Strong Opposition (press release 12.17.13)

Over 100,000 Pacific West residents urge U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain protections for gray wolves

Demonstrating Americans’ broad opposition to the Obama administration’s plan to strip Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves, members of the Pacific Wolf Coalition submitted 101,416 comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today favoring continued wolf protections. The comments on behalf of the coalition’s members and supporters in the Pacific West join 1 million comments collected nationwide expressing Americans’ strong disapproval of the Fish and Wildlife Service proposal to remove federal protections from gray wolves across most of the continental United States.

Groups call for federal regulations to curb methane leaks (Washington Post, 12.4.13)


Ninety health, environmental and sportsmen’s groups asked the federal government Thursday to clamp down on the release of methane gas by the petrochemical industry, asserting that the United States cannot reach its goal for reducing heat-trapping emissions without addressing the issue.

Environmental, Health, Sporting Organizations, Call On Interior Secretary Jewell, EPA Administrator McCarthy To Curb Methane Emissions From Oil And Gas Industry (press release 12.05.13)


A broad group of regional and national environmental and health organizations, joined by sporting and faith-based allies, today called on Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to substantially reduce emissions of methane from the oil and gas industry on public and private lands, as well as from offshore oil operations.

Victory! WELC Wins in 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (11.8.13)


Victory! An important win today by WELC attorney John Mellgren allows us to intervene in a lawsuit to protect the Santa Fe National Forest from irresponsible motorized vehicle recreation. The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the lower court's decision that prevented us from intervening in the Santa Fe National Forest travel management plan lawsuit to defend the U.S. Forest Service's decision to close routes that were destroying habitat for rare species. The plaintiffs (New Mexico Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance) did not object to our joining the case. 

New Mexico Supreme Court Upholds Water Quality Protections (press release 10.10.13)

New Mexico Supreme Court Upholds Water Quality Protections

The New Mexico Supreme Court has rejected an attempt by the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association to reverse historic water quality protections put in place by the state Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) in December of 2010. The ruling puts to rest an extended legal battle over the WQCC’s decision to designate rivers and streams located in Wilderness Areas as Outstanding National Resource Waters (ONRWs).  In their unanimous decision the court “quashed” the Cattle Growers last ditch legal maneuver to reverse the protections.

Looking For Lynx Habitat (Eugene Weekly 6.6.13)


With thick fur and paws that work like snowshoes, the Canada lynx is a cat specialized for hunting in the snow. Already decimated by habitat destruction and overhunting, lynx are now facing the added danger of climate change, which may diminish their snowy habitats. 

Groups challenge fed handling of Navajo Mine assessment


WINDOW ROCK — Six conservation groups engaged in litigation regarding the expansion of Navajo Mine into Area 4 filed a letter Friday with the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement protesting OSM’s handling of a draft environmental assessment for the transfer of BHP Billiton’s Navajo Mine to the Navajo Nation.

On April 29, the Navajo Nation Council passed legislation to form Navajo Transitional Energy Co. LLC. Navajo informed OSM that it was seeking to purchase all interests in BHP Navajo Coal Co. from BHP Billiton New Mexico Coal by July 1.

Advocates Call On BLM To Change Policy Consistent with Court Order (press release 5.17.13 )

Twenty-nine organizations seek reversal of BLM’s policy that keeps secret the names of corporations that nominate public lands for oil and gas drilling

Just over three months ago, in a momentous victory for the public’s right to know and government transparency, U.S. District Court Senior Judge Richard P. Matsch ruled on February 13, 2013 that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated the public’s right to know when it concealed the identity of the entities that nominate public lands for gas drilling leases.

Protections for wolverines draw states' opposition



State officials in the Northern Rockies on Monday lined up against a federal proposal to give new protections to the carnivorous wolverine, as climate change threatens to melt the species' snowy mountain strongholds.

A pending U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal would declare the rare, elusive animal a threatened species across the Lower 48 states.

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