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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Could NM Lose its “Spirit” With Deteriorating Colorado River?

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Monday, May 2, 2011   

SANTA FE, N.M. - New Mexico is facing increased water resource risks. A report to Congress from the U.S. Department of Interior, The SECURE Water Act Report, warns that climate change will reduce the amount of water available in the Colorado River Basin from 8 percent to 20 percent in annual stream flow, stretching a resource already pulled to the max.

Alan Hamilton, conservation director for the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, says the time for positive policy change that includes all aspects of water usage is now.

"Managing the resources for the benefit of wildlife and wildlife habitat is very important. Unfortunately, a lot of times, because this water serves so many different interests, wildlife seems to lose its priority. We think it should really be at the top."

Hamilton says lower water levels in both the Colorado and Rio Grande rivers could effect wildlife habitat, and reminds decision-makers that when managing water resources, it's important the Great Outdoors isn't forgotten.

"The West has a wildness and still has wildlife habitat and open spaces. It's hard to put a dollar figure to those, yet that's why so many of us live here, because it gives us an opportunity to participate in the outdoors that's very meaningful."

Last week, Hamilton attended a congressional field hearing in Santa Fe about the risk to the Colorado and Rio Grande rivers. He says the rivers bring a spirit to the Southwest that is critical to preserving the area.

A first-ever Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand study is under way to determine how water supplies can be stretched to meet the needs of the environment as well as people. The Colorado River Basin provides water to some of the largest cities in the West, including several in New Mexico.

The full report, which includes fact sheets highlighting climate challenges and effects in the western river basins, is available at www.doi.gov.




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