PNS Daily News - July 15, 2020 

The Trump Administration reverses course on international student rule; the ultra-rich keep getting richer; and rental costs are burdens for low-wage workers.

2020Talks - July 15, 2020 

Biden follows up on a climate policy plan from his task force, made up of his and Sen. Bernie Sanders' supporters. Alabama, Maine and Texas had elections; new data from California's March presidential primary show 1.5% of returned absentee ballots rejected.

New Mexico "Smart Solar Zones" Showcased

October 20, 2011

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The Bureau of Land Management is planning ahead for large-scale solar development on public lands, outlining 24 Solar Energy Zones in southwestern states. The idea is to find areas with the most solar potential and the least conflict with wildlife and recreation.

The Wilderness Society says the federal agency is doing a good job, and Jason Marks, New Mexico's public regulation commissioner, agrees.

"There is one in the Deming area, which is southwest part of the state, close to the Arizona border, and then there's another one I think in the Afton area, which is the southern-central part of the state."

The Wilderness Society has issued a new report reviewing the proposed Solar Energy Zones, and only finds major concerns with three of them - in Arizona and California - because of conflicts with wildlife or recreation.

Alex Daue, renewable-energy associate for The Wilderness Society's BLM Action Center, says outlining zones ahead of time is good business for the solar industry as well as the environment.

"The fact that these areas are generally flat, have great solar resources and are close to existing roads and power lines will decrease construction costs."

Daue says the report also finds that local support for the zones in New Mexico is strong when folks discover that popular hunting, fishing and hiking areas won't be impacted. The BLM is expected to complete the environmental review of the sites next year.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - NM