Monday, March 27, 2023


Mobilizing Georgia voters in a non-election year is crucial for voting rights groups, Philadelphians over 50 will play a major role in the mayoral primary, and the EPA is finalizing a new air quality rule.


Michigan becomes the first state in decades to repeal a "right to work" law, death penalty opponents say President Biden is not keeping campaign promises to halt federal executions, and more states move to weaken child labor protection laws.


Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

NM Legislature Considers Dedicated Funding for Land, Water Conservation


Monday, February 6, 2023   

As New Mexico recovers from its worst wildfire in history, lawmakers are considering a proposal to create the "Land of Enchantment Legacy Fund" to invest in land and water conservation programs.

Senate Bill 9 would leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money for all 33 counties and tribal communities. If passed by the legislature, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has said the fund would prioritize spending to protect communities from wildfire, flood and drought and safeguard water supplies among other things.

Cyndi Tuell, director of the Western Watersheds Project, explained some of the challenges facing the state.

"You had these areas that were burned by wildfire that were already damaged from years of drought," Tuell pointed out. "The fires created a lot of flooding and the flooding is now creating a lot of additional issues where it's harder for native vegetation to take hold."

The 2022 Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire was the most destructive in state history. It occurred after the U.S. Forest Service lost control of a prescribed burn.

The Western Watersheds Project leads the effort to highlight the climate impacts of public land livestock grazing and the need to end or curtail the practice with the restoration of wolves and other threatened or endangered wildlife. Wildfires, which have intensified with climate change, can litter the ground with debris, which can contaminate drinking-water supplies after a heavy rain.

Tuell noted it is often unsafe to picnic in areas where livestock grazing is dominant because E. coli can be present in nearby streams.

"Where you have an area that's completely degraded -- the vegetation is grazed down to nearly nothing, the riparian areas are trampled or filled with cow pies -- you don't really want to go there and enjoy yourself or recreate with your family," Tuell contended.

Beginning with an initial investment of $50 million, the "Land of Enchantment Legacy Fund" would make annual disbursements beginning in fiscal year 2024. The program should include land and water conservation, forest and watershed health, outdoor recreation and infrastructure, agriculture and working lands, historic preservation, and wildlife species protection.

get more stories like this via email

During this year's ACA open-enrollment period, a record high of more than 16 million people signed up, with 4.4 million more enrolled for health insurance coverage since 2021, according to federal data. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

It's been 13 years since more than 156,000 West Virginians gained health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act. As sweeping and …

Social Issues

High school graduates have the option before taking their next academic step to choose a gap year - for traveling, relaxing, or researching different …


A bill designed to fight price-gouging at the gas pump is expected to pass the California State Assembly today and be signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom …

Student leaders learn about the estuary near Morro Rock, which is part of the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. (Kai Monge)


This week, Hispanic environmental advocates are heading to Washington, D.C., from around the country to engage lawmakers on issues affecting us all…

Social Issues

More than one in three Ohioans are relying on credit cards for spending needs, and nearly a quarter say they've increased their credit-card use in …

2023 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Dani Charbonneau, who runs the Project Vine Alternative Program at Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, is the first Martha's Vineyard teacher to win the state's top award for educators. (MTA)

Social Issues

Massachusetts, like other states, continues to struggle with a shortage of teachers. But for one English teacher at Martha's Vineyard Regional High …

Health and Wellness

Beginning next year, more Kentuckians will have expanded access to biomarker testing - which helps doctors customize cancer treatment. Advocates of …

Social Issues

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed new regulations on credit card late fees, which could save Americans billions of dollars…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021