Friday, January 28, 2022


The Indiana House passes a controversial bill barring schools from teaching about Critical Race Theory; and President Biden pledges to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court for the first time.


Justice Stephen Breyer formally announces his retirement; the Dept. of Education will help students who fell behind during the pandemic; and AZ lawmakers consider a bill granting them control over elections.


Free COVID tests by mail but some rural Americans need to go the extra mile; farmer storytellers join national campaign to battle corporate consolidation; specialty nurses want more authority; and rare bat gets credit for the mythic margarita.

NM Groups Want Free-flowing Rivers Protected in National Forest


Monday, November 22, 2021   

TAOS, N.M. - In Northern New Mexico's Carson National Forest, many rivers are eligible for federal "Wild and Scenic" designation, and conservation groups say a plan to remove more than 60 from that category is short-sighted.

Amigos Bravos and other groups are awaiting word on whether the U.S. Forest Service will reverse its proposal to 'delist' the rivers in an updated management plan.

Amigos Bravos Deputy Director Rachel Conn said she worries that without protections, rivers and streams in northern New Mexico could see new dams, roads and other development.

"There's 62 river segments, as per the final plan, that are no longer eligible for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers system," said Conn, "so therefore are no longer protected as free-flowing rivers."

The Forest Service has argued river decisions made 25 years ago were overly broad, and included too many rivers as eligible for a Wild and Scenic designation, which must be approved by Congress.

The deadline to comment on new management plans for the Carson, Cibola, and Santa Fe National Forests was November 3. Amigos Bravos is among the groups that filed objections to the draft plans.

New Mexico has suffered from drought for the past 20 years, with rivers seeing record low flows this year. Conn said that makes it more important to keep the rivers in northern New Mexico free-flowing - which isn't guaranteed without protections.

She noted the nature of the state's rivers, deemed to have what are known as 'Outstandingly Remarkable Values' in a Forest Service plan adopted 35 years ago, hasn't changed.

"Those 'Outstandingly Remarkable Values' can be fisheries-related, geologic, scenic, recreation, wildlife," said Conn. "So there's different categories of Outstandingly Remarkable Values."

Conn said she believes officials drafting the Carson National Forest management plan should have done a case by case review of rivers rather than reevaluating the entire forest.

Disclosure: Amigos Bravos contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment, Environmental Justice, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Solar energy would have been used to replace carbon-based power sources under Arizona's proposed clean-energy plan. (andreiorlov/Adobe Stock)


Frustrated environmental and clean-energy advocates say after four long years of debate and compromise, regulators sent Arizona back to the starting …

Social Issues

When North Dakotans head out to cast their ballots later this year, there is a chance some will do so in a voting center and not a designated …

Social Issues

South Dakota continues to grapple with its low ranking when it comes to paying schoolteachers, but the issue is getting focus in 2022, including a …

Older Washingtonians take more prescription drugs on average and so are disproportionately affected by rising drug costs. (kmiragaya/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Washington state lawmakers are considering a measure to limit the growing cost of prescription drugs. Senate Bill 5532 would establish a …


The state of Illinois is allocating nearly a quarter-billion dollars to support new downstate transit and ports projects. Roughly half will go …

Drug overdose deaths topped more than 100,000 in 2021, according to the CDC. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Advocates and faith groups are calling for more investments in harm reduction across the state, as new provisional data shows overdose deaths have …

Social Issues

More than 300 Kentucky farmers participated in the state's Farms to Food Banks program last year, and at a recent virtual rally, state officials said …

Social Issues

Farmers and ranchers in Montana and across the nation are calling on Congress to pass the American Beef Labeling Act. Most food is required to have …


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