September/October 2016

Chevron Questa Mine
 Public Meeting!
This Thursday November 3rd
VFW Post 
2597 Hwy 522 
Questa, NM

Come learn about current and future cleanup work at the Questa Mine. EPA and State regulators will be presenting and answering questions about the Superfund process at the mine site. All are welcome to attend!

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Amigos Bravos and other members of Communities for Clean Water (CCW), a coalition of organizations whose mission is to ensure that community waters impacted by Los Alamos National Laboratory are kept safe for drinking, agriculture, sacred ceremonies, and a sustainable future, joined together in October for a weekend of ceremony, presentations, and community at the Gathering for Mother Earth, an event organized by Tewa Women United. 

In anticipation of the 10th year anniversary of the Valle Vidal Protection Act Amigos Bravos and Western Environmental Law Center Staff spent the day in the Valle Vidal with Jim O'Donnell, former Coalition for the Valle Vidal organizer, to take photos and check out on the ground restoration efforts. 

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Contact Info

Casa Baca
Amigos Bravos' Office

Amigos Bravos
P. O. Box 238
105-A Quesnel St.
Taos, NM 87571


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Protecting Wetland Jewels in the Carson and Santa Fe National Forests 
Check out our new Wetland Jewels Story Maps!

                                                               Photo of the Serpent Lake Wetland Jewel
photo by Jim O'Donnell   

Wetland Jewels can be comprised of either a single wetland or a complex of several wetlands occurring in a discrete geographic area of national forest lands. These wetlands provide several important ecological functions to the terrestrial and aquatic landscape.

Story Maps of the  Carson Wetland Jewels and the Santa Fe Wetland Jewels are now available. Click on the links and explore the 10 Carson National Forest Jewels and the 12 Santa Fe National Forest Jewels!  

Due to their critically important ecological and community role, we have identified Wetland Jewels in the Carson National and Santa Fe National Forests to not only bring attention to their importance, but to secure their long-term protection and restoration.
Ultimately, Wetland Jewels can be used as a tool to build ecological and community resilience in the face of climate change.

 Map of the Valle Vidal Wetland Jewel in the Carson National Forest 

By protecting Wetland Jewels across north-central New Mexico's national forests, we do some of the following:
  • create habitat for wildlife
  • provide clean water for downstream communities 
  • mitigate the risk of flooding
  • maintain stream flow essential for irrigation as well as for wildlife and livestock 
In the process, we reduce climate impacts such as drought, decreased snow-pack, earlier runoff, and wildfire. Wetland Jewels are a keystone element of action to foster resilient, interconnected, landscape-scale ecological and community systems in New Mexico.

The time is now to protect these Wetland Jewels!
The  U.S. Forest Service (USFS)  is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation public planning process that is explicitly designed to promote social, ecological, and economic sustainability while protecting water resources. It's our hope that the USFS takes advantage of its planning process to protect and, where appropriate, restore Wetland Jewels. Click on the links to learn more about the Forest Planning Process in Carson and Santa Fe National Forests. 

Amigos Bravos Begins Project to Incorporate Community Input Into Stormwater Projects in the South Valley of Albuquerque

Amigos Bravos is one of the 22 organizations nationwide that is receiving funding under EPA's Urban Waters program! We will be working in Albuquerque to explore community interest and priorities related to Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure approaches to controlling polluted stormwater.

Amigos Bravos Weighs in on
Proposed Changes to  Ground and Surface Water Protection Regulations in New Mexico

The New Mexico Environment Department's (NMED) is proposing changes to regulations that oversee Ground and Surface Water Protection in New Mexico (20.6.2 NMAC). Amigos Bravos submitted comments on the proposed rule revisions during two separate comment periods. 

In our comments Amigos Bravos communicated concerns with NMED's proposal to add a definition of "discharge permit amendments" to the regulations. These permit amendments would allow the discharge of increased volume and concentration of pollutants into New Mexico's ground water without public notice. Amigos Bravos also opposes NMED's proposal to get rid of the current 5-year limit on water quality variances, which are provisions that allow polluters to discharge above standards. 

Amigos Bravos does applaud NMED's proposal to increase permit fees for the first time in over a decade. The current fee structure for state discharge permits are outrageously low, and do not begin to cover the cost to New Mexico tax payers of issuing, monitoring, and enforcing state discharge permits. Amigos Bravos supports NMED in taking steps to decrease the amount that New Mexico citizens subsidize the issuance of permits to discharge pollution into New Mexico's water resources.

A full copy of our comments can be viewed here.

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