Three Interstate Stream Commissioners Resign

Commission members Jim Dunlap of Farmington and James Wilcox of Carlsbad submitted resignation letters to Gov. Susana Martinez on 11 October, a day after commission Chairman Caleb Chandler of Clovis tendered his resignation. Dunlap wrote in his resignation letter that he had “great concern for lack of direction from the State Engineer and adherence to New Mexico State Statutes.” The commission has also come under fire in recent years for open meetings violations.

The resignations leave the commission with just four active members out of nine board positions, because there were previously two vacancies.The Interstate Stream Commission has broad powers to investigate, protect, conserve, and develop New Mexico’s waters including both interstate and intrastate stream systems. A key item of discussion over the past few years is the Gila River diversion project, which is looking into options to divert the river for farm and municipal use in southwestern New Mexico.

Valles Caldera News

san antonio meadow fishingFishing is permitted year-round as long as streams are not frozen. All anglers are required to check in at the Valle Grande Contact Station before fishing the waters within the preserve to obtain a free fishing permit. However, vehicle access to certain streams may not be available year-round and may require a backcountry vehicle permit. Up to 35 backcountry vehicle permits are available daily from mid-May through October as conditions allow.

Elk hunting is in progress thru December 6, 2017, so wearing bright colors is advised outside of the preserve’s “no hunting” zone.

A series of prescribed burn projects will be completed beginning the week of October 16th, dependent upon suitable weather and fuel conditions. The prescribed burn will take place within an approximately 2,330-acre project area in the Banco Bonito district of the preserve – north of NM State Road 4 near mile marker 30. The burn operations will be completed within a 3-10 day period. Brief traffic delays may occur during this time, but are not expected to cause road closures or disrupt visitor activities elsewhere on the preserve.

Rio Cebolla Wetlands Project

By Ron Loehman, Conservation Chair

work-projectVolunteers are needed to work with Santa Fe National Forest personnel to construct several beaver dam analogs (BDAs) on the Rio Cebolla meadows downstream of where the Cebolla flows under FR 376. The work area is approximately 10 miles north of Porter’s Landing on FR 376.

This is the first stage of a project to increase riparian wetland area, to improve water quality, and to benefit fish habitat on the Rio Cebolla. We will be applying techniques similar to those Bill Zeedyk taught at a NM Trout workshop in 2015, including post pounding, rock placement, and willow weir construction. Some of the work will be in-stream and other parts will be on the stream banks. We suggest you bring waders if you plan to work in the stream.

Because the work area is NM meadow jumping mouse habitat, the US Fish and Wildlife Service allows access only between October 15 and May 1, when the mouse is believed to be hibernating. We anticipate follow-on projects next Spring as early that weather permits and continuing through May.

Saturday, October 28, 2017
Meet at 9:00 AM at the parking area above the Gilman Tunnels on FR 376.

The club will provide lunch if you RSVP to Ron Loehman by 5:00 PM, Monday October 23, 2017

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