A heartfelt thanks to everyone who stepped up this year to help save La Bajada mesa. Our work isn’t yet done but together we accomplished something I was told impossible. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. We are on the path to saving something truly special and wonderful in this world.
Heartfelt thanks to everyone who turned out for today's hearing and to everyone who has supported the effort to save La Bajada mesa through these many, many months. And many thanks to our County Commissioners, every one of whom voted in favor of the moratorium.
Today's approval of the moratorium means that the mesa is safe from the proposed gravel strip mine for now. But the hard work isn't over.
The one-year moratorium simply provides time to write the regulations that will govern the DCI (Development of Countywide Impact) section of the Sustainable Land Development Code. Strong regulations are what will protect the mesa and other special places in the county over the long haul. And that's why we need to stay engaged.
I encourage everyone to continue to participate throughout that process. Countless voices in our community, working together, have won us this opportunity make a difference. Please continue to lend your voice and your ideas in support of sensible regulations to ensure that Santa Fe County continues to be a place we can be proud to call home.
I certainly know I couldn't be prouder of its people. Thank you all for helping get us here.
Suggestions for Those Attending the Moratorium Hearing on Tuesday
Tuesday the 16th at 1:00 at 102 Grant Ave., the BCC will consider a moratorium to put on hold any consideration of certain large scale development projects. The purpose is to give time to put in place appropriate laws governing such developments. The proposed gravel strip mine on La Bajada would be included in the moratorium. An explanation of the moratorium and the proposed draft language is here: http://www.co.santa-fe.nm.us/documents/agendas/packet_materials/BCCPacket8-26-2014Part5.pdf.
The moratorium is a good and appropriate step by the Commissioners. While many of us would have liked to see an outright denial of this application, in the long run this action will likely be better because of the potential to stop both this current application and any future such applications as well.
Having our supporters at the hearing will show the Commissioners that we are still engaged, watching, and participating in this process. There will be an opportunity for the public to speak, likely for short statements as in previous hearings. Here are some suggestions for you to consider if you choose to speak:
1. Comments should address the moratorium and its implementation, not the Rockology/Buena Vista application. The draft makes it clear that the strip mine application would fall under the moratorium, which is broader in scope than just the gravel mine. Talking about our opposition to the mine isn’t needed here.
2. The Commissioners are taking good and appropriate action here. Our comments should support their moratorium approach.
3. As always, please show respect for the Commissioners and the County Staff. Our work in the past has made a difference; clearly they have been listening to our point of view.
Save La Bajada Alert: Public Hearing on County Development Moratorium, this Tuesday, September 16, at 1:00 PM at 102 Grant Ave., Santa Fe. Come out one more time to support the mesa!
As you know, the vote to re-zone La Bajada mesa for gravel mining was tabled at the last public hearing. This means that the proposed moratorium is our best chance to protect the mesa from both the immediate threat of strip mining and from future assaults. Please come out to support the moratorium and save La Bajada mesa!
In impeccable government-ese, the ordinance is entitled “An Emergency Interim Development Ordinance Imposing A Twelve Month Moratorium On Development Approvals Or The Issuance Of Development Permits For Specified Developments Of Countywide Impact."
Layman's translation: the county hasn't yet written the section of the new Code that regulates high-impact industrial activities (which they call Development of County-wide Impact, or DCIs.) This moratorium will give us a year to help the County draft strong, sensible regulations to manage that kind of development -- without anyone demolishing La Bajada mesa in the meantime.
It's important that our Commissioners see that the community fully supports that goal and supports the moratorium. But it's also important we make it clear that we expect the Commission to deliver loophole-free regulations that shield special places from exploitation, protect the environment and preserve Santa Fe County's quality of life.
This won't happen without solid, ongoing community participation. We need your body at the hearing, we need your voice at the podium and we need your ideas at the table.
Please come out one more time to show your support and save La Bajada -- this Tuesday, September 16, at 1:00 PM, 102 Grant Ave.
SFNM: County mulls development moratorium that would halt La Bajada mine
The Santa Fe County Commission appears ready to sidestep a decision on the proposed La Bajada mine a little longer.
The commission will vote Tuesday on whether to publish an ordinance that would place a 12-month moratorium on developments with countywide impacts — such as landfills, junkyards, and sand and gravel mining that requires blasting. The ordinance, if adopted by the commission, will apply to new or existing development applications, like the one for a basalt mine on La Bajada mesa that has drawn wide criticism.
The county has scheduled a tentative public hearing on the development moratorium at 2 p.m. Sept. 16 at the county offices in Santa Fe.
The commission postponed a final decision Aug. 12 on an application by Rockology and Buena Vista Estates to create a 50-acre mining zone on the La Bajada escarpment off Waldo Canyon Road and east of Interstate 25. The companies want to blast and mine basalt from pits on the mesa that would be crushed and used for road construction.
The proposed mine set off a firestorm of criticism from hundreds of county residents, a few state legislators and others. More than 600 turned out for a seven-hour public hearing in June. The commission continued the public hearing in August and then once again delayed a vote on the mine application.
The commission asked the county attorney to draft an order regarding the mine application to be considered at a public meeting at a later date, but in the meantime, the county will consider halting such developments for a year under the proposed moratorium.
Cerrillos resident Pat Brown said she’s happy the commissioners are considering a moratorium if they are not yet ready to vote on the La Bajada mine application. She opposes the mine. “I definitely want to preserve the scenic beauty of the mesa,” she said.
If the moratorium is approved, the county would have more time to finish a zoning map under its new Sustainable Land Development Code. During public hearings about the proposed La Bajada mine, many people said the new code automatically would have precluded a mine on the mesa.
But until the county has approved zoning maps, the code can’t be enforced, and it isn’t yet certain what kind of development would be allowed on the mesa. Public hearings were held regarding a draft zoning map in May and June, but no date has been set yet for adoption of a final zoning map.
In a memo to county commissioners Tuesday, county Growth Management Director Penny Ellis-Green said the development moratorium would prevent a rush of applications before new zoning regulations are in place, would avoid allowing developments that don’t conform to the new code and would allow the planning process to run its course with “widespread citizen input, involvement and public debate.”
Steve Hooper, owner of Rockology, and Jim Siebert, representing Buena Vista Estates, did not respond to requests for comment on what the ordinance might mean for their application.
Contact Staci Matlock at 986-3055 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @stacimatlock.
Dozens of citizens voiced opposition to a proposal that would create a mining zone in a 50-acre site on La Bajada Mesa during an Aug. 12 meeting of the Santa Fe County Commission.
Activists left the meeting disappointed, however, after the five county commissioners talked about the deal behind closed doors and then postponed a vote on whether to allow an Albuquerque company, Rockology LLC, to mine for basalt on the private land owned by Buena Vista Estates Inc.
The commission’s decision to discuss the application during an executive session makes mine opponent Marianna Hatten—and plenty of others who were expecting a vote—wonder: “What are they discussing out of view of the public?”
Hatten runs the nearby High Feather Ranch. What she calls the “oil and gas wars” and issues concerning her business have brought her to previous County Commission meetings. She found the commission’s decision to call an executive session odd, so she contacted the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, a nonprofit that advocates for transparency in public business. “Is this really open and transparent? I have personally my doubts that it’s all open,” she says. “It’s certainly not transparent because I don’t know what goes on in these other meetings.”
County resident Diane Senior calls the closed-door discussion “outrageous” and says it disrespects residents who have made sacrifices to participate in public hearings.
“They have chosen to cut off visibility into their decision-making process by deliberating in private,” she writes SFR. “That is simply no way to run a democratic government.”
Public bodies occasionally hold the secret meetings to discuss sensitive matters, such pending litigation or real estate deals. But a 2012 SFR investigation found that bodies like the Santa Fe City Council often abused that authority, using spurious justifications to hold executive sessions. In this case, the County Commission justified the executive session by claiming the application by Buena Vista Estates and Rockology to create the mining zone constitutes an “administrative adjudicatory proceeding.”
Such proceedings are exempt from provisions of the Open Meetings Act, which defines such a decision as “a proceeding brought by or against a person before a public body in which individual legal rights, duties or privileges are required by law to be determined by the public body after an opportunity for a trial-type hearing.”
In other words, a public body might be wearing a “judicial hat” that allows it to treat the proceeding more like a trial where testimony is heard from sworn witnesses, explains Susan Boe, executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government.
She points to state court cases that allow the practice, but notes that commissioners need to give their final vote on the matter at a public hearing. “I hope that there’s a public notice” of the vote, she adds. County spokeswoman Kristine Mihelcic says county staff and attorneys are drawing up an order on the matter, on which county commissioners will take final action during a future meeting. The date of the vote is undetermined. The Aug. 12 hearing represented the second time this summer that commissioners heard extensive public comments on the matter, and Mihelcic says in no uncertain terms: There will be no more public hearings on the application.
“They just closed the public hearing…and are just taking time to evaluate what’s being presented to them,” she says of the commissioners. “It’s not completely out of the norm.”
Commissioner Miguel Chavez, a longtime public servant whose past is replete with instances of protesting executive sessions, even voted to enter the closed meeting. In this case, he says, county commissioners were under advice from the county attorney to not take immediate action and to research the legal parameters of the case.
“Something like this is going to generate a lot of public interest and concern,” he says. “It’s part of it and, like it or not, what’s legal is not always right.”
Citizens are still waiting to find out what the Santa Fe County Commission plans to do about an application for a gravel mine on La Bajada mesa. Months have been spent dealing with the current application by Buena Vista Estates and Rockology LLC, and it has been a slow and laborious process.
Whatever happens with the current application — we believe commissioners have flexibility in rejecting the zoning change that would allow the mine — a long-term solution for the area is necessary. Without a zoning change and the creation of a mining zone, the current applicants would be stopped, at least for now. But there would be other applicants, whether for mining or for the inevitable requests to subdivide and build more houses. The application currently before the commission is the third attempt in the past decade.
Santa Fe County residents, its elected officials, tribal leaders and all supporters of La Bajada need to begin discussing a different alternative. How can we best preserve this land so that the battle against a mine, or against overbuilding, doesn’t have to be waged every other year?
Pretty much everyone — area residents, Pueblo leaders, citizens, environmentalists — acknowledge that La Bajada mesa is worth preserving. Its sweeping views, archaeological sites and fragile ecosystems, once disturbed, would be impossible to replicate. It is unique, with a value to the soul and spirit, but more practically, as the signature view that visitors and locals see approaching Santa Fe. It has value in currency, whether as a location for movies or as a tourist attraction. We are more valuable when La Bajada remains intact.
In recognition of its special qualities, former Santa Fe Mayor David Coss asked that a La Bajada Mesa National Monument be established for some 128,000 acres adjacent to the Caja Del Rio Plateau. The area would run from La Bajada mesa south to Cerrillos Hills State Park, then go north to the Santa Fe River Basin and cross the Caja del Rio Plateau to the Rio Grande. Only about 10 percent of that land is private, with the rest belonging to the Bureau of Land Management and the Santa Fe National Forest. It’s the 10 percent, of course, that would have to be purchased or set aside in some way to make such a monument happen.
Creating a monument can take decades — it took more than 20 years before our neighbors to the north were able to win designation for the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. That is why a sustained effort to preserve La Bajada needs to grow from the immediate campaign to stop the mine. A monument might not be the best, or only way to keep over-development at bay — but the people behind the Save La Bajada campaign should start on the next stage of preserving this precious resource now. The next mine, or housing development, is around the corner, whatever happens to the current application.
Many people have asked about next steps in the effort to save La Bajada mesa.
While we work to assess the situation and evaluate possible actions, I'd ask the following from everyone:
1. If you have signs or banners (or if you come across them in your travels) please take them in and store them for now.
2. Write to the newspapers. Any of them. All of them. Multiple times. We need to continue to spread awareness and keep this issue front-of-mind until the case is decided. Please no mudslinging. We've got the truth and the public behind us -- we don't need to exaggerate or be hurtful to others to make our case.
3. Respectfully write to the Commissioners (don't expect a response back.) It's appropriate to voice your frustrations and concerns, but please do not make personal attacks or allegations of things you can't prove. We're better than that. And I believe that most of the Commissioners really do have their hearts in the right place. With a little prompting, perhaps they will come to appreciate how important a timely decision is to their constituents.
• Chairman Danny Mayfield: email@example.com
• Commissioner Robert Anaya: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Commissioner Miguel Chavez: email@example.com
• Commissioner Kathy Holian: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Commissioner Liz Stefanics: email@example.com
• Case Manager Jose Larranaga: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Director Penny Ellis-Green: email@example.com
• County Attorney Greg Shaffer: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Call in to radio talk shows if there is an opportunity to discuss this topic. Although I don't know whether they'll be taking calls, David Bacon and Xubi Wilson will be discussing La Bajada on tomorrow's (Thursday) edition of KSFR's Living on the Edge from 4:00 - 5:00.
5. Consider making a tax-deductible financial contribution. We expect more legal fees before this case is closed. Donate online at www.gofundme.com/Savelabajada. Or, to donate by mail, make your check payable to Concerned Citizens of Cerrillos and put "for RCA fund" in the memo line. Mail it to PO Box 245, Cerrillos, NM 87010. And thank you. We are all-local and all-volunteer. Contributions go directly to cover expenses for this effort.
6. Watch Facebook/Savelabajada or SaveLaBajada.org for updates regarding possible protest actions.
COMMISSIONERS FAIL TO VOTE ON LA BAJADA MESA STRIP MINE
In a truly shocking turn of events, Santa Fe County Commissioners today once again failed to vote on the application to re-zone part of La Bajada mesa to allow a gravel strip mine.
Today, two months after the last public hearing, when the Commission failed to vote after seven hours of public testimony at the Santa Fe Convention Center, our County Commissioners have once again failed to vote to stop this disastrous proposal. Today, after three additional hours of testimony -- which included testimony from the governors of Tesuque, Santo Domingo and Cochiti pueblos -- the Commission returned from a closed session break. They then announced that they would take the matter under advisement and, at some unspecified time in the future, issue a decision.
This is truly outrageous. Since the first CDRC hearing in March, the will of the people has been unequivocal -- NO STRIP MINE ON THE MESA. Seven thousand people have signed petitions. Hundreds have written letters. Hundreds more have attended hearing after hearing and given testimony against the mine. Experts in a variety of fields have weighed in. NOT A SINGLE PERSON HAS SPOKEN IN FAVOR OF THIS PROPOSAL EXCEPT THE APPLICANTS THEMSELVES. The Commission has had two months since the last hearing to review testimony and documentation.
And yet our Commissioners have once again failed to bring this assault on the mesa to a close by denying the re-zoning application. I am shocked by the disrespect this shows to the democratic process and to the members of the public, many of whom have made great personal sacrifices in order to actively participate at every step along the way.
Our Commissioners either stand with their constituents or they don't. The people of Santa Fe County deserve a vote.
REMINDER: La Bajada hearing TOMORROW, Tuesday, August 12 at 10:00 AM, upstairs at the county offices, 102 Grant Ave.
Please attend if you can. Show our commissioners that delays haven't dampened support. La Bajada mesa still matters and we want them to vote to SAVE THE MESA!
Here's a quick summary of highlights since the last hearing:
* The City of Santa Fe issued a letter to correct a misrepresentation by the applicants about their right to use the City's effluent water. This is not an ongoing supply. They are only permitted to use it on a temporary, intermittent basis, for NO MORE THAN ONE YEAR. After that, presumably, they would revert to their "backup" source -- County-supplied drinking water -- for mine operations and dust control.
* The Executive Director of the Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Agency issued letter refuting the applicants' claims that the enormous supply of basalt at Caja del Rio is somehow inferior. In fact, it meets a variety of stringent requirements, including NMDOT and FAA requirements.
* The County's own Finance Director AND a former NM Chief Economist BOTH found the applicant's estimates of Gross Receipts Tax benefits to the County to be grossly overblown.
* Tesuque Pueblo has officially asked the County to deny the application and protect the mesa, which is culturally important to them.
But it all still comes down to the Commissioner's votes tomorrow. Please come out to show your support for the mesa and urge your Commissioners to do the right thing by denying this application.
TOMORROW, Tuesday, August 12 at 10:00 AM, upstairs at the county offices, 102 Grant Ave. Santa Fe.
We are running carpools, so if you need a ride, please let me know!
Thanks to everyone who has helped to Save La Bajada Mesa! The next (and hopefully final) La Bajada hearing is a week from Tuesday, August 12, at 10:00 AM at the County Building, 102 Grant Avenue.
Here’s what we need to do now.
1. Re-post your signs and banners. We’re printing up overlays for the signs and banners with the August 12th date, so please email me ASAP if you have a sign or banner so that I can get the updated overlay to you. If you need a sign or banner to display, email me with what you can use.
2. Wave a sign in Santa Fe. This had a big impact before the June hearing and we want to do it again. We’ll team folks up to stand with signs at a few busy intersections during morning/evening rush hours and at lunch time on August 11 & 12. This is your chance to meet other folks who care about the mesa and help generate buzz . If you have just a half hour to volunteer for La Bajada mesa, now is the time! Email me to sign up.
3. Sign up to drive a carpool. If you can take a couple of folks with you to the hearing or if you need a ride, please let me know.
4. Write a letter to the editor. This is the best way to let the Commissioners know how we feel. Send your (polite) letters to email@example.com.
5. Come to the hearing. Tuesday, August 12 at 10:00 AM, 102 Grant Avenue, Santa Fe. With overwhelming turnout at both of the prior hearings, the will of the people was clear: NO STRIP MINE ON LA BAJADA MESA. Now it’s time for our Commissioners to cast their votes and deny the re-zoning application. Come out to show your support and encourage them to do the right thing.
Even local, volunteer, grass-roots efforts have bills, and we have large ones that come due at the end of the month. But an angel donor has stepped forward to help us pay them. IF we can raise $7,500 ourselves by July 28, your contribution will be matched dollar-for-dollar!
We’ve raised over $3,000 toward that $7,500 goal, but only have one week left to meet the challenge goal. We need your help! With $15,000 in unpaid bills due at the end of July, we simply can’t afford to miss out on these matching funds. WE NEED YOUR HELP TODAY! https://www.gofundme.com/savelabajada/donate
It doesn’t get any more grass-roots than this. Save La Bajada is local (Cerrillos, NM), all volunteer, and fighting to preserve one of Santa Fe county’s most treasured landmarks. Your donation is tax-deductible AND will be doubled if we reach our goal. There has never been a better time to help and we have never needed it more. WILL YOU CHIP IN JUST $5 today to help us meet that challenge and save La Bajada mesa?
(note: the fundraising site shows the totals raised to date, including the $4315 previously raised that has been used to pay earlier bills. So we need a total amount of $11,815 -- our new $7500 challenge plus the $4315 previously raised -- to meet our challenge match goal.)
The fight to save La Bajada mesa has been hugely successful. The truly astonishing community turnout at both the first hearing in March and at the County Commission hearing in June made the people’s message clear – No Strip Mine on the Mesa! But our County Commissioners have not yet voted, so we can’t stop now.
It’s been expensive to get this far. The newspaper ads, legal advice, signs and banners have been effective but costly, and there is more we need to do before this is over.
The $4,315 we’ve raised so far has gone to cover earlier expenses. We have another $15,000 in uncovered bills that come due at the end of the month. We need your help. La Bajada mesa needs your help.
A generous donor has pledged to match your tax-deductible contribution dollar-for-dollar IF we can raise $7,500 by July 28. With over 7,000 petition signers supporting the mesa, I know we can do it.
Will you chip in just $5 today to help us meet that challenge and save La Bajada mesa?
Although the County hasn’t made video from the June 11 La Bajada strip mine hearing available to the public yet, clips of twelve speakers from that hearing are ready for you to watch now – thanks to the hard work of Cid Isbell. See some of the powerful audience testimony for yourself at http://vimeo.com/channels/770648
Then please consider making a tax-deductible financial contribution to support the cause. We've accomplished a lot, but we've incurred significant expenses in the process -- and the battle isn't over yet. Your donation will help ensure we can see this through to the end. Donate online at www.gofundme.com/SaveLaBajada or visit www.SaveLaBajada.org for info on how to give by check. We need your help!
Remember: The next hearing has been POSTPONED UNTIL AUGUST 12, 10 AM. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend. Our Commissioners need to know that we are still watching, we are still engaged, and we still care deeply about their votes.
The Board of County Commissioners has agreed to Rockology's request to postpone the next La Bajada strip mine hearing until Tuesday, August 12 at 10:00 AM. The hearing location will likely be at the County offices on Grant Ave. but that is not yet confirmed.
Donate to La Bajada mesa FOR FREE, just by shopping through the link below.
We've incurred a lot of expenses working to save the mesa -- here's one way you can help without it costing you a cent.
Just shop at AmazonSmile now through Sunday, 6/15/14, and Amazon will donate $5 (plus half a percent of your purchases) to Concerned Citizens Of Cerrillos. Proceeds will go to cover the costs we've incurred in the fight to save La Bajada mesa .
Thank you to everyone who signed our petition, wrote letters, came to the hearing or otherwise supported our effort to save La Bajada mesa. We did what we set out to do – we showed our County Commission, in no uncertain terms, that we want them to listen to the will of the citizens of Santa Fe County and deny this application. I don’t know how we could have said that any more clearly – after six hours of testimony, aside from the applicants themselves, not a single person voiced support for the proposed mine.
The fate of La Bajada mesa now lies with our elected officials – elected officials who, as Xubi Wilson so eloquently testified, have sworn an oath to enact the will of the people.
The people have spoken. Now we wait for our elected officials to enact the will of the people by denying this application
SFNM: County commissioners delay fate of La Bajada mesa
After hearing public comments and testimony for more than six hours Wednesday on a controversial application for an aggregate mine on La Bajada mesa, Santa Fe County commissioners postponed a vote on the rezoning request until early July.
TODAY IS THE DAY! COME OUT AND STAND UP FOR LA BAJADA MESA!
The day we've been working toward is finally here.
TODAY is the special, final decision hearing on the fate of La Bajada Mesa before the Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners.
Thank you for your support to get us to this special hearing day. Now we need your help one more time. If you are in or near Santa Fe, please come out to the hearing to show your support to save La Bajada Mesa.
Come late if you have to but please come. This is our last opportunity to have a say in the fate of La Bajada Mesa. Come out and help your Commissioners make the right decision!
Come out this Wednesday for the Final Hearing on the Fate of La Bajada Mesa
Wednesday, June 11
Santa Fe Community Convention Center
201 W. Marcy St. Santa Fe
The final vote on whether to allow a massive strip mine on the gateway entrance to Santa Fe will take place at this public hearing, Wednesday, June 11, starting at 4:00 at the Santa Fe Convention Center.
Come late if you need to, but come. This is our last chance to have a say in the fate La Bajada mesa!
Wednesday, June 11
Santa Fe Community Convention Center
201 W. Marcy St. Santa Fe
Green Drinks Event, Wednesday, June 4:
Community Activists Working To Protect The Northern Galisteo Basin
Wednesday, June 4th, 5:30 - 7:00 PM
at Luna, Santa Fe's First Green Walkable Community
505 Cerrillos Rd., Santa Fe
Join us at Green Drinks (with local brews from the Marble Tap Room) for the latest from activist leaders:
• Diane Senior- Save La Bajada
• Marc Choyt- Stop Santa Fe Gold
• Roger Taylor-Santa Fe Basin Water Association
For information contact Glenn Schiffbauer at 505.428.9123 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane Senior is the coordinator for Save La Bajada, a member of the Rural Conservation Alliance and a passionate advocate for the preservation of La Bajada Mesa. She has authored op-eds for several local papers and spoken about the threat to the Mesa on KSFR's Living on the Edge with David Bacon and Xubi Wilson, Radio Café with Mary-Charlotte, and on Gardens, Food, and Santa Fe with Bob Ross.
Marc Choyt is president of Reflective Images and director of Fair Jewelry Action, an environmental justice and human rights network in the jewelry sector. In 2012 he was honored as one of New Mexico's sustainability leaders and in 2014 his company was recognized in the Sustainable Santa Fe awards for its triple bottom line activities. In addition to co-leading the Stop Santa Fe Gold campaign, he is currently the commercial point person for Fair Trade International to introduce fairtrade gold from Kenya and Tanzania to the North American market.
Roger Taylor, President Santa Fe Basin Water Association, a non-profit protecting underground aquifers we rely upon for our water needs for over 30 years; VP, Galisteo Community Assoc; community & environmental activist.
County Commissioners to Decide the Fate of La Bajada Mesa in Special Meeting on June 11
The Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, June 11 to decide the fate of La Bajada Mesa. This special hearing will be held at the Santa Fe Convention Center on Marcy St., not at the County offices. Clearly, they expect a massive turnout for the hearing, so let’s not disappoint them! :-)
This is THE MOMENT OF TRUTH we’ve been working toward for the past several months. EVERYTHING hangs on this final hearing, so please do everything you can to attend and speak out one more time to save the Mesa.
In the meantime, start writing letters again to both the Commissioners and to the newspapers (email SaveLaBajada@gmail.com if you need help with that.) We need to start banging our pots and pans to spread the word and rally folks to the hearing. Nothing is more critical for us to do right now than pack this hearing.
Please watch for planning meetings soon, but don’t wait to spread the word – it’s show time and we need all hands on deck if we’re going to save La Bajada Mesa.
Now there's another way to help save La Bajada Mesa.
Just start your Amazon shopping at http://smile.amazon.com and a small portion of the purchase price will go to fund the fight to save La Bajada Mesa "“ it costs you nothing!
The first time you visit, you'll be prompted to specify a charity. Search for "Concerned Citizens of Cerrillos" and set us as your charity. Then every time you shop Amazon, just be sure to start at http://smile.amazon.com. It's that simple!
Of course, if you want to make a donation directly, you can do that at www.gofundme.com/savelabajada. Or mail you check to Concerned Citizens of Cerrillos, P.O. Box 245, Cerrillos, NM 87010 (please put "for RCA fund" in the memo line.) Remember, we're all-volunteer -- donations are tax-deductible and go to pay for things like signs, bumper stickers, buttons, etc., as well as the legal advice we need to win this fight. Please do what you can to help out, and thank you for your continued support!
Save La Bajada will participate in an important grass-roots meeting on local issues this coming Thursday. Please join us!
Meeting of the Minds: Organized Communities vs. Outside Sustainability Threats
Thursday, April 17
7:00 - 8:30 PM
Eldorado Community School Gymnasium
2 Avenida Torreon, Santa Fe, NM
This community meeting will feature short presentations by local sustainability and community rights movements on the threats and issues facing our area. Learn how we can all be stronger by working together to fight threats to our collective welfare as we plan for the future. This is a great opportunity to get up to speed on a lot of topics in one short meeting. Speakers include:
"¢ NoCrude Oil in Lamy Steering Committee, Cindy Clark
"¢ Sierra Club Northern NM Group - Rio Grande Chapter, Teresa Seamster & Tom Gorman
"¢ Stop Santa Fe Gold, Marc Choyt
"¢ HWY 285 South Sustainability Alliance, Kathryn Toll
"¢ Save La Bajada Mesa, Diane Senior
"¢ Pathways: Wildlife Corridors of NM, Mike Palaima
"¢ NM Coalition for Community Rights, Kathleen Dudley
Please join us for this important event, hosted by the No Crude Oil in Lamy Steering Committee (NoCOIL)
Please keep in mind that, although the CDRC recommended denial of the mining application, the fight is NOT OVER YET. The application now goes to the Board of County Commissioners, who will make the final decision on the application.
If we are ever going to get to a place of long term preservation rather than endless skirmishes over this important mesa, we must protect it in the short term -- which means getting out *again* to voice your objections to the BCC. I urge everyone to LIKE us on Facebook www.facebook.com/Savelabajada or watch the web site ( www.savelabajada.org) to know as soon as that hearing date is set.
La Bajada Mesa is now on Facebook -- "Like" us at www.facebook.com/Savelabajada to stay up to date with new developments. And please share the page with all your friends to help us spread the word.
Although we won the first round in front of the County Development Review Committee last Thursday, our most important challenge is still ahead. The application now goes to Board of County Commissioners for a final decision. That date has not yet been set, but please Like us on Facebook so that you'll know as soon as we do.
In preparation for the BCC hearing, we are ramping up the petition drive and working hard to spread awareness. Please continue to share the petition link below with all your friends. And if you would like to help further, please let me know -- we have volunteer opportunities to suit every interest!
Thank you for your continued support in the fight to save La Bajada Mesa!
Thanks to you and the thousands of others who contributed financial support, sent letters, signed the petitions and showed up in force at last night's hearing, the County Development Review Committee last night recommended DENIAL of the application to strip mine La Bajada Mesa!
But the fight is not over yet. The application now proceeds to the Board of County Commissioners, who will make the final decision whether to approve or deny the application.
Please continue to share this petition and encourage others to sign. We delivered about 4,000 signatures, (collected both on paper and online) at last night's CDRC hearing. Let's see if we can double that in time for the Board of County Commissioners hearing!
Here's how you can help in the final push to save the mesa:
Listen in this Saturday, March 8, at 10:00 AM MST to a radio interview with 101.1 KSFR's Bob Ross, live from the Santa Fe Farmer's Market.
For folks out of the Santa Fe listening area, the program will also stream live on the Internet. Tune in by going to www.ksfr.org, clicking the On Air link, and adjusting for MST depending on your location.
The No Strip Mine bumper stickers are in and will be available at Johnson's of Madrid for anyone who wants one. And the really good news is that they're removable, so once we win, you can free up the space for something else :-)
Please stop by Johnson's pick one up. Or, if that's not convenient, let me know and I'll see about arranging other pick up points or getting one to you in the mail
Diana has a donation jar set up at Johnson's. You don't need to contribute to get a bumper sticker but if you're able to kick in a dollar or two, it will help us cover printing costs.
Thanks for helping get the word out. Let's get our mobile campaign rolling!
We're a quarter of the way to our fundraising goal in the fight to Save La Bajada mesa! Thank you for your support so far!
Please remember that we are an all-volunteer organization so all proceeds from your tax-deductible donations go directly to the effort. If you haven't yet contributed, please consider doing so.
And please share our campaign with all of your friends, family, organizations and social networks.
Telling folks about this campaign not only helps us raise funds but it also helps spread awareness that the mesa is in jeopardy. So Like us, Tweet us, email us -- spread the word to help Save La Bajada mesa!
We had a standing-room-only crowd last night at Johnson's of Madrid, along with a lively discussion of the issues and what we can collectively do to further the fight against the proposed strip mine on La Bajada mesa.
Thanks so much to Diana Johnson for hosting our large crowd! If anyone was unable to attend last night's meeting or if you still have questions, please contact me directly or visit www.savelabajada.org
People as far away as California, New York, and even England (!) are chipping in to help us keep La Bajada Mesa from being reduced to rubble. Please do your part at www.gofundme/savelabajada and please share the link with your own friends and neighbors.
Remember that donation is tax-deductible and goes directly to fund the fight that the Rural Conservation Alliance leading.
La Bajada Mesa is a stunning escarpment located between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico. It has been central to the area's environmental and cultural landscape for centuries, and an inspiration to artists, writers, poets and photographers.
This special place is now threatened by a company seeking to strip mine the mesa's basalt cap for use in gravel and base course.
Many of us are banding together to fight to protect the Mesa. Join us by making a tax-deductible contribution to help cover the costs of advertising and experts to weigh in on our behalf. Help us convince the Santa Fe County to reject this ill-conceived application.
All proceeds from this fundraising effort go to directly to Concerned Citizens of Cerrillos, a 501(c)(3), on behalf of the Rural Conservation Alliance.
To make a donation by check instead through this web site, make your check payable to Concerned Citizens of Cerrillos with "For RCA Fund" in the memo and mail it to: Concerned Citizens of Cerrillos P.O. Box 245 Cerrillos, NM 87010
Speak out now by writing to the County Case Manager, Jose LarraÃ±aga, at email@example.com to urge the County to deny the strip mine application.
"Reducing [La Bajada Mesa] to crushed basalt for road base would be a travesty in its own right. Overdrawing the regional water budget - which is already over-committed - for such a destructive purpose would be a double travesty." ~ Kim Sorvig, Professor, UNM School of Architecture and Planning
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