No Strip Mine on La Bajada Mesa!
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
Learn more about the issues and how you can help at www.savelabajada.org.
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
Thank you to everyone who gave their time, energy and voices to make this victory possible. And thank you to our County Commissioners for drafting the regulations that made this possible and for standing strong in the face of litigation.
Collectively, we as a community made this happen -- the people of Santa Fe county ROCK!
A shared love for La Bajada mesa brought so many people together to rally for positive change in Santa Fe County.
The recent passage of new Developments of Countywide Impact (DCI) regulations
now empowers Santa Fe County to make smarter choices for our future.
An energized community made that possible, and now it’s time to celebrate that accomplishment!
Come kick back, have fun, and meet the friends and neighbors who joined together to make our corner of the world a better place.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Camino Cerro Chato
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for directions and details.
Because of your support, we now have stricter regulations and multi-layered protection from destructive activities like large-scale gravel mines in special places.
Commissioner Kathy Holian said that this may be the first regulation of its kind in the state -- and none of it would have happened without the incredible outpouring of public support to save La Bajada mesa.
I could not be prouder of this community and the dedication of all of you who gave your time, energy and love to change our world for the better. You are awesome -- thank you from the bottom of my heart!
It’s been almost a year since the specter of a gravel strip mine on iconic La Bajada mesa drove more than 600 citizens to a special hearing on the matter and prompted nearly 7,000 to sign petitions opposing the mine permit application. The Board of County Commissioners recognized that a better framework of regulations was needed for high-impact activities like industrial-scale sand and gravel operations, junkyards and landfills. They responded by placing a one-year moratorium on certain types of Developments of Countywide Impact (DCIs).
With time now short before the expiration of that moratorium, the county has fast-tracked hearings to put new regulations in place. The first of these hearings took place on July 28. The second hearing and expected vote is scheduled for August 11.
The proposed regulations require that DCI overlay zones be created prior to conditional use approval for such things as junk yards, landfills, large mines, or mines requiring blasting. This is a sensible approach that empowers the county to evaluate the general suitability of an area for these types of high-impact activities before assessing the merits of any particular application. The proposed regulations strive for balance by placing reasonable safeguards on high-impact operations without prohibiting them in appropriate areas.
But while the intent of the regulation is sound, important areas of weakness remain. One example is a lack of consistency between the DCI regulations that will apply to industrial-scale sand and gravel operation and Article XI of the current Code, which will continue to govern smaller operators. Inconsistency in the criteria that shift an operation into DCI status (some mention blasting, some don’t) needs to be addressed across all statutes to avoid confusion and legal challenges.
Further, the 10 acre threshold for "small" operations is too large for Santa Fe County. It is based on a state criteria for mining operations including ore and hard rock mining. Santa Fe's own sand and gravel mines tend to be more modest in size, and we believe that a 5 acre threshold is more appropriate for this area.
Please call or e-mail your Commissioners, urging them to ensure that sound DCI regulations are drafted and adopted on August 11, before the current moratorium expires.
* Santa Fe County Main Line - (505) 986-6200
* Robert A. Anaya: email@example.com
* Henry Roybal: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Miguel M. Chavez: email@example.com
* Kathy Holian: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Liz Stefanics: email@example.com