This past month, about nine square miles were burned in Santa Fe National Forest by prescribed burns (550 acres Pacheco, 4,300 acres Rowe Mesa, 997 acres Cuba). It is appropriate to ask for a pause in the continuation of these projects without a complete environmental impact statement. Success is relative. We have COVID-19. We have climate. We have stress. We have drought, and we will eventually have fires. Our loss of diversity is turning on us. Let us creatively save what we have. Let us question authority.
A minor miracle
On Friday, the watershed for Las Vegas, N.M., faced a serious challenge and came through unscathed.
On a day with 60 mph wind gusts, the Peterson Fire started in Gallinas Canyon. The multiple agencies that responded performed a minor miracle and stopped the fire at 30 acres. The aggressive attack reflects how serious a fire in any New Mexico canyon can be, but a multiyear group effort underpinned this success. Land owners and funding agencies working in the canyon know that removing excess small trees keeps fires small. Thinned forests around the city reservoir and the adjacent Las Vegas Land Grant meant this area could burn without burning up and nearby thinning on private property meant the firefighters had options. Those of us who live in Las Vegas owe all involved, from those who fought flames on Friday to those who found funding five years ago, a big thanks.
director, N.M. Forest and Watershed
Las Vegas, N.M.
As a former member of the planning commission, and fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, I am encouraged about the city’s contracting for a growth management study and cleaning up our land use codes (“Mayor seeks to study Santa Fe’s long-term growth plans,” April 24). I would also recommend the administration and City Council reallocate staff resources for in-house long-range planning. However, I advise against an incremental approach on the comprehensive plan, last updated in 1999.
It is precisely during uncertain times such as these that long-range comprehensive planning is most important. A new comprehensive plan requires the community coming together in an inclusive and transparent effort to envision our future, and establishes goals and policies that will guide our choices about leveraging our limited resources for the most benefit. The result is a plan that integrates land use, housing, transportation, equitable economic development, utilities, recreation, historic and cultural preservation, and sustainability while aligning with our values.
Shine a light
We would like to offer our sincere appreciation for your editorial (“Governing requires plenty of light,” Our View, April 23) regarding the secretive process that the city was using to select the toxic LED streetlights. We take pride in being the author of some of the “aggressive” correspondence with the city because we now see the changes that they have been forced to make with their process. Thank you for your opinion that just because people are vocal does not mean that the city can use this as an excuse to hide behind anonymity.
Too many broken lights
I’ve been reading all the comments regarding the brightness of the new street lights. I live in a neighborhood that has no streetlights, and it is nice to be able to see the stars. However, as I was traveling on N.M. 599, I noticed several lights out near the South Meadows intersection. Because of the pandemic, I haven’t traveled that route as often as usual. The same lights were out the last time I traveled that route, and that was about a year ago. It would be nice to have the bulbs working where we do have streetlights because there is a reason those lights are there.