The Bureau of Reclamation, slimmer now after former chief Dan Beard cut 1,500 from its workforce and $107 million from a $911 million budget, has a new boss.
have any agendas," says Commissioner Eluid Martinez, who worked as
New Mexico's state engineer for four years. "I just want to do a
good job for the West."
worry that if he does make waves, they might slosh in the wrong
direction. They're concerned about his support for selling off
small-scale water projects, and point to the 21 years he worked
under the former New Mexico state engineer, Steve Reynolds, whom
Martinez calls "the last of the great water buffaloes of the West."
"I learned just about everything I know about
water administration from (Reynolds)," says
That has David Henderson, director of
the New Mexico state Audubon Society, concerned. "I never saw him
as much of an administrator and now he's running a big agency," he
says. However, Martinez supported an unsuccessful attempt to pass
an instream flow law for New Mexico, Henderson
Martinez, in an interview, said he also
sometimes crossed developers in New Mexico, halting one
water-guzzling golf course and housing development near Taos. As
for Animas-LaPlata, the West's long-delayed last dam, Martinez said
while he supported it as a state engineer, he preferred not to
comment as head of BuRec.