Mayor, not minnow, is to blame

  Dear HCN,


Following the lead of our Illustrious and Infallible Leader, Emperor Bush the Second, Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez has declared war on the endangered silvery minnow. Chavez has promised to appeal the decision of Judge James Parker, Chief Justice of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court (HCN, 10/14/02: Albuquerque is dragged into Rio Grande fight). The minnow represents a clear and present danger to the children of Albuquerque, according to Chavez. A new phase of a Middle Rio Grande Water War has begun.


In a move of uncharacteristic generosity, Mayor Chavez sold and released 70,000 acre-feet of water earlier this summer to the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District. This move was done in flagrant disregard of the anticipated drying of the river in the midst of the drought and in disregard of needed Endangered Species Act requirements that could be readily anticipated at the time. Now there is noise being made by New Mexico's congressional delegation about changing the protections guaranteed under the Endangered Species Act. And even Gov. Johnson is considering an appeal to the Endangered Species "God Squad."


It's time for concerned citizens to engage in this battle for life and the river. Call your city and federal representatives to uphold the Endangered Species Act. The city needs to learn to build a conservation program that goes beyond its existing one. We need to establish a program of rainwater harvesting and catch basins. We need a moratorium on the construction of golf courses within the city and ongoing water audits for commercial, institutional and industrial users. It is time for public officials to act responsibly and for all of us to act as responsible stewards for a species being threatened with extinction.


But to the mayor of Albuquerque we should say simply: You have painted yourself into this corner and you deserve to pay the political costs for your irresponsibility and lack of foresight. You have failed to implement a serious conservation program that takes into account changing conditions and federal requirements. You have acted as though there was no drought throughout the summer. We can not support any manipulation or subterfuge to obscure the real culprit in this matter. It is not the minnow, but it is Mayor Chavez.


Martin Zehr


Albuquerque, New Mexico


High Country News Classifieds
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.
  • FEATURES DIRECTOR - HIGH COUNTRY NEWS
    High Country News, an award-winning news organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a Features Director to join our editorial...
  • GENERAL MANAGER
    The Board of UYWCD seeks a new GM to manage operations & to implement our robust strategic plan. Details at www.upperyampawater.com. EOE
  • IN TUCSON, FOR SALE: A BEAUTIFUL, CLASSIC MID-CENTURY MODERN HOME
    designed by architect David Swanson in 1966. Located a block from Saguaro National Forest, yet minutes to Downtown and the UofA campus, 3706 sqft, 6...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Friends of the San Juans is seeking a new leader guide our efforts to protect and restore the San Juan Islands and the Salish...
  • 80 ACRES
    straddles North Platte Fishery, Wyoming. Legal access 2 miles off 1-80. Call 720-440-7633.
  • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT AND MARKETING
    High Country News seeks a Director of Product and Marketing to join our senior team during an exciting chapter of innovation and growth. This individual...
  • OWN A THRIVING MOUNTAIN GUIDE SERVICE.
    Eastern Sierra guide service for sale to person with vision & expertise to take it onwards. Since 1995 with USFS & NPS permits. Ideal for...
  • IMPROVED LOT
    Private road, hillside, views. Well, pad, septic, 99 sq.ft. hut. Dryland permaculture orchard. Wildlife. San Diego--long growing season
  • UNIQUE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
    Profitable off-the-grid business located 2 miles from Glacier National Park. Owner has 6 years operating experience. Seeking investor or partner for business expansion and enhancement....
  • REMOTE SITKA ALASKA FLOAT HOUSE VACATION RENTAL
    Vacation rental located in calm protected waters 8 miles from Sitka, AK via boat with opportunities to fish and view wildlife. Skiff rental also available.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...