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The Colorado River is in crisis, and it’s getting worse every day

By Erin Patrick O'Connor Photo: Matt McClain

It is a powerhouse: a 1,450-mile waterway that stretches from the Rocky Mountains to the Sea of Cortez, serving 40 million people in seven U.S. states, 30 federally recognized tribes and Mexico. It hydrates 5 million acres of agricultural land and provides critical habitat for rare fish, birds and plants.

05/14/22
                                                               

How the future trees of New Mexico were almost destroyed by wildfires

By Elizabeth Miller Photo: Leslie Edgar/New Mexico State University

Saving tree seedlings critical to restoring forests in the Southwest from the fires ripping through northern New Mexico took four trucks and three trailers — and two trips into a wildfire evacuation zone…

05/12/22
                                                               

Southwest “megadrought” leads to wildfires and new homicide evidence

By Andrew Freedman Data: NOAA; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

It is only May, and the worsening, long-term drought in the Southwest is taxing water managers, firefighters and even homicide detectives in new ways.

05/12/22
                                                               

Wildfire threatens ‘cultural genocide’ in New Mexico villages

By Andrew Hay Photo: Reuters/Kevin Mohatt

Miguel Gandert does not know whether his family's 19th-century log home has been burned by a New Mexico wildfire, but he fears the blaze could destroy an Indo-Hispano mountain culture far older than the United States.

The wildfire is the largest now in the United States and threatens a string of villages high in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains where Gandert can trace roots to European and Mexican settlers as well as Native Americans.

05/09/22
                                                               

‘Potentially historic’ wildfire event threatens New Mexico, Southwest

By Matthew Cappucci & Jason Samenow Photo: Robert Browman , AP

Critical-to-extreme wildfire conditions are about to take hold of the southwestern United States and parts of Colorado, leading into what could be a lengthy, multiday and memorable outbreak of wildfires and/or wildfire conditions. Warm to locally scorching temperatures, bone-dry air and strong mountain gusts are set to overlap for several days, part of a summerlike weather pattern that comes without the chance of any meaningful rainfall.

05/07/22
                                                               

‘Burning Down a Way of Life’: Wildfire Rips Through a Hispanic Bastion

By Simon Romero Photo: Adria Malcolm , The New York Times

“I left behind 25 goats, 50 rabbits, 10 chickens and two dogs,” said Mr. Martinez, 71, who escaped his home in the village of El Oro this week for an evacuee shelter. “I have no idea if my house is standing or if my animals are alive. I need to prepare for the possibility everything was wiped out.”

05/05/22
                                                               

How the oil and gas industry is trying to hold US public schools hostage

By Leanna First-Arai Composite: Getty Images

The oil and gas industry wants to play a word-and-picture association game with you. Think of four images: a brightly colored backpack stuffed with pencils, a smiling teacher with a tablet tucked under her arm, a pair of glasses resting on a stack of pastel notebooks, and a gleaming school bus welcoming a young student onboard.

05/04/22
                                                               

Smoke and sandstorm, seen from space

By Maggie Astor Photo: NOAA

A time-lapse image of smoke from wildfires in New Mexico and dust from a storm in Colorado illustrates the scope of Western catastrophe. The video is mesmerizing: As three whitish-gray geysers gush eastward from the mountains of New Mexico, a sheet of brown spills down from the north like swash on a beach.

05/04/22
                                                               

New Mexico governor urges Biden to declare wildfires a disaster to free funds

Photo: Kevin Mohatt , Reuters

New Mexico’s governor on Tuesday asked President Joe Biden to declare a disaster as firefighters scrambled to clear brush, build fire lines and spray water to keep the largest blaze burning in the US from destroying more homes in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

05/03/22
                                                               

Climate change and the third world, in New Mexico

By Marjorie Childress

In reporting two recent stories about abandoned uranium mines north of Church Rock, N.M., I heard residents say several times that they want federal officials to take action, not just more talk about cleaning up radioactive waste left practically in their backyards for 40 or more years.

04/30/22