Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
At 1:30 this afternoon, the National Weather Service in El Paso Texas issued an Urban and Arroyo Flood Advisory for central Grant County. Trained weather spotters reported heavy rain east of Silver City due to thunderstorms that were warned could cause flooding in arroyos and poor drainage areas. Additional rainfall of up to one inch is expected over the area which could cause minor flooding.
Thunderstorms across much of the Gila National Forest produced significant lightning with only isolated areas receiving appreciable rainfall. Firefighters responded to 22 new fire starts last week. While most of the fires were suppressed while they were small, two fires reached some size. The Sundial Fire located a couple miles west of Hwy 180 approximately 6 miles south of Glenwood grew to approximately 20 acres. The Stitzel Fire is 8 miles north of San Lorenzo and grew to 50 acres in size. Both Stitzel and Sundial fires are staffed and are being managed for multiple objectives.
The North Fire on the Magdalena Ranger District increased in size to 42,102 acres at 69% containment. The Dog Head Fire in the Cibola National Forest located 6 miles northwest of Tajique reached 17,912 acres and is currently 90% contained. The Blue Hill Fire in Harding County has burned an estimated 600 acres and is 90% contained.
The Reserve Ranger District reopened last Thursday after a major water leak required officials to turn off the electricity on Monday. The necessary work to get the office open was completed and employees have returned to work. All systems are operational and normal functions have resumed.
The Southern New Mexico Counties Resource Advisory Committee is calling for proposals for the Title II Special Projects on Federal Lands under the 2015 Reauthorizations of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000. Eligible projects include: road, trail, and infrastructure maintenance or obliteration; soil productivity improvement; improvements in forest ecosystem health; watershed and stream restoration and maintenance; restoration, maintenance and improvement of wildlife and fish habitat; control of noxious and invasive weeds; and re-establishment of native species. Deadline to submit a project proposal is close of business August 15th, 2016.
On Friday during National Pollinator Week and in advance of the USDA’s seventh annual Pollinator Week Festival, the USDA announced two initiatives in support of the President’s National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honeybees and Other Pollinators announced just over a year ago. A review of the USDA’s most popular conservation program found that farmers and ranchers across the country are creating at least 15 million acres of healthy forage and habitat for pollinators. The department has also entered into a new partnership with leading honey bee organizations that will help to ensure future conservation projects continue to provide benefits to these important species.
A controversial diversion of the Gila River has been taken off the table due to the New Mexico Central Arizona Project Entity directing their engineering contractor to continue studying only those projects that would cost less than $100 million to build. Get the full story here: http://nmindepth.com/2016/06/24/billion-dollar-gila-river-diversion-off-the-table/.