The State Land Office (SLO) and the Department of Game and Fish (DGF) yesterday announced the completion of project work aimed to increase access to state trust land for licensed hunters just in time for the beginning of deer and elk hunting season. In March, 2020, SLO and DGF signed an Easement giving licensed sportspeople access to 8.8 million acres of state trust land. DGF paid the SLO $800,000 for access, with an agreement to partner with SLO for $200,000 worth of projects aimed to enhance access to state trust land. Some projects have already been completed in Catron and Socorro Counties. To learn more, go to the website for New Mexico State Land Office.

A team of researchers at New Mexico State University is developing protocols to test wastewater samples as a possible method for early detection of SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The team is an interdisciplinary effort from the NMSU colleges of Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. The research team is working with NMSU Facilities and Services officials to determine sampling locations, timing and frequency on the Las Cruces campus and Doña Ana Community College and to obtain samples. Once in the laboratory, researchers have to concentrate the sample and then analyze for detection of SARS CoV-2 and quantify the abundance.

As an added note, The Santa Clara Police Department will be conducting Selective Traffic Enforcement Operations (S.T.E.P.) during the month of September.  All roads and highways within the village will be heavily patrolled and all traffic laws will be enforced.  Motorists are warned to not drink and drive; but if you do drink, be smart and get a designated driver.

Yesterday, as far as increases in cases in our region. Grant County as of last night is at 83 (an increase of 1 from the day prior), Catron County at 5, Hidalgo County at 98 and Luna County 316.  The largest increase of cases yesterday was by 32 new cases in Dona Ana County, that was higher than Bernalillo’s increase of 30 new cases.