Archive for August, 2016

Sulphur Picnic Area Project

by John Helmich, East Mountain Interagency Fire Protection Association

EM Residents,

We here at EMIFPA feel it is important to relay wildfire related efforts in our region. The following is from Crystal Powell, Sandia Ranger District Ranger, regarding one of the many projects the District is undertaking to make our forest a better neighbor.

The Sulphur project area is located on the Sandia Ranger District of Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands and includes 1,173 acres. The project is being implemented due to high tree density and severe competition have created conditions that compromise forest health, wildlife habitat, and scenic quality while increasing the possibility of high-intensity wildfires.

The Environmental Analysis and Decision Memo were completed and signed in February 2014 and implementation began in the fall of 2015. This project is broken up into two different project areas, Sulphur A and B. Sulphur A includes the developed recreation sites Doc Long, Sulphur Canyon and Cienega Canyon, Sulphur B is everything south of Cienega Canyon. The project was divided to better manage finances and implementation, but all are designed to restore desired conditions, control invasive plants, and manage for sustainable recreation.

Treatments include mechanical (mastication or harvesting equipment) and hand thinning, fuelwood collection, prescribed burning, invasive plant species management, trail rehabilitation and relocation and decommissioning of non-system trails.

Project partners include New Mexico State Forestry, The Nature Conservancy, the Rio Grande Water Fund, New Mexico Forest Industry Association, the Pueblos of Sandia and Santa Ana.

Thank you for your help in getting this information out.

Crystal Powell, District Ranger
United States Forest Service
Cibola National Forest and Grasslands, Sandia Ranger District
505-281-3304 x117

As always, EMIFPA advises all residents to be aware, be prepared, and be self reliant. Fire conditions in our area are presently “high”.  As always, Report It, Don’t Ignore It! If you see or smell smoke, call 911 immediately.

John Helmich
EMIFPA Community Education Outreach Coordinator

EMIFPA web site
EMIFPA Facebook site

Twitter: @EMIFPA_NM

The Sandia Tea Party Lets Someone Else Strike (again)

by John Weckerle

It was with some surprise that, several weeks ago, we decided to look in on the Sandia Tea Party site to see how they were treating the political silly season – and found that it had vanished from the web. Repeated visits over a week or two were fruitless, and it looked as if the Sandia Tea Party had, like its former sister organization, the East Mountain Tea Party, vanished from the face of the Earth, or at least from the Internet.

Alas, with this morning’s browsing we find the site back in place, with Sandia Tea Party Official Internet Spokesman Chuck Ring at the helm. Unfortunately, the Sandia Tea Party site appears to have become primarily a venue for screeds provided by fossil fuel energy industry advocate and anti-environment writer Marita Noon, executive director of Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy, which is described by SourceWatch as “a lobby group funded by New Mexico oil and gas industry interests.”  Ms. Noon is also an author at, founded by the late serial liar and fraudster Andrew Breitbart. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, depending on one’s point of view), it would appear that the energy industry is not getting its money’s worth, at least based on the most recent article, dated August 2, found on the Sandia Tea Party web site.

In the most recent article, Ms. Noon attacks the biofuels industry, and particularly the Renewable Fuel Standard, on the basis that these have led to widespread corruption, influence peddling, and fraud. The article presents a number of examples in which various parties have fraudulently sold or otherwise taken advantage of tax credits associated with the production of biofuels (Renewable Identification Numbers, or RINs). Ms. Noon presents these as support for eliminating the Renewable Fuels Standard. We do not challenge the idea that these incidents occurred, and we recognize that there are some environmental and socioeconomic issues associated with biofuels that require more consideration than they are getting, but it seems a huge stretch to portray these accounts of fraud as an indictment of the biofuels credits or the industry as a whole. This would be akin to saying that telephone solicitors who defraud people are the fault of the telephone system, or that the solution to identity fraud would be to eliminate identities. Regardless of the system, there will always be those who will try to turn it to their advantage illegally. Fraud in the energy industry is not limited to the biofuels sector – after all, we all remember this little incident.  As to influence peddling and possible corruption, we found this article by Bill Moyers interesting. And there are plenty more out there for those who are interested and have time for a little searching.

The reality of all this is that fraud is a crime that has been committed in nearly all sectors, and that the issue is one of dishonesty rather than something industry-specific. We’ll leave our readers with a link to America’s 10 most famous fraudsters, and draw attention to number 2 in the slideshow.