Our Land: New Mexico’s Environmental Past, Present and Future

NMiF: Our Land (logo)

By: Laura Paskus, NMiF correspondent

Our crystalline skies.

The mountains that frame our cities.

The rivers we depend on for drinking water, irrigation, recreation, and solace.

No matter where you live, all New Mexicans feel connected with their landscapes. Our state is home to wildlife and plant species that make us unique, and which people have relied upon for generations. When it comes to state and federal environment policies and regulations, those also affect all of us, whether they involve public lands management, clean drinking water, or keeping communities safe from contamination.

Yet, even as our region warms, coverage of the environment is still missing, especially from television news. We plan to change that. And now is the perfect time.

According to a recent survey, more than half of New Mexicans say global warming is happening and about 44 percent understand that it’s human-caused. Those numbers are low compared with the national numbers—70 percent of Americans think global warming is happening and more than half say it’s human-caused—and yet, New Mexicans are among the most affected by climate change.

Already, we see changes in our forests, snowpack trends, rivers and streams and even the skies, when dust storms occur. New Mexicans have always weathered drought and challenges. But now is the time to better understand the science behind what’s happening in our state’s skies, forests and rivers—and also to understand how state and federal policies affect our waters, public lands, and futures.

“Our Land: New Mexico’s Environmental Past, Present and Future” premieres in July 2017 on New Mexico in Focus. Every month we will take you to a different place in the state to examine an environmental issue.

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