Tag Archives: wildlife

Making Crossings Safe For Wildlife And Drivers

Our Land Wildlife Crossing

September 14, 2018 – If you’ve ever white-knuckled it through a canyon or overpass, hoping you don’t encounter deer or elk on the highway, you’re not alone. Our highways and roads get us where we need to go, but they also slice up wildlife habitat. And when animals try to get across those roads to get to water, food or mating grounds, they’re in danger of being killed. And motorists are at risk of accident.

Fifteen years ago, Wild Friends—a statewide student group organized through the University of New Mexico School of Law—lobbied the state legislature to convene a workshop to look at the problems of wildlife-driver accidents. The New Mexico Carnivore Working Group organized the Critical Mass Workshop in 2003 to look at which highways in New Mexico were most dangerous for wildlife and drivers. Tijeras Canyon where animals move back and forth between the Sandia and Manzano Mountains, ranked near the top.

Correspondent Laura Paskus takes us to the Tijeras Canyon Safe Passage Project outside Albuquerque to look at one project from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the Department of Transportation that’s trying to protect wildlife and keep drivers safe, too.

Our Land: It’s not just one dry year: What the Rio Grande’s low flows tell us about the future

Our Land

April 13, 2018 – You might be surprised to see how low the Rio Grande is through Albuquerque right now. The river has already dried for more than ten miles south of Socorro, and it’s running low in northern New Mexico as it runs through the Taos Gorge and alongside towns like Pilar.

But scientists aren’t necessarily surprised. Many have been researching how climate change will affect both surface and ground water supplies in the southwestern United States. In a new paper from University of New Mexico graduate Shaleene Chavarria and UNM’s Earth and Planetary Sciences Professor David Gutzler, the two show how warming is affecting snowpack and streamflows.

New Mexico in Focus has been covering record-low snowpack this year on Our Land, our monthly environmental series on environmental issues.  And this week we look at what’s happening now that snowmelt is not refilling the river—and what new research tells us about where we are headed.

Keep up with our coverage on the Our Land Facebook page.