New Rio Grande plan open for comments until Sunday

Earlier this year, US Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar came though Albuquerque. He was here to talk about a number of issues while on a two-day tour of the West.

But he was clear on one thing in particular: The need for federal, state, and local agencies to coordinate with one another more efficiently on the Middle Rio Grande.

(For some of the background on how the Middle Rio Grande is currently managed, check out this story about the Rio Grande Silvery Minnow from our “Endangered Art of Compromise” series.)

In January, Salazar appointed eight members to a new Secretary’s Middle Rio Grande Conservation Initiative Committee and directed the committee to work with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create a new development plan by July 2012. Salazar directed the committee to consider not only endangered species and water management issues, but also conservation, recreation, and education.

That plan is in draft form right now–and New Mexicans have until Sunday to comment before it’s finalized and given to Salazar for review.

I’m going to be honest with you here: The draft is hard to find. But try this:

Visit  www.middleriogrande.com. Then click on the “Secretary’s Committee” icon on the left of the page (near the circle with the three stars in it). From there, scroll down the page and look for MRG Secretary’s Committee Report draft 06/12/12 under the heading “MRG Secretary’s Committee Documents.”

Comments will be accepted through June 17, 2012 and can be emailed to: middleriograndeplan@gmail.com

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