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KSJD Newscast - September 30th, 2015

  • Montezuma County commissioners have kind words for public land managers at BLM's Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.
  • Federal government will move ahead with plans to reintroduce the endangered Mexican gray wolf into New Mexico despite opposition.
  • Monticello newspaper The San Juan Record celebrates its 100th anniversary.

The Montezuma County commissioners have had some sharp words for federal public-lands agencies recently, but on Tuesday night, chairman Keenan Ertel had some kind words as well. At a meeting of the Rangeland Stewardship Committee, a grassroots advisory group, he praised managers with the BLM Canyons of the Ancients National Monument for their recent decision to do an environmental assessment on two grazing allotments before deciding whether to reopen them. Monument officials told the stewardship committee they want to collect updated information and do a thorough analysis in order to increase the odds that any decision to reopen the tracts will hold up against possible appeals. Ertel said he thinks the BLM “made some wise choices.” He and fellow Commissioner James Lambert, who also attended the meeting, likewise voiced satisfaction with the Forest Service after Dolores District Manager Derek Padilla offered the commissioners an early look at alternatives in an environmental impact statement addressing livestock grazing in the Glade area. Lambert commented, “That’s coordination.” The commissioners have previously said the public-lands agencies do not do enough to work with the county.

In regional news, the federal government will apparently move ahead with plans to reintroduce the endangered Mexican gray wolf into New Mexico despite that state’s opposition. The Associated Press reports that on Tuesday in Albuquerque, the New Mexico Game Commission rejected the federal government’s appeal of a state denial of permits for wolf releases. The AP says the Fish and Wildlife Service can go forward with a species recovery effort even without a state’s permission.

And in other regional news, the newspaper the San Juan Record is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The weekly publication, based in Monticello, Utah, published its first issue on September 29th, 1915. The paper’s editor for more than 20 years, Bill Boyle, tells KSJD his staff is working hard to keep the periodical going strong. He says he believes it will be around in another hundred years “in some form or another, maybe a pile of dusty microfiche.”

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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