SWEC: Wolves, butterflies, groundwater, Rio Grande planning

July 31, 2014

Can wolves help butterflies, frogs, and trees survive?

Want to watch a movie that could change your life? Join us for a special screening of Lords of Nature: Life in a Land of Great Predators to learn how wolves change landscapes in surprising and amazing ways. You have two opportunities:

  • Tonight, July 31, 7 pm at SWEC, with refreshments provided by Andele’s Restaurant
  • Thursday, August 7, 7 pm at the Elephant Butte Inn in Truth or Consequences, with refreshments provided.

Click here to see the trailer. A special status update on the Mexican gray wolf, the Southwest’s own native top predator, will be presented at both events. USFWS is currently considering changes to the reintroduction program of the Mexican wolf that could result in wolf recovery or push wolves in the Southwest back to the brink of extinction. Call Tricia at 575-522-5552 for more information.

Groundwater Supplies Disappearing in the West

Who knew that satellites could measure how much water is underground? They can, and the results are definitely not good. Everyone can see rivers such as the Rio Grande drying up, but it turns out that underground water sources are dwindling at a much faster rate. A new study reveals that nearly 80 percent of water losses in the Colorado River Basin over the past nine years has taken place beneath our feet. The study did not look at the Rio Grande basin, but USGS data collected the old fashion way (from monitoring wells) indicate that groundwater levels have dropped in Dona Ana County in recent years. (One of the reasons SWEC’s La Mancha Wetland Project has been on hold for more than three years is that the State Engineer has been inundated with emergency well drilling applications, as existing wells go dry at an alarming rate.)

SWEC Involved in Regional Water Planning for Lower Rio Grande

The State Engineer’s Office is coordinating a statewide effort to update regional water plans, and SWEC is getting involved at the very early stages. SWEC’s executive director Kevin Bixby is part of a team that is helping to coordinate public participation in the process to ensure that the community’s concerns are addressed in a meaningful way. The current water plan for the Lower Rio Grande, completed in 2004, was completed with little public input and virtually no consideration of environmental concerns. We’re determined to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

SWEC Board Openings

SWEC has two openings on its board of directors. We are looking for candidates who support the organization and are passionate about saving nature. Nonprofit board experience is a plus but not required. If interested, please send resume and brief letter of interest to kevin@wildmesquite.org.



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