Efforts to Ban Mining in the Pecos Watershed

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Efforts to Ban Mining in the Pecos Watershed

Date: 11/04/2023     State: NM     Issues: Fire, Mining, Watersheds, Wild Lands     Partners: New Mexico Acequia Association, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, Upper Pecos Watershed Association Airport Origin : Sante Fe, NM    


Fly staffers of US Congresswoman Teresa Fernandez and US Senator Ben Ray Lujan over the Pecos River to learn from EcoFlight's partners including conservation experts and leaders of local traditional acequia communities. ADvocate for a ban on mining in the Upper Pecos Watershed, and provide the Upper Pecos Watershed Association and Village of Pecos with the aerial perspective.

and The Pecos River flows from the Pecos Wilderness in north-central New Mexico to Texas, meandering through granite canyons and high-alpine ecosystems. Our overflight examined the gorgeous Upper Pecos Watershed, which supports diverse flora, fauna, and recreational opportunities. While the Pecos River flows for 20 miles, protected under a Wild & Scenic designation, to the community of Terrero, a six-mile stretch of the river south of Terrero is under immediate threat. The proposed Terrero Mine threatens the diverse values of the Upper Pecos Watershed. The Australian company wishes to move ahead with an exploratory phase, drilling up to 30 deep holes to determine if the site is viable for a full blown mine. This exploration could contaminate the Pecos River, harming fish, wildlife, and the humans who live nearby. The region has a legacy of historic mining that polluted the fragile ecosystem. In the 1990s irresponsible mining killed over 90,000 fish and cost taxpayers millions in restoration efforts.

EcoFlight's partners are working to ensure degradative mining doesn't further harm the sacred river, wildlife, and the communities that rely on the Pecos River. New Mexico Wild is working to secure protection for the Upper Pecos Watershed through a Wilderness Area designation. Support is growing for SB3033 which would ban mining over 163,000 acres in the Upper Pecos Watershed and would designate the proposed 11,099 acre Thompson Peak Wilderness Area. The mineral withdrawal and wilderness designation would help safeguard the beauty and wonder of the area against irresponsible mining projects like the Terrero Mine.


Click for geo-referenced photos from the flight. This .kmz file is best viewed in Google Earth.

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