Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Chance to Activate: The No Build Option

Though I want to curl up by the fire and binge watch for four years, activism has grabbed me by the apron strings and said, "Words have Power, Write for your health." By Jan 5th the BLM wants to hear from us.  Hunt Power proposes a 33 mile  345kV transmission line through the exquisite Rio Grande Valley. Towers will be up to 120' high, don't get me started! for more info

My letter below has my talking points highlighted. Please jot by e-mail, by hand, or post office a little letter.   Volume matters (NUMBER OF LETTERS, NOT LENGTH) and we all have experience or knowledge of the road to Los Alamos, or Black Mesa, or dances at the pueblos.  Please read my letter and send yours to:  or

BLM, Verde Transmission Line Project, P.O.Box 27115, Santa Fe, NM 87502-0115

When it’s all gone to money, what do we have?

 Our first garden was in 1973, under the proposed “Verde” Transmission line and with the first shovel of earth we uncovered an arrow head, pot shards, and an ax head.  I mention this to point out the fragile and special circumstances of this land in sacred and archaeological riches.  Northern New Mexico is a rare treasure and should be treated respectfully.  I am a writer, and the land and its people have been a main source of inspiration.  My ten books all are concerned with the extraordinary gift that is New Mexico. When I taught at UNM in Los Alamos each drive brought renewed appreciation of the view sheds.  Views will be the first and most obvious loss, and I implore the BLM to stay in compliance and not make exception for preserving these invaluable visual resources. 
       My family has lived in New Mexico since then and we have three native New Mexican children and four grandchildren. 
The “Verde” project, with its doublespeak and insulting name, is an affront and can only bring harm to the land and people it impacts.
   This place of cultural pride, the Hispanic and native people, is worth of exceptional protection. If there were a category of National Treasure this should be it, a living museum, holy place, sanctuary, and wild beauty. As it is please ensure compliance with National Historic Preservation Act.
    In the very well run scoping meeting we heard about the statistics of  health  dangers (a caution that I have been aware of for decades), the wetlands with its birds, the possible impact on bees, Film industry economics, tourism, and the devaluing of real estate.  My son and his wife’s family have property right in the epicenter of this project, and they, as many others, have a modest nest egg in this land. Nothing when compared to Hunt, but a livelihood for them. please do not let one corporation degrade the economics of many.
    The Pojoaque Valley with its schools, churches, traditional communities of Santa Fe County, and pueblos is like not place I’ve ever seen.   Los Alamos National Lab employees, school bus drivers, teachers, doctors, and workers from a multi-ethnic and socioeconomic pool, live as neighbors.   Already this project is dividing people.
     I am sure it is difficult for the pueblos to pass up the opportunity to improve their pueblos by a cash infusion for schools, health, and housing, but in the long long run is this what the majority of their people want? I can’t help but think of the Water Protectors in North Dakota and wonder if this might spark similar response as the word gets out nationally.
    This electric line has already cost me nights of sleep and anxiety.  It impacts all of our quality of life while for Hunt it is cool speculation, they could not even prove that it is needed besides a business opportunity.

The earth remembers us.  How do you want to be remembered?

BLM, please put me on record as voting NO to Verde and Hunt for these reasons.

Joan Logghe

Santa Fe Poet Laureate Emerita