Feds have failed to mitigate fire risks - Albuquerque Journal

Feds have failed to mitigate fire risks

I AM THE attorney who wrote the Otero County Resolution that soon morphed into Senate Bill 1 that New Mexico enacted into law back in 2001 to abate the continuing risk of catastrophic forest fires in New Mexico. Now, 15 years later, nothing yet has been done by the federal government to adequately address the issues that led to that legislation even back then.

The principle upon which the legislation was based was very simple. A sovereign’s authority over the citizens placed under its jurisdiction is (or, at least, should be) dependent upon that sovereign’s fulfillment of its primary duty to protect the property and lives of those citizens … and when that sovereign fails to fulfill that duty, the authority they had must pass to a sovereign that is willing to do so.

In short, if the federal government fails to prevent wildfires that threaten the lives and property of people in New Mexico, they should at least allow New Mexico the right to take the actions necessary to do so.

Of course the federal courts will side with the federal Forest Service in this debate. But that doesn’t mean the federal government shouldn’t be held liable for the costs for the catastrophes they insist upon continuing to impose upon the citizens of New Mexico.

Recently we had the fire in the Manzanos. Foreseeably, one of the next ones that could be catastrophic will be on the backside of the Sandias where the forest overgrowth exceeds any rational explanation on the part of the Forest Service.

The people of communities like Cedar Crest should bear this in mind – preferably now, when action can still be taken, than later, when it very well may be too late.

My only remaining questions at this point:

• Are Gov. Susana Martinez, Sen. Martin Heinrich, Sen. Tom Udall, Rep Steve Pearce, Rep. Ben Ray Luján and Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham listening?

• If so, what are they doing about it?

Hopefully more than New Mexico’s elected officials over the past 15 years.

Home » From the newspaper » Feds have failed to mitigate fire risks

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
New Mexico’s budget has billions in surplus. Here’s how ...
ABQnews Seeker
Check out the poll results from ... Check out the poll results from a survey asking 500 New Mexican voters how they would like to see the state's surplus invested and ...
2
Lobos go down early, can’t catch Utah State on ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Lobos fell behind by 19 ... The Lobos fell behind by 19 in the first half and couldn't dig out of that hole in the second in late Wednesday loss ...
3
Jury convicts gunman in fatal I-40 shooting
ABQnews Seeker
A jury found an Albuquerque man ... A jury found an Albuquerque man guilty of second-degree murder on Wednesday for fatally shooting a stranger in 2019 as the two men were ...
4
NM wildfire recovery package advances at Capitol as state ...
ABQnews Seeker
A bill aimed at helping fire-ravaged ... A bill aimed at helping fire-ravaged parts of northern New Mexico rebuild local roads, culverts and acequias — without having to wait for federal ...
5
Man jailed pending trial in attack at an ABQ ...
ABQnews Seeker
A Belen man who allegedly held ... A Belen man who allegedly held an Albuquerque massage parlor employee at gunpoint for hours and demanded sex will remain in jail while awaiting ...
6
Legislators take aim at secrecy rule in harassment complaints
ABQnews Seeker
Legislators on Wednesday took a step ... Legislators on Wednesday took a step toward ending the one-sided confidentiality law that keeps people who file a harassment complaint at the Roundhouse from ...
7
SF New Mexican hires new publisher
ABQnews Seeker
Tom Cross, the current publisher, announces ... Tom Cross, the current publisher, announces retirement plans
8
UNM celebrates 'intelligent, articulate and purpose-driven visionary'
ABQnews Seeker
Barbara Brown Simmons in 1974 became ... Barbara Brown Simmons in 1974 became the first Black woman to graduate form the University of New Mexico School of Law.
9
Senate panel blocks push to lift rent control prohibition
ABQnews Seeker
Legislators rejected a proposal Wednesday that ... Legislators rejected a proposal Wednesday that would have opened the door to rent control in New Mexico cities and counties. The Senate Health and ...
10
Who are the city of Albuquerque's highest-paid employees?
ABQnews Seeker
When it comes to Albuquerque city ... When it comes to Albuquerque city worker paychecks, nobody tops first responders.