Mast Head

September 2013
In This Issue 

Brian & Kalani

Brian Shields, Executive Director &
Kalani Martínez 
at the Amigos Bravos 5 Year Strategic Planning Retreat
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Upcoming Events


September 17
The Amigos Bravos Monthly "Water Matters" Lecture Series 
Scott Moore
Beautiful Midden project
Santa Fe

Santa Fe Community Foundation

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September 17-18 

Rio Grande Basin Meetings

Sept 17, 1-5:30pm, Wildfire Impacts & Management

September 18, 8am-12pm, Colorado R Cooperative Programs as a Model for the Rio Grande (rsvp by Sept 13

Corp of Engineers Office
4101 Jefferson NE (south of Osuna) 

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September 18 

Rio Grande Vision project for the Bosque and river, 
a gathering of community groups and the general public

6-8pm, Albuquerque Museum
Mountain Road

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September 28 

Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge
 Community Meeting for Projected
 3 Year Process to Develop the Southwest's First "Urban Refuge"

Lunch included for those committed to full day attendance
families are welcome

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October 3

Middle Rio Grande Waters Partnership:
an effort "to reconnect urban communities, particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed, with their waterways." 

8am - 5pm 
Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center
6500 Coors Blvd. NW


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Are you a member 

of Amigos Bravos?


Midden Temple


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Find us on Facebook




Contact Info:

Amigos Bravos, Inc.
P.O. Box 238
105-A Quesnel
Taos, New Mexico 87571

Tel: 575-758-3874
Fax: 575-758-7345



Rubish on the Rim

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abandoned car door in tributary arroyo

The Southwest Rural Policy Network is comprised of fourteen organizations from Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, each working on a variety of social issues that affect the people and communities of the rural Southwest. Amigos Bravos has been a member of the Network for 5 years.   

To learn more, please visit;







Amigos Bravos Secretary of the Board of Directors 
Sally Wisely (Albuquerque)




We value your feedback regarding all aspects of our work!

Would you like to support the preservation of the cultural and ecological richness of New Mexico's waters?



Mary Humphrey
Amigos Bravos Founding and Past President (x3) 
Water Law Attorney, Mary Humphrey


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Casa Baca
Amigos Bravos office

 Join our efforts today by becoming a member or making a contribution toAmigos Bravos at






Pilar Green
Rio Grande at Pilar 



 Please consider taking a moment to 



Like us on Facebook 



and help grow the community that truly cares about water!


      In celebration of our 25th Anniversary - and thanks to five very generous families --  the Amigos Bravos Developing-Into-Something-Good Committee has established a $12,500 Challenge Match Gift. Contributions between now and San Geronimo Day (September 30) will be matched dollar for dollar! Please help us meet the goal of raising $12,500 so we can meet the match!This is an opportunity to double the impact of your gift - please consider donating now on our secure site:
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     In this month's E-Currents, we include the press release submitted on September 10 by Amigos Bravos, New Mexico Environmental Law Center, and Gila Resources Information Project regarding Governor Martínez's decision that copper mining is more important than clean drinking water, along with important background information to aid in your understanding of that damaging decision.
    We are happy to announce the September "Water Matters" Lecture, featuring outdoor installation and "situationist" artist, Scott Moore, speaking about the Beautiful Midden project.  


"Reclining Metal" on the shores of the Rio Pueblo de Taos



      On the evening of Tuesday, August 20, at 5:30pm, at the Santa Fe Community Foundation, the Amigos Bravos "Water Matters" lecture will feature outdoor installation artist Scott Moore speaking on the Amigos Bravos sponsored Beautiful Midden project. The lectures are free to our members and the public and feature some of the most knowledgeable and dynamic speakers in the region, including writers, scientists, poets, environmental activists, and scholars. 

Outdoor Installation & "Situationist" Artist, Scott Moore


     Environmental degradation is often the result of human actions and habits that cannot be addressed solely through biological restoration efforts. A change in our personal relationship to place is required. Art has the capacity to wake us up to the realization that we are, each of us, made up of watersheds within watersheds within watersheds. The
Beautiful Midden project, sponsored by the Amigos Bravos Art & Activism Initiative, is addressing the ubiquitous and persistent problem of trash along rivers and riparian areas -- a major contributor to environmental degradation and water quality impairment -- by undertaking an art-based environmental restoration project at the end of County Road C-110, on the Rio Pueblo de Taos, a major tributary to the northern Rio Grande. The project is meant to serve as a model for future
Beautiful Midden
 and spin-off environmental & art-based projects throughout New Mexico. 


      Scott Moore is a sculptor, performer, and teacher who "practices art and life anchored in the heart of improvisation, with the recurring  theme of humanity in relation to the four elements." He generates "situationist activities" through direct engagement that questions public spaces. In addition to the Beautiful Midden, he is working on a series of collaborative educational presentations at the UNM Harwood Museum of Art, in Taos. He is a member of the Rufus Corporation, an international collective of actors, musicians, dancers, and film makers based in Brooklyn.   

     Photos from the Midden project are by Natalie Carlton and Scott Moore

     Listen to the fabulous Mary-Charlotte
Domandi on KSFR radio at 8am to hear her
interview with Scott Moore. After the lecture, listen online to the interview by googling 

Santa Fe Radio Cafe

and entering"Scott Moore" in the search box.       

The Santa Fe Community Foundation is located between Old Santa Fe Trail and Acequia Madre, at the corner of Paseo de Peralta and Hanola. For more information, call 575-758-3874. 


Refrigerator  with Glass on the Rim of the Rio

     from a news release composed by Amigos Bravos, New Mexico Environmental Law Center, and Gila Resources Information Project
September 10, 2013
     The New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) voted today to adopt copper mining groundwater regulations that expressly allow water pollution rather than prevent it. The rules, proposed by the New Mexico Environment Department and the global copper mining company, Freeport-McMoRan, marks the first time in 36 years that the Commission has set aside its mandate to protect the quality of the state's scares groundwater resources. 
     Gila Resources Information Project (GRIP) and Turner Enterprises, represented by the New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC), and Amigos Bravos, represented by High Desert Energy + Environmental Law Partners, oppose this rulemaking on grounds that the rules violate the protections afforded under the Water Quality Act. For this reason, the parties will appeal today's decision to the New Mexico Court of Appeals. 
     "For years, Freeport has fought to have here in New Mexico the same unchecked power it enjoys in undeveloped countries," says Bruce Frederick, Staff Attorney at the NMELC. "The company wants to pollute groundwater with no limits, and now they have convinced this Administration to let it do just that." 
     "We strongly oppose these copper rules as they will allow the mining industry to pollute our valuable groundwater resources rather than prevent pollution at mining operations as required under the State Water Quality Act, "says Allyson Siwik, Executive Director of GRIP. "These rules would allow mining giant Freeport-McMoRan to evade its responsibility for pollution prevention and use the public's groundwater as its dumping ground, shifting the cost of clean-up to us - the taxpayer - while endangering our public health." 
     "This pollution allowing Rule sets a dangerous precedent," says Rachel Conn, Amigos Bravos Projects Director. "Soon other industries in the state will be wanting the same ability to pollute groundwater. We are already seeing signs of this from the Dairy Industry's most recent rulemaking proposal."
Background Information: 
* In 2009, the NM Legislature mandated the Water Quality Control Commission to specify water discharge regulations for the dairy and copper mining industries that would prevent water pollution and protect water quality. 
* In 2012, the NM Environment Department put together an advisory committee that included members from the copper mining company, Freeport-McMoRan, environmental groups, and technical experts to craft the new copper rule to present to the WQCC. The advisory committee met for eight months and in mid-August a draft rule was sent to NMED.
* At Freeport's request, the NMED's upper management overruled the recommendations of its own technical staff, and instead incorporated language that would allow Freeport (and other copper mine operators) to routinely pollute groundwater with acid rock drainage, metals, and other contaminants in the course of its mining operations. 
* In April, 2013, the NMED presented its draft water quality rules for copper mines before the WQCC. The NMELC and its clients opposed the rules on grounds that they are illegal under the Water Quality Act. NMED's own technical staff, who had been involved in the copper rules development process, opted not to attend the hearing. 




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