Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Friday, April 25, 2014
Tombstone's wilderness water woes continue
A recent fire in Tombstone's historical district has brought back the battle between the city and the feds over the town's water supply.
Tombstone gets its water from a highly protected wilderness area in the Huachuca Mountains. The pipeline that transports water 30 miles across Cochise County has had problems since the Monument Fire in 2011. According to the City they still haven't been able to get the proper equipment into the area to permanently fix the issues.
The structures in Tombstone's historic district are like a tinderbox. In the past few years alone the site of what is currently Old West Studio has burned down twice and continued water worries have some residents like Hal Cloughley on edge.
Cloughley's home has caught fire twice in the last three years. The most recent time was just a couple of weeks ago as flames from Old West Studio jumped onto his property.
Cloughley said, "This whole town could have went up. I was up there fighting it with a water hose."
The last time Tombstone had to put a fire out of this size firefighters used up nearly one third of the towns water. Tombstone Mayor Stephen Schmidt says if their water pipeline was running at full capacity they wouldn't have the threat of running dry.
"We've put temporary fixes on them but every monsoon they get washed out," explains Schmidt.
Without being able to access all of their spring heads in the Huachucas with mechanized equipment, every time the pipeline gets washed out they are forced into a long process of getting it fixed.
"One time they shut us down for using a wheelbarrow because it's mechanized. I guess it is because it has a wheel I don't know," says Schmidt...more
But I'm sure Senators Udall and Heinrich are correct in proposing to surround Las Cruces with Wilderness and other restrictive designations. We have no need for mechanical equipment to repair or construct flood control dams. The Border Patrol has no need for motorized vehicles in this area. Ranchers can walk or go horseback to check and repair their pipelines and windmills. Hunters can carry their own game out. Campers can park on the edge and peek in. Yes, it will all be wonderful.