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New Mexico Indigenous leaders concerned about proposed transmission line

cajadelrio.jpeg
Cass Gilbert
/
Backpacking.com

A proposed $300 million dollar transmission line that would bring more electricity to Los Alamos National Laboratory, one of the nation's top nuclear weapons laboratories has New Mexico Indigenous leaders concerned.

 

The additional electricity provided by the line would power ongoing operations and future missions at the laboratory, which includes manufacturing key components for the U.S nuclear arsenal.

The transmission line would cross into what the Indigenous leader considered sacred lands. 

Stretching more than 12 miles and crossing into the national forest land in an area known as the Caja del Rio, located in northern Santa Fe county. It would also cross into the Rio Grande at White Rock Canyon. 

The U.S Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration announced back in April that they would be working with federal land managers to assess the possible environmental impacts of the project. But pueblo leaders claim there has not been adequate amount of tribal consultation.

Environmentalists, along with residents have also voiced their concerns about the possible transmission line, citing the area’s wide Indigenous landscapes. 

The land has also seen an increase in outdoor recreational use and serves as a migration corridor for wildlife.

The All Pueblo Council of Governors have adopted a resolution to support the preservation of the Caja del Rio. The Council says the area has a dense concentration of ancestral homes, irrigation structures, petroglyphs, ceremonial kevas, and other cultural resources.

The tribes also say that long standing mismanagement by the federal government has led to the desecration of sacred sights on the Caja del Rio.