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Kudos to the council for showing true conservatism on the recent Jemez bypass project termination. As the Transportation Board recommended to council last month, this project needed to be measured in utility against the roads it served, namely SR4 beyond the Back Gate and the first mile of Camp May Road. According to testimony received by the board, traffic on West Road currently is that of moderate sized residential feeders in town. So I ask anyone to tell me why we needed a spiffy new road, just so tourists and locals could then be faced with 10 percent grades and hairpins at the other end.
With this flood of common sense, one might ask what else can be accomplished? Perhaps with the Valles Caldera also up for debate, we could notice that this beautiful property is hardly pristine, as can be seen from the candy cane logging roads on Redondo Peak and the access roads through the Valle Toledo.
Instead of a theological war on land use, why not recommend to the Feds that Valles become a mountain biking center in summer and a cross-country destination in winter, using these roads. Then consider if 1,000 head of buffalo could co-exist with such uses, while drawing numerous visitors to see a near-primordial size herd grazing the Valles?
Since the Pueblos all claim to be big supporters of bison herds, they could be the managers. The Ski Lodge could become a service center for the Preserve, giving access by way of the Pipeline Road into the Valle Toledo.
And, while common sense is still prevailing, perhaps it’s time to look at Oak Ridge and Richland and ask why they are flourishing lab sites, while ours seems at risk? Could it be because they split into NNSA operated facilities and DOE Office of science facilities with strong non-nuclear portfolios?
Might our Congressional delegation consider this, instead of the DOD move that still lingers in the background despite Marty Chavez’ best efforts to save us?