Proposed Transmission Line Threatens the Caja del Rio in New Mexico

Conservation Lands Foundation
|January 22, 2024

The Caja del Rio landscape holds immense cultural and spiritual significance for many Pueblos and Hispanic communities throughout Northern New Mexico. In November, Los Alamos National Labs announced the proposal of a 14-mile power transmission line that would cut through the heart of the Caja del Rio, which would cause irreversible harm to one of the most culturally significant and ecologically rich wildlife corridors in New Mexico. 

Why It Matters

From dramatic geologic features and diverse wildlife to millennia-old petroglyphs and Pueblo cultural resources, the Caja del Rio plateau tells the story of the human journey in this part of the world. Hear more from the people connected to the Caja:

Constructing a power transmission line through the Caja del Rio would put this sacred landscape in immediate danger, causing irreversible damage to the area. 

Take Action

Head over the Caja del Rio coalition page to use their action tool.

You can also send a letter to the National Nuclear Security Administration opposing the project by emailing [email protected] or write via snail mail to the following address:

NNSA Los Alamos Field Office
3747 West Jemez Road
Los Alamos, NM 87544

The comment period will close on February 20, 2024.

Suggested Talking Points:

  • The project poses a direct threat to crucial wildlife habitats, including those of vulnerable bird species like the golden eagle and the western burrowing owl. It’s also part of the Western Wildway Priority Wildlife Corridor, supporting movement along the Rio Grande for large mammals including mule deer, elk, coyote, and gray fox. Additionally, culturally significant sites, petroglyphs, and ancestral homes face irreparable damage, putting the entire ecological integrity of the region at risk.
  • Before moving forward, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) must be prepared. An EIS is a comprehensive government document that assesses and discloses significant environmental impacts of a proposed project. This rigorous evaluation ensures that decision-makers and the public have a full understanding of the ecological, cultural, and social impacts, allowing for informed and responsible choices that prioritize the well-being of Caja del Rio.
  • The NNSA must explore and invest in clean, green energy alternatives rather than resorting to a power transmission line that would harm our cherished landscapes. Renewable energy sources can provide a sustainable solution without compromising the natural and cultural heritage of Caja del Rio.

Additional Resources

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We’re the only nonprofit leading a national movement of community-based advocates who care for America’s NATIONAL CONSERVATION LANDS of natural, historical, cultural and recreational significance.
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2 reactions
  • BB
    Bill Blick commented 2024-01-23 15:58:52 -0700
    I would think that Los Alamos National Labs would be able to construct their own nuclear power source.
  • Profile picture for 771
    Conservation Lands Foundation published this page in Latest News 2024-01-22 11:37:37 -0700
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