Rio Grande Valley Broadband • Entered by Susan Ostlie on March 30, 2021

Litigation discussion on USAF ROD in Magdalena RD.

January 15, 2021

Participants and Hours

Pre Planning hours 1
Post Admin hours
Activity Hours 1
Participants 4
Total Hours 5

Key Issue: Multiple apply
Activity Type: Advocacy (rallies, lobbying, meeting decision makers, letters/calls/emails)
Key Partners: NMWA, TWS, Arian Pregenzer – resident of the area, and RGVBB – Susan Ostlie
Landscape/area: Cibola National Forest (1616435 acres)

Short Description of Activity

This small group discussed the grounds for litigation because the permit renewal EA did not have acceptable alternatives – There was not an alternative that canceled the permit altogether, which should have been one of the considerations. We did do mediation with the FS Region 3 office, but none of our substantive issues were addressed in the ROD.

Reflection/Evaluation

The discussion was whether or not any of the objectors had written comments on the lack of an alternative to cancel the permit altogether. While all of us commented multiple times, none of us wrote in favor the the additional alternative. The attorney for NMWA was putting the case together, but decided he didn’t have enough evidence to support the expanded EA request, so as far as we know, the permit was extended and expanded, although when I brought the issue up at the Magdalena RD collaborative meeting on 2/22/2021, the Region 3 representative commented that the permit and ROD were put on hold for now, pending any new guidelines from the Washington Office. My opinion is that because one of our Senators (M.Heinrich) has as a goal to develop and expand military spending in NM, including moving the SpacePort headquarters to NM instead of Huntsville Alabama, I doubt that he will see the necessity for eliminating this training area in favor of protecting FS lands that are not in the greatest shape due to overgrazing, etc. So this litigation is not going to be productive according to NMWA’s attorney, Logan Glasenapp.

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