Cultural Energy - Media Voices of Northern New Mexico

ixiK C E I - Cultural Energy Independent Radio & Television
xiCreating Media Voices for Youth, Arts & Activism in Northern New Mexico

• • Our MP3 On-line Listening Pages are Sponsored by these Local Media Sources • Donate •

112 Civic Plaza Drive
Taos, NM 87571

Home Page

Listener Locations
Our on-line listeners in 500 cities & villages

Who we have recorded

Show Schedule

Shows & Photos

Become a Member
Donate On-line
Our Members

Join Our
Mailing List
Be informed of news, events & shows

Production, Outreach & Membership
Station Development
Web Page & Photos
Robin Collier
De la Tierra
Ernie Atencio
Earth Beat
Roberta Salazar
Farming in Season
Lisa Fox
Native Momentum
Lyla Johnston
Que Vivan Las Acequias!
Miguel Santistevan
Red Air
Flowers Espinosa
Radio Rio
Rachel Conn
Brian Shields
Special Shows
Robin Collier
Scott Shuker
Taos Currents
Mike Tilley
Maye Torres

Writers on Radio
Tania Casselle
Women's Speak
Nancy Ryan
Segment Creators
Thom Allena
Barbara Arnold
Dr. Kathy Cordova
David Donaldson
Susan Embry
Scott Evans
George King
Carol Mell
John Paternoster
Lucy Perera Adams
Bob Romero
Barri Sanders
Valerie Segura
Theresa Silva
Steve Wirard
Holly White
Field Reporters
Carol Miller
Brenda Morgan
Laurie Richmond
Scott Shuker
Jenny Stanley

Youth Reporters
Aaron Allred
Melanie Baca
Ian Bearden
Forest Bello
Jasmine Bennett
Andrea Bluearm

R. J. Chavez
Juman Khweis
Madjuline Khweis
Vanessa Perez
Ned Randolph
Holt Seiler
Derek Stevens
Alie Valerio

Robin Collier
Flowers Espinosa
Taos Pueblo
David Barsamian
Kay Matthews
El Valle

Past Board
Miguel Santistevan
Máye Torres
Juman Khweis
Deborah Begel
Scott Randolph
Melanie Baca
Morten Nilssen

Fiscal Sponsorship
Taos Local Television

Community Links

Media Literacy Forum

Taos Community Foundation

McCune Charitable Foundation

Bread for the Journey

Taos Diary
Glenn Pike's video/DVD magazine of Taos

Community Radio
New Mexico

KRZA Radio 88.7
- Alamosa/Taos

KSFR Radio 90.7
- Santa Fe

KLDK Radio 96.5
- Dixon (coming soon!)

KUNM Radio
- Albuquerque 89.9
- Taos 91.9
- Las Vegas 91.9
- Eagles Nest 91.1

KANW Radio
- Albuquerque 89.1

KCIE 90.5
- Dulce

KGLP 91.7
- Gallup

KENW 89.5
- Portales

KMTH 98.7
- Maljamar

KRWG 90.7
- Las Cruces

Community Radio
S Colorado/SE Utah

KSUT Radio
- Durango 90.1/89.5
- Silverton 98.3/88.1
- Cortez 100.1
- Ignacio 91.3
- Gallup 91.7
- Pagosa Springs 105.3
- Farmington 105.3
- Bluff 98.3
- Dolores 91.3

KZMU Radio
- Moab, UT 89.7

KVNF Radio
- Paonia 90.9
- Grand Valley 99.1
- Lake City 88.7
- Ridgway 88.9
- Ouray 90.1

KVMT Radio 89.1
- Montrose/Delta
- San Miguel

KGNU Radio
- Boulder, CO 88.5
- Ft. Collins 89.1
- Ward 93.7

High Country Community Radio Coalition

Community Radio
National Resources

Alternative Radio

National Federation of Community Broadcasters

National Youth in Training Radio Project

A Showcase & Workshop for New Public Radio

Pacifica Radio

- KPFA Berkeley

- KPFK Los Angeles

- KPFT Houston

- WBIA New York

- Washington DC

- Democracy Now!
Amy Goodman

KMUD Radio
Garberville CA

For web hosting and
internet access
call 575-758-7598

“[W]ere it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” Thomas Jefferson
A Community
for Northern
New Mexico
14 years
of Articles

Dawn Picuris & la Merced de Cristobol de la Serna Dec 25, 2010. Click on image for larger view. Photo by Robin Collier
Listen to 2,900+ Stories. Oct-Dec 10 Jul-Sep 10 Jan-Mar 10 Apr-Jun 10 Jan-Mar 09 Apr-Jun 09 Jul-Sep 09 Oct-Dec 09
Oct-Dec 08 Jul-Sep 08 Apr-Jun 08 Jan-Mar 08
2007 2006 2005 2004

Download Windows Media Player or QuickTime if not installed. All audio segments and photos are copyright 2003-2011 by Cultural Energy and/or the creators. .They may not be reproduced except one copy to listen to on your own computer or mp3 player.

Support Us

Taos Horsefly
Highlands Herald

Another Haiti is Possible-Beverly Bell
Khan Academy

Show Collections
Cannon Airforce LATN Flyovers
D. H. Lawrence
David Barsamian
New Mexico Talks
Los Alamos National Labs & NM Radiation
Mike Tilley's
Taos Currents

Old Spanish Trail & Taos History
Nancy Ryan's
Amigos Bravos
Radio Rio™
Writers on Radio™
¡Que Vivan las Acequias!™
Miguel Santistevan
The Shift of Land
Public Meetings and Political Forums
Earth Beat™
Rivers & Birds
de la Tierra™
Taos Land Trust

Sustain Taos:
Bioneers' Shows

La Merced del Pueblo de la Cristobal de la Serna,
Miranda Canyon & Related Land Grant History
Below are underlined links to our segments now online. If you want to save the mp3 file for later listening, on Windows, click on the link with the right mouse button, on the Mac, click on the link while holding the control key. Click on images for an enlarged view.
Related Historical, Cultural & Land Grant Segments
Talk by Estevan Arrellano on the Embudo Land Grant and Acequias. with discussion from the community. Dixon April 21, 2013.
Estevan Arellano Part 1 1:03:22
Estevan Arellano Part 2 39:42
On the Commons & Heirship 2:57
Stone and Dunn 11:46
Gary Stone and Blair Dunn on new water rights upheld on FS grazing allotments.

James Duran 5:03
James Duran, Carson Forest Supervisor, on the forest plan revision process.

They spoke at the Northern New Mexico Stockman's Association on Sat. Jan. 13 2018 at the AG Center in Taos.
Dr. Jacobo Baca 55:38
Jacobo Baca Ph.D., from the University of New Mexico Land Grant Studies Program, speaking on the history of land grants in the North.

Dr. Cristóbal Valencia 39:57
Dr. Valencia, anthropologist, on the USFS Forest plan revision process and its economic and cultural impact.

They spoke at the Northern New Mexico Stockman's Association on Sat. Jan. 13 2018 at the AG Center in Taos.
Compadrazco: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo & Beyond
Celebration of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in Española, New Mexico, on February 23, 2013
Sovereignty Panel Intro 1:59
Jorge Alberto Garcia Atilano 17:32
Corinne Sanchez 12:44
Pilar Trujillo 11:07
Adam Baca 1:17
Estevan Arellano 25:00
Panel Thanks 0:49
Mike Scarborough 34:06
Mike Q & A - Ending 7:00
Recorded & Normalized by Robin Collier
Some presentations are handicapped by use of Power Point which is slowly destroying our oral traditions & skills

Arroyo Hondo Land Grant Federal Suit Dismissed
Federal Court Judge M. Christina Armijo dismissed the Arroyo Hondo Land Grant title company suit on Aug 30, 2012 for lack of standing. Title Company plaintiffs showed no damage. The land owners them selves were not party to the suit, and they are the ones that would have the damage, and should have been the plaintiffs.
PDF of Armijo Ruling

Rules of Land Use & Sale in Land Grants under Spanish Law 6:42
Estevan Arellano explains the different types of land use in an acequia and a land grant under Spanish law. He explains how Suertes were allocated and how after 4 years of productive use, the original settler of a land grant could sell the Suerte to anyone. From a talk in Taos on Aug 27, 2011. The full talk will be posted soon.

Thanks to Estevan Arellano for suggesting some of these sources that document Spanish law.

Ordenanzas de 1573
Ordinances Concerning Discoveries, forbade unauthorized operations against independent Indian peoples in the Americas.

Recopilacion de Leyes de los Reinos de las Indias 1681
Libro Quatro, Título Doze
De la venta, composicion y repartimento de tierras, solares y aquas (de pagina 1) Y haviendo hecho en ellas su morada y labor, y residido en aquellos Pueblos quatro años, les concedemos facultad, para que de alli adelante los puedan vender, y hacer de ellos á su voluntad libremente, como cosa suya propia

The sale, composition, and sharing of lands, lots and water: (from page 1) And having made those [lands] their home and work, and having resided in those villages four years, they are granted the authority, so that thenceforth they may sell them, and to make of them freely according to their will, as their own.

Libro Quatro, Título Treze
De los propios, y positos

The entire Leyes de los Indias can be downloaded in sections here from the Archives of Peru.

El Plan de Pitic 1789
This plan for the town of Pitic in Northern Mexico became the model for towns in new Spain. It establishes clear planning guidelines for the layout of a town and use of land.

Judge Joseph Caldwell's 1984 decision on whether la Serna is a private or community grant
(25 page pdf file)
Thanks to Bill Whaley

José Fuentes Mares Ph.D.
Essay in 1969 in Chihuahua, Mexico,
examines the treatment of “Waters, Forest & Pastures” and common land under Spanish law. Dr. Mares is a reknowned Mexican historian and writer. From the Ward Alan Minge Collection, Box 9, Folder 6, Center for Southwest Research, UNM. Thanks to Sandra Mathews-Benham for finding this.

NM Legislature Interim Land Grant Committee meeting
July 28 2011 in Abiquiú
3 portions of the full day hearing. Sound quality is only fair because of poor gym acoustics.
Cristobal de la Serna 1:23:25
The la Serna hearing covers the issues of a deed to the entire grant recently filed and now withdrawn, with presentations by Taos Mayor Cordova, Edward J Roybal, Eldon Torres and Francisco "El Comanche" Gonzales.
Tierra Amarilla Presentation 55:06
Tierra Amarilla Q & A 1:55:36
The Tierra Amarilla hearing covers the issue of mineral rights for oil & gas drilling that were waived by the association claiming to represent the grant.

Comanchero Traders
Jerry Padilla speaking Apr 25 2009 for the Old Spanish Trail Assoc. explaining the somewhat symbiotic interaction of raiding Native American tribes with the peoples of Taos Valley. More on the Trail

Tejidos Culturales #6 28 min
In depth overview of Land Grants in New Mexico & Southern Colorado. Produced by Robin Collier for Sarah Parker. Malcolm Ebright, Bob Romero, Lawrence Gallegos & Paula Garcia

Land Grants: Mike Scarborough 32:36
Attorney Mike Scarborough details his research that found plans made by the President & Congress to take Land Grant common lands into "Forest Reserves" before claims had been heard before the Court in the 1890's. From the land grant conference in Española Mar 28 2009. Editing by Harvey Soloman

Land Grants half hour
The GAO study and the Sangre de Cristo land grant- Moises Morales, Norman Martinez & Malcolm Ebright July 2004
Produced by Mike Tilley

Bob Romero Historia de Taos
Short clear reviews of Land Grants by Taos Historian Bob Romero

Malcolm Ebright and Richard Salazar
How to Research a Land Grant 54:23 Historians Malcolm Ebright and Richard Salazar of the Center for Land Grant Studies explain what resources are available to research each of the more than 300 Land Grants in New Mexico. Introduced by Faith Yoman of the NM State Library Southwest Collection. Presented by the NM State Library on Nov 24, 2009. Editing by Harvey Solomon

Visit Southwest Books for more reading on Land & Water issues.

Virgil Trujillo

Isabel & Virgil Trujillo 54:05
Genizaro Trail Guides and the history of the Abiquiú land grant. Recorded at the Old Spanish Trail Lecture Series at the Taos Library Apr 11, 09 Introduced by Lloyd Rivera
Questions and Answers 17:56

More on the Trail

Ritual, Meaning & Sacred Sites 46:59
Talk by Dr. Sylvia Rodriguez on July 10, 2010 at the Taos Public Library. The acequias are interwoven with most land grants and religious practice in Taos valley. Many on the photos & maps referred to can be seen in Dr. Rodriguez's book Acequia: Water Sharing, Sanctity and Place. School for Advanced Research Press, Santa Fe, 2006
Editing & normalization by Harvey Soloman

Paul H. Martínez
"1750 Raid at Ranchos de Taos" presented for the Old Spanish Trail Assoc. May 16, 09 at the Taos Library. Introduced by Lloyd Rivera
Not the same person as Paul (Pablo) Martinez. More on the Trail

Taos Currents
The Enjare (plastering) of St. Francis de Asis Church
produced by Robin Collier
higher quality version
25 minute version

St. Francis de Asis Church
Winter 1943 - John Collier Jr. Photo
Courtesy the Library of Congress

St. Francis De Asis Church
David Maes speaks on the history of the church built at the beginning of the 1800s in Ranchos de Taos. Presented at the Taos Public Library June 5.
2010 Edited by Harvey Soloman

Meetings of La Merced del Pueblo de la Cristobal de la Serna & related issues
La Serna Meeting 2:21:30
Meeting of the committee to reform the La Serna Land Grant on Feb 21, 2010 at the Talpa Community Center. The limitation of membership to "blood heirs" of those with property in the grant as of the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 was explained. Anyone who purchased land in the grant in the last 162 years would not be eligible to be a member, unless they are related by blood to an "heir" before 1848. There was not discussion as to how ownership as of 1848 had to be documented.
Serna Meeting selections
Paul Martinez explains "blood heirship 1:43
Franciso Gonzales reads heir qualification in Bylaws 0:57

The group is working to reconcile their Bylaws with the other past organization, the La Serna Land Grant Association, whose membership was based on land ownership rather than "blood heirship." Another meeting will be held Sun. Mar. 7, 2009 1 pm at the Talpa Community Center. This has been changed to Sun. Mar. 14, 2009 1 pm.

Coming soon: Mar 14 & Apr 18, 2010 la Serna meeting audio

Acequia Madre del Rio Grande 2:19:32
Acequia Commission meeting of July 15, 2010. Issues of financial reports, stealing water, lawsuits, & what to do about failed presa construction. Featuring former mayordomo Francisco "El Comanche" Gonzales, Commissioner David Fernandez, former commissioner Toby Martinez, and many other parciantes.
Normalized by Harvey Soloman & Robin Collier

La Serna Grant Bylaws
The Dec 16 09 meeting on re-organization of la Serna Grant simply reviewed the bylaws already covered in the previous meeting with the only signicant change being the reduction of the Board from 7 to 5 members. The issues of who will qualify as heirs or what notice will be given for Board meetings was not addressed.

The committee to re-organize La Serna Land Grant will meet at 6:30 pm on Dec 16, 2009 at the Llano Quemado Community Center.
Iterim Land Grant Hearing
Joint Committee of the NM Legislature. Excerpt from the hearing Jul 30 09 in Taos on Cristobol de La Serna land grant issues. 15:35 min
La Serna Bylaws 2:31:25
A work study group of la Merced del Pueblo de la Cristobal de la Serna again met on Nov 25, 2009 to continue drafting bylaws to be recognized by the Secretary of State on the registry of Land Grants. They will meet again at 6:30 pm on Dec 9, 2009 at the Llano Quemado Community Center to finish the draft, so it can be ratified in early January 2010. Discussion is opened by Francisco "El Comanche" Gonzales. Previous discussion below in week of Nov 9, 2009

Paul Martinez & El Comanche fine tune details of la Serna Bylaws

Paul (Pablo) Martinez & Francisco "El Comanche" Gonzales

Update: The meeting on Nov 18 was not held because neither Francisco Gonzales nor the key to open the Community Center had arrived by 7 pm, even though all the other previous members who had attended were waiting.

La Serna Bylaws 3:46:35
A work study group of la Merced del Pueblo de la Cristobal de la Serna met on Nov 11, 2009 to draft bylaws to be recognized by the Secretary of State on the registry of Land Grants. Extensive discussion of how it will be determined who can be included as a heir in the land grant and what the powers of the merced will be. Recording is unedited except for sound levels. A continuation of the meeting to finish the draft will be held on Thur Nov 18, 2009 at the Llano Quemado Community Center at 6:30 pm.
Miranda Canyon Hearings Miranda Canyon sold to The Trust for Public Land
At the beginning of 2011, the main portion of Miranda Canyon was sold by Wiemer Properties to the Trust for Public Land to be held until funds can be appropriated in Congress for purchase by the US Forest Service. Further purchases are planned of higher tracts and Picuris Peak in 2012 & 2013.
"We Love Miranda Canyon" an event by Miranda Canyon Watershed Coalition will feature artwork, music and readings at the Bariess Gallery August 8, 2009 Opening at 3 pm, readings from 7-9 pm
Taos County Commission Meeting Aug 11 2009

Findings on Miranda Canyon 22:39
includes vote on finding of fact and law for denial of "Miranda Canyon Preserve" subdivision.

NEWS: The Taos County Commission voted at about 5:30 pm on July 14, 2009 to deny the subdivison application for "Miranda Canyon Preserve."

The County legal staff now has 30 days to prepare findings of fact and law. Once that is issued, the applicants have 30 days to appeal the decision to the District Court. Complete audio of the hearing will be posted in the next few days.

Tuesday July 14, 09 9 am
County Commission Hearing
"Miranda Canyon Preserve" Subdivision
at the Juan I. Gonzales Agricultural Center, off of Chamisa Road behind the Sage Brush Inn

"Miranda Canyon Preserve" Subdivision Vote June 9, 09
unedited audio except for volume adjustment & pause removal 50:12

Counsel Baker advises the Commission while Rebecca Parraz records minutes

Art Ortiz and Rudy Pacheco disagree

"Miranda Canyon Preserve" subdivision vote
The Taos County Planning Commission voted, at close to 11 p.m. June 9, 2009 to recommend to the County Commission disapproval of the "Miranda Canyon Preserve" subdivision, and made findings of fact and law with their recommendation. Rudy Pacheco and Bill Thomas first voted again to recommend approval, with Gino Sanchez and Dennis Jacques voting no. With Mary Mascareñas and Eloy Vigil who had voted no on May 12 absent, chair Art Ortiz voted no to break the tie, even though he had been in favor of approval previously, saying as chair he had to respect the 4-2 vote against approval at the last meeting. Then a vote to recommend disapproval was made with again chair Art Ortiz breaking the tie, to vote to recommend disapproval. Gino, Dennis and Art then spelled out some 12 findings of fact and law to support the recommendation. The subdivision will now go to the County Commission for review with in 30 days.
Miranda Canyon Update 5/27

Todd Barbee, representing Wiemer Properties, LLC says that there are no new agreements with any of the tribes and no changes to the Preliminary Plat since the Apr 14 hearing. He has prepared a statement addressing these isssues, which is posted below & at right.


I've just read your latest update on the Miranda Canyon Preserve proceedings and wish to make the following clarifications...

There are two formal agreements related to tribal interests pertaining to the Miranda Canyon Preserve proposal.

The first is the agreement with the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs Historic Preservation Division, the lead reviewing agency for matters related to the preservation of cultural sites, to notify, protect, and preserve any existing and any future sites found during construction. That agency found that the application was sensitive to these concerns, met all state and federal requirements, and then granted a favorable opinion of the application.

The second is an agreement requested by the Picuris Pueblo in 2007 to be allowed to access Weimer property (Miranda Canyon) for the purpose of collecting traditional herbs and with the intention of preserving habitat of wildlife and plant species. That request was granted by the Weimer Properties, LLC, and the agreement is memorialized as Picuris Pueblo Resolution No. 18-07 and signed by the following tribal leaders:

Governor Craig Quanchello
T.J. Knitter, Tribal Sheriff
Joe D. Martinez, 1st War Chief
Cody Allrunner, 2nd War Chief
Simon Cade, 3rd War Chief
Luther Martinez, 2nd Fiscal

On April 28, 2009, Picuris Pueblo Governor Richard Mermejo drafted a letter to the Taos County Planning Department which stated that he, on behalf of the people of Picuris Pueblo, is "strongly opposed to the development due to the cultural significance of the Miranda Valley project" due to the "cultural significance of the Miranda Valley and our aboriginal existence that we hold close to our spiritual tradition."

The letter went on to say that the Picuris Pueblo would be "most appreciative if we can be informed of any decision making regarding this development project."

Many attempts to further inform and clarify the specific concerns Governor Mermejo may have that are not already covered in resolution 18-07 and the Cultural Affairs Historic Preservation Division's review of the proposal, have gone unanswered.

All local, state and federal laws have been complied with regarding the protection of cultural properties within the Miranda Canyon Preserve. Additionally, the project planners have met with the Jicarila Apache Nation and the Taos Pueblo to further clarify the project plans and address any concerns.

Sincerely, Todd Barbee
Project Manager
Miranda Canyon Preserve

Picuris Pueblo Resolution 18-07
New Mexico Cultural Affairs Letter Nov 6 2008
Picuris Pueblo Letter Apr 28 2009

"Miranda Canyon Preserve"
Update 5/26 by Robin Collier

After reviewing the Taos County Subdivision Ordinance and talking the Taos County Planning Director Dale Osborn at length, several additional facts & issues emerge.

The Planning Commission approval of the special use permit (SUP) on exceeding the 20% slope, also failed to make what Osborn asserts are required finding of fact and law. Thus he asserts that BOTH the SUP and the Preliminary Plat remain in limbo until the Planning Commission meets in public hearing to make the required findings.

Based on Osborn's understanding of precedent & case law, there are 3 ways that this can be remanded to the Planning Commission: by direction of the Planning Director, by order of the District Court, or by the County Commission meeting in their role as a Board of Adjustment.

Osborn is waiting for direction from the Taos County Attorney, Sammy Pacheco, on which way to get the issue remanded to the Planning Commission, since each route has its merits or drawbacks.

In any case, the recommendation by the Planning Commission on the Preliminary Plat is not appealable but automatically would be heard by the County Commission 30 days once the findings are filed with the County Clerk. According to Osborn, the Special Use Permit is not appealable until the finding of fact & law have been filed with the County Clerk, after these have been made by the Planning Commission in public hearing.

Also according to Osborn, Picuris Pueblo, Taos Pueblo and the Jicarilla Apache, have now negotiated additional agreements with the developer, including changes to the subdivision plat and conditions added by the Planning Department, which now satisfy their concerns. The other tribes, who had objected, are also now satisfied, as long as Taos & Picuris are satisfied. I have not yet been able to confirm this with Taos & Picuris Pueblos.

Osborn also pointed out that most of the reviewing state and federal agencies do not do a really through examination of a subdivision until the preliminary plat is approved - they don't have the resources to look in detail at something which might not even be approved by the county.

Thus it is possible that the Forest Service, the office of State Engineer, the State Highway Department, or other agencies may impose other conditions on the development that they must satisfy in the Final Plat.

Osborn also urged all interested in this development to come in to the Planning Office and actually look at the revised application, the 130 conditions agreed to by the applicant, and all the maps and data, so they can make an informed response to the proposal.

Update 5/26 pm

According to former commissioner Butchie Denver, the County Legal Department is now recommending that the Planning Department now put the Preliminary Plat findings of fact and law on the June 9th Planning Commission agenda. She disagrees with Osborn on whether the Special Use Permit requires findings of fact, and feels that it is now appealable. Denver points out until there are letters in the application file by council resolution withdrawing the tribes objections, it is not conclusive that they have resolved their issues. Denver also notes that there can't be changes made in the plat application after the hearing was opened Apr. 14 as this would not provide proper notice to all parties.

Gabriel Chavez
Gabriel Chavez speaking on sewer & water issues, while Joel Goodkind takes notes
Photos by Robin Collier click on images for larger views
Todd Barbee
Todd Barbee presents the developer's proposal for Wiemer Properties LLC
Brian Sheilds
Brian Shields ED of Amigos Bravos speaks on concerns about water studies
Miranda access video
Developer video of access to subdivision from Community Center to Hwy 68
The video has now been removed from YouTube.
Taos County Planning staff, Nathan Sanchez, Edward Virgil, Dale Osborn
Taos County Planning Staff, Nathan Sanchez & Edward Vigil on left, Planning Director Neal Osborn, 2nd from right,
Miranda Canyon Preserve Taos County Planning Commission hearing
Todd Barbee answers Commissioners Eloy Vigil & Dennis Jacquez, who voted with Gino Sanchez and Mary Mascareñas, to not approve the preliminary subdivision plat for the "Miranda Canyon Preserve." Bill Thomas & Rudy Pacheco voted to approve. Composite image
May 12, 2009 Taos County Planning Commission
Continued Hearing on the "Miranda Canyon Preserve" Special Use Permit and Preliminary Subdivision Plat for a 5,000 acre development on Picuris Mountain and Miranda Canyon. Unedited except for volume enhancement and pause removal.

The Commission voted 4-3 to approve the Special Use Permit for exceding the 20% slope ordinance but 4-2 to NOT approve the Preliminary Subdivison Plat. According to a telephone conversation on May 22 with Dale Osborn, Planning Director, the Planning Commission must still by NM State Statute make findings of fact and law in regard to their vote and the staff is still deciding how this will be handled.

Agenda 3:04
Rules & Procedures 4:41
Songwriter Continuance 1:10
Rules on who can Comment 7:43
Developer Presentation 14:54
Commissioner Q & A 36:45
Public Q & A 49:49
Septic Q & A 11:26
Traffic Video + Q & A 5:58
Letters Read 14:43
Process Explaination 5:06
Public Comment 24:18
Developer Response 5:38
More Public Comment 2:42
Staff Recommendation Permit 2:51
Slope Permit Vote 2:00
Staff Recomendation Plat 9:01
Commission Q & A Subdivision 17:48
Subdivision Motion & Vote 4:45

The Taos County Subdivison Regulations may be read at the Taos County Planning Office or purchased for $30. Unfortunately this is not availble on-line.

Update 5/24: According to former commissioner Butchie Denver, the planning commission MUST meet again in a public hearing to formally deny the plat and make the specific findings for the denial. Once this has been filed with the County Clerk, the developer has 30 days to appeal to the County Commission. Update 5/25: Todd Barbee points out that the Taos County Subdivision Ordinance, 2005-8 Section 4.8.6, Item J, also requires that findings of fact & law must be made.

The required rules & documentation for subdivisions are detailed in part in NM Statutes Chapter 47, Property Law, Article 6, County Subdivisions. The NM Property Law Chapter 47 and other NM Statutes can be read & researched at Conway Greene.

The Taos County Planning May 12th voted 4-2 to against approval of the "Miranda Canyon Preserve" Preliminary Plat, a proposed 5,000 acre subdivision on Picuris.
This will now go to the County Commission in about 60 days for a final vote.
We are still working on posting the audio from the hearing.

On the vote on the special use permit, for roads on slopes in excess of 20%, the Chair, Art Ortiz, voted to approve the permit to break what he said was a tied 3-3 vote. However, we believe that vote (like the Subdivision Preliminary Plat) was 4-2 against approval of the permit. After reviewing our tape, we conclude that Art, after calling each of the commissioners from left to right, after Mary Mascareñas, did not call Eloy Vigil and Dennis Jacquez, which created confusion on how they voted. I was sitting closest to them and I thought I heard both vote no. When asked after the meeting how they voted on the special permit, Vigil and Jaquez both said they voted no. The vote on the Preliminary Plat was Bill Thomas and Rudy Pacheco, in favor, Eugene Sanchez, Mary Mascareñas, Eloy Vigil and Dennis Jacquez, against. It remains unclear how each person voted on the special permit, since Art do not call each individually. We will post the entire meeting, but for now this is the section on the special permit vote, and you can decide for yourself.

Update: According to an interview in the Taos News on May 13, Eloy Vigil now says he voted yes on the special permit, but no on the preliminary plat approval. For now, this apparently resolves the issue.

Continuation of the Taos County Planning Commission hearing on “The Miranda Canyon Preserve” a proposed 5,000 acre subdivision on Picuris Mountain.
Note Changed Location & Time
Tues. May 12, 6:00 pm
County Agricultural Building
Chamisa Rd behind the Sage Brush Inn

Community Groups who have raised concerns about traffic, water, fire, threats to historic and ceremonial sites include:

Llano Quemado Neigborhood Assoc., Elipio Mondragon, President 779-1024

Picuris Pueblo, Eagle Rael 587-1680

Joel Goodkind, Organizer of the Save Miranda Canyon Watershed Coalition 751-1812

Articles on the Development
Jicarita News Dec 08
Jicarita News Nov 08
Jicarita News Sep 08

The developer presents their plans on the Miranda Preserve Web Site, where you may also contact them for info or to support the subdivision.

Meeting on the Miranda Canyon Watershed 1 hr 30 min
Apr 29 09 at the Llano Quemado Community Center. The meeting was opened by Leo Martinez of the Llano Quemado Domestic Water Users Assoc., followed by Joel Goodkind and Eagle Rael of Picuris Pueblo.
Unedited except for sound enhancement & long pause removal.
Leo Martinez, Joel Goodkind, Miranda Canyon Butchie Denver, Miranda CAnyon
Leo Martinez & Joel Goodkind open the meeting. xButchie Denver questions the subdivision's water study.

Eagle Rael, Miranda Canyon Seth Brown, Miranda Canyon
Eagle Rael explains Picuris Pueblo's opposition to the subdivision. xSeth Brown opposes the project.

The Taos County Planning Commission heard 4 & 1/2 hours of testimony on Apr 14 09 on the "Miranda Canyon Preserve" subdivision and voted to continue the hearing until May 12, asking the developers to report what specific commitments had been made to solving traffic issues, how the possibility of a community water system had been explored, how the possibility of sewer system had been explored and that documentation be provided that the Army Corp of Engineers had reviewed the project.
The developer volunteered that they were willing to accept all conditions (except one) reccommended by the planning staff, and volunteered not to include any swimming pools (except one at the community center)

Audio unedited except for removal of pauses and enhancement of volume levels.

David Romero
David Romero, a Cristobal de la Serna Land Grant heir, speaks aobout wildlife impacts, in opposition to the Miranda Canyon Subdivison
Elipeio Mondragon
Elipio Mondragon, President of the Llano Quemado Neighborhood Association, speaks to project representative Todd Barbee about concerns with traffic impacts of the Subdivision
Brad Hockmeyer
Brad Hockmeyer speaks in favor of the project

Gino Sanchez of the Taos County Planning Commission raises questions

Miranda Canyon Development Teeam
The Wiemer Properties development team is sworn in to testify
Todd Barbee
Todd Barbee presents the Miranda Canyon development plan while Alexander Gusdorf/Mel Weimer heir, Roy Cunnyngham listens
Tues. Apr 14, 2009 6 pm Rio Grande Hall:
Taos County Planning Commission hearing on “The Miranda Canyon Preserve”
a proposed 5,000 acre subdivision on Picuris Mountain.

It would have 150 lots ranging from 10 to 31 acres in size, running along Miranda canyon above the Ponce de Leon Hot Springs above Llano Quemado and upward toward Picuris Peak on the La Serna Land Grant. Portions of the subdivsion are reserved for public access or forest preserve. Community members have raised many issues about the proposal, including the adequacy of fire access, traffic impacts, visual impacts, water use, erosion, impact on wildlife, and protection of historical, archeological and cerimonial sites. Within the subdivision boundries are the routes of historic Camino Real and the Old Spanish Trail, as well as ancient Pueblo sites. Persons interested in reviewing the 4 large binders detailing this large subdivison, may visit the Taos County Planning Department office on Albright Street in Taos.

Listen to Archives of Past Months & Year's Stories
Jan-Mar 10 Apr-Jun 10 Jul-Sep 10 Oct-Dec 10
Jan-Mar 09 Apr-Jun 09 Jul-Sep 09 Oct-Dec 09
Oct-Dec 08 Jul-Sep 08 Apr-Jun 08 Jan-Mar 08
2007 2006 2005 2004

Become a Member of Cultural Energy - Donate On-Line

David Barsamian Post Election Activism | Another World is Possible | Middle East Crisis
Public Meetings and Political Forums | Nancy Ryan's Womenspeak™ | Amigos Bravos - Radio Rio™
Picuris/Miranda Canyon Subdivision on the La Serna Grant includes Map
Sustain Taos: Bioneers' Shows | Lyla Johnston's Native Momentum™
Community Story Telling - Robert Wolf | ¡Que Vivan las Acequias!™ - Miguel Santistevan
Teen Media Camp Radio
| Teen Media Camp Video | Writers on Radio™ SOMOS
Geoff Bryce's Acequia Reports
| Lisa Fox's Farming Thru the Seasons™| Maye Torres Untitled™
Jasmine Bennett interviews Presidential Candidates | Interview: Agnes Martin
Cuentos de mi Valle™
: Theresa Silva
Bob Romero's Historia de Taos™ | John Paternoster's Rules of the Justice Game™
Mike Tilley's Taos Currents | Flowers Espinosa - Red Air™
All audio segments and photos are copyright 2003-2011 by Cultural Energy and/or the creators and may not be reproduced in any form.