Lincoln County Commissioner Jackie Powell presented her colleagues a resolution to support responsible and proactive interstate fire prevention and response compact. Powell expressed her frustration of the decades of unhealthy forest management not only with the Little Bear Fire but also the White Fire, which continues to disrupt the Hondo Watershed.
The resolution recommended for approval by County Manager Nita Taylor reads: The Western United States continues to experience periods of extreme drought as defined by National Climate Data Center Palmer Drought Index and significant increased fuel loads on Western United States forest lands have created risk of catastrophic fires, damage to watersheds and long-term water supplies for local government entities, and other threats to health, public safety, and property.
During the his presentation to commissioners, Smokey Bear District Ranger Dave Warnack said,” We are only into the second year behind the White Fire and although I am optimistic about how the terrain is adapting, there are still several more years of monitoring to be done on that area due to the variety of moisture events that occur there.”
The compact was presented as an interstate agreement as the preservation, protection, management, and restoration of forested lands measurably contributes to aesthetic, recreational, and economic aspects of the Western United States.
Commissioners agreed during discussions with Warnack that recent major fire events in Lincoln County, and through New Mexico and its neighboring states are decades in the making. “These fires of this magnitude just don’t happen overnight, conditions for fires like the Little Bear have been in the works for more than 40 years,” Powell said.
The resolution furthers states that current uniform federal policies do not adequately take into account the unique responsibilities for land management or the culture and customs of local and state entities. Federal, state, and local governments must work cooperatively to identify forest management solutions for fuel reduction, land use planning, natural resource and environmental protections, economic development, and the health, welfare and safety of all citizens.
Precedence exists for federal and state interstate compacts to manage forests, protect natural resources, protect health and public safety, and promote economic development.
The County of Lincoln went on the record proclaiming support for legislation that would authorize the State of New Mexico to enter into an interstate compact agreement with the federal government and affected western states for the purpose of cooperative management of forested lands. The resolution concludes that any land management compact must have local government involvement, coordination and cooperation.
Sole provider health claims
This first month of FY 2012 - 2013 the county coordinator processed ninety-seven claims. Eighty are recommended for approval and 17 for disapproval, for a total of $149,097.74. The total recommended for payment this month is $25,679.89. A prior month adjustment of $38.41 was made resulting in the month-end total of $25,641.48. Manager’s Analysis - For the last two years, the average Indigent Health Care monthly payments were $36,467 and $21,651 respectively. This year starts with a total of $25,641. The County budget for the year is $1 million.
Greentree adapts to disaster
The Greentree solid waste Authority has adapted well to the demands of the Little Bear Fire disaster cleanup according to Lincoln County Commissioners. Greentree Solid Waste Authority Operational Supervisor, Debra Ingle told commissioners that there are also significant incidents of illegal dumping occurrences.
Recycling and illegal dumping report for April 2012; 28.57 tons of recycling shipped and 24.43 tons of metal. Metal prices are good and recycling prices are fluctuating. Illegal dumping sites 93, year-to-date 707.50 yds; Collected yard waste: 945 yards, year to date- 10,960 yds. The Authority’s projected budget shows that they should be at 83 percent, with actual numbers reflecting revenues at 74 percent, expenditures at 66 percent, payroll should be at 85 percent, and the budget reflects 68 percent and the transfer of funds at 56 percent. Current year-to-date figures reflect that revenues exceed expenditures by $103,287.
Lincoln Church approved for meetings
The Board of County Commissioners of Lincoln County has determined that the Lincoln Community Church, Inc., performs worthwhile and necessary services by providing a meeting place for the Lincoln Historical Board; and the Lincoln Community Church, Inc., has agreed to provide space for the meetings on a monthly basis or as coordinated by the Lincoln Historical Board with an initial payment of $300 and payments of $25 per convened meeting of the Historical Board for the state fiscal years 2012-2013 and is renewable for subsequent years, for up to three additional years.