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Nov 26 - Let wolf lovers raise wolves  

Nov 18 -
Wildlife folks were missing

Channel 7 Commission meeting video   

November 13 -
OR wolves delisted, but the protection remains  

November 11 -
County Passes Wolf Ordiance

November 10 - Oregon Wolves Lose Endangered Species Protections
Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife  

Socorro County Commission voted unanimously to ban release in the county at the meeting today.

Jan 16, 2015 - Wolf release ruling

November 5th -
Wolves at the ‘back door’ (Chieftain)

October 31 - [IMPORTANT NEWS]
The Socorro county commission has already adopted an anti-wolf fear based resolution (download here) and is now considering adopting an anti-wolf county ordinance (download here) The Center for Biological Diversity will give a presentation Thursday, Nov. 5 about Mexican wolves, their importance to wild places and how the mountains of Socorro county fit in to saving them.

Please join Michael Robinson from the Center and to learn more about wolves, new rules for their management that were adopted in 2015 and the proposed county ordinance.

What: Presentation, Return the wolf to the San Mateo Mountains

When: Thursday, November 5th at 6-7:30 PM

Where: the Socorro Public Library, 401 Park Street, Socorro, NM
Please bring and tell a friend!

Mary Katherine Ray
Wildlife Chair
Rio Grande Chapter Sierra Club

PS. Also mark your calendar for the County Commission meeting on Tuesday, November 10 at 10 AM at the County annex building at 198 Neel St in Socorro. Commissioners will be voting on the anti-wolf ordinance and each member of the public will be allowed 2 minutes of testimony. Let's show the Socorro county commission that wolves have friends here!

[NEW] October 1 update -
Court case on motion to Dismiss and Remand rescheduled for November 12th in Socorro
Notice attached here  
Court case history here  

What this means is: The State Engineer will, if Judge Reynolds decides to “dismiss and remand” the current decision by the Appellate Court, consider a new application by the Augustin Plains Ranch.  Continuing to oppose the application through litigation is the way those opposed to the project can move forward legally.   

Persuading Governor Martinez to have her State Engineer deny the application is the political way forward. People are encouraged to try the political way forward by sending letters to your rep and the Governor.

Predicting what the results of the litigation will be is not possible, but based on past occurrences surrounding this case, it seems that we will need to continue being vigilant.

(Note: the name of the notice, Scott Verhines was the State Engineer when the application by the APR was denied. The appeal to Judge Reynolds was the APR’s response to Verhines’ denial. Tom Blaine is the current State Engineer and should be substituted for VerhinesScott)

San Augustin Water Report Website
San Augustin Water Coalition (Facebook)
Informed Cynic Special Webpage

Several new reports related to water in this area

Groundwater, Economic, and Legal Analysis of a Proposed Diversion from the San Agustin Basin of New Mexico. by - David J. Reese 2011  

NM Conference report in 2010 at Corbett Center: Water needs for the next decade - 2010

Ground water challenges of the lower Ro Grande: A case study of legal issues in TX and NM - Elizabeth Wheat Oct 2014

Interbasin transfer projects: Impacts on communities and ecosystems - Bruce Thomson- UNM 2010


The Santolina Project has been approved. There is still a chance to defeat this bad project: in court. Odds are high it will get the water from Augustin project.
Sept 3 -
A hearing on the Augustin Plains Ranch's motion to dismiss and remand. As you can see, the hearing is set for 2:30 p.m. on
September 23rd at the courthouse in
Reserve. Motion To Dismiss  

August 25 -
News Flash: Note the legal section of the Chieftian.   Owners of Cat Mountain Ranch want to drill three wells and take over 195,510,000 gallons of water per year out of there. This project is much closer to Magdalena than the APR. About 11 miles as the crow flies to the SW.

August 24, 2015 -

On July 30, 2015 the Augustin Plains Ranch filed a Motion to “Remand and Dismiss with the State Engineer” at the 7th Judicial Court. The motion states “Appeal from a decision of the New Mexico State Engineer in OSE hearing No. 09-096”. You will remember that this decision, rendered by Judge Matthew Reynolds, upheld the State Engineer’s denial of APR’s application to mine water in the Augustin Plains.

Doug Meiklejohn, Director of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, stated:

”We believe that it is important to oppose the motion because we
think that the motion is really an effort to persuade the District Court
Judge to vacate his ruling that upheld the State Engineer's denial of
the Augustin Plains Ranch's application.”

Subsequently, on August 12, 2015 the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, on behalf of its clients filed “A Response in Opposition to Augustin Plains Ranch LLC’s Motion to Dismiss and Remand to State Engineer”. Mr. Meiklejohn has explained:

"The Augustin Plains Ranch, LLC now has 18 days from the date that each of the responses* to its motion was filed in which to file a reply to each response. ... It is possible that the Judge will
set a hearing to have oral arguments on the motion, but I do not know
whether that will happen or when the hearing will be if one is scheduled.”

This is the latest legal maneuvering on the part of APR. Download this announcement.pdf

July 19, 2015 -

People ask “What can we do?” Right now just become informed. The time will come when we will need to fight the Augustin Plains Ranch LLC application again. Information is important in that battle, and these articles are key to understanding the water situation in the west.

One thing everyone can do right now is watch for the announcement of that APR LLC application. The State Engineer will publish the application in the legal section of newspapers, but we don’t know where or when. So, everybody, watch your local papers wherever you are in New Mexico to be sure we don’t miss the appeal period!

July 19, 2015 - How the West Overcounts its Water Supplies  (NYTimes arfticle)

July 8 - County commission should listen to objections to Santolina project

July 1, 2015 - Official: New Mexico water debate to be shaped by transfers

June 30, 2015 -
Many of you already know that the Bernalillo County Commission has approved the Santolina Master Plan, Level A (Level B and Level C will refine the general provisions in the plan). Subsequently the Commission also approved the Development Agreement....
Full press releast here  
Related story: Santolina Approval  

Several article related to NM water issues:
La Jicarita - NM Enviro. news  

More Water Grab News Here >>


August 5 -
Why Are Americans Switching to Renewable Energy? Because It’s Actually Cheaper

August 3 - Orlando utility buys solar at under fossel generation prices

July 25 -
Clean Energy Future: Why It Pays to Get There First
Related Report:
Clean Power Means Lower Bills for States
The US Coal Crach Report  

May 6 - "Governor Martinez has vetoed any and everything that has to do with solar power." The rest of the story here.   (see climate change report just out under Climate Change, lower left column)

- Solar halted by Hawaii Power  
- Conservative group ALEC pushes stealth tax on homeowners who install solar panels

- NM Legislature deals a blow to the State's renewable energy laws
- How one small community is going
big on solar
- Top 10 Signs Solar is rapidly Winning

- PRC Renewable Energy in NM
- Solar power in New Mexico (Wiki)
- BBC Report on Germany's efforts. mp3
- The Cost of not Using Renewable Energy

March 19, 2015- Zombie Attacks on Rooftop Solar

March 12, 2015 - Kemper Electrical cooperative pulls out of Kemper power plant deal   

March 7, 2015 - Utilities wage campaign against rooftop solar

March 6, 2015 Solar Will Dominate World Energy Supply in Just 15 Years

Sept 5, 2013 - CFC, Federated and NRCO Launch Pilot Program to Develop Electric Cooperative Solar Power Projects


Website links related to the August 4th Foresty meeting Aug 4th in Magdalena:
Cibola Forest Plan
Cibola Forest Home Page  


091415-Update on 2012 Longterm perspectives on wildfires in the SW    
Key Points from report:
Burning in the American West declined slightly over the past 3,000 years, with low levels between 1400 and 1700 CE and throughout the 20th century. Peaks in burning occurred between 950 and 1250 CE and then again during the 1800s CE.

Fire activity was historically highest at 1000, 1400 and 1800 CE. The rise in fires at 1000 CE occurred when temperatures high and drought area were widespread. Another increase in fires occurred at around 1400 CE, when drought conditions increased rapidly.
Humans began to have a significant impact on fires in the 1800s. During expansion of Anglo-American settlements in the 19th century, evidence of burnings increased. In the 20th century this is reversed, due in part to changing practices nationally in fire outbreak management. Since then, “fire activity has strongly diverged from the trend predicted by climate alone and current levels of fire activity are clearly out of equilibrium with contemporary climate conditions.”

Burning is currently at its lowest in history. The previous minimum was between 1440 and 1700 CE, and was due to a decrease in droughts and temperatures, which were at a 1,500-year minimum. Prior to the current era, fire reached its lowest historical level at 1500 CE, which corresponded with the collapse of several Native American populations.

NM Fire information website
Gila National Forest Home Page 
InciWeb NM fire information
Fire locations in Google Maps  
Weather Radar and Fire Map  




Additional reports on APR water:

By CEO Michel Jichlinksi in 2013 to the Drought Sub-committee in Las Crucis -
- Jichlinski Report to the Drought Committee 
- Jichlinski APR project - "private-public partnership".pdf
- SWAC report to the Sub-Committee

November 12 - we "won" the court case. The original 2008 application rejected by the state engineer stands. Albuquerque Channel 7, KOAT, was there with video and interviews.Click here for article and video

The issue from the NM Enviromental Law Center: :
The New York-based company seeks to pump 54,000 acre-feet of water annually through thirty-seven 20” wells. The Law Center represents approx. 80 individuals and organizations in this case; our clients are concerned about the impacts of pumping on their water, on wildlife, springs, and on the Rio Grande and Gila Rivers, which are hydrologically connected to the San Augustin Plains—and which is the last undammed river in the Southwest.

Rest of the legal story here

Chieftain: Judge stands by ruling on water use  


November 9 - Message from Don Tripp on the water hearing Thursday 12th -
I will be at the court hearing this Thursday and will have a chance to visit with all the interested parties. This process takes a long time and we will need to stay vigilant in our efforts to oppose the water grab. I'm sure there will be many more attempts to gain access to the unappropriated water on the plains by many different parties.

May 2015 -
Gila River Diversion in New Mexico Pits New
West vs Old

Others taking our water:
Saudi Arabia has a hay farm in Arizona because Saudi Arabia is out of water to grow hay

November 5th -

As you may recall, the Augustin Plains Ranch LLC has asked Judge Reynolds to reconsider his decision to deny the application they filed to mine water from the Ranch. (Near the VLA) If Judge Reynolds does agree to "dismiss and remand" (legaleze for changing his mind) the application will go back to the Office of the State Engineer. And, as you may have read in the Catron Courier, there is evidence that the State Engineer is going to approve the application if he gets it back.

How can this happen after all this time? There are several things you can do:

1) go to the hearing. It will be in the Socorro Courthouse, court room 2, November 12, 1:15pm. Our numbers are our only strength, and your presence will matter a lot.

2) If you can't go to the hearing (or even if you can) there are other things you can do to help. Phone Don Tripp and tell him we need his help. The State Engineer is a political appointee and Don is Speaker of the House as well as our representative. A phone call asking his help could do a lot. Phone numbers are 1-800-256-1569 or 575-835-2461. Don't like phoning? Email Don at

3) Let members of the Legislative Committee on Water and Natural Resources know of your concerns. A number of representatives appear to be with us in opposing the application of APR LLC. They are:

Rep. Bill Gomez 575-233-3040 email: Rep Gomez has shown considerable support for our fight and you might like to thank him as a way of starting the conversation.

Rep. Candy Ezzell 575-625-0550 email: Rep Ezzell has been strong in opposing this project.

Rep. Andy Nunez 575-520-1654 email:

Rep. Jeff Steinborn 575-635-5615 email:

Because our numbers are our greatest strength the more calls and emails the better!


October 28 - Judith Holcomb, from Magdalena, was chosen by the board in a secret ballot to replace Charlie Wagner as District 2 representative.

October 28th board videos   

Agenda for October 28th meeting   

October 4 - update on net metering...
A letter from SEC management to net metering customers is a must read.   More on this later Download here  

Related documents: [New Oct 4th]

Video of the board discussing net metering
part 1 is here: (move the timer into 18:40)
Part 2 continues the discussion. There will be more on this issue soon.

October 1 - Co-op looks to replace Wagner  

September 25 - Notice of District 2 election
Those interested in running need to contact the General Manager, Joseph Herrera no later than Oct 23rd.

Remember, ALL members get to vote on who will represent District 2 - Not just members living in that district. It roughly covers Magdalena, Alamo, and western part of Socorro.

All Districts Map

9/25/15 - Land and Conservation Fund due to Expire

September 14, 2015 - Three Cities on renewables  

September 10 - Wagner a martyr for integrity (Chieftain) 

As attorney fees increase, it is interesting to review this article from August 2011 in the Chieftain    

September 2, Wagner Steps Down (Chieftain)

August 30 -
When Charlie Wagner decided to run for the SEC Board of Trustee, it was because he had worked with electric cooperatives for many years and understood how they worked and the good that they historically did for coop members. He learned that the SEC did not operate for the benefit of its members and spend money recklessly driving rates up. He made these facts known to the members through a series of talks and power point presentations to members and civic organizations. Members put reforms into effect and created a more open cooperative where they could attend board of trustee meetings, limit the amount of money trustees could spend and their terms of service, vote by mail, have more equal voting districts, etc. This history is recorded and available on this website … and some of it did indeed make history!

Board members sued the membership because of enacted bylaws that shifted power from trustees to the members, a first in United States cooperative history. They also set up a campaign of harassment against Charlie and leaders of the SEC Reform Group. Prevarication, threats, physical and verbal attacks were common. Trustees used members’ money to drag reformers into court. More insidious actions were those of members who ran for trustee positions as reformers and then used their power to act for their own benefit instead of for the members. Things reached a crisis this year and Charlie decided to resign judging that he would be more effective using his knowledge and abilities off the board. The exact reasons are contained in the attachment entitled “Resignation.” The other attachment is the board’s press release. They plan to appoint a District 2 member to fill Charlie’s seat but are asking for people to submit their names for appointment. It is time for others to carry the torch for the members.  
Download this press release  

August 28 - PNM requests rate increase
Related: PRC reject PNM rate increase last May  

August 27 - Two fill co-op vacant seats  (Chieftain)

August 26 - Press release - Trustee Wagner resignation

Trustee Wagner resigns from Co-op board
effective immediately:

This is notice of my resignation effective as of the adjournment of this board meeting, from the Socorro Electric Cooperative.

I cannot continue to serve on a board that operates under Bylaws that reduce benefits of members and strip them of their rights, nor serve under policies that divest individual trustees of equality, independent judgment and their right of dissent as well as freedom of speech.

This board, since the latest sham election, is composed of the same trustees that sued the entire SEC membership, drove the cooperative to the brink of bankruptcy and spent a half a million dollars on themselves yearly. My association with them is an impossibility.
Wagner's resignation  

- Wagner resignation.mp4
Discussion about Resignation.mp4
- Presidents report and committee assignments.mp4
Discussion on the Socorro power generation issue.mp4
Note: it took MEMBER concern to bring this issue to the board table, otherwise the board has been completely ignoring the fact the co-op is in serious trouble and on its death bed.
Report on SW energy conference.mp4
See SW conference video. Note, according to Wolberg, a shill for the coal industry, it cost $490 to power that 100watt bulb with solar.
Thats cheap. Most of the coal plants have a capital investment of BILLIONS over DECADES before they can power that first 100 watt bulb (and require rail, and mines, and distribution network, etc)... Go Solar!

- Tri-State Report.mp4  
- RUS report.mp4   
- Oath off office.mp4

Considering the wise cracks about job loss if coal goes under.... relatively few people dig for coal compared to building and installing alternate energy systems, a fast growing segment of the economy. The last thing the coal mine owners want is the burden of dealing with labor, the fewer employees the better. What about the job loss related to solar? Since when does the coal industry become a welfare agency and a jobs program??  The steam-age is over folks.

August 26th meeting agenda has been revised to include an executive session to discuss trustee conduct at meetings  Revised Agenda  

Recent residential rates table   

July fees to lawyers:
Wiggins $4,719.73

Christensen (SEC "audit") $6,802.40

Annual Meeting re-do videos:
Quorum count.mp4  
Agenda issues and vote tally.mp4  
Treasurers Report.mp4  
Wagner not allowed to give trustee report.mp4
General Managers Report.mp4
Public Comment.mp4   

August 22 - "Election" results:
Registered voters = 392. Quorum present.
Wolberg 671 mail-in - 171 in person = 842 votes

Anaya 552 mail-in - 212 in person = 764 total

Leroy Anaya (Left)                    Don Wolberg (right)

There is no way this "election" could have turned out any other way.

August 20, 2015 in the Chieftain:
Co-op meeting, Election Sunday

Council picks firm for study of utility

Note in the story above that the attorney said a quorum must be present BEFORE the business meeting for the votes to count. In the last election, the attorney said the opposite, a quorum was needed for the business meeting for the vote to count. Of course, that was when another reformer was elected, and the same election Don Wolberg got only 6 votes.   So... bad attorney advice again - I wonder if they will give us the money back for that meeting?   

August 18 - Socorro City Council voted to go forward with the study on feasibility of the city generating their own electricity.

Socorro Feasibility Study going forward.mp4  or .wmv

The website of the company doing the study is here  

Meeting Agenda: Socorro City Council agenda item: Electricity Utility Feasibility Study  

August 5 - Why Are Americans Switching to Renewable Energy? Because It’s Actually Cheaper

Orlando utility buys solar at under fissile generation prices

Dirty air map. Scroll into region to see road network.
click "show cities" and " show satellite data"

August 1 -
Your mail-in ballot probably arrived by now. It's a sure bet, those two characters will get on the board despite losing their last bid for election that was nothing short of embarrassment with 1 getting only 6 votes and the other only 46. There is no option for "neither of the above". Quorum or not, they will win the seat, probably by board chair appointment. This fix is in. The only way to send a message to the board and their lawyers is to not return the ballot. If you do come to the meeting and register, DO NOT vote.

What we see here is the final nail in the democratic process and the beginning of the end of this co-op. The final looting will begin with virtually unlimited spending by trustees like the old days. That will be the legacy of the majority of the board members and their lawyers.

Meanwhile - well run companies progress:
Electric Co-ops are already practicing the future of energy   

Below find the minutes of the new Credentials and Election Committee held on June 29, 2015. The entire two and a half page document is of interest to SEC members but page 2 displays one of the major problems with the new bylaws: the fact that voting by mail is not longer mandated by bylaw but a function of a Committee nominated by trustees and selected by an person not named but probably the President of the Board of Trustees.

Excerpts from the document:

"Due to the fact that only two (2) members filed for candidacy,........discussion ensued whether to conduct the trustee election along with the mail-in ballots; to forego the mail-in ballots and in-person voting; determination of a quorum; and electing the candidates by acclamation."

"Discussion ensued that there is no need to go with the expense of conducting the election with the mail-in ballots."

"The Committee discussed at length the pros and cons of conducting an Election and a motion was conduct the election of candidates with mail-in ballots."

The Committee decided as they now have the power under the new bylaws which do not mandate "vote by mail".

Another striking statement from page 2:

"Attorney Wiggins read Section 5.03 Election of the bylaws and stated that the worst case scenario would be that there would be no quorum of members."

To many members the "worst case scenario" would be the return to the board of candidates and former trustees Leroy Anaya and Don Wolberg who are the only candidates because of inadequate publicizing of rules and time limits for the self nomination process. If a quorum is not achieved at the August 22, 2015 meeting, the election is invalid and the election will have to be reset with time for other candidates to announce. This don't vote, don't go strategy is the only way to get better trustees on the board who can shift the board majority from the the present form to one who will back member rights by making changes to the present new bylaws that strip members of any control of the cooperative.

062915-credential and election committee minutes  


July 23 - Don Wolber letter to Chieftain (Scroll down)  





December 16 , 2015 - 2pm
310 Abeyta Ave. NE. Socorro
(Across from the DAV Hall)
Agenda for November 18 meeting   
November 28 board videos  
Sept. 23, 2015 Board Minutes  

The board decided that January 4, 2016 to begin declaration of candidacy for District I, IV and V.

SEC Website
SECs own video link  

New By-laws adopted April 25, 2015  
Special New By-law web page click here

2016 Annual Meeting
April 16th at Macy Center

August 26, 2015 - Revised Agenda  

2015 Annual Special Webpage  
Because there was no quorum, the Annual Meeting it will reconvened August 22nd and will include the election of 2 new Trustees.

All Districts Map   

Co-operative law website  



2014 Wiggins, Wilson, Christensen Detail
Wiggins lawfirm Totals for 2010 thru 2014-
2010 - $14,619.12 (5 payments)
2011 - $3,1355.83 (6 payments)
2012 - $5,5980.00 (6 payments)
2013 - $139,163.90 (full year)
2014 - $100,550.83) (full year)
Jan - $1,990.19
Feb - $5,487.19
Mar - $5,306.67
Apr - $10,481.03
May - $4,115.76
Jun - $4,038.72
Jly - $4,719.73

Smith and Christensen (2015 Board Audit)
2014 - $32,668.82 (Includes $30K retainer)
Jan - $45,587.50
Mar - $35,359.85 (2 payments)
May - 8,142.55
Jly - $6,802.40

Bryce Wilson, Accountant
2013 - $108,075.26 (full year)
2014 - $131,780.31 (full year)
Jan - $14,202.41 (Nov 30 - Dec 31)
Feb - $12,393.30  (Jan 1 - Jan 31)
Mar - $22,372.35 - (Feb and March billing)
Apr - $11,393.13 (all of April)
Jun - $10,340.27 (all ov May)
Jly - No invoice for July yet

Cordova PR Firm 2014
2013 - $25,094.61 (July thru December)
2014- May through Dec $9,563.96
Jan - $4,681.25
Feb - $3,143.75
Mar - $5,818.13
Apr - $9,881.83
May - $2,367.38
Jun - $1,645.13

Socorro City and SEC Franchise Issue
Socorro Council Webcast  
City Council meets on 1st and 3rd Mondays
111 School of Mines Road.
August 17, 2015 Socorro City Council agenda item: Electricity Utility Feasibility Study  

Special buy-out/sell-out webpage click here

Click here for more news, and videos

(New district numbers)

WARNING... on the use of e-mail addresses ending in These are reviewed by management staff, and saved. Never assume privacy. The Ipads issued to the trustees are a way of controlling what trustees say, read, and correspond with.

District 1: Leo Cordova
District 2: Position Open
District 3: Melissa Amaro (Scorro)

District 3: Leron Anaya (Socorro)

District 3. Don Wolbrg (Socorro)
District 4: Dave Wade
District 5: Anne Dorough - (Board Chair)
ggins, Lorna Wiggins, Wiggins


El Defensor Chieftain on Face Book

September 10 - Wagner a martyr for integrity (Chieftain) 

September 2, Wagner Steps Down (Chieftain)

August 26 - Press release - Trustee Wagner resignation

August 27 - Two fill co-op vacant seats  (Chieftain)

July 23 - Don Wolber letter to Chieftain (Scroll down)  

July 9 - SEC Trustee Election  (Chieftain Letter)  

More SEC Co-op News >>>
Wiggins, Lorna Wiggins, Wiggins


How Nebraska Took Its Energy out of Corporate Hands and Made It Affordable for Everyone


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baggerdad, baggerdadd, baggerville, shitsophrenick


Wiggins Williams Wiggins, Socorro Electric Attorney, Anne Dorough, Bryce Wilson, Joseph Herrera, Eileen Latasa,