|Red line is northeastern border of Costilla County|
Matt Hildner of the Pueblo Chieftain reports about how a ranch sawmill hopes to improve the health of forests in rural Colorado. "Overgrown and insect-infested forests aren't unique to the Trinchera Blanca Ranch (Integrated Land Services map), known locally as simply the Trinchera. But its response has been uncommon. Last fall the ranch began seeking state and local approvals for a timber mill that could take wood off its ailing forests. It's currently under construction and slated to open for test runs this fall.
In a story on how rural New Mexico towns share water during a drought, J.R. Logan of the Taos News writes, "Most Western states, including New Mexico, have water law founded upon the notion of 'prior appropriation,' legal jargon that loosely translates to 'first come, first served.' Under existing law, each water user is assigned a water right that includes a 'priority date' meant to reflect when water was first put to some kind of use. If your priority date is older than your neighbor's, you get first dibs when there’s not enough to go around―even if that means leaving your neighbor dry. It’s an antagonistic system that pits water users against one another."