Decision was devastating


The recent decision of the Valencia County Commission to approve a natural resource overlay zone plan was one of the most devastating and damaging actions taken by any commission to date.

The applicant, Harvey Yates, will be responsible for creating the most long-term environmental damage in the county. What a legacy he’ll leave and we are all recipients of said legacy.

(Commissioner) Bizzell, you should have recused yourself from this vote given the ties you have to this industry and the other questionable facts regarding your eligibility as a commissioner based on where you reside.

(Commissioner) Richardson, you showed your true colors after having told me that you’d do right by the people you serve.

(Commissioner) Aragon, the commissioner who has a great disdain for Tomé should have required a 75 percent constituent approval, just as he did for the Historic Overly Protection Plan once proposed by the very community he abhors.

My last point is to remind everyone about who should, in part, take responsibility for this action. Mr. Paul Baca, former CEO of the Valley Improvement Association, was instrumental in elevating Mr. Yates by providing some of the land that will be exploited.

Mr. Baca once vowed that he would never sell land to Mr. Yates for the purpose of fracking and mining. A very short time later, he weakened and sold the land to the person he accused of wanting to “destroy” the land (I was there when these words were said).

The old Tomé Land Grant commons has been mined, drilled, leased and exploited since the 1920s. What more does Mr. Yates want to take from this land? Our culture? And to hear Yates utter the word Tomé was absolutely vile. How dare him?

So, Valencia County citizens, you are now part of history that would help to destroy our agricultural, historic and way of life that our ancestors so proudly bestowed.


Rita M. Padilla-Gutierrez



It won’t be the same


Every so often, my wife and I will jump in the car and take a drive. It’s a way for us to reconnect with each other as well as enjoy the views of the countryside of Valencia County.

The destination usually is  unknown as we’re just in it for the fun and the scenery. A few weeks ago, we found ourself driving south on N.M. 47 headed toward Mountainair.

The views are quite spectacular on that stretch of road. The majestic Manzano Mountains are a big, blue and beautiful. The view from  the valley is amazing, but I urge you to take this road trip as we did because the mountains we all might take for granted on a daily basis is a sight to see and be appreciated.

But what stood out more than the mountains was the vast amount of undeveloped and natural land. The area is mostly untouched with a few homes sprinkled here and there.

That got me thinking. If Mr. Harvey Yates has his way, the landscape and the view will be riddled with oil rigs up and down this stretch of N.M. 47. What a sad sight this would be, and all for money.

What a sad dilemma our county commissioners have put on our valley, on our precious landscapes and in our lives. For what? Money!


Charles Garcia

Los Chavez

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