DSA Letter to New Mexico Congressionals Regarding the Hyde Park Project
June 10, 2018
Representative Ben Ray Lujan
2231 Rayburn HOB, Washington DC 20515
attention: Cliff Rees firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Tom Udall
531 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510-3101
attention: Michele Jacquez-Ortiz; Michele_Jacquez-
Senator Martin Heinrich
702 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510
attention: Patricia Dominguez; Patricia_dominguez@heinrich.senate.gov
re: Santa Fe Headwaters Forest, Hyde Park project
Dear Rep. Lujan and Senators Udall and Heinrich:
The Democratic Socialists of America has rapidly grown to be the largest
organization of its kind working for democratic socialist policies in the
United States. We advocate for a society and economy that is
democratically run and embodies the shared values of liberty, equality, and
solidarity for every citizen. The Santa Fe Chapter of DSA is an active and
growing member of this vibrant movement.
It has come to our attention that the Santa Fe National Forest recently
approved the nearly 2,000 acre Hyde Park wildlands urban interface project
in wilderness quality lands less than ten miles from Santa Fe's historic
plaza. It proposes to remove more than 90 percent of the trees and burn
nearly every acre.
An environmental impact statement was not prepared that fully involves the
public, analyzes a range of reasonable alternatives, considers the best
available science and mandates measures to protect water quality, soils
and wildlife habitat. Instead, the Hyde Park project was approved under the
categorical exclusion provision of the National Environmental Policy Act,
the lowest level of analysis possible.
Most importantly, the Hyde Park project is the first in the Santa Fe
Headwaters Forest, Santa Fe's scenic 167 square mile forested backdrop.
It includes the Santa Fe Ski Basin, Hyde Memorial State Park, the Santa
Fe Municipal Watershed, portions of the Pecos Wilderness and Tesuque
and Nambe Pueblos, extensive inventoried roadless areas and high value
habitat for breeding birds and other wildlife. The Headwaters provides
recreation and outdoor enjoyment to more than 100,000 nearby residents
and thousands of visitors.
The adverse cumulative, indirect and direct impacts of slash and burn
practices over many years will prevent roadless lands in the Headwaters
ever being considered for wilderness protection. These impacts include the
effects on air quality from prescribed burning and the effects on water
quality, soils and wildlife from mechanical treatments including stream
sedimentation, soil erosion, wildlife displacement, habitat modification and
the spread of invasive weed species.
We request that you each become advocates for a hard look at these
activities. At minimum, an environmental impact statement based on the best
available science that involves concerned citizens to the fullest extent possible
must be done before the trees fall and intentionally set fires burn. In addition,
your support for wilderness designation for more than 30,000 roadless
acres on western side of the Pecos Wilderness is urgently needed.
Socialism, wilderness preservation and sustainability are inextricably linked
in the pioneering figure of Bob Marshall (1901-1939), a wilderness
advocate and unabashed socialist who served as a Forest Service
employee during the 1930s. Remembering his legacy, we urge you to act
boldly now in the public interest to preserve these wilderness quality lands
for the benefit of future generations.
co-chairs of DSA-SF
See Senator Martin Heinrich's request to the Department of Agriculture (which oversees the National Forest Service)
See the National Forest Service's reply to the DSA