Sunday, October 4, 2009

"Residents Not Told About Land Deal -Sound of Silence"-Albuquerque Jounral North

Opinion Editorial Albuquerque Journal North October 4th 2009

Residents Not Told About Land Deal: Sound of Silence

By Kathleen Dudley

It's the wind in the cottonwood trees and the stillness at dawn and dusk, crowing roosters and lazy, dusty, meandering lanes in Mora County that draws one's breath into oneself and makes this land palpably breathtaking. The sharp, crisp, autumn air, and the sweet, pure water of the high mountain region assuage our souls and spirits and give meaning to life. Nature does that to those who stand in her presence and honor her gifts — all 1,244,160 acres.

This is about to change, or so we are told by Shell LTD, who stated in July 2009 that they will begin development within a year. However, the silence around the impending oil and gas explosion in Mora County remains otherwise shrouded in secrecy with the exceptional absence of a public process. No survey, no meetings to inquire what the citizens want for their county, just the stillness "idyllic Mora County" presents to those who revel in its beauty.

The commission is not talking, the planning and zoning committee is not talking, the county land use administrator is not talking. The only person who would talk is no longer county manager — our 11th county manager in 10 years!

At the time Tecton and KHL Inc. began their departure from Santa Fe County in 2007-2008, Knute Lee arrived here in Ocate, sponsoring a barbecue to announce that wealth was about to arrive to the fifth-poorest county in New Mexico. Mineral leases were their game and extraction was their goal. And only those whom they contacted would know what was about to happen in this county. continued........