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State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, right, and Zia Pueblo Lt. Governor Jerome Lucero announce Monday that the state and pueblo will work together to fence off and clean an illegal auto dump site. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The breathtaking panoramic vista of mesas and mountains off in the distance is somehow diminished when attention is focused on the ground immediately in front, which is carpeted with spent shotgun shells and bullet casings.The carpet ends at an escarpment, where 100 feet down at the bottom of a ravine an illegal dump is lined with smashed and rusted vehicles, household appliances and furniture, and various types of garbage and hazardous waste.The illegal dump site at the far northern end of Rainbow Boulevard, just north of Rio Rancho, sits on a parcel of state trust land that borders the Zia Pueblo.AdvertisementContinue readingOn Monday, state Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn and Zia Pueblo Lt. Governor Jerome Lucero announced an initiative to install six miles of fencing to limit tr...
Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn and Zia Pueblo officials gathered Monday in the desert north of Rio Rancho to mark the fencing of an area where people have long dumped everything from stolen cars to refrigerators and where the ground is littered with shotgun shells and spent brass casings from impromptu target practice.The site offers a classic New Mexico vista framed by desert badlands and mountain ranges, but in the canyon below are the burned-out shells of cars and trucks with household trash strewn about."We're just trying to start to clean up," Dunn said of the site just a few miles (kilometers) north of Rio Rancho. "It's a huge problem, not just here but all over New Mexico."Since 2015, the State Land Office has spent $2.7 million to remediate rangeland and forests, improve wildlife habitat and clean up dump sites around the state. In southeastern New Mexico, the agency has struggled to keep clay and gravel pits on state trust land from turning into garbage dumps.The battle is overwhelming, Dunn said, given that his agency has just over a dozen field workers and about 9 million acres (3.5 million hectares) t... (Lexington Herald Leader)