La Cienega Valley Association

Protecting and preserving our acequia culture and agricultural traditions…

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LCVA News – January 3, 2016

The agenda for Monday’s LCVA Board meeting are at the bottom of the page. Sorry for the delay.

If you didn’t make it to yesterday’s community breakfast, here is part of what you missed.

Find out what Hipico means and what it means to our community.

Hipico means equestrian center in Spanish and Hipico Santa Fe is the new name of Santa Fe Horse Park in La Cieneguilla, which was purchased one year ago by Brian Gonzales and Guy McElvain.

Mr. Gonzales attended the December LCVA Board meeting to discuss the plans for the facility. The focus will be on equestrian competitions but Mr. Gonzales explained they have come to view the property as an event center and will make the site available for other purposes including the possibility of holding concerts on the polo field.

Mr. Gonzales and Mr. McElvain are accomplished equestrians and compete in Grand Prix Jumping. This is the highest form of competitive jumping for horses and brings together great riders and incredible horses making their way over highly decorated jumps and obstacles. Please look forward to notices of the Grand Prix Jumping events to be held at Hipico Santa Fe this summer. Hipico Santa Fe is an established equestrian facility with the ability to hold a complete range of western and English equestrian events (and polo). They are planning to add a cross country course which will allow them to hold three-day events (Olympic style competitions).

When asked, Mr. Gonzales addressed water concerns by saying that they are reducing the acreage of turf/grass by 5 acres and in working with the folks at New Mexico State they identified a volcanic sand that they have applied to their fields which maintains moisture better than regular sand. In addition they have installed gutter systems so they can collect rainwater coming off their stall and indoor arena areas and use it for other purposes. Mr. Gonzales pointed out Hipico Santa Fe has access to three sources water, city water, city treated water (for irrigation) and wells.

Mr. Gonzales made it very clear that they want Hipico Santa Fe to be a part of our community and said there are a number of volunteer opportunities for young people to be involved and learn about horses. When asked if they would be willing to be included in the La Cienega La Cieneguilla Planning Area (the previous owner had declined to be included), Mr. Gonzales said they would need to understand what that means to their property but are willing to consider the possibility.

The latest on La Bajada Ranch.

This wasn’t meant to be a trick question. The problem is that the LCVA has no new information of what is happening with the County owned 470 acre La Bajada Ranch. Several months ago when the County issued a “Request for Proposals” for the property there was only one proposal that meet the established deadline. That proposal was submitted by Frank Mancuso, the gentleman who purchased the other 840 or so acres of the former Santa Fe Canyon Ranch development.

The LCVA understood that the County may have requested more detail to Mr. Mancuso’s proposal but we have heard nothing since. The only activity in the last few months was the County’s technical formality of extending the property’s master plan.

The LCVA will let you know as soon as we have any new news on the future of La Bajada Ranch.

Do you know about the National Monument effort?

This effort, by a group, led by Diane Strauss started in 2007 but it wasn’t until December of 2013 that the group arranged to meet with local community members regarding the proposed National Monument. All LCVA Board members attended the presentation at the community center in 2013.

The first 45 minutes of the 2013 meeting was taken up by residents, ranchers and farmers complaining of not being informed of the proposed Monument and being excluded from the process. After the meeting the LCVA Board voted to oppose the National Monument as it was laid out. In that letter the Board explained they would reconsider their proposal if they reduced the monument size and lessen its impact ranchers and farmers. The LCVA also encouraged Ms. Strauss to meet with ranchers and farmers who would be impacted by the National Monument.

There was and has been no response to our letter in the two years since that meeting until Ms. Strauss arranged to attend the December Board meeting, accompanied by Matthew McQueen, the group’s legal counsel. After discussing a range of issues it became clear that Ms. Strauss’s purpose in attending the meeting was to gain LCVA’s support for a resolution that would be presented to the County Commission. Once adopted the resolution could be used with other agencies and organization to gain their support for the monument.

Simultaneously, the LCVA engaged Ms. Michele Jacquez-Ortiz of Senator Udall’s Office as we had heard the National Monument had reached the Senator’s desk for action. In response to our inquiry she requested that the LCVA arrange a conference call of concerned parties to ensure everyone got the same understanding of the Senator’s position. The call included Darrin Muesnberg and Patricia Montoya, representing the La Bajada Acequia and Village Associations, Jose Varela Lopez, a local rancher and Kathryn Becker and Carl Dickens representing the LCVA.

Ms. Jacquez-Ortiz explained that the Senator does not get involved in community politics or disputes; that any National Monument effort needs to have a grass roots base actively supported by local communities and to consider a National Monument the Senator wants a completed package with a ribbon on it. The complete package needs to have addressed and settled any and all community concerns and gathered resident support.

Ms. Jacquez-Ortiz said that in 2007 she had pointed out to Ms. Strauss the need for the National Monument to have a grassroots foundation. You can sense the LCVA Board’s response to the request to support the resolution that is absent a grassroots foundation.

Missing Dog

Moose is a brown brindle boxer who has been missing since the evening of December 11 from Calle de Carlotta in La Cieneguilla. He was not wearing a collar. He is very sweet and slobbery. Please call Kelsin at 425-377-5997 if you have any information about Moose. His family misses him very much.

Moose has been sighted recently in the Los Pinos- Entrada la Cienega intersection and transfer station road areas.

La Cienega Valley Association Board Meeting
January 4, 2016 – 7:00 p.m.
La Cienega Community Center
Preserving Our Rural Way of Life

AGENDA
Call to Order
1. Approval of Agenda
2. Approval November and December Minutes
3. Matters from the Public
4. President’s Report
 a) Schedule LCVA Annual Meeting – Establish Nominating Committee
 b) LCVA Meeting Schedule and Fee
 c) Santa Fe River Traditional Communities Collaborative Resolution and Update
 d) National Monument Update
 e) Water Monitoring Funding Update
5. Treasurer’s Report
6. Committee Reports
7. Newsletter Content
8. Matters from the Board
9. Adjournment