http://alibi.com/feature/41345/article.html
Feature
‹‹ V.21 No.16 | April 19 - 25, 2012

Feature

The Good Fight

By Marisa Demarco

Decades ago the federal government dropped its energy and weapons experiments into New Mexico's lap. The perception, says author V.B. Price, was that the desert was empty. And of course it's not.

As population accumulated, it brought industry, the kind that leaves long-term messes behind. Manufacturing plants, fuel storage tanks—they don't build those in Tanoan or down the street from the Country Club. No, industry is erected along the edges of town, in low- or middle-income neighborhoods—places where it’s thought not to matter so much. But of course it does.

Enter the citizen eco warriors. These are people who in their free time—after work, after the kids are asleep—pore over reams of documents, learn about bureaucratic processes and permits, and put up a fight on behalf of their neighbors. They study, they attend meetings, they write letters, they become experts on industry and its effects.

The warriors pop up in Alibi environmental news stories, sometimes celebrating successes or mourning losses. These are the self-appointed guardians of our chunk of desert. When put together, their stories paint a picture of an evolving city and state.

We'd be happy to spotlight more green fighters. Hit me up if you know someone: marisa@alibi.com.