Many people live in Northern New Mexico because of its abundant sunshine, but even they might have to admit that this year’s springtime rains, and all the rejuvenation that moisture has brought to our surrounding watersheds, rivers, streams and acequias, has felt like a godsend in light of last year’s devastating wildfire season.
The difference has been so stark, in fact, that some of us, too, had forgotten that drought isn’t the rule in May — rain usually is. But the amount of rain received over the first few weeks of the month was exceptional, which is suggestive of the same pattern meteorologists have seen in other parts of the globe in recent decades.
According to NASA, more intense periods of precipitation over shorter periods of time are a result of a warming climate, as higher temperatures increase the amount of water that evaporates into the air. Moist air can cause intense rain- and/or thunder-storms, like the ones we’ve seen this spring in Taos. Harder rainfall can damage crops, erode soil and cause flooding, which will remain a concern for many years to come for our neighbors living in the burn scar from the 2022 Calf Canyon–Hermits Peak Fire.
And warming air sucking more moisture out of the ground means drought is likely only to get worse in coming years.
But right now, with all the species of birds gliding around, waters surging and plant life pushing skyward — we’ll take it. For now, at least, it feels like spring ought to here in Northern New Mexico.
A step in the right direction
We’ve had our disagreements with Taos Mayor Pascual Maestas, and many of those have revolved around what we have perceived as a lack of communication and transparency, which is why we greatly respect his decision to engage with the public this week through a My Turn.
In his piece, Mayor Maestas answers questions many town residents have had about the recent construction on Taos Plaza, and in doing so, dispels some rumors and concerns about what that project will entail and why it’s being done in the first place. His point that large municipal improvements take money, time and, therefore, patience is correct.
As newspaper people, we of course believe in the arbitrating function of the free press, but the public should also hear directly from subjects in their own words, which is why these pages exist. It’s also why you’ll find Q&As in the Taos News on occasion, especially when it comes to controversial topics, such as the April 11 two-vehicle crash involving a county sheriff’s deputy (see the May 4 edition for Sheriff Steve Miera’s interview).
Mayor Maestas re-commits to transparency in his piece this week, and doing so in a paper he hasn’t always seen eye to eye with conveys that powerfully. This is a big league move and a step in the right direction for his administration.
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