Letters to the Editor
Co-op trustees feed themselvesEditor:The released Nov. 10, 2011, Socorro Electric Cooperative Byaw Committee’s “wish list” is what one would expect from people who apparently yearn for a continuation of the days when they “took” what they wanted from our electric cooperative’s coffers whenever and however they pleased. Per a spreadsheet distributed last year, trustees were compensated $492,788 in 2009.
Recall, how, prior to and on April 17, 2010, the trustees attempted to sabotage the reform group’s efforts by introducing some 25 other alternate bylaw changes to be voted on at the annual meeting of members. Having failed at that attempt to divide and defeat, they initiated a very expensive lawsuit against all SEC member-owners seeking to overturn key provisions of the reform effort. Obviously SEC’s trustees are not “mental giants” for that effort also failed. All of which has cost we member owners literally thousands of dollars.So, without even attempting to comply with past legitimate reform efforts, our champions of corporate administration have embarked upon their latest attempt to control our source of electric power while feeding themselves as only wheelers and dealers can. What is being advocated does not include protecting member-owner financial interests. Question: who stands to gain? Certainly not thee and me.Alvin B. HickoxSan Antonio
Farmers got their water this year Editor:In an article titled “Less corn for Bosque birds” published in the Nov. 16, 2011, edition of El Defensor Chieftain, sources seemed to imply a shortage of irrigation water was to blame for a poor corn crop at the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (BDA) this year. In fact, the irrigation water supply for 2011 in Socorro County was essentially normal. The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District began the 2011 irrigation season with substantial water in storage from previous years. The stored water was developed as a result of the careful management of irrigation supplies over the past several years. So while many irrigation districts around the state had shortened, or in some cases no irrigation seasons, MRGCD was able to have a full season and told its irrigators so at the beginning of the year. Throughout the year, the MRGCD board was kept informed of the water situation on a regular basis, and at no point during the year was there any expectation of a shortage. During 2011, as in most years, the MRGCD delivered a very large quantity of water onto the BDA. The two MRGCD canals which enter the BDA delivered approximately 30,000 acre feet of water across the north boundary of the refuge, much more than required by any prior agreements with the BDA and enough water to grow a good corn crop on at least 7500 Acres. Some years back, the BDA changed their official point of supply from MRGCD to the Low Flow Conveyance Channel. The water that MRGCD delivers is in addition to the refuge’s normal supply, which originates from the LFCC. If all else fails, the BDA has supplemental ground water pumping available as well.Conditions were indeed dry across the entire Southwest in 2011, but because of careful management by MRGCD, Socorro County received a normal irrigation supply, including outflows from the MRGCD to the BDA. Other causes must be to blame for the BDA’s crop failure. This is an unfortunate situation as the BDA draws a large population of wintering birds with their habitat and wetlands. (Perhaps this is where BDA irrigation water went?) A good corn crop is essential to attracting birds to the BDA, which in turn attracts visitors, who in turn contribute to the local economy. When the BDA does not produce the food necessary to feed these avian visitors, they move to surrounding private farms and damage crops. If the BDA failed to produce a good corn crop in 2011, it cannot be attributed to a lack of irrigation water, particularly that delivered by MRGCD. In the future, it is certain that water supplies will be tighter, and efficient farming and irrigation practices will be essential for all in Socorro County, private and federal alike, to prosper. Chris SichlerSan Antonio, NMEditor’s Note: Sichler is a member of the MRGCD board of directors.