Created: 03/05/2014 7:52 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4
La Bajada Mesa is known for its majestic beauty along with being a geographic divide. It'll be the focal point for a new divide in the near future. Only this time, it'll be between preservationist groups and extractive industries.
The group "Save La Bajada" is concerned that any type of mining operation here will change the landscape forever and not for the better.
Diane Senior, a member of the group, says it would hurt tourism and the people that live there.
Rockology Limited, an Albuquerque extraction company, wants to mine a piece of La Bajada for materials needed to build roads, bridges and other public works projects. Specifically, they want to mine 50 acres of land that sits just south of Interstate 25 right on top of the mesa.
Senior is also concerned about the amount of county water the company will be using, which could be several hundred thousand gallons of it every year for a quarter of a century if the mining application is approved.
The company says mining there will be a great for the county. They say in addition to bringing jobs, the company says the county will also save money on shipping equipment to build roads because they won't have to bring in those materials from Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, but "Save La Bajada" says it's not worth it and is still planning to fight.
"At this point we have an online petition going that's approaching 2,000 signatures, which is phenomenal," Senior says.
The petition urges Santa Fe County officials to reject the application to mine.
A hearing on whether or not mining will be approved on the mesa will be held on Thursday, March 20, at 4 p.m. in Santa Fe.