Community rights is the idea that communities should have more rights than corporations when it comes to determining what happens to a local community's air, water, and land.Well, duh! Wouldn't that always be the case? Nope. In many cases big business deals trump the welfare of a community, polluting and ruining the environment with no recourse for the community members.
These posters have sprung up in our county and the counties nearby. Mora County residents have recently elected county commissioners who are strong believers in the idea of community rights and they are now the majority on the county commission. They are working to enact community ordinances which would restrict or ban gas drilling in Mora County and protect individual and community water rights.
Around here water is precious and even more so since we are still in a drought.
In Mora County, water sustains cattle, the largest agricultural product here and for many, their only paycheck. Most people in the county drink from their own wells and water associations monitor and regulate how much water each member uses from the acequias (water ditches) to irrigate their fields.
Beautiful, clear creeks and rivers flow through the ranches and public lands in Northern New Mexico and residents fear that hydrolic fracturing could either pollute the water from chemicals used during the fracking process or suck up all the water here for drilling projects elsewhere.
Either way, the ranchers and residents of our county would be screwed.
As someone most aptly put it, "We can live without natural gas. We can't live without water!"