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Mission Statement: TCSPC is a group of organizations, agencies, and individuals working
to provide safe crossings for wildlife and safer travel for people through Tijeras Canyon.


May 25, 2005

Secretary Rhonda Faught

New Mexico Highway and Transportation Department
P.O. Box 1149
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1149

Ref: Interstate-40 Reconstruction Tijeras Canyon – New Mexico Department of Transportation (“NMDOT”)  Project Control Number G-1243.
 

Dear Secretary Faught:

The Tijeras Canyon Safe Passage Coalition (“TCSPC”) is a coalition of organizations, agencies and citizens working together to provide safe crossings for wildlife and safer travel for people through Tijeras Canyon.  Tijeras Canyon is bisected by Interstate 40 (I40) and Route 66 (SR333).  The importance of Tijeras Canyon with regard to wildlife, travel,  and public safety are explained in the attached document.  NMDOT contracted Marron & Associates, Inc. (“Marron”) to evaluate the wildlife crossing issues in Tijeras Canyon and to prepare a Feasibility Study (“study”) based on their findings.  

On January 19, 2005 Marron & Associates through their contract with NMDOT presented preliminary results of their investigations into the feasibility of wildlife/highway crossing measures in the Tijeras Canyon Project Area.    Marron identified a three phase approach for the implementation of wildlife/highway crossing measures in Tijeras Canyon.  The importance of these issues and corresponding recommendations can not be overstated. The TCSPC is providing the following information and comments in reference to, and in conjunction with,  this Feasibility Study, and as requested by Mr. Mark Fahey, NMDOT Project Engineer. TCSPC respectfully  requests a NMDOT acknowledgement of our document along with a response concerning NMDOT’s intentions and capabilities for the implementation of the recommended mitigative measures.  It will be particularly important to know which measures, if any, that  NMDOT will not be responding to or implementing.  This will allow TCSPC time to seek out alternative resources and assistance to augment NMDOT’s efforts and complete the  implementation of the mitigation measures as recommended. 

May 25, 2005

Secretary Rhonda Faught

Page 2 of 2

TCSPC commends NMDOT’s interest in the wildlife / vehicle safety problems that exist in Tijeras Canyon and appreciates NMDOT’s willingness to support the Feasibility Study. This project provides NMDOT (and New Mexico) with the opportunity to have an active role in environmental stewardship and the commitment to environmental responsibility. This also follows the objectives set forth by House Joint Memorials 3 and 21 for reducing roadkill and improving driver safety on New Mexico Highways.    

We encourage NMDOT to continue collaborating with other state and federal agencies as well as with Carnuel Land Grant, the TCSPC and other entities to achieve common goals related to highway safety, land use planning and New Mexico’s natural resources and wildlife.  We welcome, and appreciate the opportunity to participate in this effort and will look forward to working with you in the future.  The Final Feasibility Study is expected to be submitted to NMDOT by the end of the month.   TCSPC will be available to discuss our experience with the issues and to provide additional comments on the Final Feasibility Study after it has been officially released to the public. 

Sincerely,

Katrina Hummell, Chair

On behalf of the TCSPC

Attachment.

 

Also referred to as Governor Bill Richardson’s Investment Partnership Project Number AC-GRIP (BR-IM-NH)-040-3(131)170.

 

 


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