New Mexico tribes concerned about plan to power nuclear lab

Dec 29, 2021

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- New Mexico Indigenous leaders are concerned about a proposed multimillion-dollar transmission line that would cross what they consider sacred lands.

The transmission line planned by the U.S. government would bring more electricity to Los Alamos National Laboratory as it looks to power ongoing operations and future missions at the northern New Mexico complex that include manufacturing key components for the nation's nuclear arsenal.

The proposed transmission line would stretch more than 12 miles (19 kilometers), crossing national forest land in an area known as the Caja del Rio and spanning the Rio Grande at White Rock Canyon. New structural towers would need to be built on both sides of the canyon.

The All Pueblo Council of Governors — which represents 20 pueblos in New Mexico and Texas — recently adopted a resolution to support the preservation of the Caja del Rio. The organization says the area has a dense concentration of petroglyphs, ancestral homes, ceremonial kivas, roads, irrigation structures and other cultural resources.

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