By Rosanne Boyett, The Cibola Beacon
(Cibola County) – Talia Boyd has recently become a recognizable figure to many community members.
Boyd is the “face” of the Conservation Voters of New Mexico (CVNM) to Cibola County residents.
Water quality, especially groundwater contamination, is not something that people think about very often, according to Boyd.
“Many people who live in rural areas don’t realize that the state Environment Department is not required to test private wells,” explained the CVNM representative. “The E.D. does test municipal water supplies so if you live in Grants or Milan then you know the water is safe to use.”
Water conservation, threats to groundwater quality, and the potable groundwater supply are concerns that have been highlighted recently by the uranium-mining legacy and by the proposed Roca Honda uranium mine on Mount Taylor, according to Boyd.
She has participated in a number of Earth Day celebrations in the past few weeks.
Boyd took part in the April 20 event in downtown Grants, showed a film at Future Foundations Family Center (Futures), presented at the NMSU-Grants Earth Day 2013, and last Saturday answered residents’ questions at the Grants/Cibola County Chamber of Commerce “Shop Local” event that was held in advance of the Continental Divide Electric Cooperative annual meeting at Grants High School.
“I got a lot of questions about mining and water at the NMSU Earth Day program and at Saturday’s event,” recalled Boyd. “Peoples’ reactions vary. Some know a lot about water issues and some are totally uninformed.”
One CDEC member commented to Boyd, “Isn’t it strange that three-fourths of the globe is covered with water but we are running out of drinking water here in New Mexico?”
She responded by pointing out that the oceans are not a source of potable water because of their saline content.
“I wish more people had been at the showing of ‘The American Southwest: Are We Running Out of Water?’” noted Boyd. “But I know it’s difficult sometimes for people to attend programs on a Tuesday evening.” The documentary was shown on Earth Day, April 22, at Futures.
Boyd said that she was looking forward to the Inscription Rock event that RecycleCibola and the Northwest New Mexico Regional Solid Waste Authority hosted on April 28.
“That’s a good opportunity to reach out to El Morro area residents,” explained Boyd.
She has continued CVNM outreach efforts in the county and has been contacting area schools to offer programs about water quality.
“I’m hoping to present at Grants High School and at Laguna-Acoma,” she said. Other possible presentations include St. Teresa’s Catholic School in Grants and St. Joseph’s Mission is San Fidel, according to Boyd.
CVNM has been able to be more focused on Cibola County because it was awarded a grant to provide educational activities in rural communities.
“It’s really disheartening to know that I only have one month left with CVNM,” said Boyd.
Once the grant end on May 31, she will be working at a Gallup radio station.
“We’re not licensed as a commercial station so we focus on local and independent musicians,” she said.
The Gallup resident, who is originally from Tuba City, Ariz., explained that she has lived more than 15 years in New Mexico.
“I feel like a true New Mexican since I’ve spent more than one-half of my life here,” she said.
“My mom was a heavy machinery operator and she went where the jobs were – in the mines,” recalled Boyd. “That’s how we came to live in New Mexico. She told us she had to go where the jobs were when we were growing up. Mom understands what I do and I respect her decisions.”
Visit cvnm.org for more information.
By Rosanne Boyett, The Cibola Beacon