WHY DO WE NEED TO RAISE MONEY FOR EXPERT TESTIMONY?
To: Fellow Supporters of the Water Battle
Re: Funding for hydrological expert
As you know, the Augustin Plains Ranch LLC (APR LLC) has published its amended application to mine water in the Plains of San Augustin basin. Despite the fact that we already beat this proposal, State Engineer Blaine has apparently given the Ranch’s illegal proposal another shot. Unfortunately, this proceeding probably won’t be like the last one - the Ranch has asked for a technical hearing. You may remember that when we began this fight, we were told that we might have to hire a hydrologist. That day has come.
Here is why it is so important that our side has its own scientific expert: APR has commissioned a study that shows that pumping 54000 acre-feet/year will not affect our wells. You and I know that this is patent nonsense. However, as you may guess, the State Engineer and the courts will place little value on our gut reactions. Instead, they will be swayed by the testimony of hydrologists …which means that we need a hydrologist. And while we do not agree that this is right or fair, it isthe reality we must deal with.
How much money do we need? A lot. The New Mexico Environmental Law Center, who works frequently with hydrologists, estimates that we will need to pay around $100,000 for a hydrologist for the upcoming proceeding before the State Engineer. It will take all of us to find ways to come up with that much money.
Progress has been made in setting up funding machinery: a hydrologist fund is in place with the Southwest Research and Information Center, a non-profit “fiscal agent” that has handled funds for charities around New Mexico for more than three decades. Why a fiscal agent?
1) When you contribute through SRIC, your donation is tax-deductible.
2) It makes it possible for charitable foundations to donate money to our cause, because they can only give to incorporated, non-profit organizations.
If you have any questions about SRIC, please contact me directly.
Where is so much money to come from? There is a group of us who are working to raise grant money. But grants will not cover this entire expense. Your ideas and your time and effort will also be needed. Here are a few way in which you can help:
Send a contribution to SRIC today. To do that, go to the website sric.org At the website click on Donate Now through Network for Good. Choose the amount you wish to donate and enter it (top left corner). Under Designation put “Augustin Plains”. If you visit our "Donate" page, these steps are explained in greater detail. OR mail a check to Southwest Research and Information Center, PO Box 4524, Albuquerque NM 87196 with “Augustin Plains” on the memo line.
Send a letter, email and/or Facebook post to everyone you know who might have a direct, or even a theoretical interest, asking for small donations. Remember to provide directions forhow they can contribute. Every bit helps, and it all adds up.
Can you help us put a letter together, stuff envelopes and address them to friends, relatives, and strangers? Many hands make light work!
Can you help with researching grant opportunities, or writing grant proposals? You may know more than we do about fundraising possibilities - what other ideas do you have, or how else can you help? Please let us know!
Of course our efforts in raising money will be a contribution to the prosperity of the Augustin Plains, both its culture and its environment. Our efforts will also be an investment in our own properties and our own futures. The mere threat of the water grab has already slowed real estate sales and has constrained valuations. If is to everyone’s advantage to make investments now, in money, time and effort.
There you have it. Let’s see what we can do together to defeat a corporation that has no stake in our community, or even in New Mexico, except to exploit us and make a profit for itself. We can stop it.