New Mexican residents often speak of their respect for the beautiful land we live upon. Yet, there are daily suggestions and reminders that not everyone shares that sentiment. Just look at my 15-minute daily haul from a short section of Los Pandos Road which regularly evokes disgust at the behavior of the human race. You can draw your own conclusions.
It is a mystery to me that our state and local lawmakers, in all these years, have not instituted deposit on bottles and beverage cans when other states have had such law on the books for decades. (Michigan 1978) Are we a Third World state? Most likely, our politicos are in the pockets of the bottling industry and distributor of beverages lobby. I would even argue for banning minis from Taos stores, but at the least impose $15 cent deposit on all recyclable containers. Our streets, ditches, arroyos, road shoulders would instantly become free of such blight and if there are any remnants it would give kids a chance to pick up this trash and return it for deposit, fattening their piggy banks. There is no downside to this and we are long overdue to step up our protection of the lands we enjoy.
How is New Mexico perceived by visitors when this litter is omnipresent even on our public lands? Sadly, some hunters, wood gatherers and campers are no exception to this desecration of our forests. My hunting buddy and I have cleaned many camp sites between our hunts. It is incomprehensible to me that an outdoorsman would have such disrespect for the land they have the privilege to enjoy. Am I wrong? If you share my sentiments, then please, help me to raise awareness of this destructiveness and help me to compel our lawmakers to stop this rape of mother nature. Please, contact our representatives whose names you find listed in this paper and let yourself be heard. Maybe our law enforcement, too, can enforce anti litter ordinances while getting drunks off our roads. Lastly, all of us need to take personal responsibility for our conduct and be a good role model for the next generation.
Let’s show New Mexico that Taos is on the forefront of protecting our treasures which make this state the envy and the destination of people from all over the world.
Pavel Lukes is broker and owner of Dreamcatcher Real Estate in Taos.