Utton Center hosts Socorro Community Conversation on Water

February 17, 2024 - Sairis Perez-Gomez


On February 17th, the Utton Transboundary Resources Center and its Joe M Stell Ombudsman Program hosted a first-of-its-kind event for our center; a matanza! The Socorro Community Conversation on Water Matanza was graciously sponsored by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, Save Our Bosque Task Force, Rio Grande Agricultural Land Trust, Friends of Bosque Del Apache, Amigos De La Sevilleta, and the City of Socorro.  

Matanzas for generations have been an integral part of New Mexican culture. Matanzas began as a community gathering in winter to ensure all members of the community were fed, heard, and accounted for. That spirit of community engagement lived on at the Socorro Community Conversation on Water Matanza. After lunch was served, Ombudsman Program Director, Stephanie Russo Baca, alongside Stacy Timmons, Interstate Stream Commission Vice Chair & Associate Director, Hydrogeology New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources, and Regina “Gina” Dello Russo a longtime Socorro County resident and riparian restoration and sustainability consultant presented on the San Acacia reach, Middle Rio Grande, and other water related topics in and around Socorro. Then, the rest of the time was solely dedicated to the community. Their questions, concerns, and comments were greatly appreciated and documented by Utton Center staff. The Community Conversation was moderated by Utton Center Writer-in-Residence, John Fleck. To learn more about John Fleck and his work, click here. 

The Utton Center is currently developing more ways to expand our community engagement efforts, as communities know their own needs and wants best. We cannot wait for the next Matanza! 

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