Mar 13, 2013

Alamogordo, NM (March 11, 2013) - Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce commended the Otero County Commission, other local officials and their federal partners for their successful leadership in local issues.

Otero County is currently implementing new and innovative solutions to clean up forest damage caused by recent fires and to clear small logs and fuel that create a risk for future fires.  The Otero County Commission has worked with the U.S. Forest Service, a local judge, and others in the community to create a “County Community Compliance” program wherein individuals convicted of crimes can opt to serve community service instead of jail time.  The program will save approximately $800 per acre for forest cleanup in addition to lower incarceration costs.

Furthermore, the County worked closely with U.S. Attorney Ken Gonzalez, as well as BLM officials Jesse Juen and Bill Childress to create 100 local mining jobs.  The cooperation between the federal government and the County allows for tailored, local land management, major economic growth for the community, fire prevention, and major savings for taxpayers.

“Otero County is a model for the state and the rest of the nation,” said Pearce.  “As I’ve always said, the best solutions come not from Washington, but from local citizens, who understand what their community needs, and are willing to get it done.  I commend the Otero County Commission and their federal counterparts for working together to protect economic health and our forests.”

Otero County Commissioner Ronnie Rardin emphasized the success of local efforts.  “Because of the County’s hard work and initiative,” said Rardin, “Otero County has made great strides in local issues from fire prevention to job creation.  Simple, commonsense solutions have been able to save taxpayer dollars, improve our community, and bring jobs to the area.”