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Irrigation Concerns

By scheduling the water this year, the Irrigation district was able to bank about 94,000 acre-feet of water at El Vado Reservoir in northern New Mexico. That will help supplement next season's supplies.

The problem is the district is concerned its ability to store water in the future could be compromised by how the federal government manages the Rio Grande. The district is weighing in on a lawsuit New Mexico Attorney General Gary King filed earlier this year against the Bureau of Reclamation. 







Casa Colorada

This year a portion of the Casa Colorada ranch was converted to crop production rather than pasture grazing.  Several years were spent removing invasive plant material and leveling the newly created farm.  The farm was planted in Buckwheat as a test crop.  The water table began to rise as the area was cleared of Salt Cedar and Russian Olive.  Buckwheat was recommended as a salt tolerant crop as well as tolerant to the high water table.  



Marie Garcia Shaffner


Marie Garcia Shaffner

Marie Garcia Shaffner has her roots deep in New Mexico history beginning in 1601 with the arrival of her half 12th great-granduncle, Juan De Onate.  Many members of this family were major contributors to the economic, spiritual, and educational development of New Mexico.  She is the sixth great-granddaughter of Juana Lopez de Aragon, who is considered one of the 12 founding families of Albuquerque.Marie Garcia Shaffner

Marie was raised on a family farm in Tome', New Mexico, just 30 minutes driving time south of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  As children she and her brothers Ray, Mark and Richard were responsible for the day to day activities that would normally be associated with raising livestock and forage crops.  She and her oldest brother helped drive cattle from their home in Tome to the family ranch 15 miles South, to Casa Colorada where the cattle were left to graze on pastures for the summer.  The farm in Tome is near the Tome' land grant which was a 400,000 acre tract of land given to 26 residents of Tome', New Mexico by the king of Spain in 1739.  Marie is a descendent of one of these families.  The provisions of the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo gave title to 26 signatories.  One of the these was  Francisco Sanchez  who was the grandson of Juana Lopez de Aragon and the fifth great grand parent of Marie Garcia Shaffner.  She is also the sixth generation to live on land acquired by the family in the mid 1800's.  Over the last 150 years the land has been used for grazing cattle and horses, production of potatoes, forage crops and most recently, alfalfa.

One of the brands owned by the family farm is over 100 years old and still used today.  The brand was issued  prior to 1899 when New Mexico was a territory and 13 years before statehood!

Marie comes from a long line of educators starting with Anastacio Garcia her second great grandfather, who established the first school in Las Nutrias, New Mexico in 1897 and was considered the Superintendent of schools.  Anastacio was also was the Valencia County Sheriff from 1854-1855

After graduating from the University of New Mexico Marie  began her career as an educator with the Belen, New Mexico school district ultimately becoming Superintendent of Schools. The Belen district consisted of nine schools, 5,000 students and 500 employees with a $30,000,000.00 budget.  During her tenure as Superintendent she achieved a couple of notable milestones one of which was the successful lobbying efforts to pass a bond issue which built the La Promesa Elementary School in northern Socorro county.  The other was the successful lobbying for the replacement of the Belen School District administrative offices which were housed in the former 1950's style Belen Hospital.  Marie's husband, Jim Shaffner retired from New Mexico Tech University in Socorro, New Mexico and currently writes and developes websites as a hobby.  Both Marie and Jim travel together as much as time and finances permit.  Marie's son, Alexander is a Mechanical Engineer at New Mexico Tech.

Shaffner Travelogue  

  • Shaffners in AmsterdamShaffners in Amsterdam

  • Shaffners on the Amazon River

  • Shaffners  Safari in East Africa. The safari began in Nairobi Kenya and included two game sanctuaries within Kenya. Many pictures were taken of birds, animals as well as photos of members of our group and people of Kenya.




  • Shaffners in Antelope Canyon, Page, Arizona Antelope Canyon is just outside Page, Arizona and is truly a mystical place with colors that change every few minutes and sounds that echo off it's walls in various volumes. It is a photographers dream

  • Shaffners in Monument Valley, Arizona 

  • Shaffners at Rainbow Bridge, Arizona

  • Shaffners in Betatakin, Navajo National Monument, Arizona John Wetherill discovered Betatakin after being told by a Natiive American of it's where abouts. Fourteen years earlier in 1895 Richard Wetherill  discovered Kiet Seel. Both these ruins are near Kayenta, Arizona. Richard, his brother, Al Wetherill and Charles Mason were exploring Tsegi Canyon when they stopped to camp for the evening. Richards mule broke it's hobble during the night. The next Morning while searching for the mule Richard turned into the area where the ruin Keet Seel came into view. Video of Keet Seel

  • Shaffners in Keet Seel, Arizona a 700 year old Ancestral Puebloan ruin discovered by Richard Wetherill in early 1895. They can only be viewed by hiking into Tsegi Canyon, climbing down a thousand foot plateau and hiking up a well marked trail. The route requires crossing a rocky streambed through water sometimes encountering quicksand, rock and mud. The route is some of the most enchanting country on the planet passing five waterfalls, colorful bluffs of Pink sandstone and the intense blue skies of Navajo country. When the overnight campground is reached a ranger must be met to guide visitors through the ruins. The route back is the mother of all hikes when the base of the Shanto Plateau is reached it requires a thousand foot climb out of the Tsegi Canyon.

  • Shaffners in Arches National Park, Utah Arches National Park preserves over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, like the world-famous Delicate Arch, as well as many other unusual rock formations. In some areas, the forces of nature have exposed millions of years of geologic history. The extraordinary features of the park create a landscape of contrasting colors, landforms and textures that is unlike any other in the world.

  • Shaffners in Cambodia  Near Siem Reap, Cambodia are the temples of Angkor Wat and the minor temple of Ta Prohm built in about the 12th or 13th centuries.  The temple of Ta Prohm  is eerily covered with the roots of the Banyon tree.  Every roof, hallway, and the various entrances have Banyon roots attached to carved stone blocks.  It has been preserved as it was found with the jungle taking over.  Angkor Wat has been completely restored removing the jungle exposing a magnificent temple.


Pyramids of Giza

  • Shaffners in Jordan 

  • Shaffners in Colorado on a trip to Sandal House in the Ute Mountain Tribal Park Cortez, Colorado. The park is behind the cliff dwellings of the Mesa Verde National Park and must be guided by a Ute Tribal member to gain Access. A collection of artifacts was made here in about 1889 by the Wetherills and sent to the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Click here for a photo album of the event.

  • Shaffners in Laos

  • Shaffners in Machu Picchu, Peru.   Machu Picchu is a city located high in the Andes Mountains in modern Peru. It lies 43 miles northwest of Cuzco at the top of a ridge, hiding it from the Urabamba gorge below. Most of the structures are built of granite blocks cut with bronze or stone tools, and smoothed with sand. The blocks fit together perfectly without mortar, although none of the blocks are the same size and have many faces; some have as many as 30 corners. The joints are so tight that even the thinnest of knife blades.

  • Shaffners in New Mexico

  • Shaffners in Playas, New Mexico-Terror Town.  When New Mexico Tech, a state supported university purchased the town of Playas, New Mexico, Jim was Director of Facilities at the university. Jim and his team were selected to examine the facilities and set up the management for the small town of 259 homes which included a medical facility, bank, parks, churches and other infrastructure typically found in a small town. The team included most of the management from the university facilities department.

  • Shaffners in Thailand  

  • Shaffners in Turkey