ABIQUIU LAKE, N.M. – Albuquerque District representatives hosted a successful visit with Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández, July 10, 2021, at Abiquiu Lake and Reservoir in Abiquiu, New Mexico.
Leger Fernández, an attorney and advocate, represents New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District. Among her other duties, she serves as chair of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States for the 117th Congress. She is an advocate for advancing voting rights, promoting tribal sovereignty and protection of the environment and acequia waters.
“SPA had a very successful field visit with Representative Leger Fernández,” said April Fitzner, acting deputy district engineer, Albuquerque District. “She was very enthusiastic about learning about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, our missions and authorities. She was also very interested in our hearing about the district acequias and Tribal Partnership Programs.”
Leger Fernández is very familiar with Abiquiu Lake and Reservoir and the surrounding lands.
“I was raised in this area. I am a 17th generation northern New Mexican,” she said.
Other district and lake members in attendance included: Maj. Brett Fuller, deputy commander, Albuquerque District; Derrick Dunlap, acting chief, Operations Division, Albuquerque District; John Mueller, lake manager, Abiquiu Lake; Nabil Shafike, chief, Water Management, Albuquerque District; and Austin Kuhlman, lead ranger, Abiquiu Lake.
“It was an honor to host Congresswoman Leger Fernández at Abiquiu Lake, and to discuss her concerns especially about the drought which is griping the western United States,” said Mueller. “Abiquiu Lake has not been immune and affects of the drought: there has been a significant drop in storage levels, at Abiquiu and at other lakes and dams, within the past decade.”
Leger Fernandez took the opportunity to tour the recently completed Rio Chama Habitat Improvement project.
“This project was accomplished in partnership with New Mexico Game and Fish, Bureau of Land Management, and the USDA Forest Service,” said Mueller.
“This project has provided enhanced fisheries and habitat improvement and increased recreation opportunities at Abiquiu,” said Fitzner.