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State of New Mexico
Flag of New Mexico State seal of New Mexico
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): Land of Enchantment
Motto(s): Crescit eundo ("It grows as it goes")
before statehood, known as
the New Mexico Territory
Map of the United States with New Mexico highlighted
Official language(s) none
Spoken language(s) English 82%
Spanish 29%,
Navajo 4%[1][2]
Demonym New Mexican
Capital Santa Fe
Largest city Albuquerque
Largest metro area Albuquerque Metropolitan Area
Area  Ranked 5th in the US
 - Total 121,665 sq mi
(315,194 km2)
 - Width 342 miles (550 km)
 - Length 370 miles (595 km)
 - % water 0.2
 - Latitude 31° 20′ N to 37° N
 - Longitude 103° W to 109° 3′ W
Population  Ranked 36th in the US
 - Total 1,984,356 (2008 est.)[3]
1,819,046 (2000)
 - Density 16.2/sq mi  (6.27/km2)
Ranked 45th in the US
Elevation  
 - Highest point Wheeler Peak[4]
13,167 ft  (4013.3 m)
 - Mean 5,692 ft  (1,735 m)
 - Lowest point Red Bluff Reservoir[5]
2,842 ft  (865 m)
Admission to Union  January 6, 1912 (47th)
Governor William B. Richardson III (D)
Lieutenant Governor Diane D. Denish (D)
U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman (D)
Tom Udall (D)
U.S. House delegation 1: Martin Heinrich (D)
2: Harry Teague (D)
3: Ben R. Luján (D) (list)
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Abbreviations NM US-NM
Website http://www.newmexico.gov

New Mexico (Listeni /n ˈmɛksɪk/) is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, it has also been part of the Imperial Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory. Among U.S. states, New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics at 44% (2008 estimate),[6] being descendants of Spanish colonists and recent immigrants from Latin America. It also has the third-highest percentage of Native Americans after Alaska and Oklahoma, and the fifth-highest total number of Native Americans after California, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Texas.[7] The tribes represented in the state consist of mostly Navajo and Pueblo peoples. As a result, the demographics and culture of the state are unique for their strong Hispanic, Mexican, and Native American cultural influences. At a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth most sparsely inhabited U.S. state.

Contents

Geography

Digitally colored elevation map of New Mexico.

The state's total area is 121,665 square miles (315,110 km2). The eastern border of New Mexico lies along 103° W longitude with the state of Oklahoma, and three miles (5 km) west of 103.5° W longitude with Texas. On the southern border, Texas makes up the eastern two-thirds, while the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora make up the western third, with Chihuahua making up about 90% of that. The western border with Arizona runs along the 109° 03' W longitude. The 37° N latitude parallel forms the northern boundary with Colorado. The states New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah come together at the Four Corners in the northwestern corner of New Mexico. New Mexico, although a large state, has little water. Its surface water area is only about 250 square miles (650 km2). New Mexico's average precipitation rate is only 15 inches (380 mm) a year.

Wheeler Peak, the highest point in the State of New Mexico.
Northern New Mexico Landscape, Near Youngsville.
Carlsbad Caverns Interior.

The landscape ranges from wide, rose-colored deserts to broken mesas to high, snow-capped peaks. Despite New Mexico's arid image, heavily forested mountain wildernesses cover a significant portion of the state, especially towards the north. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the southernmost part of the Rocky Mountains, run roughly north-south along the east side of the Rio Grande in the rugged, pastoral north. The most important of New Mexico's rivers are the Rio Grande, Pecos, Canadian, San Juan, and Gila. The Rio Grande is the eighth longest river in the U.S.

Creosote bush, mesquite, cacti, yucca, and desert grasses, including black grama, purple three-awn, tobosa, and burrograss, cover the broad, semiarid plains that cover the southern portion of the state.

The Federal government protects millions of acres of New Mexico as national forests including:

Areas managed by the National Park Service include:[8]

Visitors also frequent the surviving native pueblos of New Mexico. Tourists visiting these sites bring significant monies to the state. Other areas of geographical and scenic interest include Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument and the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The Gila Wilderness lies in the southwest of the state.

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Climate

The climate of New Mexico is highly arid and its territory is mostly covered by mountains, high plains, and desert.

Flora and fauna

New Mexico offers habitat for occurrence of many plant and animal species, with emphasis upon many desert areas and large amounts of pinon-juniper woodland. Native birds include the Road-runner, Geococcyx californianus[9] and Wild turkey, Meleagris gallopavo subspecies mexicana.[10]

Desert scene not far from Chaco Canyon.

History

The first known inhabitants of New Mexico were members of the Clovis culture of Paleo-Indians.[11]:19 Later inhabitants include Native Americans of the Mogollon and the Anasazi cultures.[12]:52 By the time of European contact in the 1500s, the region was settled by the villages of the Pueblo peoples and groups of Navajo, Apache and Ute.[11]:6,48

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado assembled an enormous expedition at Compostela in 1540–1542 to explore and find the mystical Seven Golden Cities of Cibola as described by Fray Marcos de Niza.[12]:19–24 The name Nuevo México was first used by a seeker of gold mines named Francisco de Ibarra who explored far to the north of Mexico in 1563 and reported his findings as being in "a New Mexico".[13] Juan de Oñate officially established the name when he was appointed the first governor of the new Province of New Mexico in 1598.[12]:36–37 In 1598 he founded the San Juan de los Caballeros colony, the first permanent European settlement in the future state of New Mexico,[14] on the Rio Grande near Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo.[12]:37 Oñate extended El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, "Royal Road of the Interior," by 700 miles (1,100 km) from Santa Bárbara, Chihuahua to his remote colony.[15]:49

Wagon in the mechanics corral of Fort Union National Monument.

The settlement of Santa Fe was established at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains around 1608.[15]:182 The city, along with most of the settled areas of the state, was abandoned by the Spanish for 12 years (1680–1692) as a result of the successful Pueblo Revolt.[16] After the death of the Pueblo leader Popé, Diego de Vargas restored the area to Spanish rule.[12]:68–75 While developing Santa Fe as a trade center, the returning settlers founded Albuquerque in 1706 from existing surrounding communities,[12]:84 naming it for the viceroy of New Spain, Francisco Fernández de la Cueva, 10th Duke of Alburquerque.[17]

As a part of New Spain, the claims for the province of New Mexico passed to independent Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence.[12]:109 The Republic of Texas claimed the portion east of the Rio Grande when it seceded from Mexico in 1836.[18] Texas was separated from New Mexico by the Comancheria and its only attempt to establish a presence or control in the claimed territory was the failed Texas Santa Fe Expedition. The extreme northeastern part of New Mexico was originally ruled by France, and sold to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.[19] The Spanish population increased rapidly, possibly to 25,000 by 1800. The Apache and Comanche raids on Hispanic settlers were common until well into the period of U.S. occupation.[20]

Following the Mexican-American War, from 1846–1848 and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, Mexico ceded its mostly unsettled northern holdings, today known as the American Southwest and California, to the United States of America.[12]:132 In the Compromise of 1850 Texas ceded its claims to the area lying east of the Rio Grande in exchange for ten million dollars.[12]:135 The United States acquired the southwestern boot heel of the state and southern Arizona below the Gila river in the mostly desert Gadsden Purchase of 1853.[12]:136

Congress admitted New Mexico as the 47th state in the Union on January 6, 1912.[12]:166

During World War II, the first atomic bombs were designed and manufactured at Los Alamos and the first was tested at Trinity site in the desert on the White Sands Proving Grounds between Socorro and Alamogordo.[12]:179–180

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1850 61,547
1860 93,516 51.9%
1870 91,874 −1.8%
1880 119,565 30.1%
1890 160,282 34.1%
1900 195,310 21.9%
1910 327,301 67.6%
1920 360,350 10.1%
1930 423,317 17.5%
1940 531,818 25.6%
1950 681,187 28.1%
1960 951,023 39.6%
1970 1,017,055 6.9%
1980 1,303,302 28.1%
1990 1,515,069 16.2%
2000 1,819,046 20.1%
Est. 2008 1,984,356 [3] 9.1%
Sources: 1850–1990,[21] 2000[3]

New Mexico has benefited from federal government spending. It is home to three Air Force bases, White Sands Missile Range, and the federal research laboratories Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. The state's population grew rapidly after World War II, going from 531,818 in 1940 to 1,819,046 in 2000.[3][21] Employment growth areas in New Mexico include microelectronics, call centers, and Indian casinos.[22]

Demographics

Population

New Mexico Population Density Map.

The United States Census Bureau, as of July 1, 2008, estimated New Mexico's population at 1,984,356,[3] which represents an increase of 165,315, or 9.1%, since the last census in 2000.[23] This includes a natural increase since the last census of 114,583 people (that is 235,551 births minus 120,968 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 59,499 people into the state.[23] Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 34,375 people, and migration within the country produced a net gain of 25,124 people.[23]

The center of population of New Mexico is located in Torrance County, in the town of Manzano.[24]

7.2% of New Mexico's population was reported as under 5 years of age, 28% under 18, and 11.7% were 65 or older. Females make up approximately 50.8% of the population.

As of 2006, 8.2% of the residents of the state were foreign-born.

Important cities and counties

Albuquerque, located in central New Mexico, hosts the University of New Mexico and Sandia National Laboratories. Albuquerque is the largest city in the state.
Las Cruces, located in southern New Mexico, hosts New Mexico State University and is the second most populous city in the state.
Rio Rancho, located in the Albuquerque Metro Area. Rio Rancho is New Mexico's third largest and fastest growing city and is the site of Intel's Fab 11X, the largest and most advanced semiconductor plant in the world.
Santa Fe, approximately 60 miles North-Northeast of Albuquerque, it is the capital and the state's fourth largest city.
Roswell is located in southeastern New Mexico and is the fifth largest city in the state.
The 10 Most Populous New Mexico Cities and Towns
2008 Census Bureau estimates[25]
Rank City County Population
1 Albuquerque Bernalillo County 521,999
2 Las Cruces Doña Ana County 91,865
3 Rio Rancho Sandoval County 79,655
4 Santa Fe Santa Fe County 71,831
5 Roswell Chaves County 46,198
6 Farmington San Juan County 42,637
7 Alamogordo Otero County 35,757
8 Clovis Curry County 32,352
9 Hobbs Lea County 30,476
10 Carlsbad Eddy County 25,629
The 5 Most Populous New Mexico Counties
2008 Census Bureau estimates[26]
Rank County Population
within
county limits
Land Area
sq. miles
Population
Density
per sq mi
Largest city
1 Bernalillo County 635,139 1,166 540 Albuquerque
2 Doña Ana County 201,603 3,807 52 Las Cruces
3 Santa Fe County 143,937 1,909 75 Santa Fe
4 San Juan County 122,500 5,514 22 Farmington
5 Sandoval County 122,298 3,710 32 Rio Rancho

Race and ancestry

According to the Census Bureau, 1.5% of the population is Multiracial/Mixed-Race, a population larger than both the Asian and NHPI population groups.[citation needed] In 2008 New Mexico had the highest percentage (45%) of Hispanics of any state,[6] with 83% of these native-born and 17% foreign-born.[27] The state also has a large Native American population, third, in percentage, behind Alaska and Oklahoma.[citation needed]

According to estimates from the United States Census Bureau's Population Estimate Program,[28] on July 1, 2007 the population of New Mexico was 1,969,915, and the number of New Mexicans of these single races were: White, 1,663,821 (84.46%); Black, 56,083 (2.85%); American Indian or Alaskan Native, 186,256 (9.46%); Asian, 27,722 (1.41%); and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 2,787 (0.14%). There were 33,246 (1.69%) of two or more races. Whites are broken into Hispanic and non-Hispanic. There were 874,688 (44.40%) Hispanics. White persons not Hispanic 833,274 (42.3%).

According to the 2000 United States Census,[29]:6 the most commonly claimed ancestry groups in New Mexico were: Mexican (16.3%), American Indian (10.3%), German (9.8%), Hispanic (9.4%), and Spanish (9.3%).

Languages

According the 2000 U.S. Census, 28.76% of the population aged 5 and older speak Spanish at home, while 4.07% speak Navajo.[30] Speakers of New Mexican Spanish dialect are mainly descendants of Spanish colonists who arrived in New Mexico in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.[31]

New Mexico is commonly thought to have Spanish as an official language alongside English, due to the widespread usage of Spanish in the state. Although the original state constitution of 1912 provided for a temporarily bilingual government, New Mexico has no official language. Nevertheless, the state government publishes a driver's manual as well as ballots in both languages (they are required to publish ballots in Spanish by federal law).

The constitution provided that, for the following twenty years, all laws passed by the legislature be published in both Spanish and English, and thereafter as the legislature should provide.

Prior to 1967, notices of statewide and county elections were required to be printed in English and "may be printed in Spanish." Additionally, many legal notices today are required to be published in both English and Spanish.[32]

In 1995, New Mexico adopted a State Bilingual Song, New Mexico - Mi Lindo Nuevo México.[33]:75,81

Religion

Religious affiliations

San Miguel Chapel in Santa Fe is the oldest standing church structure in the United States. The adobe walls were constructed around A.D. 1610.

According to a report compiled by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies, the largest denominations in 2000 were the Catholic Church with 670,511; the Southern Baptist Convention with 132,675; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 42,261 (63,987 year-end 2007) ; and the United Methodist Church with 41,597 adherents.[34] According to a 2008 survey by the Pew Research Center, the most common self-reported religious affiliation of New Mexico residents are:[35]:100

Catholic Church hierarchy

The Santa Cruz Church one of the oldest churches in the state built in 1733, located in Santa Cruz, New Mexico near Espanola. The Spanish name for the church is "La Iglesia de Santa Cruz de la Canada".

Within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, New Mexico belongs to the Ecclesiastical Province of Santa Fe. New Mexico has three dioceses, one of which is an archdiocese:

Economy

New Mexico State Quarter circulated in late 2008.

Oil and gas production, tourism, and federal government spending are important drivers of the state economy. State government has an elaborate system of tax credits and technical assistance to promote job growth and business investment, especially in new technologies.

Economic indicators

In 2007 New Mexico's Gross Domestic Product was $76.178 billion (preliminary figure).[36] In 2007 the per capita personal income was $31,474 (rank 43rd in the nation).[37] In 2005 the percentage of persons below the poverty level was 18.4%.[38] The New Mexico Tourism Department estimates that in Fiscal Year 2006 the travel industry in New Mexico generated expenditures of $6.5 billion.[39]

Oil and gas production

New Mexico is a leading crude oil and natural gas producer in the United States. The Permian Basin (part of the Mid-Continent Oil Field) and San Juan Basin lie partly in New Mexico. In 2006 New Mexico accounted for 3.4% of the crude oil, 8.5% of the dry natural gas, and 10.2% of the natural gas liquids produced in the United States.[40] In 2000 the value of oil and gas produced was $8.2 billion.[41]

Federal government

The F-22 Raptor is flown by the 49th Fighter Wing at Holloman AFB.

Federal government spending is a major driver of the New Mexico economy. In 2005 the federal government spent $2.03 on New Mexico for every dollar of tax revenue collected from the state. This rate of return is higher than any other state in the Union.[42]

Many of the federal jobs relate to the military; the state hosts three air force bases (Kirtland Air Force Base, Holloman Air Force Base, and Cannon Air Force Base); a testing range (White Sands Missile Range); and an army proving ground and maneuver range (Fort Bliss - McGregor Range). A May 2005 estimate by New Mexico State University is that 11.65% of the state's total employment arises directly or indirectly from military spending.[43] Other federal installations include the technology labs of Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.

Economic incentives

New Mexico provides a number of economic incentives to businesses operating in the state, including various types of tax credits and tax exemptions. Most of the incentives are based on job creation.[44]

New Mexico law allows governments to provide land, buildings, and infrastructure to businesses to promote job creation. Several municipalities have imposed an Economic Development Gross Receipts Tax (a form of Municipal Infrastructure GRT) that is used to pay for these infrastructure improvements and for marketing their areas.[45]

The state provides financial incentives for film production.[46][47] The New Mexico Film Office estimated at the end of 2007 that the incentive program had brought more than 85 film projects to the state since 2003 and had added $1.2 billion to the economy.[48]

State taxes

Beginning in 2008, personal income tax rates for New Mexico range from 1.7% to 4.9%, within four income brackets.[49] Beginning in 2007, active-duty military salaries are exempt from the state income tax.[50]

New Mexico imposes a Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) on many transactions, which many even include some governmental receipts. This resembles a sales tax but unlike the sales taxes in many states it applies to services as well as tangible goods. Normally, the provider or seller passes the tax on to the purchaser, however legal incidence and burden apply to the business, as an excise tax. GRT is imposed by the state and there may an additional locality component to produce a total tax rate.[51] As of July 1, 2008 the combined tax rate ranged from 5.125% to 8.4375%.[52]

Property tax is imposed on real property by the state, by counties, and by school districts. In general, personal-use personal property is not subject to property taxation. On the other hand, property tax is levied on most business-use personalty. The taxable value of property is 1/3 of the assessed value. A tax rate of about 30 mills is applied to the taxable value, resulting in an effective tax rate of about 1%. In the 2005 tax year the average millage was about 26.47 for residential property and 29.80 for non-residential property. Assessed values of residences cannot be increased by more than 3% per year unless the residence is remodeled or sold.[53]

Transportation

New Mexico has long been an important corridor for trade and migration. The builders of the ruins at Chaco Canyon also created a radiating network of roads from the mysterious settlement. Chaco Canyon's trade function shifted to Casas Grandes in the present-day Mexican state of Chihuahua, however, north-south trade continued. The pre-Columbian trade with Mesoamerican cultures included northbound exotic birds, seashells and copper. Turquoise, pottery, and salt were some of the goods transported south along the Rio Grande. Present-day New Mexico's pre-Columbian trade is especially remarkable for being undertaken on foot. The north-south trade route later became a path for colonists with horses arriving from New Spain as well as trade and communication. The route was called El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro.[54]

Santa Fe Trail in Cimarron, New Mexico.

The Santa Fe Trail was the 19th century US territory's vital commercial and military highway link to the Eastern United States. All with termini in Northern New Mexico, the Camino Real, the Santa Fe Trail and the Old Spanish Trail are all recognized as National Historic Trails. New Mexico's latitude and low passes made it an attractive east-west transportation corridor. As a territory, the Gadsden Purchase increased New Mexico's land area for the purpose of the construction of a southern transcontinental railroad, that of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Another transcontinental railroad was completed by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The railroads essentially replaced the earlier trails but brought on a population boom. Early transcontinental auto trails later crossed the state bringing more migrants. Railroads were later supplemented or replaced by a system of highways and airports. Today, New Mexico's Interstate Highways approximate the earlier land routes of the Camino Real, the Santa Fe Trail and the transcontinental railroads.

Road

New Mexico highways.
Gallup, New Mexico along old U.S. Route 66.

The automobile changed the character of New Mexico, marking the start of large scale immigration to the state from elsewhere in the United States. Settlers moving West during the Great Depression and post-World War II American culture immortalized the National Old Trails Highway, later U.S. Route 66. Today, the automobile is heavily relied upon in New Mexico for transportation.

New Mexico had 59,927 route miles of highway as of the year 2000, of which 7,037 receive federal-aid.[55] In that same year there were 1,003 miles (1,614 km) of freeways, of which 1000 were the route miles of Interstate Highways 10, 25 and 40.[56] The former number has increased with the upgrading of roads near Pojoaque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces to freeways. The fatality rate, in terms of persons killed per 100 million lane miles traveled, in the year 2000 was 1.9 percent. This is approximately the same as Wyoming, but higher than Massachusetts (0.8 percent) and lower than Mississippi (2.7 percent).[57] Notable bridges include the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge near Taos. As of 2001, 703 highway bridges, or one percent, were declared "structurally deficient" or "structurally obsolete".[58]

Rural and intercity public transportation by road is provided by Americanos USA, LLC, Greyhound Lines and several government operators.

Urban mass transit

The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is a commuter rail system serving the metropolitan area of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It began operation on July 14, 2006.[59] The system runs from Belen to downtown Santa Fe. Larger cities in New Mexico typically have some form of public transportation by road, ABQ RIDE is the largest such system in the state.

Rail

There were 2,354 route miles of railroads in the year 2000, this number increases with the opening of the Rail Runner's extension to Santa Fe.[60] In addition to local railroads and other tourist lines, the state jointly owns and operates a heritage narrow-gauge steam railroad, the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railway, with the state of Colorado. Narrow gauge railroads once connected many communities in the northern part of the state, from Farmington to Santa Fe.[61]:110 No fewer than 100 railroads of various names and lineage have operated in the jurisdiction at some point.[61]:8 New Mexico's rail transportation system reached its height in terms of length following admission as a state; in 1914 eleven railroads operated 3124 route miles.[61]:10

Railroad surveyors arrived in New Mexico in the 1850s.[62] The first railroads incorporated in 1869.[61]:9 The first operational railroad, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (ATSF), entered the territory by way of the lucrative and contested Raton Pass in 1878. It eventually reached El Paso, Texas in 1881 and with the Southern Pacific Railroad created the nation's second transcontinental railroad with a junction at Deming. The Southern Pacific Railroad entered the territory from the Territory of Arizona in 1880.[61]:9, 18, 58-59[62] The Denver & Rio Grande Railway, who would generally only use narrow gauge equipment in New Mexico, entered the territory from Colorado and began service to Espanola on December 31, 1880.[61]:95-96 [62] These first railroads were built as long-distance corridors, later railroad construction also targeted resource extraction.[61]:8-11

Freight

New Mexico is served by two class I railroads, the BNSF Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad. Combined, they operate 2,200 route miles of railway in the state.[63]

Passenger

The railway station in Tucumcari.

A commuter rail operation, the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, connects the state's capital, its largest city and other communities. The privately-operated state owned railroad began operations in July 2006.[59] The BNSF Railway's entire line from Belen to Raton, New Mexico was sold to the state, partially for the construction of phase II of this operation, which opened in December 2008.[64] Phase II of Rail Runner extended the line northward to Santa Fe from the Sandoval County station, the northernmost station under Phase I service. The service now connects Santa Fe, Sandoval, Bernalillo, and Valencia Counties. The trains connect Albuquerque's population base and central business district to downtown Santa Fe with up to eight roundtrips in a day. The section of the line running south to Belen is served less frequently.[65] Rail Runner operates scheduled service seven days per week.[66]

With the rise of rail transportation many settlements grew or were founded and the territory became a tourist destination. As early as 1878, the ATSF promoted tourism in the region with emphasis on Native American imagery.[67]:64 Named trains often reflected the territory they traveled: Super Chief, the streamlined successor to the Chief[67]; Navajo, an early transcontinental tourist train; and Cavern, a through car operation connecting Clovis and Carlsbad (by the early 1950s as train 23-24)[61]:49-50[68]:51, were some of the named passenger trains of the ATSF that connoted New Mexico.

Passenger train service once connected nine of New Mexico's present ten most populous cities (the exception is Rio Rancho), while today passenger train service only connects two: Albuquerque and Santa Fe. With the decline of most intercity rail service in the United States in the late 1960s, New Mexico was left with minimal services. No less than six daily long-distance roundtrip trains supplemented by many branch line and local trains served New Mexico in the early 1960s. Declines in passenger revenue, but not necessarily ridership, prompted many railroads to turn over their passenger services in truncated form to Amtrak, a state owned enterprise. Amtrak, also known as the National Passenger Railroad Corporation, began operating the two extant long-distance routes in May 1971.[61][67][68] Resurrection of passenger rail service from Denver to El Paso, a route once plied in part by the ATSF's El Pasoan[68]:37, has been proposed over the years. As early as the 1980s former Governor Toney Anaya proposed building a high-speed rail line connecting the two cities with New Mexico's major cities.[69] Front Range Commuter Rail is a project to connect Wyoming and New Mexico with high-speed rail.

The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is a commuter rail operation train that runs along the Central Rio Grande Valley.

Amtrak's Southwest Chief passes through daily at stations in Gallup, Albuquerque, Lamy, Las Vegas, and Raton, offering connections to Los Angeles, Chicago and intermediate points.[70] The Southwest Chief is the fastest Amtrak long distance train, being permitted a maximum speed of 90 mph in various places on the tracks of the BNSF Railway.[71] It also operates on New Mexico Rail Runner Express trackage. The Southwest Chief is the successor to the Super Chief and El Capitan.[68]:115 The streamliner Super Chief, a favorite of early Hollywood stars, was one of the most famous named trains in the United States and one of the most esteemed for its luxury and exoticness—train cars were named for regional Native American tribes and outfitted with the artwork of many local artists—but also for its speed: as few as 39 hours 45 minutes westbound.[67]

The Sunset Limited makes stops three times a week in both directions at Lordsburg, and Deming, serving Los Angeles, New Orleans and intermediate points.[72] The Sunset Limited is the successor to the Southern Pacific Railroad's train of the same name and operates exclusively on Union Pacific trackage in New Mexico.

Aerospace

The Albuquerque International Sunport is the state's primary port of entry for air transportation.

Upham, near Truth or Consequences is the location of the world's first operational and purpose-built commercial spaceport, Spaceport America.[73][74][75] Rocket launches began in April 2007.[75] It is undeveloped and has one tenant, UP Aerospace, launching small payloads.[76] Virgin Galactic, a space tourism company, plans to make this their primary operating base.[74][77]

Law and government

State of New Mexico Elected Officials
Governor William B. Richardson III (D)
Lieutenant Governor Diane D. Denish (D)
Secretary of State Mary Herrera (D)
Attorney General Gary King (D)
State Auditor Hector Balderas (D)
State Treasurer James B. Lewis (D)
State Land Commissioner Patrick H. Lyons (R)

The Constitution of 1912, as amended, dictates the form of government in the state.

On March 18, 2009, the Governor signed the law abolishing the death penalty (although the repeal is not retroactive to capital crimes committed before it took effect) in New Mexico after the assembly and senate vote the week before, thus becoming the 15th U.S. state to abolish the penalty[78].

Governor Bill Richardson and Lieutenant Governor Diane D. Denish, both Democrats, won re-election in 2006. Their terms expire in January 2011. Governors serve a term of four years and may seek reelection for one additional term (limit of two terms). For a list of past governors, see List of New Mexico Governors.

Other constitutional officers, all of whose terms also expire in January 2011, include Secretary of State Mary Herrera,[79] Attorney General Gary King,[80] State Auditor Hector Balderas,[81] State Land Commissioner Patrick H. Lyons,[82] and State Treasurer James B. Lewis.[83] Herrera, King, Balderas and Lewis are Democrats. Lyons is a Republican.

The Capitol of New Mexico in 1900, It was later set on fire. Today the building is the Bataan Memorial Building.

The New Mexico State Legislature consists of a 70-seat House of Representatives and a 42-seat Senate.

New Mexico sent Democrat Jeff Bingaman to the United States Senate until January 2013 and Democrat Tom Udall until January 2015. Democrats Martin Heinrich, Harry Teague and Ben R. Luján represent the state in the United States House of Representatives. See New Mexico congressional map.

Politics

New Mexico is considered a swing state, whose population has favored both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates in the past. The current governor is Bill Richardson (D), who has been in office since 2003. Prior to Richardson, Gary E. Johnson (R) served as governor from 1995 to 2003. In previous presidential elections, Al Gore carried the state in 2000; George W. Bush won New Mexico's five electoral votes in 2004, and the state's electoral votes were won by Barack Obama in 2008.

Democratic strongholds in the state include the Santa Fe Area, the west and south sides of the Albuquerque Metro Area, and most of the Native American reservations. Republicans have traditionally had their strongholds in the eastern and southern parts of the state, Rio Rancho, and Albuquerque's Northeast Heights.

Education

Jerry Apodaca Education Building, the headquarters of the New Mexico Public Education Department
The Zimmerman Library of University of New Mexico.

Due to the state's various research facilities, New Mexico had the highest concentration of Ph.D holders of any state in 2000.[84]

Primary and secondary education

The New Mexico Public Education Department oversees the operation of primary and secondary schools.

Colleges and universities

Culture

Symbols of the Southwest — a string of chili peppers and a bleached white cow's skull hang in a market near Santa Fe

With a Native American population of 134,000 in 1990, New Mexico still ranks as an important center of Native American culture. Both the Navajo and Apache share Athabaskan origin. The Apache and some Ute live on federal reservations within the state. With 16 million acres (6,500,000 ha), mostly in neighboring Arizona, the reservation of the Navajo Nation ranks as the largest in the United States. The prehistorically agricultural Pueblo Indians live in pueblos scattered throughout the state, many older than any European settlement.

More than one-third of New Mexicans claim Hispanic origin, the descendants of the Spanish colonists in the northern portion of the state. Most of the Mexican immigrants reside in the southern part of the state.

There are many New Mexicans who also speak a unique dialect of Spanish. New Mexican Spanish has vocabulary often unknown to other Spanish speakers. Because of the historical isolation of New Mexico from other speakers of the Spanish language, the local dialect preserves some late medieval Castilian vocabulary considered archaic elsewhere, adopts numerous Native American words for local features, and contains much Anglicized vocabulary for American concepts and modern inventions.

The presence of various indigenous Native American communities, the long-established Spanish and Mexican influence, and the diversity of Anglo-American settlement in the region, ranging from pioneer farmers and ranchers in the territorial period to military families in later decades, make New Mexico a particularly heterogeneous state.

There are natural history and atomic museums in Albuquerque, which also hosts the famed Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Art and literature

A large artistic community thrives in Santa Fe, and has included such people as Bruce Nauman, Richard Tuttle, John Connell and Steina Vasulka. The capital city has museums of Spanish colonial, international folk, Navajo ceremonial, modern Native American, and other modern art. Another museum honors late resident Georgia O'Keeffe. Colonies for artists and writers thrive, and the small city teems with art galleries. In August, the city hosts the annual Santa Fe Indian Market, which is the oldest and largest juried Native American art showcase in the world.

The interior of the Crosby Theatre at the Santa Fe Opera; viewed from the mezzanine.

Performing arts include the renowned Santa Fe Opera which presents five operas in repertory each July to August, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival held each summer, and the restored Lensic Theater a principal venue for many kinds of performances. The weekend after Labor Day boasts the burning of Zozobra, a 50 ft (15 m) marionette, during Fiestas de Santa Fe.

In the mid-20th century there was a thriving Hispano school of literature and scholarship being produced in both English and Spanish. Among the more notable authors were: Angélico Chávez, Nina Otero-Warren, Fabiola Cabeza de Baca, Aurelio Espinosa, Cleofas Jaramillo, Juan Bautista Rael, and Aurora Lucero-White Lea.

As well, writer D. H. Lawrence lived near Taos in the 1920s at the D. H. Lawrence Ranch where there is a shrine said to contain his ashes.

Silver City in the southwestern mountains of the state, was originally a mining town, and at least one nearby mine still operates. it is perhaps better known now as the home of and/or exhibition center for large numbers of artists, visual and otherwise.

Sports

Notable professional sports teams based in New Mexico include the professional teams Albuquerque Isotopes, Triple A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers (baseball), Albuquerque Thunderbirds (basketball), New Mexico Scorpions (ice hockey), and the New Mexico Wildcats (indoor football). The state universities field teams in many sports; teams include the University of New Mexico Lobos and the New Mexico State Aggies.

Olympic gold medalist Tom Jager, who is an advocate of controversial high-altitude training for swimming, has conducted training camps in Albuquerque (elevation 5,312 ft (1,619.1 m)) and Los Alamos (7320 ft (2,231 m)).[85]

See also

References

  1. ^ Ages 5 and older
  2. ^ http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/c2kbr-29.pdf
  3. ^ a b c d e "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008". United States Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/popest/states/tables/NST-EST2008-01.csv. Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  4. ^ "Wheeler". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/ds_mark.prl?PidBox=GM0779. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  5. ^ "Elevations and Distances in the United States [of America"]. U.S Geological Survey. 29 April 2005. http://erg.usgs.gov/isb/pubs/booklets/elvadist/elvadist.html#Highest. Retrieved November 6, 2006. 
  6. ^ a b US Census Bureau (2009-05-14). "Census Bureau Releases State and County Data Depicting Nation's Population Ahead of 2010 Census". Press release. http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/013734.html. Retrieved 2009-07-17. "New Mexico had the highest percentage of Hispanics at 45 percent." 
  7. ^ "The Native American and Alaska Native Population: 2000" (pdf). [[United States [of America] Census Bureau]]. 2002. http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/c2kbr01-15.pdf. Retrieved 2007-08-05. 
  8. ^ "New Mexico". National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/state/nm. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  9. ^ Florence Merriam Bailey. 1928. Birds of New Mexico, ‎807 pages
  10. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2008. Wild turkey: Meleagris gallopavo, GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. N. Stromberg
  11. ^ a b Murphy, Dan (2000). New Mexico, the distant land: an illustrated history. photo research by John O. Baxter (2000 ed.). Sun Valley, CA: American Historical Press. ISBN 9781892724090. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Simmons, Marc (1988). New Mexico: An Interpretive History (New ed.). Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 0826311105. 
  13. ^ Stewart, George (2008) [1945]. Names on the Land: A Historical Account of Place-Naming in the United States. New York: NYRB Classics. pp. 23–24. ISBN 9781590172735. "There was Francisco de Ibarra, a great seeker after gold mines. In 1563 he went far to the north...when he returned south, Ibarra boasted that he had discovered a New Mexico. Doubtless, like others, he stretched the tale, and certainly the land of which he told was well south of the one now so called. Yet men remembered the name Nuevo México, though not at first as that of the region which Coronado had once conquered." 
  14. ^ "Cuarto Centenario: 400 Years of New Mexico Culture and History". New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. 1999. http://www.newmexicoculture.org/CuartoCentenario/index.html. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  15. ^ a b Simmons, Mark (1991). The Last Conquistador: Juan De Oñate and the Settling of the Far Southwest. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0806123680. 
  16. ^ Resistance and Accommodation in New Mexico. Source: C. W. Hackett, ed., Historical Documents relating to New Mexico, Nueva Vizcaya, and Approaches Thereto, to 1773, vol. III [Washington: Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1937] pp. 327–35.
  17. ^ "The Founding of Albuquerque - The Albuquerque Museum". City of Albuquerque. http://www.cabq.gov/museum/history/foundingabq.html. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  18. ^ "Texas Annexation Questions and Answers". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/exhibits/annexation/aftermath/question10.html. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  19. ^ "Boundaries of the Louisiana Purchase as Recognized Today". Louisiana: European Explorations and the Louisiana Purchase. Library of Congress. December 2001. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/maps/lapurchase/essay1e_lg.html. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  20. ^ New Mexico (state). Britannica Online Encyclopedia.
  21. ^ a b "Table 16. Population: 1790 to 1990" (PDF). Population and Housing Unit Counts. 1990 Census of Population and Housing. CPH-2-1. U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. pp. 26–27. http://www.census.gov/prod/cen1990/cph2/cph-2-1-1.pdf. Retrieved 2008-07-03. 
  22. ^ Reynis, Lee A.; Marshall J. Vest (2005). "The Southwest Heartland: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly" (PDF). University of New Mexico, Bureau of Business and Economic Research. pp. 12. http://www.unm.edu/~bber/pubs/WRSA.pdf. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  23. ^ a b c U. S. Census Bureau (2008-12-15). "Cumulative Estimates of the Components of Population Change for the United States, Regions and States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008 (NST-EST2008-04)" (CSV). http://www.census.gov/popest/states/tables/NST-EST2008-04.csv. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  24. ^ "Population and Population Centers by State: 2000". United States Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/cenpop/statecenters.txt. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  25. ^ "Table 4: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places in New Mexico, Listed Alphabetically: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008 (SUB-EST2008-04-35)" (CSV). US Census Bureau, Population Division. 2009-07-01. http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/tables/SUB-EST2008-04-35.csv. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  26. ^ "Table 1: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties of New Mexico: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008 (CO-EST2008-01-35)" (CSV). US Census Bureau, Population Division. 2009-03-19. http://www.census.gov/popest/counties/tables/CO-EST2008-01-35.csv. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  27. ^ Demographic Profile of Hispanics in New Mexico, 2007. Pew Hispanic Center.
  28. ^ "Table 3: Annual Estimates of the Population by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin for New Mexico: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007" (CSV). US Census Bureau. 2008-05-01. http://www.census.gov/popest/states/asrh/tables/SC-EST2007-03-35.csv. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 
  29. ^ Brittingham, Angela; G. Patricia de la Cruz (June 2004). "Table 3. Largest Ancestries for the United States, Regions, States, and for Puerto Rico: 2000" (PDF). Ancestry: 2000; Census 2000 Brief. US Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/c2kbr-35.pdf. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 
  30. ^ MLA Language Map Data Center: Most spoken languages in New Mexico
  31. ^ "The Spanish language in New Mexico and southern Colorado"
  32. ^ "Language Rights and New Mexico Statehood", The Excluded Student: Educational Practices Affecting Mexican Americans in the Southwest, Mexican American Education Study, Report III, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1972, pp. 76–82
  33. ^ "State Symbols". New Mexico Blue Book 2007–2008. New Mexico Secretary of State. http://www.sos.state.nm.us/BlueBook2008/StateSymbols.pdf. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  34. ^ State Membership Report: New Mexico. Religious Congregations and Membership in the United States, 2000.. http://www.thearda.com/mapsReports/reports/state/35_2000.asp. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  35. ^ Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. (February 2008) (PDF). U.S. Religious Landscape Survey: Religious Affiliation: Diverse and Dynamic. Pew Research Center. http://religions.pewforum.org/maps. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  36. ^ "New Mexico Gross Domestic Product by Industry". University of New Mexico, Bureau of Business and Economic Research. 2008-06-11. http://www.unm.edu/~bber/econ/st-gsp1.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  37. ^ "Per Capita Personal Income by State". University of New Mexico, Bureau of Business and Economic Research. 2008-04-04. http://www.unm.edu/~bber/econ/us-pci.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  38. ^ "Persons Below Poverty by New Mexico County". University of New Mexico, Bureau of Business and Economic Research. 2008-01-18. http://www.unm.edu/~bber/demo/SAIPEallagepov05.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  39. ^ "Travel Economic Impact Model" (PDF). New Mexico Tourism Department. http://www.newmexico.org/department/research/docs/Economic_Impact_FY2006.pdf. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  40. ^ "EIA State Energy Profiles: New Mexico". US Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration. 2008-10-09. http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/state/state_energy_profiles.cfm?sid=NM. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  41. ^ "Oil & Gas Program". New Mexico Institute of Technology, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources. http://geoinfo.nmt.edu/resources/petroleum/. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  42. ^ "Federal Spending Received Per Dollar of Taxes Paid by State, 2005". Tax Foundation. 2007-10-09. http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/266.html. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  43. ^ Dr. Chris Erickson; Erin Ward (May 2005). "Economic Impact of the Closure of Cannon Air Force Base". New Mexico Business Outlook. New Mexico State University. http://bbrs.nmsu.edu/nmbizoutlook/showarticle.php?articleID=50106. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  44. ^ "Business Assistance: Incentives". State of New Mexico Economic Development Department. http://www.edd.state.nm.us/businessAssistance/incentives/index.html. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  45. ^ Domrzalski, Dennis (2003-09-19). 28 New Mexico towns tap into $45M in incentives. OCLC 30948175. http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/stories/2003/09/22/story2.html. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  46. ^ "Governor Signs Film Production Tax Incentives". New Mexico Economic Development Department. March 4, 2002. http://www.nmpartnership.com/press-releases/article.php?id=1022&title=Governor+Signs+Film+Production+Tax+Incentives. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  47. ^ "New Mexico's Film Incentives". New Mexico Film Office. http://www.nmfilm.com/filming/incentives/. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  48. ^ Hay, Kiera (2007-12-10). State's Incentives Keep Film Industry Growing. Albuquerque Journal. OCLC 9392114. http://www.abqjournal.com/AED/268427business12-10-07.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  49. ^ "Personal Income Tax Rates" (PDF). State of New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department. 2008-08-25. pp. 3. http://www.tax.state.nm.us/forms/year08/pitrates_2005_2008.pdf. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  50. ^ Office of the Governor, State of New Mexico (2008-06-14). "Governor Richardson Announces New Laws to Take Effect; New State laws go into effect June 15, 2007" (PDF). Press release. http://www.governor.state.nm.us/press/2007/june/061407_04.pdf. Retrieved 2008-09-05. "HB 436 Working Families Tax Credit...eliminates taxes on active duty military salaries." 
  51. ^ "Gross Receipts Taxes FAQ" (PDF). State of New Mexico, Taxation and Revenue Department. 2006-08-06. http://www.tax.state.nm.us/oos/GrossReceiptsTaxFAQ.pdf. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  52. ^ "Gross Receipts Tax Rate Schedule, Effective July 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008" (PDF). State of New Mexico, Taxation and Revenue Department. 2008-06-05. http://www.tax.state.nm.us/pubs/GrossReceiptsRates/grt_rates_july_2008.pdf. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  53. ^ "Property Tax FAQ" (PDF). State of New Mexico, Taxation and Revenue Department. 2007-08-07. http://www.tax.state.nm.us/oos/PropertyTaxFAQ.pdf. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  54. ^ Suina, Kim. "Indigenous trade". Digital History Project---Book of Migrations. New Mexico Office of the State Historian. http://www.newmexicohistory.org/story2.php?catid=727. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  55. ^ U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Table 1-2: New Mexico Public Road Length, Miles by Ownership 2000 [1]
  56. ^ U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Table 1-1: New Mexico Public Road Length, by Functional System [2]
  57. ^ U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Table 2-1: Highway Traffic Fatalities and Fatality Rates: 2000 [3]
  58. ^ U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Table 1-5: Highway Bridge Condition: 2001 [4]
  59. ^ a b Holmes, Sue Major (January 14, 2009). "Mass. firm sues state over Railrunner name". Boston.com. http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/01/14/mass_firm_sues_state_over_railrunner_name/. Retrieved 2009-02-02. 
  60. ^ U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics,Table 1-9: Freight Railroads in New Mexico and the United States: 2000 [5]
  61. ^ a b c d e f g h i Myrick, David F. (1970). New Mexico's Railroads---An Historical Survey. Golden, Colorado: Colorado Railroad Museum. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 70-116915. 
  62. ^ a b c "New Mexico and its Railroads". La Crónica de Nuevo México/New Mexico Office of the State Historian: Digital History Project---The Book of Mapping. Historical Society of New Mexico. August 1984. http://www.newmexicohistory.org/story2.php?catid=731. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  63. ^ U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics,Table 1-9: Freight Railroads in New Mexico and the United States: 2000 [6]
  64. ^ Grimm, Julie Ann (December 17, 2008). "Delays, struck cow mark Rail Runner's first day, but riders optimistic". The Santa Fe New Mexican. http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/Delays-mark-first-morning-of-commuter-train-service. Retrieved 2009-02-02. 
  65. ^ New Mexico Rail Runner Express weekday schedule
  66. ^ Rail Runner schedule page
  67. ^ a b c d Richards, C Fenton Jr (2001). Santa Fe - The Chief Way. Second Printing, 2005. Robert Strein & John Vaughn. New Mexico Magazine. ISBN 0-937206-71-7. 
  68. ^ a b c d Dorin, Patrick C. (2004). Santa Fe Passenger Trains in the Streamlined Era. design and layout by Megan Johnson. USA: TLC Publishing, Inc.. ISBN 1-883089-99-9. 
  69. ^ Herron, Gary (December 22, 2008). "Media and politicians enjoy inaugural ride, public opening met with delays". The Observer. http://www.observer-online.com/articles/2008/12/21/news/doc494d4df4b3d01455138411.txt. Retrieved 2009-02-02. 
  70. ^ "Southwest Chief passenger timetable". Amtrak. October 2008. http://www.amtrak.com/timetable/oct08/P03.pdf. Retrieved 2009-02-02. 
  71. ^ Blaszak, Michael W. (2009). "Speed, Signals, and Safety". Fast Trains. Classic Trains Special Edition No. 7 (Waukesha, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing Co.): 47. ISBN 978-0-89024-763-1. 
  72. ^ "Sunset Limited passenger timetable". Amtrak. January 2009. http://www.amtrak.com/timetable/jan09/P01.pdf. Retrieved 2009-02-02. 
  73. ^ Ohtake, Miyoko (August 25, 2007). "Virgin Galactic Preps for Liftoff at World's First Commercial Spaceport". Wired Magazine (15:10). http://www.wired.com/science/space/magazine/15-10/st_spaceport. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  74. ^ a b Robinson-Avila (December 31, 2008). "NM Spaceport, Virgin Galactic sign 20-year lease". New Mexico Business Weekly. http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/stories/2008/12/29/daily19.html. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  75. ^ a b "First Commercial Spaceport Gets Green Light". Discovery Channel. December 19, 2008. http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/12/19/spaceport-commercial.html. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  76. ^ UP Aerospace does launches ‘quickly and cheaply’, DenverBiz Journal, October 2008 [7]
  77. ^ "News Release 03.04.2008 / Spaceport Sweden and Virgin Galactic". http://www.virgingalactic.com/htmlsite/news.php. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  78. ^ Le Nouveau-Mexique abolit la peine de mort [archive] in Le Monde of March 19, 2009
  79. ^ NM Secretary of State's Office official web site
  80. ^ NM Attorney General's Office official web site
  81. ^ NM State Auditor's Office official web site
  82. ^ NM State Lands official web site
  83. ^ NM State Treasuer's Office official web site
  84. ^ Venture Capitals
  85. ^ "High Hopes: Altitude Training for Swimmers", by Michael Scott, SwimmingworldMagazine.com magazine archives [8] (10-15-08)

Further reading

  • Hubert Howe Bancroft. The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, Vol. XVII. (History of Arizona and New Mexico 1530–1888) (1889); reprint 1962. online edition
  • Warren Beck. Historical Atlas of New Mexico 1969.
  • Thomas E. Chavez, An Illustrated History of New Mexico, 267 pages, University of New Mexico Press 2002, ISBN 0-8263-3051-7
  • Joseph G. Dawdon III. Doniphan's Epic March; The 1st Missouri Volunteers in the Mexican War, Kansas Press [9]
  • Richard Ellis, ed. New Mexico Past and Present: A Historical Reader. 1971. primary sources
  • Lynne Marie Getz; Schools of Their Own: The Education of Hispanos in New Mexico, 1850–1940 (1997)
  • Erlinda Gonzales-Berry, David R. Maciel, editors, The Contested Homeland: A Chicano History of New Mexico, 314 pages - University of New Mexico Press 2000, ISBN 0-8263-2199-2
  • Nancie L. González; The Spanish-Americans of New Mexico: A Heritage of Pride (1969)
  • Ramón A. Gutiérrez; When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality, and Power in New Mexico, 1500–1846 (1991)
  • Paul L. Hain; F. Chris Garcia, Gilbert K. St. Clair; New Mexico Government 3rd ed. (1994)
  • Tony Hillerman, The Great Taos Bank Robbery and other Indian Country Affairs, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1973, trade paperback, 147 pages, (ISBN 0-8263-0530-X), stories
  • Jack E. Holmes, Politics in New Mexico (1967),
  • Paul Horgan, Great River, The Rio Grande in North American History, 1038 pages, Wesleyan University Press 1991, 4th Reprint, ISBN 0585380147, Pulitzer Prize 1955
  • Sante Fe Trail: 72 References Kansas Historical Society [10]
  • Robert W. Kern, Labor in New Mexico: Strikes, Unions, and Social History, 1881–1981, University of New Mexico Press 1983, ISBN 0-8263-0675-6
  • Howard R. Lamar; The Far Southwest, 1846–1912: A Territorial History (1966, repr 2000)
  • Robert W. Larson, New Mexico's Quest for Statehood, 1846–1912 (1968)
  • John M. Nieto-Phillips, The Language of Blood: The Making of Spanish-American Identity in New Mexico, 1880s-1930s, University of New Mexico Press 2004, ISBN 08236324231
  • Marc Simmons, New Mexico: An Interpretive History, 221 pages, University of New Mexico Press 1988, ISBN 0-8263-1110-5
  • George I. Sánchez; Forgotten People: A Study of New Mexicans (1940; reprint 1996)
  • Marc Simmons, New Mexico: An Interpretive History, 221 pages, University of New Mexico Press 1988, ISBN 0-8263-1110-5, good introduction
  • Ferenc M. Szasz; and Richard W. Etulain; Religion in Modern New Mexico (1997)
  • David J. Weber, The Mexican Frontier, 1821–1846: The American Southwest under Mexico (1982)
  • David J. Weber; Foreigners in Their Native Land: Historical Roots of the Mexican Americans (1973), primary sources to 1912

External links

State Government
U.S. Government
Directory
Tourism
Preceded by
Oklahoma
List of U.S. states by date of statehood
Admitted on January 6, 1912 (47th)
Succeeded by
Arizona

Coordinates: 34°N 106°W / 34°N 106°W / 34; -106


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Adobe architecture, Eldorado Hotel, Santa Fe
Adobe architecture, Eldorado Hotel, Santa Fe

New Mexico [1] is a state in the American Southwest. A Spanish and then Mexican colony until the Mexican War of the 1840s, New Mexico still has a large native Spanish-speaking population, as well as many Native American communities.


Central New Mexico
Situated along the Middle Rio Grande Valley and home to Albuquerque, the Central region contains most of the state's population.
North Central New Mexico
This scenic mountainous region has many of the better-known tourist destinations of New Mexico, such as Santa Fe and Taos.
Northeast New Mexico
Here, the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains. The Santa Fe Trail, railroads, and Route 66 all passed through here.
Northwest New Mexico
Part of the Four Corners region, this area is home to many unusual geological formations, red rocks, and part of the Navajo Nation.
Southwest New Mexico
Home to scenic low-lying mountains and much of the agricultural production in the state, along the Rio Grande.
Southeast New Mexico
Elevation-wise, this is the lowest region of the state, mostly desert but with some strange geologic phenomena.
  • Santa Fe - The state capital and primary tourist attraction of the state, with historic architecture, scenic beauty, and a concentration of arts and culture.
  • Albuquerque - By far the state's largest city and the center of commerce for the state, with a fair number of tourist attractions in its own right, including a massive and spectacular hot-air balloon fiesta.
  • Farmington - The largest town in the northwest section of the state, and a gateway to the Navajo Nation and Four Corners area.
  • Los Alamos - A small town which is the home of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where the first atomic bomb was created.
  • Las Vegas - A lovely little town with a lot of history.
  • Las Cruces - The state's second largest city and the largest in the southern portion of the state.
  • Alamogordo - A large town notable for its museum of space history and proximity to the White Sands National Monument.
  • Roswell - A large town most well-known for the alleged crash of a flying saucer near here in 1947.
  • Silver City - An old mining town located in the southwestern section of the state.

Understand

Understanding New Mexico starts with grasping the overpowering importance of two of its geological features: the Rio Grande, which bisects the state north to south, and the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains, southernmost range of the Rocky Mountains and a part of the same large-scale geological structure that produces the Rio, the "Rio Grande rift." The eastern third of the state is an extension of the Great Plains both geographically and culturally and has more in common with the western parts of Texas and Oklahoma than with the rest of New Mexico. The western third, beyond the Rio and the assortment of minor mountain ranges (Nacimientos, Magdalenas, and the not-so-minor Jemez Mountains) to its west, is part of the same "basin and range" geography as comprises much of Arizona and Nevada, with a little Utah canyon country thrown in toward the northwest corner.

It's the area in between these two sparsely inhabited regions that gives the state much of its identity, houses the majority of its population, and contains many of its travel attractions. The "Rio Grande Corridor" starts at the Colorado state line and includes (from north to south) such well-known places as Taos, Los Alamos, Santa Fe (one of the world's great travel destinations), Albuquerque, and Las Cruces at the southern end of the state. Travelers who have seen only the flat emptiness of the eastern side or the rugged desolation of the western third simply do not expect this region, with its snowcapped mountains, fertile riparian habitat along the Rio, and a population density that, while not high by the standards of the United States (let alone Europe), is still unusual in the Southwest. Most of the state's many American Indian reservations (the pueblos) are here (Navajo Nation, however, is in the northwest region), as are the most conspicuous remnants of the Spanish influence resulting from the state's ties to Mexico that persisted into the 19th century. At the same time, the relative prosperity of this area (although no part of New Mexico can really be considered "wealthy" except in isolated neighborhoods) is making several of its communities into high-tech centers, for example the Albuquerque suburb of Rio Rancho that houses a great manufacturing plant for computer components. The Sangre de Cristos and Jemez also create a relatively cool and moist (at least compared to the rest of the state) climate zone in which snow can persist in the highest mountains nearly year-round.

There is also a more subtle north/south dichotomy to the culture and geography that breaks basically along the route of Interstate highway 40, which follows the historic Route 66 across the state. Most of the north/south differences (apart from the observation that the north is higher and cooler than the south) are political in nature and affect residents more than travelers, but they lead to the state self-identifying the six regions given under the "Regions" heading of this article. Note that there is no "South Central" region; the Rio Grande Corridor narrows toward the southern end of the state, and features along the southern Rio are treated in the southwest region.

"American Indian" or "Native American"?

In many places in the United States, the neologism "Native American" has replaced "American Indian" as the descriptor for indigenous peoples, "American Indian" being viewed by some as pejorative. In New Mexico, however, "American Indian" is still widely used, and indeed was preferred by members of several northern New Mexico pueblos in a poll conducted a few years ago. (Actually, the most common response was "it doesn't really matter," but "American Indian" was preferred by a plurality of those who expressed an opinion.) You can use either term without discomfort, and need not go to any lengths to structure your language one way or the other when visiting the Institute of American Indian Arts, Gallup Intertribal Indian Ceremonials, Santa Fe Indian Market, etc.

If you worry that you'll have to speak Spanish to get around in New Mexico, then learn some Spanish, chances are you won't need it. In reality, New Mexico is very much like the rest of the U.S. in that English is almost universally spoken. New Mexico Magazine [2], the state's tourist magazines (and a better-than-average read by the standards of such things), carries a regular column called "One of our Fifty Is Missing" that describes the many humorous misconceptions (the polite word) that the state and its residents experience at the hands of those seemingly unaware that New Mexico is part of the United States; linguistic misunderstandings are among the more frequent anecdotes appearing there. In fact, English will do just fine, although particularly in the North Central and Northwest regions, you'll have a good chance of running into people for whom English is a second, or even third, language, behind Spanish and/or a tribal language. Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Los Alamos and Santa Fe all have notably diverse populations that include native speakers of most of the world's major languages. It's common (if unexpected, given the town's historic secrecy) to walk into a store or restaurant in Los Alamos and hear a conversation between storekeeper and patron in Russian or Chinese, or even Polish or Korean.

This said, when you encounter an apparently Spanish place name or surname, as you will in almost all parts of the state, it's wise to pronounce it as Spanish. Anglicizing the pronunciation may be acceptable in some parts of the United States, but is likely to be considered rude here. The Wikitravel Spanish phrasebook can help with this; particular things to be on the alert for are "ñ" (e.g. Española and other place names), double "ll" (e.g. Valles Caldera National Preserve), and double "rr" (e.g. Rio Arriba County in the North Central region, which incidentally is a particularly good place in which to avoid Anglicized Spanish).

Get in

By air

The state's only major airport is in Albuquerque, in nearly the exact center of the state. Santa Fe has limited service connecting to Dallas. Several of the state's minor cities such as Carlsbad, Farmington, Roswell, Hobbs, and intermittently Gallup and Taos have commuter air service.

For travel to the southern part of the state, particularly the southwestern region, consider flying into El Paso in extreme west Texas. For example, Las Cruces, the state's second largest city, is only 45 miles from El Paso compared to 226 miles from Albuquerque.

By car

Interstate highways 10 and 40 cross the state east/west, the former entering between El Paso and Las Cruces and paralleling the southern border, and the latter following the route of historic Route 66 through the middle of the state. Interstate 25 enters the state in its northeast corner near Raton, passes through the eastern plains, crosses the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at Glorieta Pass near Santa Fe, then follows the Rio Grande south through Albuquerque to its terminus at I-10 in Las Cruces.

Although New Mexico has a fairly long border with Mexico, there are few ports of entry. Most traffic inbound from Mexico enters the United States at El Paso and then continues to Las Cruces and beyond. In addition to the usual Customs, etc., at the national border, there are checkpoints along the major highways out of Las Cruces at which vehicles may be searched for illegal immigrants. (If you're considering bringing an illegal in, don't; penalties are serious and enforcement is stepping up, if still uneven.) The small town of Columbus has a border crossing with Mexico that is open 24 hours a day. Santa Teresa NM, adjacent to El Paso and south of Las Cruces also has a port of entry. Although this border crossing is only open from 6AM-10PM, it forms a handy bypass of Ciudad Juarez and El Paso and is an important route for international commerce and travel.

In practice, traffic inbound from neighboring states is generally not subjected to inspection for controlled items, apart from the usual weigh stations, etc., for commercial trucks. However, commercial traffic heading out of New Mexico for Arizona may be inspected on the Arizona side of the state line, owing to concerns about the introduction of agricultural pests.

By rail

The Southwest Chief [3], the main Amtrak line through the southwestern United States, makes a daily run between Chicago and Los Angeles through New Mexico. Westbound, the line enters the state at Raton, and basically follows the route of I-25 to Albuquerque, making stops at Las Vegas and Lamy (where you can catch a shuttle bus to Santa Fe). After Albuquerque the train follows the route of I-40 to Gallup and on west.

The Sunset Limited [4] makes its way from New Orleans to Los Angeles, with stops at El Paso, TX, Deming, and Lordsburg. This train runs three times a week.

The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad of Chama (New Mexico) and Antonito, Colorado operates tourist trains with vintage equipment passing attractive scenery, but this line doesn't connect to any commercial railroads and isn't intended to open the state to the traveler from afar. There are presently no other rail services from other states (or Mexico) to points in New Mexico.

Get around

The larger cities (Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe) have some degree of public transportation, but this is still a state where you'll have to drive most of the time. The New Mexico Rail Runner Express [5] commuter train connects Albuquerque and Santa Fe, along with residential communities in the area.

Roads in New Mexico are generally well maintained and driving itself can be a pleasurable experience here. Although only a few roads are designated scenic drives, most rural highways in the western two thirds of the state provide splendid vistas. However, if you are behind the wheel, please remain attentive to the road and the local driving habits. New Mexico has road conditions and situations that may be different than your own; use caution and drive defensively at all times. Speed limits on interstates are normally 75 miles per hour, except in urban and mountainous areas areas where the speed limit typically drops to 65. Multilane US and state highways have rural speed limits ranging from 45 to 75 miles per hour. Two-lane rural highways have speed limits in the range of 45-65 miles per hour. In urban areas and other communities speed limits can be as low as 15 and as fast as 55 miles per hour, and enforcement is more highly visible and heavy-handed than in rural areas. A number of state highways and most county roads, remarkably enough, are still unpaved and should be driven at reduced speeds. Between this, a number of radar traps, and the fact that many of the roads through the mountains are more sinuous than is apparent on a map, you should expect intercity travel to take a bit longer than the distance would imply, except on the Interstates. There are exceptions in the eastern parts of the state, where you're in serious danger of being run over if you drive as slowly as the speed limits.

Weather-related driving hazards are generally confined to the winter months, when the northern half of the state, as well as the mountainous parts of the southwestern region, can experience snowstorms that close highways or render them hazardous. Have chains or 4-wheel drive available in these areas from December through February, particularly in the mountains. Spring winds can be disconcerting to drivers in tall vehicles and occasionally create reduced visibility from blowing dust, but dust storms are less of a problem than in some neighboring states. Most of New Mexico is at higher elevation, hence slightly cooler, than other states of the Southwest; problems with boiling radiators, etc., are therefore not as common, although it's still a good idea to take water with you when driving in the summer, particularly along the low, hot southern tier (I-10 and vicinity).

New Mexico has a severe problem with drunk driving, although aggressive enforcement and public-education campaigns have reduced DUI levels somewhat, compared to 10 years ago. No road in the state is immune to this problem; there is no time of day when it cannot occur. Defensive driving is the obvious antidote. Large animals on the roadway create hazards as well. Cattle and sheep are often seen in the open range areas of the state; elk are seen in the north central mountains. In the south, the Oryx, an elk-sized antelope imported from Africa, or the Javelina (aka the Collared Peccary), a distant relative of the pig family, are often seen on roads, especially rural routes. Again, just drive defensively.

See

Native Americana

One of the primary attractions of New Mexico is its large and diverse collection of American Indian (or, if you prefer, Native American -- both terms are used in the state) pueblos, reservations, artwork, and of course, people. The north central and central regions have the greatest diversity of Native American centers, while Navajo Nation in the northwest region (extending into the other Four Corners states) is the largest Indian reservation/nation within the contiguous United States. There are a few points of interest in other regions, such as the Mescalero Apache reservation in the southeast region and outlying parts of Navajo Nation in the southwest. For detailed information on each of the pueblos, see New Mexico Pueblos.

Many, but by no means all, of the American Indian communities welcome visitors, usually with some restrictions. Following are some tips if you're planning to see the sights of these communities:

  • Check the regional articles for guidance on which pueblos/reservations are open to visitors; not all will be.
  • Please respect local regulations regarding photography and sketching! Most north-central and central pueblos require would-be photographers and artists to pay for permits issued by the pueblo administration, and some don't allow photography or sketching at all. If the restrictions seem draconian, remember that these are not museum exhibits or theme parks, they're towns and settlements where people live their daily lives. However, if you are on public property, pictures may be legally taken. It doesn't matter if you are photographing someone who doesn't want to be photographed, or a building that locals do not want photographed. As long as you are on public property, you are within your rights to photograph anything in sight.
  • Most of the pueblos and reservations hold ceremonial dances, feasts and sings that welcome visitors, as well as some others of a more private, religious nature at which visitors are unwelcome if not forbidden. Many have succeeded in reconciling their historic religious practices with the dominant Christian (particularly Catholic) practice, and celebrations at Christmas (in some cases extending through much of December), Easter, and the feast day of San Antonio (June) are generally open to visitors.
  • For many residents of some pueblos and reservations, not only is English not the primary daily language, it may not be spoken fluently or at all. Most residents in the "service" sector (i.e., those you'll interact with first) are as fluent in English as their Anglo colleagues in neighboring communities, and there is no reason to speak to them in a patronizing or condescending manner. However, if you venture far from the main tourist centers, you may run into language issues, although you're still odds-on to deal with English speakers. Patience and gestures will overcome many obstacles, but be aware that in certain areas (notably Navajo Nation) it is considered rude to point with extended fingers. A nod or tip of the head for indicating direction is considered more polite (true among fluent English speakers as well).

International Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque is the host city for the International Balloon Fiesta [6], held each year during the first full week in October. This extravaganza of color and sound is a unique event, with participants from throughout the world bringing gaily colored and some unusual or "Special Shapes" hot air balloons. As many as 700 or 800 balloons have been registered with mass ascensions highlighting the mornings, balloon glows lighting up the night and competitions sprinkled in for the competitive and professional balloon pilots. And licensed pilots are required! This event draws tens of thousands of visitors to Albuquerque and New Mexico each year as participants, ground chase crew members and observers.

Do

Hike

A considerable portion of New Mexico is preserved in national parks and monuments, national forests, wildlife refuges, and other wild areas, and is available to the hiker/backpacker. The pronounced north-south elevation gradient means that one part or another of the state has satisfactory hiking weather throughout the year. Good places and times for hiking include:

  • The Sangre de Cristo Mountains, highest and most important range in the state, include several wilderness areas. Important trail heads are near Taos and Santa Fe on the west side, and near the otherwise obscure town of Cowles on the east. Hiking is best from June to September; many high-country trails will be snow-packed from November through May, and October is hunting season, when non-hunters do well to stay off the trails.
  • The Jemez Mountains are a major volcanic range near Los Alamos and include Bandelier National Monument and Valles Caldera National Preserve. Bandelier offers excellent hiking practically year-round (hot in mid-summer), while the higher parts of the range are in Santa Fe National Forest or the Preserve and are good for summer and fall hiking. Note that a disastrous forest fire in the year 2000 severely degraded outdoor recreation in parts of the Jemez, but there are still plenty of opportunities.
  • The Sandia Mountains near Albuquerque, and their southern extension into the Manzano Mountains, offer hiking and rock climbing. The La Luz Trail enters the mountains from Albuquerque itself and is possibly the most-used trail in the state. Hiking is usually feasible practically year-round, although snow will be sufficient in some but not all winters to make the high-country trails impassable.
  • The Gila Wilderness, in the southwest region near Silver City, is the largest roadless area in the state. Many of the trailheads into the Gila are remote and hard to reach, but as compensation offer a chance to get away from the crowds. Generally hikeable year-round, although the lower elevations will be uncomfortably hot in mid-summer.
  • The Organ Mountains, in the southern part of the state, have several hiking trails close to major towns (notably Las Cruces), as well as spectacular rock climbing. Visit the Organs in fall, winter or spring; they're not high enough to escape the fierce heat of the summer.
  • White Sands National Monument is a white dune-covered area in the middle of a desert valley with lower-key hiking than the committal mountain trails. Picnics are common, and adults and children alike love to climb the snowy white hills of beach-like sand. Go in fall or winter; wind is nasty in spring, and it's blazing hot in the summer.
  • Sugarite State Park near Raton was named a Top Ten state park in the nation by Camping Life Magazine. Visitors can explore the remains of the historic Sugarite Coal Camp, hike, fish, or camp.

Ski

Alpine skiing [7] is popular in New Mexico and is much more widely available than the state's desert image would suggest. Most of the state's ski areas are in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the north central part of the state, the best known being at Taos and Santa Fe. However, there are also interesting areas near Los Alamos in the Jemez Mountains, in the Sandia Mountains above Albuquerque, and at Ruidoso in the southeastern part of the state.

Nordic (cross-country) skiing is also widely practiced, although snow conditions are marginal in some years. The most reliable snow for Nordic skiing is near Cumbres Pass on the Colorado state line near Chama. There is usually enough snow around Taos for Nordic work, and Enchanted Forest Nordic Ski Center near Red River maintains an extensive network of groomed trails. Nordic skiing at Bandelier National Monument and Valles Caldera National Preserve in the Jemez Mountains is of variable quality; the scenery is gorgeous, but snowpack varies greatly from year to year and may be insufficient to allow much skiing.

Two things to keep in mind if you're coming to New Mexico to ski: First, check on snow conditions before coming. Snowfall varies wildly from year to year in this area. The resulting variations in snowpack are such that even Taos may have marginal conditions, and some of the lower areas may not be open at all. On the other hand, if you come in a good snow year, conditions will be among the best in the world, so it's worth your time to do some research on conditions. Second, the ski areas are at high altitude by the standards of most of the world's Alpine ski resorts. If you're prone to altitude sickness, take precautions before coming, and spend a day or two acclimatizing in the towns before you start to ski.

Eat

A distinctive regional cuisine has developed in New Mexico. Often considered a subset of "Mexican" food, "New Mexican" cooking is characterized by:

  • First and foremost, chile peppers. New Mexico chiles, despite their reputation, are generally not as hot as habaneros and some Asian peppers, although their spiciness can still come as quite a jolt to the palate unused to spicy foods. Chiles are green for most of their growing life but turn red and dry out as they mature, and can be picked and cooked either "red" or "green." When you order a New Mexican dish in a restaurant, you'll be asked whether you prefer red or green sauce, referring to the color -- maturity -- of the peppers used to prepare the sauce. Green is usually hotter than red, but it depends on the seasons it was grown. They both have distinctive flavors; try both while you're here. The difference of red and green chile can also refer to how the chile will be served. In some instances, red chile will come as a sauce while green chile will come chopped or whole. (Incidentally, "red" chile has nothing at all in common with the red "chili" -- note spelling -- typical of Tex-Mex-style Mexican food, which is generally scoffed at in New Mexico.) The small town of Hatch, near Las Cruces, is famous for its chile farms, and is a good place to pick up some chile to take home.
  • The sopaipilla, a light, puffy fry bread that can be served as a side dish or turned into an entree by stuffing it with meat, cheese, beans and chile peppers. The stuffed sopaipilla is perhaps the quintessential New Mexican dish and is most commonly seen in the northern half of the state (southerly restaurants are more likely to involve tortillas as the table bread, as in the cuisine of "old" Mexico). As a dessert, sopaipillas are often topped with sugar and honey.
  • "Blue corn," which is just what it sounds like: corn in which the kernels, and resulting corn meal, have a distinctive bluish color. Tortillas made with blue corn differ from the usual tortillas not only to the eye but also to the palate, with a pleasingly gritty consistency and slightly "nutty" taste. Enchiladas made with blue-corn-meal tortillas are characteristic of Santa Fe and environs and have become trendy on a national if not world-wide level.
  • Piñon nuts, the fruit of the scruffy little piñon pine tree that is widespread in the state. These can be eaten as snacks or as components of dishes, particularly some of the upper-end "Southwestern" cuisine.

These components merge into a cuisine that ranges from utterly basic, everyday-lunch fare (served almost everywhere in the state) to incredibly elaborate "Southwestern" meals with any number of exotic variations and add-ons. Santa Fe is justly famous for its rich assortment of New Mexican and Southwestern restaurants, but don't eat New Mexican food just there; there are a number of subtle variations in New Mexican cooking in the different regions of the state (for example, topping enchiladas with a fried egg is characteristic of southern New Mexican food but rare in the north), and you'll be well advised to experiment locally.

  • Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces are the only cities large enough to have significant night life. However, several of the American Indian pueblos operate casinos that bring in name-brand entertainment. The casinos themselves are controversial locally because of problems with patrons with gambling addictions, but the entertainment can be reasonably good.
  • There are a surprising number of acceptable wineries in New Mexico, concentrated mainly in the north central region, but there are several others in the middle Rio Grande valley, between Albuquerque and Socorro.
  • The wine- and fruit-based beverage known as sangría, more commonly associated with Spain, is also widespread in New Mexico. Most restaurants with a liquor license that serve New Mexican cuisine will also serve sangría.
  • One warning: small-town bars here, particularly in the northern part of the state, are not always good places for the out-of-state visitor to hang out. For one thing, northern New Mexico has significant problems with drunk driving, and the concentration of intoxicated drivers is high close to small-town bars. For another, there have been ethnic tensions intermittently in this part of the state that have led to serious bar fights, some of which have involved visitors. Tread carefully.
  • Albuquerque has a crime rate that is higher than average for an American city, but most of it is property crime that affects residents more than visitors. The "South Valley" and the region between the University of New Mexico and Kirtland Air Force Base (as well as the infamous "War Zone" near the state fairgrounds, the site of some nasty drug-related crime) are best avoided by solitary travelers after dark. Otherwise there are no specific violent-crime issues that unduly threaten the visitor.
  • Illegal immigrants are a problem in the southern region of the state, although less of one than in neighboring Arizona. Use caution when picking up hitchhikers (or hitchhiking yourself) here. There are checkpoints along major highways leading north, at which the Border Patrol checks vehicles for illegal passengers. Behave sensibly at them and you won't have any problems.
  • There are some social problems associated with the drug trade that may create unpleasant situations for the unwary visitor in some areas. The world-wide cautions regarding packages from strangers, etc., apply here too, and in addition, some caution is indicated in rural areas of the north central and northwestern regions. The former is a notorious "pipeline" for narcotics entering the country from Mexico, and you really don't want to blunder into a drug deal being transacted in the hinterlands. The main drug-related hazard in the rugged northwest is that it is a "drop zone" for contraband delivered by light plane. If you see a small plane drop below the local horizon when you know there is no airport around, don't investigate; chances are good that a shipment of something illegal has just been delivered to waiting, unfriendly people on the ground. This is less of a problem today than 20 years ago, but can still lead to decidedly hairy situations.
  • Drunk driving is a notorious social problem in New Mexico, particularly in the northern half of the state. There is no hour of the day, and no road, immune to DUI. Simply drive defensively.
  • Disease: New Mexico made unpleasant headlines a few years ago owing to an outbreak of the "Sin Nombre" hantaviral lung disease that claimed some lives and depressed the tourist industry. Realistically, however, hantavirus is of very little concern to the traveler, as is the better-known bubonic plague that is endemic in the state's rodent population. Sensible precautions apply here as anywhere else (don't handle dead animals, don't poke around in animal dens, etc.), but these just aren't major concerns. Much more prevalent, if less threatening, is the Giardia parasite that causes gastro-intestinal disturbances; to avoid it, purify water if backpacking or camping. Tap water state-wide is generally safe.
  • Most of the state is high desert. When out and about, use sun screen, and if hiking, carry more water than you think you'll need. It's wise to wear long pants when hiking (particularly off-trail) in the desert, even if they're uncomfortably warm; most of the desert flora and fauna are thorny, spiny or venomous, and long pants will help keep you from being stuck or bitten. (Don't worry unduly about rattlesnakes, though; many long-time residents of the state have never seen one, and bites are rare.) If bicycling, beware the dreaded "goat head," an invasive weed whose seeds, distributed in the fall, seem tailor-made for puncturing bike tires -- they look like a miniature version of the caltrops used in ancient days to hinder passage of foot soldiers. Carry a patch kit and a spare tube, particularly in the fall.
  • The mountains of the north (and some near Alamogordo in the south) are high enough to create hazards from altitude sickness and some other environmental threats. The high peaks create thunderstorms in the summer, so that the wise hiker is off the summits by 1 p.m. or so to avoid lightning strikes. Avalanches are fairly common in the Sangre de Cristos during the winter, and can occur in some of the other ranges.

Get out

If you're planning on crossing into Mexico, the crossings at Juarez (reached via El Paso or Santa Teresa) are far busier than the one near Columbus, with all that that entails -- longer lines on the US side, but more to do once you're over the border. The mercado is busy, schlocky, and colorful. One warning: drinking age in Juarez is 18, and on weekends, many younger students at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, and at colleges in El Paso, make the pilgrimage to indulge. Traffic back into Las Cruces can be frightening at such times. Be cautious.

Some destinations in other states that are close to their borders with New Mexico and hence reachable as day excursions are (clockwise from the southwest corner):

This is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Map of US highlighting New Mexico

Etymology

Named in 1598 after Mexico City; from Nahuatl mexihco.

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Singular
New Mexico

Plural
-

New Mexico

  1. A state of the United States of America. Capital: Santa Fe.

Derived terms

Translations

See also

External links


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

State of New Mexico
Estado de Nuevo México
Flag of New Mexico State seal of New Mexico
Flag of New Mexico SealImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
Nickname(s)Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif: Land of Enchantment / Tierra del Encanto
Motto(s)Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif: Crescit eundo
Map of the United States with New Mexico highlighted
CapitalImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Santa Fe
Largest cityImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Albuquerque
Largest metro areaImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Albuquerque metropolitan area
AreaImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  Ranked 5thImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
 - Total 121,665 sq miImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
(315,194 km²Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif)
 - Width 342 miles (550 kmImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif)
 - Length 370 miles (595 km)
 - % water 0.2
 - Latitude 31° 20′ N to 37° N
 - Longitude 103° W to 109° 3′ W
PopulationImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  Ranked 36thImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
 - Total (2000Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif) 1,928,384
 - DensityImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif 14.98/sq mi 
5.79/km² (45th)
ElevationImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  
 - Highest point Wheeler Peak[1]
13,161 ft  (4,011 m)
 - Mean 5,692 ft  (1,735 m)
 - Lowest point Red Bluff Reservoir[1]
2,842 ft  (866 m)
Admission to UnionImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif  January 6, 1912 (47th)
GovernorImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Bill Richardson (D)
U.S. SenatorsImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Pete Domenici (R)
Jeff Bingaman (D)
Congressional DelegationImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif ListImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
Time zoneImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Abbreviations NMImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif US-NMImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
Web site www.newmexico.gov

The State of New Mexico (njuːˈmɛksəkoʊ) is a state in the southwestern region of the United States of America. Over its relatively long history it has been inhabited by Native American populations and has been part of the Imperial Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory. Among U.S. states, New Mexico has simultaneously the highest percentage of Hispanic Americans (comprised of both recent immigrants and descendants of Spanish colonists) and the second-highest percentage of Native Americans after Alaska (mostly Navajo and Pueblo peoples). As a result, the demographics and culture of the state are unique for their strong Spanish, Mexican, and American Indian cultural influences. The climate of the state is highly arid and its territory is mostly covered by mountains and desert. At a population density of 15 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth most sparsely inhabited U.S. State.

Contents

Geography

Desert scene approx. 20 miles (32 km) South of Santa Fe
Further information: List of New Mexico countiesImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
Digitally colored elevation map of NM

The state's total area is 121,66 square miles. The eastern border of New Mexico lies along 103° W longitude with the state of Oklahoma, and three miles (5 km) west of 103° W longitude with Texas. On the southern border, Texas makes up the eastern two-thirds, while the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora make up the western third, with Chihuahua making up about 90% of that. The western border with Arizona runs along the 109° 03' W longitude. The 37° N latitude parallel forms the northern boundary with Colorado. The states New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah come together at the Four Corners in the northwestern corner of New Mexico. The fact that New Mexico, a large state has little water. It's srface water area is only about 250 Suqare miles. New Mexico's average precipitation rate is only 15 inches a year.

The landscape ranges from wide, rose-colored deserts to broken mesas to high, snow-capped peaks. Despite New Mexico's arid image, heavily forested mountain wildernesses cover a significant portion of the state, especially towards the north. The Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) Mountains, the southernmost part of the Rocky Mountains, run roughly north-south along the east side of the Rio Grande in the rugged, pastoral north. The most important of New Mexico's rivers are the Rio Grande, Pecos, Canadian, San Juan, and Gila. The Rio Grande is the third longest river in the U.S. It's also the state's main river.

Cacti, yuccas, creosote bush, sagebrush, and desert grasses cover the broad, semiarid plains that cover the southern portion of the state.

The Federal government protects millions of acres of New Mexico as national forests including:

Other protected lands include the following national monuments:

A scene of Northern New Mexico, often noted for being somewhat wetter and cooler than the central and southern regions.

Visitors also frequent the surviving native pueblos of New Mexico. Tourists visiting these sites bring significant monies to the state. Other areas of geographical and scenic interest include Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument and the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The Gila Wilderness lies in the southwest of the state.

See also: Delaware Basin

History

Main article: History of New Mexico
Wagon in the mechanics corral of Fort Union National Monument, New Mexico

The first known inhabitants of New Mexico were members of the Clovis culture of Paleo-Indians. Indeed the culture is named for the New Mexico city where the first artifacts of this culture were discovered. Later inhabitants include Native Americans of the Anasazi and the Mogollon cultures. By the time of European contact in the 1500s, the region was settled by the villages of the Pueblo peoples and groups of Navajo, Apache and Ute.

Francisco Vasquez de Coronado assembled an enormous expedition at Compostela in 1540–1542 to explore and find the mystical Seven Golden Cities of Cibola as described by Cabeza de Vaca who had just arrived from his eight-year ordeal traveling from Florida to Mexico. Coronado's men found several mud baked pueblos in 1541, but found no rich cities of gold. Further widespread expeditions found no fabulous cities anywhere in the Southwest or Great Plains. A dispirited and now poor Coronado and his men began their journey back to Mexico leaving New Mexico behind.

Over 50 years after Coronado, Juan de Oñate founded the San Juan colony on the Rio Grande in 1598, the first permanent European settlement in the future state of New Mexico. Oñate pioneered the grandly named El Camino Real, "The Royal Road", as a 700 mile (1,100 km) trail from the rest of New Spain to his remote colony. Oñate was made the first governor of the new Province of New Mexico. The Native Americans at Acoma revolted against this Spanish encroachment but faced severe suppression.

Pueblo Ruins at Aztec Ruins National Monument.

In 1609, Pedro de Peralta, a later governor of the Province of New Mexico, established the settlement of Santa Fe at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The city, along with most of the settled areas of the state, was abandoned by the Spanish for 12 years (1680-1692) as a result of the successful Pueblo Revolt. After the death of the Pueblo leader Popé, Diego de Vargas restored the area to Spanish rule. While developing Santa Fe as a trade center, the returning settlers founded the old town of Albuquerque in 1706, naming it for the viceroy of New Spain, the Duke of Alburquerque.

Mexican province

As a part of New Spain, the claims for the province of New Mexico passed to independent Mexico following the 1810-1821 Mexican War of Independence. During the brief 26 year period of nominal Mexican control, Mexican authority and investment in New Mexico were weak, as their often conflicted government had little time or interest in a New Mexico that had been poor since the Spanish settlements started. Some Mexican officials, saying they were wary of encroachments by the growing United States, and wanting to reward themselves and their friends, began issuing enormous land grants (usually free) to groups of Mexican families as an incentive to populate the province.

Small trapping parties from the United States had previously reached and stayed in Santa Fe, but the Spanish authorities officially forbade them to trade. Trader William Becknell returned to the United States in November 1821 with news that independent Mexico now welcomed trade through Santa Fe.

William Becknell left Independence, for Santa Fe early in 1822 with the first party of traders. The Santa Fe Trail trading company, headed by the brothers Charles Bent and William Bent and Ceran St. Vrain, was one of the most successful in the West. They had their first trading post in the area in 1826, and, by 1833, they had built their adobe fort and trading post called Bent's Fort on the Arkansas River. This fort and trading post, located about 200 miles (322 km) east of Taos, was the only place settled by whites along the Santa Fe trail before it hit Taos. The Santa Fe National Historic Trail follows the route of the old trail, with many sites marked or restored.

Route of the Old Spanish Trail

The Spanish Trail from Los Angeles to Santa Fe was primarily used by Hispanics, white traders and ex-trappers living part of the year in or near Santa Fe. Started in about 1829, the trail was an arduous 2,400 (3862 km) mile round trip pack train sojourn that extended into Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California and back, allowing only one hard round trip per year. The trade consisted primarily of blankets and some trade goods from Santa Fe being traded for horses in California.

The Republic of Texas claimed the mostly vacant territory north and east of the Rio Grande when it successfully seceded from Mexico in 1836. New Mexico authorities captured a group of Texans who embarked an expedition to assert their claim to the province in 1841.

American territory

Following the Mexican-American War, from 1846-1848 and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, Mexico forcibly ceded its mostly unsettled northern holdings, today known as the American Southwest and California to the United States of America in exchange for an end to hostilities, the evacuation of Mexico City and many other areas under American control. Mexico also received $15 million cash, plus the assumption of slightly more than $3 million in outstanding Mexican debts.

The Congressional Compromise of 1850 halted a bid for statehood under a proposed antislavery constitution. Texas transferred eastern New Mexico to the federal government, settling a lengthy boundary dispute. Under the compromise, the American government established the Territory of New Mexico on September 9, 1850. The territory, which included most of the future states of Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado, officially established its capital at Santa Fe in 1851.

The United States acquired the southwestern boot heel of the state and southern Arizona below the Gila river in the mostly desert Gadsden Purchase of 1853. This purchase was desired when it was found that a much easier route for a proposed transcontinental railroad was located slightly south of the Gila river. The Southern Pacific built the second transcontinental railroad though this purchased land in 1881.

During the American Civil War, Confederate troops from Texas briefly occupied the Rio Grande valley as far north as Santa Fe. Union troops from the Territory of Colorado re-captured the territory in March 1862 at the Battle of Glorieta Pass. The Territory of Arizona was split off as a separate territory on February 24, 1863.

1867 map

There were centuries of conflict between the Apache, the Navajo and Spanish-Mexican settlements in the territory. It took the federal government another 25 years after the Civil War to exert control over both the civilian and Native American populations of the territory. This started in 1864 when the Navajo were sent on "The Long Walk" to Bosque Redondo Reservation and then returned to most of their lands in 1868. The Apache were moved to various reservations and Apache wars continued until Geronimo finally surrendered in 1886.

The railway encouraged the great cattle boom of the 1880s and the development of accompanying cow towns. The cattle barons could not keep out sheepherders, and eventually homesteaders and squatters overwhelmed the cattlemen by fencing in and plowing under the "sea of grass" on which the cattle fed. Conflicting land claims led to bitter quarrels among the original Spanish inhabitants, cattle ranchers, and newer homesteaders. Despite destructive overgrazing, ranching survived and remains a mainstay of the New Mexican economy.

Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico, on the middle Rio Grande, was incorporated in 1889.

Statehood

Congress admitted New Mexico as the 47th state in the Union on January 6, 1912. The admission of the neighboring State of Arizona on February 14, 1912 completed the contiguous 48 states.

The United States government built the Los Alamos Research Center in 1943 amid the Second World War. Top-secret personnel there developed the atomic bomb, first detonated at Trinity site in the desert on the White Sands Proving Grounds between Socorro and Alamogordo on July 16, 1945.

Albuquerque expanded rapidly after the war. High-altitude experiments near Roswell in 1947 reputedly led to persistent but unproven suspicions that the government captured and concealed extraterrestrial corpses and equipment. The state quickly emerged as a leader in nuclear, solar, and geothermal energy research and development. The Sandia National Laboratories, founded in 1949, carried out nuclear research and special weapons development at Kirtland Air Force Base south of Albuquerque and at Livermore.

Located in the remote Chihuahuan Desert the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is located 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Carlsbad. Here nuclear wastes are buried deep in carved out salt formation disposal rooms mined 2,150 feet (655 m) underground in a 2,000-foot (610 m) thick salt formation that has been stable for more than 200 million years. WIPP began operations on March 26, 1999.

Demographics

New Mexico Population Density Map

(See also List of cities in New Mexico and New Mexico locations by per capita income) As of 2005, New Mexico has an estimated population of 1,928,384, which is an increase of 25,378, or 1.3%, from the prior year and an increase of 109,338, or 6.0%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 74,397 people (that is 143,617 births minus 69,220 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 37,501 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 27,974 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 9,527 people.

The center of population of New Mexico is located in Torrance County, in the town of Manzano.[2]

As of 2004, 27% of the residents of the state were foreign-born, and more than 2% of state residents were illegal immigrants.


{{US DemogTable|New Mexico|03-35.csv|= | 86.64| 2.48| 10.67| 1.51| 0.19|= | 40.56| 0.49| 1.14| 0.21| 0.08|= | 85.85| 2.85| 10.99| 1.66| 0.20|= | 41.74| 0.69| 1.09| 0.23| 0.09|= | 5.05| 21.88| 9.19| 16.09| 8.63|= | 1.48| 14.84| 10.16| 15.68| 4.63|= | 9.10| 50.54| 1.12| 18.71| 14.27}} According to the Census Bureau, 1.5% of the population is Multiracial/Mixed-Race, a population larger than both the Asian and NHPI population groups. New Mexico has the highest percentage of people of Hispanic ancestry of any state, some recent immigrants and others descendants of Spanish colonists. The state also has a large Native American population, third behind Alaska and Oklahoma. Hispanics of colonial ancestry, along with recent Mexican immigrants, are present in most of the state, especially northern, central, and northeastern New Mexico. Mexican immigrants, legal or illegal, are prominent in southern parts of the state. Descendants of white American settlers, mostly of Irish and English descent, from other parts of United States live in west, southwest, and southeast areas and main cities of the state. The northwestern corner of the state is primarily occupied by Native Americans, of which Navajos and Pueblos are the largest tribes. As a result, the demographics and culture of the state are unique for their strong American, Colonial Spanish, Mexican, and Native American cultural influences.

Ancestry groups

According to the U.S. Census, the largest ancestry groups in New Mexico are:

Ancestry Percentage Main article:
Template:Country data Mexico Mexican (18.1%) of Total See Mexican American
Flag of the United States Native American (10.3%) See Native American
Template:Country data Germany German (9.8%) See German American
Hispanic flag Hispanic (9.4%) See Hispanic American
Template:Country data Spain Spanish (9.3%) See Spanish American
Template:Country data England English (7.6%) See English American
Template:Country data Republic of Ireland Irish (7.3%) See Irish American

Many are mixtures of all of these groups and others.

7.2% of New Mexico's population was reported as under 5 years of age, 28% under 18, and 11.7% were 65 or older. Females make up approximately 50.8% of the population.

Languages

According the 2000 U.S. Census, 28.76% of the population aged 5 and over speak Spanish at home, while 4.07% speak Navajo.[3]

New Mexico is commonly thought to have Spanish as an official language alongside English, due to the widespread usage of Spanish in the state. Although the original state constitution of 1912 provided for a temporarily bilingual government, New Mexico has no official language. Nevertheless, the state government publishes election ballots and a driver's manual in both languages.

January 6, 1912 Statehood Proclamation signed by President Taft

The constitution provided that, for the following twenty years, all laws passed by the legislature be published in both Spanish and English, and thereafter as the legislature should provide.

Prior to 1967, notices of statewide and county elections were required to be printed in English and "may be printed in Spanish." Additionally, many legal notices today are required to be published in both English and Spanish.[4]

In 1995, New Mexico adopted a "State Bilingual Song," titled "New Mexico - Mi Lindo Nuevo México."

Religion

New Mexico has the highest percentage of Catholics of any Western U.S state. In comparison to other U.S. states, and like many other states in the region, New Mexico has a higher-than-average percentage of people who claim no religion.Template:Citeneeded

Within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, New Mexico belongs to the Ecclesiastical Province of Santa Fe. New Mexico has three dioceses, one of which is an archdiocese:

Economy

The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that New Mexico's total state product in 2003 was $57 billion. Per capita personal income in 2003 was $24,995, 48th in the nation.[5]

New Mexico Industries by 2004 Taxable Gross Receipts (000s)
Retail Trade 12,287,061
Construction 5,039,555
Other Services (excluding Public Administration) 4,939,187
Professional, Scientific and Technology Services 3,708,527
Accommodation and Food Services 2,438,460
Wholesale Trade 2,146,066
Health Care and Social Assistance 1,897,471
Utilities 1,654,483
Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction 1,238,211
Manufacturing 926,372
Information and Cultural Industries 849,902
Unclassified Establishments 725,405
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 544,739
Finance and Insurance 254,223
Transportation and Warehousing 221,457
Public Administration 159,013
Educational Services 125,649
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation 124,017
Admin & Support, Waste Management & Remediation 73,062
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting 71,853
Management of Companies and Enterprises 48,714

Totals 39,473,429
Source: State of New Mexico Department of Labor
  • Cattle and dairy products top the list of major animal products of New Mexico. Cattle, sheep, and other livestock graze most of the arable land of the state throughout the year.
  • Limited, scientifically controlled dryland farming prospers alongside cattle ranching. Major crops include hay, nursery stock, pecans, and chile peppers. Hay and sorghum top the list of major dryland crops. Farmers also produce onions, potatoes, and dairy products. New Mexico specialty crops include piñon nuts, pinto beans, and chiles.
  • The Carlsbad and Fort Sumner reclamation projects on the Pecos River and the nearby Tucumcari project provide adequate water for limited irrigation in those areas of the desert and semiarid portions of the state where scant rainfall evaporates rapidly, generally leaving insufficient water supplies for large-scale irrigation.. Located upstream of Las Cruces, the Elephant Butte Reservoir provides a major irrigation source for the extensive farming along the Rio Grande. Other irrigation projects use the Colorado River basin and the San Juan River.
  • Lumber mills in Albuquerque process pinewood, the chief commercial wood of the rich timber economy of northern New Mexico.
  • Mineral extraction: New Mexicans derive much of their income from mineral extraction. Even before European exploration, Native Americans mined turquoise for making jewelry.[6] After the Spanish introduced refined silver alloys they were incorporated into the Indian jewelry designs. New Mexico produces uranium ore, manganese ore, potash, salt, perlite, copper ore, beryllium, and tin concentrates. Natural gas, petroleum, and coal are also found in smaller quantities.
  • Industrial output, centered around Albuquerque, includes electric equipment; petroleum and coal products; food processing; printing and publishing; and stone, glass, and clay products. Defense-related industries include ordnance. Important high-technology industries include lasers, data processing, and solar energy.
  • Federal government spending is a major driver of the New Mexico economy. The federal government spends $2 on New Mexico for every dollar of tax revenue collected from the state. This rate of return is higher than any other state in the Union. [1]. The federal government also a major employer in New Mexico providing more than a quarter of the state's jobs. Many of the federal jobs relate to the military; the state hosts three air force bases (Kirtland Air Force Base, Holloman Air Force Base, and Cannon Air Force Base); a testing range (White Sands Missile Range); an army proving ground and maneuver range (Fort Bliss Military Reservation - McGregor Range);national observatories; and the technology labs of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). SNL conducts electronic and industrial research on Kirtland AFB, on the southeast side of Albuquerque. These installations also include the missile and spacecraft proving grounds at White Sands. In addition to the military employers, other federal agencies such as the National Park Service, the United States Forest Service, and the United States Bureau of Land Management are a big part of the states rural employment base.
  • Virgin Galactic, the first space tourism company to develop commercial flights into space, has decided to put its world headquarters and mission control in Upham (25 miles (40 km) south of Truth or Consequences); Virgin Galactic will have its inaugural launch of the VSS Enterprise spaceship in 2008, and will begin launching ordinary citizens in early 2009.[7][8][9]
  • Tourism provides many service jobs. For top attractions see: Tourism.
  • Private service economy in urban New Mexico, especially in Albuquerque, has boomed in recent decades. Since the end of World War II, the city has gained an ever-growing number of retirees, especially among armed forces veterans and government workers. It is also increasingly gaining notice as a health conscious community, and contains many hospitals and a high per capita number of massage and alternative therapists. The warm, semiarid climate has contributed to the exploding population of Albuquerque, attracting new industries to New Mexico. By contrast, many heavily Native American and Hispanic rural communities remain economically underdeveloped.
  • Feature films have used New Mexico as a location since The Indian School in 1898. Financial incentives[10]
  • Film and television post-production is also growing with companies such as Sony Imageworks establishing a permanent home in the state.[11]

Taxes

  • Personal income tax rates for New Mexico range from 1.7% to 5.3%, within 4 income brackets.
  • New Mexico does not have a sales tax. Instead, it has a 5% gross receipts tax. In almost every case, the business passes along the tax to the consumer, so that the gross receipts tax resembles a sales tax. The combined gross receipts tax rate varies throughout the state from 5.125% to 7.8125%. The total rate is a combination of all rates imposed by the state, counties and municipalities. Beginning Jan. 1, 2005, New Mexicans no longer pay taxes on most food purchases; however, there are exceptions to this program. Also beginning Jan. 1, 2005, the state eliminated the tax on certain medical services.
  • In general, taxes are not assessed on personal property. Personal household effects, licensed vehicles, registered aircraft, certain personal property warehoused in the state and business personal property that is not depreciated for federal income tax purposes are exempt from the property tax.
  • Property tax rates vary substantially and depend on the type of property and its location. The state does not assess tax on intangible personal property. There is no inheritance tax, but an inheritance may be reflected in a taxpayer's modified gross income and taxed that way.

Largest employers

(Not ranked by size)

Source: Economic Research & Analysis Bureau New Mexico Department of Labor[12]

Transportation

Passenger trains

The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is a commuter rail system serving the metropolitan area of Albuquerque. It began operation on July 14, 2006. The system is in Phase I of planned development, operating on an existing BNSF Railway right of way from Belen to Bernalillo. Phase II, scheduled to open in 2008, will extend the line northward to Santa Fe.

Amtrak's Southwest Chief passes through daily at stations in Gallup, Albuquerque, Lamy, Las Vegas, and Raton, offering connections to Los Angeles, Flagstaff, Kansas City, and Chicago. The only true transcontinental train in the United States, The Sunset Limited makes stops three times a week in Lordsburg, and Deming.

Roadways

Gallup, New Mexico along old Route 66.
Interstate Freeways Interstate 10
Interstate 25
Interstate 40
U.S. Routes
East–West Routes
U.S. Route 550
U.S. Route 54
U.S. Route 56
U.S. Route 60
U.S. Route 62
U.S. Route 64
Old Highway 66
(Historic Route 66)
U.S. Route 70
U.S. Route 80
U.S. Route 180
U.S. Route 380
U.S. Route 82
U.S. Route 84
U.S. Routes
North–South Routes
U.S. Route 285
U.S. Route 491

See also: List of New Mexico highways

Law and government

The Constitution of 1912, as amended, dictates the form of government in the state.

Governor Bill Richardson and Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish, both Democrats, won re-election in 2006. Their terms expire in January 2011. Governors serve a term of four years and may seek reelection. For a list of past governors, see List of New Mexico Governors.

Other Constitutional officers, all of whose terms also expire in January 2011, include Secretary of State Mary Herrera,[13] Attorney General Gary King,[14] State Auditor Hector Balderos,[15] State Land Commissioner Pat Lyons,[16] and State Treasurer James B. Lewis.[17] Herrera, King, Balderos and Lewis are Democrats. Lyons is a Republican.

The New Mexico State Legislature is comprised of a 70-seat House of Representatives and a 42-seat Senate. The Democratic Party generally dominates state politics, and as of 2004 50% of voters were registered Democrats, 33% were registered Republicans, and 17% did not affiliate with either of the two major parties.

New Mexico sent Democrat Jeff Bingaman to the United States Senate until January 2013 and Republican Pete V. Domenici until January 2009. Republicans Steve Pearce and Heather Wilson and Democrat Tom Udall represent the state in the United States House of Representatives.

Politics

In national politics, New Mexico has given its electoral votes to all but two Presidential election winners since statehood. In these exceptions, New Mexicans supported Republican President Gerald Ford over Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter in 1976, and Democratic Vice President Al Gore over Texas Governor George W. Bush in 2000. No presidential candidate has won an absolute majority in New Mexico since George H. W. Bush in 1988, and no Democrat has done so since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. In the last four elections, New Mexico supported Democrats in 1992, 1996, and 2000. New Mexico was one of only two swing states to support Al Gore in 2000 and George Bush in 2004 (the other state was Iowa). In 2004, George W. Bush narrowly won the state's electoral votes by a margin of 0.8 percentage points with 49.8% of the vote. Democrat John Kerry won in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, two northwestern counties, and by large margins in six counties of Northern New Mexico (Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, Taos, Mora, San Miguel, and Guadalupe).

Major political parties in New Mexico include the Democratic and Republican Parties; minor qualified parties include the Green Party of New Mexico, the Constitution Party, and Libertarian Party.

Important cities and towns

New Mexico

New Mexico's largest cities are Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Rio Rancho, Roswell, and Farmington.

Further information: List of cities in New MexicoImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif

Military

In addition to the National Guard,New Mexico has a State Defense Force. It is also home to Cannon Air Force Base west of Clovis, Holloman Air Force Base west of Alamogordo, Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, and White Sands Missile Range in Doña Ana and Otero counties.

Education

Secondary education

Main article: List of high schools in New Mexico

Colleges and universities

Main article: List of colleges and universities in New Mexico

Miscellaneous topics

State symbols

State motto "Crescit eundo"
("It Grows as It Goes")
1912
State nicknames "Land of Enchantment"
(Spanish: "Tierra del Encanto" or "Tierra Encantada")
19_?
"The Colorful State" 19_?
"The Spanish State" 19_?
State songs "O Fair New Mexico" 1917
"Asi Es Nuevo México" 1971
"New Mexico-Mi Lindo Nuevo México" 1995
State flower Yucca flower 1927
State tree Two-Needle Piñon pine 1949
State bird Greater roadrunner 1949
State fish Cutthroat trout 1955
State animal black bear 1963
State vegetables frijoles con chile (frē∙hōl∙əs cōn chēlə) beans and chile pepper 1965
State gem turquoise 1967
State grass blue grama 1973
State fossil coelophysis 1981
State cookie bizcochito 1989
State insect tarantula wasp 1989
State ballad "Land of Enchantment" 1989
State poem A Nuevo México 1991
State question * "Red or Green?" 1999
State Tie Bolo Tie 2007
State ship "USS New Mexico (BB-40)" 1918–1946
"USS New Mexico (SSN-779)" **2006

(*)The official state question refers to a question commonly heard at restaurants, where waiters will ask customers "red or green?" in reference to which kind of chili pepper or "chile sauce" the customers wants served with their meal. This type of "chile" is usually distinct from salsa, as the chile sauce is much finer and thicker and more commonly served with meals. Natives are more likely to refer to the chili sauce put on their meal as just plain "chile", and not as any form of "salsa" (which is usually reserved by natives in English for the salsa served with chips; everything else is just "chile"). If the diner wants both they can answer with, "Christmas" (or "Navidad" in Spanish), in reference to the two traditional colors of Christmas—Red and Green.

(**)The second USS New Mexico, SSN-779, is scheduled to be constructed.

  • In 1947, a craft of unknown origin crashed at or near Roswell. Allegedly, in 1949, another craft of unknown origin crashed near this city.
  • Taos is known for a humming noise. See Taos Hum.

Culture

Symbols of the Southwest — a string of chili peppers and a blanched white cow's skull hang in a market near Santa Fe

With a Native American population of 134,000 in 1990, New Mexico still ranks as an important center of American Indian culture. Both the Navajo and Apache share Athabaskan origin. The Apache and some Ute live on federal reservations within the state. With 16 million acres (6,500,000 ha), mostly in neighboring Arizona, the reservation of the Navajo Nation ranks as the largest in the United States. The prehistorically agricultural Pueblo Indians live in pueblos scattered throughout the state, many older than any European settlement.

More than one-third of New Mexicans claim Hispanic origin, the vast majority of whom descend from the original Spanish colonists in the northern portion of the state. Most of the considerably fewer recent Mexican immigrants reside in the southern part of the state.

There are many New Mexicans who also speak a unique dialect of Spanish. New Mexican Spanish has vocabulary often unknown to other Spanish speakers. Because of the historical isolation of New Mexico from other speakers of the Spanish language, the local dialect preserves some late medieval Castillian vocabulary considered archaic elsewhere, adopts numerous Native American words for local features, and contains much Anglicized vocabulary for American concepts and modern inventions.

The presence of various indigenous Native American communities, the long-established Spanish and Mexican influence, and the diversity of Anglo-American settlement in the region, ranging from pioneer farmers and ranchers in the territorial period to military families in later decades, make New Mexico a particularly heterogeneous state.

There are natural history and atomic museums in Albuquerque, which also hosts the famed Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

A large artistic community thrives in Santa Fe. The capital city has museums of Spanish colonial, international folk, Navajo ceremonial, modern Native American, and other modern art. Another museum honors resident Georgia O'Keeffe. Colonies for artists and writers thrive, and the small city teems with art galleries. In August, the city hosts the annual Santa Fe Indian Market, which is the oldest and largest juried Native American art showcase in the world.

Performing arts include the renowned Santa Fe Opera which presents five operas in repertory each July to August, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival held each summer, and the restored Lensic Theater a principal venue for many kinds of performances. The weekend after Labor Day boasts the burning of Zozobra, a 50 ft (15 m) marionette, during Fiestas de Santa Fe.

Writer D. H. Lawrence lived near Taos in the 1920s at the D. H. Lawrence Ranch where there is a shrine said to contain his ashes.

Tourism

New Mexico tourist attractions:

Hasta la Vista

The state also has a number of casinos located on Native American Indian Reservations that attract thousands of visitors each year.

Notable New Mexicans

Main article: List of people from New Mexico

Many New Mexicans-those who were born, raised, or lived a significant period in New Mexico-have gained local, national, and international prominence. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is currently one of the candidates for the 2008 United States presidential election. Notable businessmen include Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, and Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotels Corporation. New Mexicans have also studied outer space, notably NASA astronauts Sidney M. Gutierrez and Harrison Schmitt. Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, a former New Mexico State University professor, discovered Pluto. Several New Mexicans have served roles in popular culture, including artist Georgia O'Keeffe, animator William Hanna, actor Neil Patrick Harris and actress Demi Moore, Pulitzer Prize winners Bill Mauldin and Ernie Pyle, and rapper Xzibit. Notorious criminals include outlaws Billy the Kid and Clay Allison.

See also

References

Further reading

  • Hubert Howe Bancroft. The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, Vol. XVII. (History of Arizona and New Mexico 1530-1888) (1889); reprint 1962. online edition
  • Warren Beck. Historical Atlas of New Mexico 1969.
  • Thomas E. Chavez, An Illustrated History of New Mexico, 267 pages, University of New Mexico Press 2002, ISBN 0-8263-3051-7
  • Joseph G. Dawdon III. Doniphan's Epic March; The 1st Missouri Volunteers in the Mexican War, Kansas Press [2]
  • Richard Ellis, ed. New Mexico Past and Present: A Historical Reader. 1971. primary sources
  • Lynne Marie Getz; Schools of Their Own: The Education of Hispanos in New Mexico, 1850-1940 (1997)
  • Erlinda Gonzales-Berry, David R. Maciel, editors, The Contested Homeland: A Chicano History of New Mexico, 314 pages - University of New Mexico Press 2000, ISBN 0-8263-2199-2
  • Nancie L. González; The Spanish-Americans of New Mexico: A Heritage of Pride (1969)
  • Ramón A. Gutiérrez; When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality, and Power in New Mexico, 1500-1846 (1991)
  • Paul L. Hain; F. Chris Garcia, Gilbert K. St. Clair; New Mexico Government 3rd ed. (1994)
  • Tony Hillerman, The Great Taos Bank Robbery and other Indian Country Affairs, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1973, trade paperback, 147 pages, (ISBN 0-8263-0530-X), stories
  • Jack E. Holmes, Politics in New Mexico (1967),
  • Paul Horgan, Great River, The Rio Grande in North American History, 1038 pages, Wesleyan University Press 1991, 4th Reprint, ISBN 0585380147 , Pulitzer Prize 1955
  • Sante Fe Trail: 72 References Kansas Historical Society [3]
  • Robert W. Kern, Labor in New Mexico: Strikes, Unions, and Social History, 1881-1981, University of New Mexico Press 1983, ISBN 0-8263-0675-6
  • Howard R. Lamar; The Far Southwest, 1846-1912: A Territorial History (1966, repr 2000)
  • Robert W. Larson, New Mexico's Quest for Statehood, 1846-1912 (1968)
  • John M. Nieto-Phillips, The Language of Blood: The Making of Spanish-American Identity in New Mexico, 1880s-1930s, University of New Mexico Press 2004, ISBN 08236324231
  • Marc Simmons, New Mexico: An Interpretive History, 221 pages, University of New Mexico Press 1988, ISBN 0-8263-1110-5
  • George I. Sánchez; Forgotten People: A Study of New Mexicans (1940; reprint 1996)
  • Marc Simmons, New Mexico: An Interpretive History, 221 pages, University of New Mexico Press 1988, ISBN 0-8263-1110-5, good introduction
  • Ferenc M. Szasz; and Richard W. Etulain; Religion in Modern New Mexico (1997)
  • David J. Weber, The Mexican Frontier, 1821-1846: The American Southwest under Mexico (1982)
  • David J. Weber; Foreigners in Their Native Land: Historical Roots of the Mexican Americans (1973), primary sources to 1912

External links

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Articles on this topic in other Wikimedia projects can be found at: New Mexico
Preceded by
Oklahoma
List of U.S. states by date of statehood
Admitted on January 6, 1912 (47th)
Succeeded by
Arizona

CoordinatesImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif: 34° N 106° W

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This article uses material from the "New Mexico" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

State of New Mexico
File:Flag of New [[File:|100px|State seal of New Mexico]]
Flag of New Mexico Seal of New Mexico
Also called: Land of Enchantment / Tierra del Encanto
Saying(s): Crescit undo
Capital Santa Fe
Largest city Albuquerque
Area  Ranked 5th
 - Total 121,665 sq mi
(315,194 km²)
 - Width 342 miles (550 km)
 - Length 370 miles (595 km)
 - % water 0.2
 - Latitude 31°20'N to 37°North
 - Longitude 103°W to 109°W
Number of people  Ranked 36th
 - Total (2010) {{{2010Pop}}}
 - Density {{{2010DensityUS}}}/sq mi 
{{{2010Density}}}/km² (45th)
Height above sea level  
 - Highest point Wheeler Peak[1]
13,161 ft  (4,014 m)
 - Average 5,692 ft  (1,735 m)
 - Lowest point Red Bluff Reservoir[1]
2,842 ft  (866 m)
Became part of the U.S.  January 6, 1912 (47th)
Governor Bill Richardson (D)
U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman (D)
Tom Udall (D)
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Abbreviations NM US-NM
Web site www.newmexico.gov

New Mexico is a state in the United States of America. It is considered part of the American Southwest and is bordered by Texas to the east, Oklahoma to the northeast, Colorado to the north, and Arizona to the west. The northwest corner of the state also touches Utah. This area is known as the Four Corners because four states meet there. The state is called Land of Enchantment / Tierra del Encanto

New Mexico became a state on January 6, 1912 and became the 47th state accepted into the United States. The state capital is Santa Fe. New Mexico's population is 1,819,046 and most of the people live in the biggest city, Albuquerque.

Interesting Places To Visit

New Mexico is home to 18 Native Americans tribes, across the state. Old Native American ruins, such as Chaco Canyon and Bandelier,were home to thousands of Native Americans hundreds and thousands of years ago.

The first nuclear weapon otherwise known as the atomic bomb was teated at Trinity test site at White Sands in southern New Mexico. 275 square miles are covered in white gypsum sand.

The Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Park has large rocks made of pumice and tuff. The rocks are shaped like teepees and have a large rock, a "hat" that sits on top.

Roswell New Mexico is home to the yearly UFO festival. Albuquerque hosts a Balloon Fiesta every year. Nearly 1 million people visit with over a thousand balloons participating. About 50 states and 20 countries come to Albuquerque for this event. Albuquerque is home to the Sandia Mountains and a 2.7 mile long tramway, the world's longest cable car.

The Gila National Forest is 3.3 million acres of wilderness open for camping, hiking and fishing. Carlsbad Caverns is also one of the most famous places in New Mexico. It has beautiful rock sculptures and is known around the world for its amazing sights.

References

Other websites

frr:New Mexico


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