Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Lincoln Water War.(New Mexico & Metro)

Byline: Story by Rene Romo * Photographs by Rose Palmisano * Of the Journal

Critics say planned golf course will drain scarce supplies

LINCOLN Racetrack owner R.D. Hubbard's investments in Ruidoso have been a welcome addition in this high-mountain resort town. Hubbard, who earned a fortune in glass manufacturing, bought Ruidoso Downs in 1988. He built the 18-hole Links at Sierra Blanca golf course, which opened in 1991, opened the Hubbard Museum of the American West in 1992 and opened the Billy the Kid Casino at the racetrack in 1999.

But a slew of protesters has lined up against Hubbard's latest project a world-class, 18-hole golf course in the Angus area called the Hideout of Lincoln County.

Developing and maintaining the exclusive, 7,300-yard-long course will require lots of water, and as so often happens in New Mexico, that spells a fight.

In August, Hubbard's representatives gained approval to change the well location for 53 acre-feet of water from the Hondo area to the golf course site, 20 miles west. An acre-foot is equal to 325,851 gallons, the amount needed to cover one acre with water 1 foot deep.

Now the Hubbard camp, in four separate applications, is seeking approval for changes in well locations for an additional 260 acre-feet of water. Capping the old wells and digging new ones miles upstream, opponents fear, would drain the little spring-fed Rio Bonito before it gets to the Lincoln area.

Downstream from the proposed golf course site, critics, including residents in the historic village of Lincoln, worry their water supplies will be affected and their future use threatened. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.