Watershed Restoration Workshops, August 15 and 29 Dixon, NM

Dixon, NM— The New Mexico State Land Office (NM SLO) and Forest Stewards Guild have partnered to implement several unique and innovative land restoration initiatives in the Rio de las Trampas and Lower Embudo Watersheds between Picuris Pueblo and Dixon. Their work is in response to ongoing accelerated soil loss and the growing threat of wildfire to forests and woodlands.

Funded by the US Forest Service’s Collaborative Forest Restoration Program (CFRP), Forest Stewards Guild has hired Jan-Willem Jansens of Ecotone to lead and evaluate a woodland restoration program across 50 acres of State Trust Lands. Requests for proposals will be distributed soon. Additionally, Ecotone and Forest Stewards Guild will present two pre-proposal training workshops for college students, local residents and contractors on State Trust Land east of Dixon on the application of a variety of area appropriate soil and water conservation and woodland restoration techniques.

On Saturday August 15 and August 29, 2015, starting at 9:00 am, workshop participants will learn and demonstrate smart approaches to land restoration in two full-day workshops. The workshops are meant to prepare local volunteers as well as prospective contractors to develop appropriate experience for the restoration of these sensitive woodlands in an attempt to stem erosion and bring back grass cover. The contractor selected for the job will apply the best practices across the 50-acre parcel as a model for future restoration work in the area.

The work will benefit a local grazing permittee and will help reduce sedimentation of roads and acequias downstream. “This unique approach will build local capacity and job opportunities and increase the resilience of our forests and watersheds” says Eytan Krasilovsky, the Southwestern Regional Director of the Forest Stewards Guild.

State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has prioritized watershed restoration as the main focus for natural resource management activities on state trust lands.  “This project is an example of working collaboratively to address watershed health and forest management, while reducing the potential for high severity fire,” Commissioner Dunn said. “We look forward to seeing positive results from these projects and will continue to actively treat watersheds on state trust land.”

This project is a first in a series of CFRP funded woodland restoration activities of the Forest Stewards Guild on NM SLO lands in the Rio de las Trampas Watershed area between 2015 and 2017, aimed at wildfire prevention and erosion control. The projects will cover 400 acres and will ultimately improve watershed health for local communities.

For more information, contact Eytan Krasilovsky at Forest Stewards Guild at eytan@forestguild.org (505-983-8992, xt16) or visit www.forestguild.org/RioTrampasWatershed.

For Reporters

Reporters and photographers are welcome to visit the project site in the afternoons of August 15 and 29. Please contact Eytan Krasilovsky for more details and to make an appointment.