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Stream Classification of the Mora River in The Wind River Ranch near Watrous, New Mexico

During the third week of April 2010, the New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) Surface Hydrology and Watershed Management students, as supervised by, Dr. Craig Conely and Dr. Edward Martinez, studied the Mora River watershed by measuring flows and stream morphology characteristics. Largely, the Mora River watershed is located on the eastern slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the northeastern, New Mexico and is approximately 1,476-mi². The Mora River flows eastward into the plains of New Mexico and drains into the Canadian and Arkansas rivers. Recharge to the Mora River watershed occurs by means of surface waters. Agricultural activities such as livestock watering and irrigation are primary uses for the waters and drinking water is typically gained via groundwater. During the 2-day study, present-day conditional status evaluation of the river took place. The Mora River reach, after analysis, appeared to be recovering from disturbance. Natural ecologic recovery of the river determination involved measuring cross sectional profiles, longitudinal profiles, and recording parameters such as natural meanders and point bar development along the stream reach.

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