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600-Acre New Mexico Forestry/Mescalero Apache Tribe Watershed Restoration Project Underway

News Release - November 14, 2014

State of New Mexico
Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department

 

Susana Martinez
Governor 

David Martin
Cabinet Secretary

Brett F. Woods, Ph.D.
Deputy Cabinet Secretary


Tony Delfin, Division Director
State Forestry Division

 
November 14, 2014                                                                          
News Release
Contact: Dan Ware – Wildfire Prevention and Conservation Coordinator 505-476-3336/505-690-8210
daniel.ware@state.nm.us

 
600-Acre New Mexico Forestry/Mescalero Apache Tribe Watershed Restoration Project Underway
Mescalero, NM – Work on a 600-acre watershed restoration treatment project on Mescalero Apache
Tribal land using state severance tax funding has begun, according to the New Mexico State Forestry
Division.

The goal of the project is to reduce tree density and lower the threat of catastrophic wildfire,
while promoting forest health in three critical watershed areas on tribal land.

“Interagency collaboration is vital when it comes to projects that promote forest and watershed
health in populated areas,” said New Mexico State Forestry Capitan District Timber Management
Officer Frank Silva. “This watershed project will not only protect vital watersheds on Mescalero
Tribal land, but will also help protect surrounding communities and natural resources on public and
private lands downstream from the project site.”

Funding for the Mescalero Apache Tribe Watershed Restoration Project was approved by Governor
Martinez during the 2014 legislative session as a part of $6.2 million in severance tax dollars to
be used to treat approximately 7,700 acres of 14 high priority watershed areas on public lands, as
identified in the New Mexico Forest Action Plan.

The Mescalero Apache Tribe Watershed Restoration Project will target three watersheds listed as
high priority by New Mexico State Forestry, as part of a statewide assessment that looked at
watershed areas that are considered at-risk. The project, which is planned to be completed within
two years, will utilize mechanical equipment to reduce overly dense fuel stands. Smaller diameter
trees will be cut and scattered through the area as a natural way to prevent erosion.

This treatment supports water quality objectives, promotes the growth of native vegetation and
creates a forest ecosystem that is more resilient to fire.

New Mexico State Forestry is involved in the implementation of many other healthy forest projects
including Governor Susana Martinez’s water initiatives to protect and promote healthy watersheds.


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The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department provides resource protection and renewable
energy resource development services to the public and other state agencies.

                         1220 South St. Francis Drive ▪ Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
              Phone (505) 476-3325 ▪ Fax (505) 476-3330 ▪ www.emnrd.state.nm.us/sfd

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