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Governor Richardson Announces the Selection of 16 Watershed Restoration and Conservation Easement Projects

Projects Will Receive Nearly $5 Million

SANTA FE, NM – Governor Bill Richardson today announced the selection of 16 watershed restoration and land conservation projects in 11 counties which will be funded with nearly $5 million dollars appropriated to the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.


“These projects help us continue our legacy of conservation and provide outstanding opportunities to protect forests and watersheds, working farms and ranches, as well as habitat restoration and management to conserve our lands, waters, and wildlife,” said Governor Richardson.


The restoration and easement projects were selected from recommendations by two review panels comprising agency staff and private stakeholder representatives. There were 31 eligible proposals and applications that requested nearly $12 million in funds to conserve valuable lands and watershed systems.


“The selection process was difficult, because there were quality projects that we could not fund,” said Jim Noel, Cabinet Secretary for New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. “Through future funding of the Natural Heritage Conservation Act, we hope we can continue this important conservation work.”


The selected projects represent collaborative efforts among agencies, conservation organizations, and private landowners. These joint efforts provide an additional value of nearly $15 million of cash and in-kind contributions to achieve greater conservation accomplishments.


Seven conservation easement projects totaling nearly $3.5 million are directed at protecting ecological, scenic, agricultural, and cultural values on about 12,500 acres. Nine ecosystem restoration projects totaling about $1.3 million are directed at restoring degraded watershed conditions and aquatic values on innumerable acres of landscape and miles of riparian systems.


The selected conservation easement projects to protect ecological, agricultural, scenic, and cultural values involve six governmental entities and eight partner entities and include:


·        H Bar V Ranch (Catron Co.) – Department of Game and Fish and Badger Creek Corporation ($997,990)

·        Garcia Farmland (Sandoval Co.) – New Mexico Department of Agriculture and Rio Grande Agricultural Land Trust ($647,550)

·        Vallecitos High Country Ranch (Rio Arriba Co.) – State Forestry Division, U.S. Forest Service, and Trust for Public Land ($631,917)

·        River Ranch on the Mimbres (Grant Co. and Luna Co.) – State Parks Division and New Mexico Land Conservancy ($450,000)

·        Galisteo Springs (Santa Fe Co.) – New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs and Santa Fe Conservation Trust ($350,000)

·        Martinez Farmland (Taos Co.) – Taos Soil & Water Conservation District and Taos Land Trust ($218,425)

·        Shortes XX Ranch (Catron Co.) – State Forestry Division, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and New Mexico Land Conservancy ($200,000)


The selected ecosystem restoration projects working to restore aquatic systems involve three agencies, one pueblo, six other partner organizations, and many cooperators and include:


·        Kewa North Bosque Wetland Restoration and Demonstration (Sandoval Co.) – Kewa Pueblo ($228,018)

·        Upper Comanche Creek Ecosystem Restoration (Taos Co.) – The Quivira Coalition ($199,171)

·        La Mancha Wetlands (Doña Ana Co.) – Southwest Environmental Center ($199,000)

·        Rio Chama-El Vado Ecosystem Flow Optimization (Rio Arriba Co.) – Rio Grande Restoration ($189,386)

·        Rito Peñas Negras Riparian Restoration (Sandoval Co. and Rio Arriba Co.) – WildEarth Guardians ($146,950)

·        Ecological Restoration of the Swastika Mine and Downstream Riparian System (Colfax Co.) – Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department Abandoned Mine Land Program ($125,000)

·        Burro Cienega Restoration (Hidalgo Co.) – Upper Burro Cienega Watershed Association ($84,000)

·        Bar 6 Canyon Riparian Restoration (Grant Co.) – Upper Gila Watershed ($79,174)

·        La Plata Riparian Restoration and Outreach (San Juan Co.) – State Land Office and San Juan Soil & Water Conservation District ($64,505)





Gilbert Gallegos

Deputy Chief of Staff

Office of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson

(office) 505-476-2217

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