The Santa Fe National Forest is hosting three educational field trips into the Southwest Jemez Mountains Landscape Restoration project area.
These field trips are designed to provide on-the-ground information about the project. Participants will be guided through the area to see and learn about existing conditions, desired conditions, ecosystem function, treatments that have been accomplished, and engage in interactive conversation with Forest personnel about the project.
“We are in the process of drafting a proposal to treat approximately 110,000 acres of National Forest System lands to improve resilience and restore function to forest, woodland and riparian ecosystems and we want to involve the public in the process and show how treated areas will look in contrast to non-treated areas,” said Forest Supervisor, Maria T. Garcia.
Field trip dates are: Saturday, June 2; Saturday, June 30; and Saturday, July 14. Trips will start and end at the Walatowa Visitor Center located at 7413 off NM 4 in Jemez Springs. The field trips will start at 9:30 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. Two of the trips, June 30 and July 14, will be four to six mile moderate hiking trips; the other will be a van ride with stops. There is a limit of 30 people per trip and selections will be made according to the order in which registration forms are received.
Registration forms will be available May 9 through May 25, between 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., at the Santa Fe National Forest Headquarters located at 11 Forest Lane in southwest Santa Fe and at the Jemez Ranger Station located at 051 Woodsy Lane in Jemez Springs. Registration forms are also available online at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/sfe/jemez_mtn_rest/index.html. All forms, including those received through e-mail, must be mailed and postmarked or hand-carried no later than May 25. By May 31, everyone who was selected to participate in the field trips will be notified by phone or email. Details about the field trips are outlined within the registration form.
The Southwest Jemez Mountains Landscape Restoration project was among 10 nationwide projects selected by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on August 13, 2010 for funding under the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP). The grant program, created by federal legislation sponsored in 2009 by New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman, takes the highly successful Collaborative Forest Restoration program approach, pioneered in New Mexico, and applies it nationally. The Southwest Jemez Mountains Landscape Restoration proposal for funding was developed by more than 60 people representing over 30 different groups.
Restoration treatments will be done across 110,000 acres of the Santa Fe National Forest, much of the 89,900 acre Valles Caldera National Preserve, and more than 10,000 acres managed by Bandelier National Monument, and the Jemez and Santa Clara Pueblos.
For further information about the project or field trips, please contact Lawrence Lujan at (505) 438-5321.