SFNF begins implementing riparian restoration


SFNF News:

SANTA FE – The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) will begin implementation of the first two riparian restoration projects approved under the 2021 Riparian Restoration Decision signed by the Santa Fe, Carson and Cibola National Forests to improve watershed health, water quality and riparian habitat in Northern New Mexico.

Work on the Rito Peñas Negras project in the Cuba Ranger district near Deer Lake will be carried out in two phases.

In the first phase, the SFNF will place site-built stream stabilizers with natural materials within approximately 6 miles of the stream to stabilize the channel and restore floodplain connectivity. The structures will allow water to pass through while trapping sediment, creating shallow pools along the creek.

The second phase will address erosion issues that directly affect stream function and water quality.

The Polvadera Creek project near Cañones will also include in-stream structures along approximately 2 miles of streams to improve fish habitat as well as erosion stabilization, planting of riparian vegetation indigenous people and the installation of barriers to limit illegal access by off-road vehicles (ORVs).

These projects are the result of an environmental assessment (EA) conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that reflects public comments received by the three forests during the 2019 scoping and comment period. of 2020. The Notice of Final Determination was signed on July 29, 2021.

Riparian areas or wetlands provide essential ecological functions for plants and animals in an otherwise arid landscape. Although only 2% of the 4.7 million acres of National Forest System (NFS) land in northern New Mexico is riparian zone, it represents the greatest biodiversity of plants, birds, insects , reptiles-amphibians and mammals in forests.

At the same time, they have been impacted by significant stressors including climate change, wildfires, agriculture and grazing, urbanization, recreational use, and invasive species.

The three forests have worked together to increase the pace and scale of riparian ecosystem restoration by identifying a wide range of projects to promote watershed health, species recovery and sustainable human uses, including hunting. and fishing.

Additional information about the Northern New Mexico Riparian, Aquatic and Wetland Restoration Project is posted on the project webpage. Stay up to date on SFNF news by checking out the SFNF website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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