The Conklin property, which is privately owned, is located on the east side of the Escondida drain, not far from the town of Escondida. Like many areas along the Rio Grande, invasive species such as salt cedar (tamarisk) and Russian Olive have replaced native vegetation due to changes in river flow patterns and other human-induced landscape alterations.
As part of a bosque fuels reduction program, selective cutting and removal of dead and downed trees was implemented on 17.1 acres in 2002 and 2003. As there were many young and mature Cottonwood trees on the site, care was taken to ensure that these trees and other native species (such as Goodding's Willow), were protected as the contractors worked to clear the invasive species. Garlon herbicide was applied to cut stumps to prevent resprouts. When invasive salt cedar and Russian olive are removed, native species have a chance to thrive, and now these 17.1 acres provide enhanced enjoyment for the landowners as well as provide high-quality habitat for birds and other wildlife species. This property is now enrolled in a permanent conservation easement administered by Rio Grande Agricultural Land Trust (RGALT)
The Conklin Family was especially grateful for this project during the Escondida fire of 2016. Due to the absence of fast burning, fire-prone salt cedar, the fire was not able to come onto their property and stopped right at the edge.