Conceptual Restoration Plan Update: Phase I

OUTREACH

Expanding the footprint of the Task Force’s Project Area requires expanding the involvement of landowners and land managers who either have not been part of the watershed group to date or have interests in the area into which the Task Force wishes to expand. The original restoration planning process that resulted in the 2004 CRP was designed to be as inclusive as possible and involved close coordination between various federal and state agencies, local entities, individual stakeholders, and a project oversight committee. The Task Force seeks to bring the same variety of perspectives to the updated planning process.

Outreach Activities

Our team had two main objectives related to outreach:

  1. Expand the watershed group to include landowners from

       northern Socorro County to bring new perspectives to the

       planning process

  1. Update the specified river issues identified in the 2004 CRP

Expand the watershed group

On December 11,2019 a public meeting was held in Veguita, NM where local landowners identified fire risk as their most pressing concern, amplified by their increased risk presented by non-native invasive weeds in the bosque increasing the frequency and intensity of wildfires in these areas. Another concern was the difficulty by these invasive weeds in allowing members of the public into the bosque to collect firewood and otherwise aid in hazardous fuel removal activities.

Update the specified river issues

To accomplish this objective the Task force met with agencies that have performed restoration work in the Project Area since 2004 to obtain udpated data and information regarding riverine processes, management, vegetation, and species occurence that might have changed in the past 15 years. Meetings were held with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sevilleta and Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, NM Department of Game and Fish, NM Interstate Stream Commission, Bureau of Reclamation, and Audubon Society. The conversations between the Task Force and these agencies and entities were primarily focused on the habitat restoration work each has completed since 2004 as well as the most pressing concerns faced by each as they implement their respective missions in the Project Area.

Project goals defined as a result of outreach efforts:

 

  • Long-term health of the river ecosystem

  • Fire prevention in the bosque

  • Maintaining and enhancing wildlife habitat diversity

  • Increasing public awareness and value of Rio Grande ecosystem

The following community issues were identified:

  • Sustainable Rio Grande

  • Wildfire risk to homes and bosque

  • Invasive plant species

  • Sensitive species habitat availability

  • Loss of overall biodiversity

  • Threats to a living Rio Grande ecosystem due to drought, climate change, and water management

  • Loss of human connection to the river as a part of our community

  • Lack of opportunities for recreation along the river

We are a grassroots 501(c)(3) organization working to preserve the Rio Grande bosque for this and future generations.

                                                                                P.O. Box 1527, Socorro, New Mexico 87801

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