New Mexico Collaborations
Currently, the NMFWRI is actively engaged in the facilitation and management of several multi-jurisdictional and landscape-level projects. For example, the NMFWRI facilitates the coordinated activities of the Estancia Basin Watershed and Forest Health, Restoration, and Monitoring Project, a partnership among area Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Land Grants, local governments, and federal and state agencies that is designed to reduce the threat to life and property from catastrophic wildfires and to improve watershed health on private and public lands in the East Manzano Mountains.
The Greater Rio Grande Watershed Alliance, which the NMFWRI facilitates and manages, is a collaboration between Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Pueblos, agencies and stakeholders working to restore riparian ecosystems in the Rio Grande Watershed in central and northern New Mexico. The Alliance connects the members’ local knowledge with agencies’ technical skills and resources. GRGWA’s objective is to strategically deploy a landscape-scale bosque restoration project that enhances and connects previous efforts. The NMFWRI is also actively engaged in demonstrating and testing its recently developed riparian restoration monitoring guidelines with the Alliance. Importantly, GRGWA is engaged in recent initiatives by DOI Secretary Salazar to develop a plan for conservation and water security along the Middle Rio Grande.
In addition, in partnership with NM State Forestry, the NMFWRI manages and facilitates the Gallinas Partnership, whose mission is to improve the health and safety of the Gallinas and neighboring watersheds to mitigate the potential for catastrophic wildfire and to secure a more certain and sustainable water supply to the City of Las Vegas and the region through the development and implementation of a comprehensive and connected watershed plan and hazardous fuel reduction strategy. Initiated by the NMFWRI in 2010, the Gallinas Partnership is considered a model for the development of a city, county, region, public agency (including the USFS), and private sector partnership addressing:
- On-the-ground practices related to the mitigation of catastrophic wildfire, post-fire rehabilitation, and watershed health;
- Restoration-based economic development;
- Public education/outreach; and
- Preparation and emergency response in the event of a severe wildfire.