The Otero Working Group (OWG) is an interagency collaborative organization that draws together public and private entities to address forest and watershed restoration in the Sacramento Mountains. Partners in the OWG represent the Lincoln National Forest’s Supervisors Office and Sacramento Ranger District, New Mexico State Forestry’s Capitan District, the Mescalero Apache Tribe, the New Mexico State Land Office, the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Mescalero Agency, the City of Alamogordo, the Apache Point Observatory, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Wild Turkey Foundation, the Otero Soil and Water Conservation District, the Village of Cloudcroft, the National Resource Conservation Service, and New Mexico State University. The New Mexico Forest & Watershed Restoration Institute joins with the South Central Mountains RC&D to facilitate the operations of the OWG.
Partners meet regularly to discuss forest and watershed restoration projects which reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires, increase water flow and improve water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat in the Sacramento Mountains. The OWG has also worked to find ways to maintain a viable forest industry in the state. Partnering with industry can reduce the costs of fuel reduction treatments and can support jobs in rural communities, while restoring forest health to the region’s watersheds. In 2016, the OWG sponsored a wood industry summit that brought together forest industry representatives to discuss strategies for effectively managing the state’s forests.
The NMFWRI has worked with the OWG to build its capacity in education and outreach, and has provided support in GIS mapping and in collaboration. The NMFWRI also assisted in creating a strategy document for the OWG, outlining the collaborative’s mission and projects. On August 23, 2017, the OWG held a signing ceremony at the Lincoln National Forest Supervisor’s Office in Alamogordo, at which the directors of the partnering organizations gathered to sign the document indicating their organization’s support for the goals and activities of the group.
- Alamogordo Daily News: Forest Service and partners sign watershed restoration strategy
- Watershed Planning Map
Meeting Minutes, Reports and News
STRATEGIC PLANNING: A COLLABORATIVE PROCESS TO ACHIEVE WATERSHED RESTORATION IN THE SOUTHERN SACRAMENTO MOUNTAINS