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forest management

  • Historically, residents of Northern New Mexico’s Carson National forest have used the land for all kinds of things––from commercial logging to gathering herbs. They graze cattle there and channel its water into acequias. This past summer, the U.S. Forest Service finalized its management plans for Carson, which would expand wilderness and set clear conservation goals for the next 15 years. But, some residents who depend on the natural resources there fear they might lose access to places they’ve hunted and gathered for hundreds of years.
  • Only a quarter of seedlings planted after wildfires grow into trees. That’s a challenge forest managers are facing across the Southwest while drought and rising temperatures are causing wildfires to burn hotter and larger. But, one research team at the University of New Mexico may have found a way to ease the hard, manual labor of reseeding by better predicting seedling survival rates.
  • Water scarcity is a growing issue across New Mexico. Climate change is raising temperatures while 75% of the state’s water goes toward irrigated crops ––stressing the state’s supply. In response, environmental organizations are protecting the state’s watersheds by setting their sights on important areas known as “wetland jewels.”
  • The U.S. Forest Service is now implementing a new plan that would completely change how the Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico is managed by prioritizing sustainability, watershed health, and curbing land usage. But, officials with Rio Arriba County are asking Congress to put a stop to it––claiming the plan violates the rights of their citizens.
  • New Mexico is in the middle of one of its most devastating fire seasons to date –– with the largest wildfire in the state’s history scorching hundreds of thousands of acres of land. This week on Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll discuss year-round forest management practices designed to stop fires like these from happening, a controversial planned burn that became the Hermits Peak Fire, and the evolving role of firefighting in the U.S.
  • A controversial prescribed burn, which would eventually become the Hermits Peak Fire, has left Northern New Mexicans and officials wondering why it ever happened in the first place. The U.S. Forest Service, which lit the blaze, has yet to release all the information about the conditions under which the burn took place––citing a pending review.
  • As the Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak fire continues to ravage northeastern New Mexico, residents are feeling frustrated with the federal government. They said a reckless prescribed burn, lack of communication, and late aid are the root of the problem.
  • Drought adds fuel to the Southwest’s massive wildfires by killing off swaths of forests. That’s been exacerbated over the last decade by bark beetles that attack and kill live trees. Now, a new study shows climate change is accelerating these processes, causing more trees to die faster.
  • Wilderness boundaries and some protections for at-risk animals and rivers are determined by National Forest management plans. Three forests in New Mexico…