Forest Seeks Comment on Wildlife Restoration Project

Release Date: Nov 17, 2022

Contact(s): Zach Behrens, 575-758-6303

The Carson National Forest has released a scoping letter for the Jicarilla Wildlife Habitat Improvement Project located on the Jicarilla Ranger District, which is located about 40 miles east of Bloomfield, NM. Comments will be accepted through December 14.  

The proposed project seeks to improve and restore wildlife habitat conditions on a landscape scale for numerous species, including Mexican spotted owl, northern goshawk and mule deer, among other species.  Restoration within an approximately 80,000-acre footprint is sought due to unusually high ponderosa, Gambel oak, piñon and juniper stand densities, which have limited the amount of herbaceous ground cover and reduces the quality and number of habitats available for wildlife species. Such density also risks habitat longevity due to the risk of high-severity fire. 

By improving the habitat, for example, more suitable conditions would hopefully encourage the re-habitation of Mexican spotted owls in areas where they have not been detected in decades. Similarly, the restoration seeks to encourage northern goshawks to re-establish areas once known as productive habitat for fledglings. 

Work would include removing some of the pinyon/juniper and shrub encroachment, as well as improving ponderosa pine stands by reducing needle casts and tree densities to allow for establishment of herbaceous ground cover. Mechanical manipulation and prescribed fire would be utilized to modify the arrangement of forest stands. 

The project is designed to align habitat and species conditions on the ground with desired conditions stated within the recently completed Carson Forest Land Management Plan. To read the scoping letter and learn how to make a comment, go to the project’s webpage