SWJM Landscape Restoration Accomplishments 2010-2014

thinned forest with openings

This is the vision of the desired condition for our ponderosa pine forests.

Over the last five years, the Forest Service and its partners have treated almost 24% (48,000 acres) of the 210,000 acre project area.  View this map delineating our project ativities. 

 

Fire on the Landscape
24,000 acres were treated with low-intensity wildfires (Thompson Ridge Fire), managed fire (Paliza Burn) or various prescribed fires.  All planned/managed treatments were in Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) areas.  (Partners:  U.S Forest Service, Valles Caldera National Preserve)

cleared cultural rock pile

Fuels removed and cultural site stabilized. (Photo credit:  U.S. Forest Service)

 

Heritage Areas Protected
Over 4,500 cultural sites are estimated to be within the project area.  Approximately 800 sites have been protected through thinning and stabilization. Cumulatively over 2,532 acres have been thinned within cultural areas.  (Partners:  U.S. Forest Service, Pueblo of Jemez)

 

workers installing fence along road people and equipment in creek

Left:  Installing fence exclosures.  Right:  Restoring Rio De Las Vacas.  (Photo Credit:  Bryan Bird)

Watershed and Wildlife Habitat Improvements
Over 6.0 miles (120 acres) of riparian areas have been restored and/or protected.  Approximately 100 acres of wetlands have been created and/or restored.

  • Restoration treatments for meadows, wetlands, and riparian areas include elk/cattle exclosures on Rio Cebolla Creek, Sulfur Creek, and Redondo Creek,  San Antonio Meadow, Redondo Meadow, Sulfur Creek, and Jaramillo Wetland.

  • 50 lbs. of grass seed were harvested for future revegetation.

  • 24,000 native trees/forage were planted along 1 mile of creek.

  • Incised channels and bank erosion were treated in the lower San Antonio Tributary.

(Partners:  Wild Earth Guardians, Los Amigos de Valles Caldera, New Mexico Watershed Initiative, U.S. Forest Service)

 

 

teenages moved cut vegetation away from equipment

Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) assisting with vegetation clearing.  (Photo credit:  Forest Guild)

Youth Education and Resource Related Careers
The project supported four YCC crews (34 local youths) stationed at the Jemez Ranger Station and the Valles Calderas NP for 6 - 9 weeks.  The teens worked on fence repairs, trail work, archeological site fuel removal, and other landscape treatment activities.  (Partners:  Forest Guild, Valles Caldera National Preserve, U.S. Forest Service)

 

seed head of thistle group of flowers of daisy

Bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare) and oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) are two noxious weed species in the project areaThere are approximately 37 species of noxious weeds, and three species of invasives (tamarisk, Russian olive, and Siberian elm).  Invasive species are ususally found along riparian areas, wildfire scars, and roads.

 

Removal of Noxious Weeds and Invasive Plants 

  • Approximately 130 acres of noxious weeds were treated for bull thistle, musk thistle, Canada thistle, oxeye daisy, and cheat grass.

  • 8,838 acres were surveyed for weeds in the project area.

  • 380 acres will receive treatment for invasive plants (tamarisk, Russian olive, and Siberian elm).

  • Surveys to control noxious weeds and invasive plants will continue on all treated (thinned or burned) areas.

(Partners:  New Mexico Watershed Initiative, Valles Caldera National Preserve, U.S. Forest Service)

 

pile of cut logs

Cut timber waiting for transport to local mill.  (Photo credit: U.S. Forest Service).

Economic Contributions to the Community

  • Approximately 80 jobs have been created every year due to restoration activities.

  • The project supported the Joint Venture Jemez Pueblo/Walatowa Industries mill with thinning projects on national forest lands and the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

(Partners:  Pueblo of Jemez, Valles Caldera National Preserve, U.S. Forest Service)

 

road closure sign with decomission road in background

An example of a decomissioned road.  (Photo credit: U.S. Forest Service)

  • Approximately 48 miles of roads have been decomissioned.  The Forest Service plans to decomission 100 miles out of the 350 miles of roads within the project area.