August 11, 2017 – In the Jemez Mountains, a long-term project brings together people from different backgrounds, scientists from a range of disciplines and even environmental advocates and the timber industry.
The Southwest Jemez Mountains Resilient Landscapes and Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Project covers 210,000 acres spread across the Santa Fe National Forest, Valles Caldera and the Pueblo of Jemez.
The goal is to return the Jemez’s forests to their more natural state—closer to what they were like before large-scale grazing in the late 1800s and a century’s worth of fire-suppression led to the thickets they had become by the end of the 20th century, when overgrown forests, drought and warming led to fires like Las Conchas in 2011.
On the latest episode of “Our Land: New Mexico’s Environmental Past, Present and Future,” Dr. Bob Parmenter, chief of science and resource stewardship at Valles Caldera National Preserve, and Susan Harrelson, a silviculturalist with the U.S. Forest Service show us the difference between healthy and overgrown forests in northern New Mexico and talk about the importance of reintroducing fire to the landscape.
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