SFNF – Forest restoration work begins this week in Santa Fe area

SANTA FE, NM – October 15, 2018 – For Immediate Release.  Over the next several weeks, the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) will perform forest restoration work in two project areas located on the Española Ranger District of the SFNF – the Hyde Park WUI Project and the Pacheco Canyon Forest Resiliency Project.

The two projects were developed in coordination with the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Coalition (http://santafefireshed.org).

The mission of the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Coalition is to “…improve the health and long-term resilience of forested watersheds and communities by addressing wildfire…”

Thinning and piling will occur across approximately 184 acres located near the Black Canyon Campground in the Hyde Park WUI Project area as early as Tuesday, October 16. The restoration work will use low-impact methods and target the cutting of smaller diameter trees, which will help reduce fire risk in the area and improve the health of the remaining stands of trees. The work will take between three to four weeks to complete depending on weather.

Fire managers also plan to take advantage of favorable weather conditions to conduct a prescribed burn across approximately 500 acres in the Pacheco Canyon area. Due to moisture received over the weekend and forecasted throughout the week, the burn will likely begin as early as Monday, October 22. Smoke is expected to flow and settle into low lying areas at night and may affect surrounding areas. Affected areas may include, but are not limited to, Santa Fe, Tesuque, Nambe, and Rio Chupadero.

Historically, low to moderate intensity wildfires burn through southwest dry conifer forests every seven to 15 years as part of a natural cycle that removes buildup of dead and down trees and needle cast on the forest floor. Thinning and prescribed burns help to eradicate disease and thin the understory, which makes room for new growth and forage for wildlife. These management activities are among the most effective tools available to restore fire-adapted ecosystems like those found on the SFNF.

Smoke/Air Quality: Information on air quality and protecting your health by using the 5-3-1 visibility method can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at https://nmtracking.org/fire. For information on the HEPA filter loan program, go to https://santafefireshed.org/hepa-filter-loan-program/.

Also, follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/santafeNF and Twitter: twitter.com/SantafeNF for updates.

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