A long-running collaborative effort in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico is proving the potential for communication, compromise and change when diverse groups sit down together.
The Southwest Jemez Mountains Resilient Landscapes and Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Project extends across 210,000 acres in the Santa Fe National Forest, Valles Caldera and Pueblo of Jemez.
Citizens, scientists, environmental leaders and timber workers are working together toward a shared goal: to return the Jemez Mountains’ forests to a more natural state.
That means overcoming the impacts of large-acreage grazing dating back to the late 1800s and a century of wildfire suppression. Both practices had disastrous consequences on the forest that burst into public consciousness when the combination of drought, global warming and overgrown forests ignited mega-fires such as 2011’s Las Conchas.