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.
It’s a significant challenge, but one the collaborative group is meeting, one project at a time.
Take a look at this report on the group and its successful collaboration by New Mexico PBS, an episode in the “Our Land: New Mexico’s Environmental Past, Present and Future.”
Here’s the PBS lead-in: “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.”
The full video is attached at the top of this story. Take a look, then share your thoughts on collaboration in our comment section.