Los Amigos Finishes 11th Restoration Project: La Jara

by Reporter / Jul 10, 2019 / 0 comments
Los Amigos de Valles Caldera volunteers at work in June. Courtesy/Nina Wells and Kristina Fisher

Los Amigos Finishes 11th Restoration Project: La Jara

June 30, 2019 marked the completion of the 11th grant that Los Amigos de Valles Caldera has received from various funding sources to perform restoration work on the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

This project received a New Mexico River Stewardship grant for $160,000 for Restoring La Jara Creek from Damage from the Thompson Ridge Fire, Valles Caldera National Preserve. Los Amigos partner and contractor for this project was Keystone Restoration Ecology.

Total grant money received by Los Amigos for restoration work on the preserve beginning in 2008 is approximately 1.5 million dollars.

As part of this grant, Los Amigos held a wetlands workshop over the June 7-9 weekend with Albuquerque Wildlife Federation (AWF) and Los Amigos volunteers. The goal of the workshop was to construct hand-built rock structures in La Jara Creek below the ranch headquarters pond.

This project worked on a little more than 1,000 ft. of La Jara Creek above the historic district, stabilizing the stream from impacts from the fire and improving conditions for fish. Los Amigos is anticipating an increase of 204 acres of wetlands both from the main stem and north tributary of La Jara Creek as it flows in the Valle Grande. The increase in wetlands will provide increased forage for elk, the main herbivore on the preserve. Restoring the headquarters pond was included in this project and will attract migrating waterfowl.

2013 Thompson Ridge Fire. The fire burned the headwaters of the five square mile La Jara Creek watershed at low to moderate severity. Immediately after the fire, ash runoff impacted several watersheds including La Jara Creek and the East Fork of the Jemez River causing a major die-off of fish and aquatic life. Increased runoff from the burned slopes caused movement of ash, soil and boulders which put the cabin area at risk. The headquarters pond was filled with sediment and ash.

Located in the heart of the Jemez Mountains in north-central New Mexico, the preserve features huge mountain meadows, abundant wildlife, and meandering streams. The area also preserves the homeland of ancestral native peoples and embraces a rich ranching history.

Los Amigos de Valles Caldera complete their 11th restoration project. Courtesy/Nina Wells and Kristina Fisher

Courtesy/Nina Wells and Kristina Fisher

Los Amigos de Valles Caldera volunteers at work in June. Courtesy/Nina Wells and Kristina Fisher

Los Amigos de Valles Caldera volunteers at work in June. Courtesy/Nina Wells and Kristina Fisher

mail Los Amigos de Valles Caldera volunteers at work in June. Courtesy/Nina Wells and Kristina Fisher

Pond before restoration. Courtesy/Nina Wells and Kristina Fisher

Pond after restoration. Courtesy/Nina Wells and Kristina Fisher

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