Thursday, June 09, 2016

BLM grassland restoration treatments to begin in Southern NM

SILVER CITY — Starting the second week of June 2016, and continuing for approximately two weeks, the Bureau of Land Management Las Cruces District and other partners will begin herbicide treatments of mesquite at several locations in Hidalgo, Grant, and Sierra counties in New Mexico. Approximately 9,000 acres of federal, state, and private lands will be treated as part of the BLM’s Restore New Mexico initiative. Restore New Mexico is an aggressive partnership between land owners and land management agencies to restore the state’s grasslands, woodlands and riparian areas to a healthy, more productive condition. Large areas of desert grassland in New Mexico were lost to shrub invasion, beginning in the mid-to-late 1800’s. Invasive shrub treatments are being conducted across the state to reduce the density of brush species, such as mesquite and creosote, which have encroached on historic desert grasslands. Once invasive shrub densities are reduced, more desirable native grasses and forbs can reestablish themselves. General project locations are 15 miles north and 10 miles northwest of Lordsburg; 5 miles south of Silver City Airport; and 7 miles south of Engle in Sierra County. The primary objective for these proposed herbicide treatments is to enhance watershed function by improving ground cover and decreasing erosion and storm runoff, while retaining soil moisture. The treatments also improve habitat that will support more diverse and prolific wildlife communities...more

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