Water Trust Board Grant
The Office of Natural Resources Trustee was awarded $284,000 from the Water Trust Board to implement a watershed restoration project in the Middle Rio Grande Bosque. The project focuses on revegetation with native plants in areas of the Bosque previous cleared of water thirsty invasive plants such as salt cedar.
Restoration and Management of Watersheds:
Current drought conditions have highlighted the need to preserve and protect our limited water resources. The Rio Grande Watershed represents the primary source of water in this region, and Bosque restoration efforts have been shown to have a significant impact on the quality and availability of water. A healthy Bosque with native plant species offers the following benefits:
- It consumes less water since replacement of invasive plants would conserve water and would facilitate the conveyance and delivery of the water
- It is a more natural and hydrological efficient watershed
- It lowers wildfire risk as the removal of dense stands of non-natives plant species and replacement with well-managed native species would reduce the fuel load of the Bosque
- It promotes a more diverse and healthy wildlife population
- It offers a beautiful environment for recreational activities for the residents of this region
Bosque Revegetation Project
The goal for this Project was to protect the Rio Grande watershed through revegetation of native plants in the Rio Grande Valley State Park. Native plantings consisted of four vegetation types: forest, shrubs, open meadows, and shallow depression types. The land was first cleared of invasive, non-native vegetation and noxious weeds. Then it was planted with native trees and shrubs such as cottonwoods, New Mexico olives, peach leaf willows and others as well as native mix grasses and annual wildflowers.
A total 150 acres of revegetation were completed and include over 2,100 native trees, over 10,200 shrubs, 40 acres of grassy meadows, and 5,700 shallow-depression plants. The project was completed in late 2011.