Workshop to highlight stream restoration project

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Submitted to the Optic

The first of a series of Landowner Workshops will be held from noon to 4:30 p.m. May 18 at Pritzlaff Ranch in San Ignacio.

The event includes a free lunch, a hands-on stream restoration project and more than 16 staffed information tables. The Ranch and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service invite local landowners and interested parties to join the workshop.

“Just as watersheds connect communities, we are hoping to connect landowners with those entities that can assist them in managing their lands, which in turn will benefit the watershed and its wildlife,” says Rob Larrañaga, Northern New Mexico Wildlife Refuge Complex Manager.    

The Pritzlaff Ranch is a 3,300-acre ranch located north of Las Vegas. The Ranch is owned by the Biophilia Foundation, a non-profit organization, and is managed for wildlife conservation. The Biophilia Foundation seeks to advance biodiversity conservation on private land, emphasizing the critical role of private landowners and working lands in the protecting and restoring wildlife habitat.

To care for the Pritzlaff Ranch lands in perpetuity, the Biophilia Foundation is donating the Ranch to the USFWS. When the transfer is complete, the Ranch will become part of the recently established Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge (former Wind River Ranch) and Conservation Area.  Afterwards, the USFWS will continue to manage the ranch for wildlife and people, including the education and training of citizens, students and teachers.

This workshop is the first of a bi-annual series. For more information, contact Debbie Pike of the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge at 425-3581 x205, or Debbie_Pike@fws.gov.

Landowner Workshops

Noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 18

Noon: Share lunch and talk with other community members
1 p.m.: Team up to build “one-rock dams” that help stop erosion and retain water
2:30 p.m.: Team up (second group) to build “one-rock dams”
All day: Learn about conservation easements, tax incentives and grants, restoration, sustainable thinning of trees, riparian land management and more from representatives of more than 16 non-profit, federal and state organizations.