Abstracts of presentations given on Thursday, 20 July 2006, in session 30 of the UCOWR Conference.


Historical evidence clearly shows a significant decline in both stream flow and ground water recharge in the Sacramento Mountains of southern New Mexico. Photos, oral history, early Census data, and written accounts all paint a much wetter picture than is present today. Dense forests are robbing springs and streams of surface flow. Ground water recharge during the recent drought was non-existent. Large numbers of wells all over Otero County dried up. Drilling deeper was successful in some areas, but people in some areas are still hauling water. Members of the Sacramento River Watershed Coalition recently completed several large thinning projects near Timberon. Several thousand acres of Ponderosa pine and alligator juniper have been thinned and restored to historical tree densities. Trees were thinned on both private and State Land using Senator Jeff Bingaman’s Forest Restoration funds, State Forestry Wildland/Urban Interface funds, NRCS Environmental Quality Incentive Program cost share, BLM, and the rancher’s input. Tree densities were reduced to improve ground cover and reduce danger of a crown fire.