On their own, rivers and streams do not flow in a straight line. Without the stresses caused by humans and other critters they meander in “beautiful sinuous patterns” as the ecological consultant Bill Zeedyk notes in his blog “Induced Meandering.”
More importantly, they form wetlands, a vital part of healthy river ecosystems. Toward that end, Amigos Bravos and the Albuquerque Wildlife Federation (AFW) are organizing a volunteer ecological restoration service project at Midnight Meadows in the Carson National Forest, Friday through Sunday, Aug. 12-14.
Amigos Bravos has identified Midnight Meadows as one of 22 “wetland jewels” needing restoration and special protection in the Carson National Forest. With help from AWF and other volunteers, the group has been working on the Midnight Meadows project since 2016 installing erosion and restoration structures including, zuni-bowls, one-rock dams, and rock rundowns.
On a larger scale, the group contracted Keystone Restoration Ecology, “to install a large machine-built restoration project on a highly impacted area in Midnight Meadows.”
According to a notice from the group, “During this year’s project, we will build log structures to remediate erosion and hold more water on the landscape to restore this important wetland. Our restoration work is based on Bill Zeedyk’s principles of induced meandering and this year’s project is designed by Keystone Restoration Ecology.” https://billzeedy.wordpress.com/.
According to AWF’s “Meet Up” page, “We will meet at the campsite on Friday evening. On Saturday morning, AWF will provide coffee, breakfast burritos, and an orientation. We will work Saturday from about 8:30 am -4:00 pm, and then enjoy a potluck dinner (AWF provides bison or veggie burgers). On Sunday, anyone who is able to stay will work for a few more hours, and we will finish up by noon.”
Volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome to join the project; no advance training is required. Volunteers are welcome to camp Friday and Saturday nights with the group at Midnight Meadows, or just to join in for the Saturday workday.
“Want to join us for the weekend but not up for moving rocks? We have a few spots on each project for camp/kitchen volunteers (who assist with washing dishes, preparing food, and looking after the group camp during the workday) and documentation/data volunteers (who take photos and record data about all the structures that are completed during the project). If you would like to fill one of these specialized roles, just let us know when you sign up.”
RSVP to Kristina Fisher at email@example.com or Shannon Romeling at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information is available on AWF’s MeetUp event page: https://www.meetup.com/albuquerque-wildlife-federation/events/283844507/ or on its website http://abq.nmwildlife.org/.
Formed in 1988, Amigos Bravos strives to “protect and restore the waters of New Mexico and “hold polluters accountable”, among other goals: “We have a vision of New Mexico’s rivers and streams running so clear and clean that you can bend a knee to the water, cup your hands, and drink without fear.”
AWF offers monthly meetings in Albuquerque featuring guest speakers on a variety of topics, in-the-field restoration service projects, a monthly newsletter, and opportunities to discuss issues relating to wildlife protection, habitat conservation, and wise use of public lands.