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July 2024

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Seeking Input On Watershed Restoration Project

Carson National Forest is seeking public input on a proposed 83,000-acre project of Highway 64 in the Enchanted Circle, between Taos and Angel Fire. The project is currently in a scoping period, in which Carson National Forest is seeking public input to determine the “scope” of the proposed project. This may include issues or areas of concern that the public or organizations feel should be considered within the proposal.

Forest staff are proposing vegetation and fuel reduction treatments on up to 54,731 acres and prescribed fire treatments on up to 83,265 acres. The intent of the proposed mechanical and prescribed fire treatments is to improve forest health by re-establishing natural fire regimes, associated forest structure, and species composition, while reducing wildfire threat to communities, infrastructure, and watersheds.
Specific treatments would be phased across the project area over the next 10 years or more, as part of the Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy. Prescribed fires would continue over a longer time frame, mimicking the natural fire return interval of each vegetation community, where feasible and achievable.
“This is one of the most critical locations to improve forest and watershed health within the Enchanted Circle landscape,” said Forest Supervisor James Duran.

“While the project is on Forest Service land, it is ultimately a community effort. Current and future partnerships will be key,” he added, referencing partner work in adjacent projects, such as ongoing thinning by members from local acequias within the Pueblo Ridge Project and planned fuels reduction just outside the forest in the Angel Fire Community Protection Project, led by the Cimarron Watershed Alliance.

How to Comment

Comments on the Taos Canyon Forest and Watershed Restoration Project can be submitted during the 30-day scoping period, which began June 17, 2024. To submit comments electronically, learn more about this project, and view the project documents, visit the project website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=66350 .

Comments can also be made in person during public open houses from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, 2024, at the Carson National Forest Supervisor’s Office located at 208 Cruz Alta Road, Taos, NM, 87571.