Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988

Open space native plant hike

Las Placitas Association is pleased to announce another native plant hike led by Michael Crofoot on December 10. See what the Open Space looks like as winter sets in.

This hike will start at 9:00 a.m. and will last about two hours (meet at 8:45 a.m.). Crofoot will try to identify every plant species seen and will tell some of the plant’s stories in relation to the environmental history of this wonderful park.

Take photographs, ask questions. Wear rugged shoes, bring plenty of liquids. Be prepared for a relatively easy hike with a bunch of nature lovers.

Go through the western-most gate of the BLM, off Cloud View Court in Sundance Mesa, and drive as far as you can on the gravel road to meet Michael at the Open Space gate. Info:

Coronado SWCD erosion control, dam review, and Draft Plan development

—Coronado Soil and Water Conservation District

The Coronado Soil and Water Conservation District (CSWCD) has initiated several activities in recent weeks. These include beginning their second erosion control project, co-sponsoring a flood control dam review, and offering for public and agency review a draft of their soil and water resource planning objectives.

For erosion control, volunteers are needed to learn and apply simple permaculture techniques in the Placitas Open Space. The volunteers for last winter’s project not only achieved visible outcomes but reported enjoying the group work and opportunity for the outdoor activity. The Coronado Soil and Water Conservation District (CSWCD) has again received a small grant to provide instruction and tools for application of a permaculture landscaping technique for curtailing the development of rills and gullies in the work area. The first session is scheduled for December 10, out in the Placitas Open Space. The report and pictures from last year’s project as well as information and contact information for volunteering for the new project can be found on the Coronado SWCD website.

In relation to flood control, on November 15, officials toured the Piedra Lisa Flood Control Dam east of Bernalillo (southwest intersection of I-25 and SH165). Coronado Soil and Water Conservation District, Sandoval County, and the Town of Bernalillo are co-sponsors for the care of the dam. An engineer from the state Dam Safety Bureau also participated in order to complete the Bureau’s triennial inspection of the dam. Following the review the County Public Works Department began work on the maintenance needs generated by the summer’s precipitation events. The Department cut the new growth of weeds on and around the dam and brought in rocks and gravel to repair areas suffering some erosion.

The District also has completed a draft document titled Coronado Soil and Water Conservation District Land Use Policy Plan to delineate its particular resource stewardship objectives in conjunction with the overall natural resource management and land use initiatives of federal, state, tribal, and local agencies. Soil and water conservation districts, including Coronado, are charged with providing guidance about matters affecting soil erosion, flood water, and sediment damage when cooperating with other agencies. The draft Plan and the process for receiving comments from other agencies and the public will be posted at Comments are due January 14, 2017.

Holiday trees at the Valles Caldera National Preserve

—Jim Counce

Los Amigos de Valles Caldera will once again be helping the Valles Caldera National Preserve to thin overgrown forested areas to protect it from further large wildfires. These freshly cut trees will be available daily until December 18, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Valle Grande Staging Area, off Highway 4 between mile marker 39 and 40. The trees will generally be White Fir of varying sizes. Suggested donations will be $15, $30, and $45.

Trees will be available by credit card only during the week through the bookstore at the Entrance Station. Los Amigos volunteers will be selling the trees on Saturdays and Sundays and will accept cash or checks.

The Las Conchas and Thompson Ridge fires taught us that “unhealthy” forests, with high fuel loads and uninterrupted contiguous fuel distributions across the landscape, are prime real estate for history-making uncharacteristic wildfires on a previously unimaginable scale. We know that the forests are likely to burn again, but we’re working to ensure that fire can once again play a beneficial role in the ecosystem.

Email or call 575-829-3885 with any questions.

Los Amigos de Valles Caldera is the official Friends Group of the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Los Amigos has been working for ten years to preserve and restore the natural wonder of one of North America’s largest calderas (extinct volcanic basins) with its unspoiled vistas, lush forests, meadow streams, and abundant wildlife. To date, we have raised over $1.5 million in restoration funds and completed six riparian and wetland restoration projects on the Preserve.

Scrap tire, illegal dumping, and recycling grant applications now being accepted

—Allison Scott Majure

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) is now accepting applications for 2017-2018 Recycling and Illegal Dumping (RAID) Fund grants for scrap tire management, illegal dumping abatement, and recycling projects. Municipalities, counties, solid waste authorities, cooperative associations (as defined in the RAID Act), land grant communities, pueblos, tribes, and nations are eligible for funds totaling eight hundred thousand dollars. Two-thirds of the fund is available for scrap tire projects, and one-third is available for other projects. Ineligible entities are encouraged to partner with eligible entities, and no matching funds or in-kind contributions are required.

Grant funding may be spent on offsetting the cost of scrap tire collection and recycling, establishing recycling facilities, purchasing equipment, performing marketing, purchasing products produced by a recycling facility, providing educational outreach, developing recycling infrastructure, abating illegal dumpsites, and contracting with vendors to promote recycling.

Applications are due no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 13, 2017. They may be submitted by email, fax, mail, or in person at the NMED Solid Waste Bureau office at 1190 S. St. Francis St., Santa Fe, NM 87505.

For more information about the RAID grants or the upcoming grant cycle or to discuss project ideas, contact the NMED Recycling Program Coordinator, Neal Denton, at 827-2653 or
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