Two Goats Watershed Improvement Project will improve Water Supply to Alamogordo

ALAMOGORDO, CLOUDCROFT, NM, May 02, 2017 – Two years after the project began, vegetation treatment on the Two Goats Watershed Improvement Project on the Sacramento Ranger District is complete! The treatment was accomplished by grinding and chipping the existing vegetation with a masticator to reduce the fuel load and to improve water infiltration on more than 1300 acres on the Lincoln National Forest. “The Two Goats project was one of Governor Martinez’s high priority watersheds, identified in 2014 and funded by severance tax dollars which were set aside for the purpose of treating priority watershed areas on public lands,” said Beth Humphrey, Sacramento District Ranger. The actual work began in March 2015 and was the result of a partnership with New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department and the Lincoln National Forest, with the objective of improving water supply for Alamogordo, which has multiple collection points for its municipal water supply within this project area. An added benefit is that the fuel modification also reduces the risk of wildfire to communities along the west side of the Sacramento Mountains. This project employed local contractors and provided wood products to local markets.

Although the mastication work to treat the vegetation has been completed, additional work to remove woody debris continues. Log trucks have removed over 100 loads of commercial logs, yet, over 150 loads still need to be removed. Fuel wood sales of small diameter wood will be made available in the near future. Finally, prescribed fire will be used to burn large piles of slash, once the other activities are complete.

In the interest of public safety, some closures will remain in effect while the removal of woody material and debris continues in the project area. Area closures will be modified, as needed, or lifted as soon as it is safe to do so.