New Mexico Volunteers for the Outdoors
Last year, New Mexico Volunteers for the Outdoors (NMVFO) celebrated its 40th anniversary. We originated from a 1982 initiative by the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC). The AMC helped organize NMVFO as part of the National Volunteer Project.
Since the original three year grant, NMVFO has relied entirely on volunteers to organize and lead projects on public lands, and educate the public on how to conserve New Mexico’s public lands. In our 40 years of continuous operation, we’ve completed over 780 projects to improve public lands in New Mexico. In 2022, we completed 34 projects throughout the State. Four of these 2022 projects were located close to Santa Fe. The projects demonstrated the skills of our volunteers and our desire to collaborate with other organizations.
In March, eight NMVFO volunteers joined volunteers from Commonweal Conservancy to remove roughly 2,600 feet of fencing in the Galisteo Basin. This is the first of many planned fence-removal projects in the basin, which will help accommodate wildlife flows.
In May, 14 NMVFO volunteers joined Keystone Restoration Ecology for some watershed restoration work along the Rio en Medio after the 2020 Medio Fire damaged the area. Work included piling brush to keep cattle away from fens and other sensitive areas, and building rock structures to create shallow ponds for fish. Volunteers built an estimated 35 structures and laid brush in 15 locations.
In September, to celebrate National Public Lands Day, 13 volunteers did some much needed trail repair and brush removal on the Borrego Trail and Bear Wallow Trail in the Santa Fe National Forest near Hyde Park.
In October, 15 NMVFO volunteers and one staff member from Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary spent a beautiful fall day building new tread for reroutes around two sections of eroded trail. The effort also included closing off old trail sections and building multiple drainage features to mitigate erosion on existing trails. An estimated 500 feet of new tread and 22 drainage features were built.
The Santa Fe Community Foundation invited nonprofit partners to submit stories related to its April topic of Environment.