Isleta Project is located on the crest of the Manzano and Manzanita Mountains and spans three headwater streams that provide down-stream drinking water to rural Hispanic and Native American communities residing in the Chilili and Tajique Land Grants and Isleta Pueblo. This area is located roughly 40 miles southeast of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and visible to a larger community of approximately 900,000 people. Because of the proximity to Albuquerque, there is high recreational use.
Large scale wildfires adjacent to tribal reservation boundaries during the 2008 fire season, initiated efforts by the Pueblo of Isleta Tribal Council, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Forest Service and Chilili Land Grant and other adjacent land owners to collaboratively develop mutually beneficial, cross-jurisdictional fuels treatments. These landscape scale treatments are designed to reduce the potential risk of wildfires and loss of important community, cultural, and natural resources and values.
This 10,420-acre project will thin forested lands on Isleta Pueblo, Chilili Land Grant and on the Cibola National Forest; which will protect water quality and drinking water supply for the communities of Isleta, Chilili and the Tajique Land Grant and adjacent private homeowners. It will also provide fuel wood which is important to these minority communities, create local employment opportunities with Hispanic and Native American youth and young adults and increase the small-scale wood products industry. An important aspect of this project is to employ and train local crews under the Tribal Forest Protection Act. The Pueblo of Isleta and Chilili Land Grant are implementing activities on their lands by developing and training local thinning crews comprised of a diverse mix of ethnic backgrounds including Native Americans and Hispanic community members. The Cibola has also developed agreements to utilize these crews on National Forest System lands through Stewardship Authorities and workforce development programs. In addition to the work funded through the Joint Chief’s Initiative the Pueblo has continued restoration on the south-eastern corner of their land, while Chilili has continued to thin and remove material from 290 acres of their adjacent to the Cibola. The Pueblo and Chilili have executed their work by developing and training local thinning crews comprised of a diverse mix of ethnic backgrounds including Native Americans and Hispanic community members.
By: Rio Grande Water Fund: A Wildlife and Water Source Protection Project
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