Santa Fe County Erosion Control

Santa Fe County, NM This erosion control project is part of a larger restoration effort on private property in Santa Fe County. For this implementation, we worked closely alongside Jan-Willem Jansens of Ecotone, who designed the treatment (original design at right), as well as Paul Butt, Conservation Chair for the ECIA. Project goals include protecting … Continue reading Santa Fe County Erosion Control

Santa Fe River Pond Leveler Installation

Santa Fe County, NM Shortly after our installation, the beaver had already repaired the dam breach; the pond leveler maintains the new, lowered pond elevation. December 2021 installation of a pond leveling device (also called a Beaver Deceiver) to lower the water level above a beaver dam along the Santa Fe River at Calle Debra … Continue reading Santa Fe River Pond Leveler Installation

The Conservation Homestead

Galisteo Basin Preserve, NM Regrading slopes to capture high flows within rock run downs. This project in the Galisteo Basin Preserve follows the razing of an old homestead and aims to remediate the site's ecological function and facilitate recreational access to the area. The homestead was purchased by the Santa Fe Conservation Trust with the … Continue reading The Conservation Homestead

Rancho Del Oso Pardo – Upper Nabor Creek

Chama, NM In November 2021, we built 8 postless BDAs as a demonstration project at Rancho Del Oso Pardo, a private ranch near Chama, NM. Structures were built using small diameter trees felled from nearby, overstocked slopes as well as rocks and sediments adjacent to, and within the stream channel. BDA locations were chosen to … Continue reading Rancho Del Oso Pardo – Upper Nabor Creek

Valles Caldera Boundary Fence Repair

Valles Caldera National Preserve, NM Rebuilding the boundary fence on the north side of the Valles Caldera National Preserve (VCNP) has been a multi-year effort. In 2021, we completely rebuilt about 1.25 miles of fenceline and cleared and repaired an additional 3 miles of fence that had been rebuilt over 2019 and 2020. From left: … Continue reading Valles Caldera Boundary Fence Repair

‘Goats Initiate Phase 1’ at Candelaria Nature Preserve

Thanks to Source NM for sharing our most recent work at Candelaria Nature Preserve. You can find the article here! As part of the effort to convert historic hay fields into a patchwork of wildlife habitats at Candelaria Nature Preserve, we recently added a herd of 120+ goats to our team of collaborators. Since May … Continue reading ‘Goats Initiate Phase 1’ at Candelaria Nature Preserve

Casa San Ysidro Heritage Field

Corrales, NM, 2021 - present Verbesina seed sown in the Casa San Ysidro Heritage Field. The Heritage Field is an extension of Casa San Ysidro, an 18th-19th century Spanish Colonial home, which is managed by the Albuquerque Museum as a research center and public museum in Corrales, NM. The 2.38 acre field is protected from … Continue reading Casa San Ysidro Heritage Field

Candelaria Nature Preserve

Albuquerque, NM, 2021 - present A section of the 7 acres seeded in June 2021 with a mix of crops grown as wildlife forage In a collaborative venture with Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District and the City of Albuquerque, we are working to convert historic agricultural fields in Candelaria Nature Preserve to wildlife habitat … Continue reading Candelaria Nature Preserve

San Antonio Creek BDA repairs

June 2021 The 2021 YCC crew’s season kicked off to a great start with Beaver Dam Analog (BDA) repair on San Antonio Creek in the Jemez Mountains. BDAs replicate the natural functions of beaver dams by raising the water table, slowing erosion, storing water, and promoting riparian vegetation growth. One of 29 BDAs spruced up … Continue reading San Antonio Creek BDA repairs

Hiring Youth Conservation Corps crew members!

We're hiring now for 2021 Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) crew members! The Rio Grande Return Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) is a summer/fall employment program that engages young people in meaningful work experiences while developing an ethic of environmental stewardship and civic responsibility. Crew members will gain skills relevant to careers in forestry, natural resource and … Continue reading Hiring Youth Conservation Corps crew members!

Canadian River: Alamita Canyon

Canadian River Canyon, NM, 2021 This planting of willow, cottonwood and Gooddings willow within the Canadian River Canyon follows years of previous restoration efforts along the river. Rio Grande Return has been involved in restoration along the Canadian River beginning with a 2019 planting project within Mills Canyon, and another round of planting in 2020. … Continue reading Canadian River: Alamita Canyon

Coyote Springs

Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, NM, 2020 - 2021 2020 - 2021 project encompassing the removal of non-native vegetation and revegetation with native cottonwood and willows surrounding Coyote Springs and along the adjacent Arroyo del Coyote. Work was funded by Oklahoma State University and supported by Kirtland Air Force Base. Summer 2020: Removal of non-native … Continue reading Coyote Springs

Bosque del Apache

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, San Antonio, NM, 2021 2021 removal of salt cedar and Russian olive from 362 acres of palustrine emergent wetland, floodplain forest, and floodplain savannah, including screwbean mesquite wet meadow. Restoring this habitat will provide important forage and habitat for the waterbirds, shorebirds and raptors of the Bosque del Apache. Salt cedar and Russian olive trees … Continue reading Bosque del Apache

Redondo Meadow

Valles Caldera National Preserve, NM Goals of this project include improving alluvial fan function and wet meadow/wetland health, mitigating fire impacts, stabilizing the degrading channel, improving water quality, and re-establishing and protecting riparian vegetation. Funding for this work was provided by The Nature Conservancy and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and was … Continue reading Redondo Meadow

State Land Office: Rio Grande Bosque

Bernalillo County, NM This extraction of non-native trees is a continuation of previous years of restoration efforts along the west side of the Rio Grande in Albuquerque aimed at removing non-native species, restoring native vegetation, and increasing ecosystem resilience to fire disturbance, flood, disease, and other climate change related impacts. Using an excavator, we removed … Continue reading State Land Office: Rio Grande Bosque

Canadian River: Mills Canyon

Kiowa National Grassland, NM Phase 1, 2019 One of our biggest planting areas from 2019 below the iconic Shiprock formation. The cottonwood and willow are exploding with vigor, thanks in part to a beaver dam just downstream of this site. Photo taken 8/23/21. This massive revegetation project was completed in partnership with NM Department of … Continue reading Canadian River: Mills Canyon

#MeToo and Wildlife Protection presented to The Wildlife Society, Cleveland 2018

Abstract The importance of the #MeToo movement can be seen in a larger context in terms of its value to environmental and wildlife protection. This is not merely a social movement and reorganization of gender roles, #MeToo has far ranging implications as we begin to claim the inherent importance of relationality. For too long we have … Continue reading #MeToo and Wildlife Protection presented to The Wildlife Society, Cleveland 2018


Restoration: Land, Spirit and Water HAMAATSA is an indigenous continuum learning center committed to sustainable living, spiritual wholeness and cultural restoration. OUR MISSION is to provide servant leadership models for living simply and sustainably on the land integrating healing systems from traditional cultures; to restore indigenous life-ways and land stewardship principles through experiential land-based learning. For … Continue reading Hamaatsa

North American Wetland Conservation Act, Phase I

North American Wetland Conservation Act: Rio Grande Return works to return wetland funding to New Mexico. Before his untimely death, John Taylor, one of the main visionaries for Bosque del Apache, procured two million dollar grants from the North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA) - a fund set up through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife … Continue reading North American Wetland Conservation Act, Phase I