Santa Fe County, NM and Socorro County, NM
In Fall 2021, we conducted Year 2 monitoring on two State Land Office parcels as part of an effort to better understand the impacts of land management practices and treatments in piñon-juniper systems, and to inform land management decisions in the future.
Piñon-juniper systems have historically been managed for grazing, treating juniper in particular as invasive within grassland and savannah ecosystems. More recent management approaches have also aimed at reducing piñon and juniper density as means to mitigate fire risk and to control erosion. This monitoring effort aims to provide more data on the impacts of past management efforts, comparing treatment and control plots over time through tracking vegetation and soil health.
Monitoring protocols involve soil sampling to assess soil erodibility, plant species diversity and coverage, and monitoring of mature juniper and piñon, as well as the regeneration of seedlings and saplings.