As a result of growth and increased demand for telecommunications services in northern New Mexico, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) established a new Telecommunications Division tasked with providing reliable and modern telecommunications technologies, such as mobile phone capabilities, improved long-distance service, and high-speed Internet services, to residents and businesses in underserved areas of Taos County and the surrounding region.
The Taos Broadband Project, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service, was the new division's first major undertaking and involved the installation of approximately 2,100 miles of new broadband fiber-optic cable in Taos, Colfax, and Rio Arriba Counties. The main route totaled approximately 920 miles of aerial installations and 565 miles of buried installations; the remainder consisted of fiber drops directly to homes and businesses. The new fiber-optic network will be installed either by direct burial and bore crossings or through aerial installation on existing 115kV and 69kV transmission lines and single-phase and three-phase distribution lines throughout KCEC’s service territory. Tierra provided right of way, cultural resource, and environmental services in support of this important project for the citizens of northern New Mexico.
The Arizona Department of Transportation is making improvements to Interstate 10 stretching from Milepost 208 at the State Route 87 Traffic Interchange to Milepost 213 near the eastern edge of the community of Picacho. The improvements include widening the highway from two lanes to three lanes in each direction and realigning it through the community of Picacho. The project will improve highway safety by reducing the number of curves in its path, improving roadside safety by eliminating a substantial length of elevated freeway, and eliminating visual impacts of the highway by removing existing embankments. The project will also increase capacity and improve traffic operations throughout this segment of Interstate 10.
In 2012, Tierra was contracted by the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State to perform a detailed survey and record sites at the Monte Cristo Mining District and townsite. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) was preparing for a large-scale clean-up intended to remove contaminated soils from several mines, adits, and processing centers within the old townsite. As part of the clean-up process, a full inventory of cultural resources was requested. Tierra was hired to synthesize all previous data on the area and to conduct a survey of the townsite and associated mine-related features. The end product will help the USFS assess the resources it presently possesses and will aid in the reconstruction of features impacted by clean-up efforts.
Tierra conducted cultural resource studies and developed an Environmental Assessment for the City of Santa Fe and the Santa Fe National Forest for vegetation treatments in a 2,100 acre portion of the Pecos Wilderness located within the City's watershed. Due to years of fire suppression, fuel loading in the forests surrounding Santa Fe has greatly increased, and the aftermath of wildfire on the watershed now poses the threat of clogging the City's municipal reservoir with ash and silt, threatening the water supply of the City. The Environmental Assessment and associated resource studies that Tierra developed will assist the City and the Forest in reducing the risk of wildfire and the threat of subsequent damage to the City's water supply.