The Santa Fe Watershed Project

 Environmental Assessment - Fanta Fe, NM

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.

The Environmental Assessment evaluated the potential environmental impacts that could result from various combinations of prescribed fire and hand-thinning vegetation treatments. During the Environmental Assessment development process, Tierra actively coordinated public involvement for the project. Two public meetings were conducted; one in the early stages of the project and another after a 30-day review and comment period for a preliminary project information document that was released to the public. Comments received were then analyzed and used to develop a Scoping Report that described the issues and alternative statements that were ultimately incorporated into the project's Environmental Assessment.

Tierra submitted the Final Environmental Assessment and a Draft Decision Notice/Finding of No Significant Impact (DN/FONSI) for the project to the Forest, and both have been accepted. The Forest posted the Final Environmental Assessment for public review and is currently administering the objection period for the project. Once the objection period has ended and any public concerns are addressed, a DN/FONSI for the project will be released and the vegetation treatments in the City's watershed can begin.