Saturday, April 22, 2006
I had a very busy morning but I ended up about 60 miles northwest of Albuquerque for the Forest Guardians annual tree planting ritual along the Rio Puerco. Forest Guardians was granted a small state lease on the Rio Puerco by the state land office some years ago to start a restoration in that highly troubled river. Decades of over grazing in that area has caused extreme erosion and loss of vegetation along the river. This riparian area can be easily made to flourish again by keeping cattle away from it and planting vegetation along the banks. I have seen this system work miracles around the west. These areas will be fenced off until they mature, because they can be eaten up by increasing numbers of elk.
Forest Guardians is an organization that uses shovels as well as words in their work to protect our landscapes, watersheds and river systems. It is an organization that was criticized in the past for being culturally insensitive, but they have turned all of that criticism around and are doing very good work now. Some of the volunteers today were employees of Intel. Hooray for them!
One of the volunteers was Dave Cobble from Albuquerque. He is a brother of my good friend Steve Cobble who resides in Washington, DC.