The Coronado Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is a governmental subdivision of New Mexico serving eastern Sandoval County.
Coronado SWCD helps landowners, farmers, ranchers, residents and local organizations carry out conservation projects. These projects help to:
Seeking Solutions • Leveraging Resources • Engaging Local Partners
News and Announcements
WOOD CHIPPER DAY
SATURDAY, October 12, 2019 8:30-1:30
PLACITAS COMMUNITY LIBRARY!
Lessen wildfire danger around your home by pruning shrubs and trimming branches. Bring small trees and branches no more than 6 inches in diameter with ends aligned in the same direction for the chipper machine. No construction waste or barbed wire. Wood chips can be taken home for mulching and remaining chips will be available for residents for a few days or until gone. At the Chipper Day last June, the chipper ate 33 loads of brush, with 15 of them being 2nd or 3rd loads! Chipper Days are sponsored by Coronado SWCD.
Suggested donations are $5 to $10. All donations are used to fund rental of the chipper.
PLACITAS OPEN SPACE Grant FY 19
Coronado is pleased to announce that the Water Quality and Conservation grant it received from the NM Soil and Water Conservation Commission to continue its work on erosion control in the Placitas Open Space in Fiscal Year 2019 was successfully completed. The grant funded four on-site workshops by Jim Brooks of Soilutions, who is a permaculture expert.
The four workshops took place on Saturday, September 15, 2018; Saturday, November 3, 2018; Saturday, March 9, 2019; and Saturday, April 13, 2019. Jim assessed the work done and techniques employed so far and suggested modifications and innovative new techniques and methods, including the use of mulch on the bare hillsides, seeding between swales and berms, and spreading juniper boughs over the seeded areas. He also made suggestions on modifying rock plating of gullies to slow runoff.
Several work session with volunteers were also completed during the grant period,to implement some of Jim’s suggestions. Although this project period ended on June 30, 2019, more work sessions may be scheduled in the coming months. The work sessions are generally scheduled for late morning or early afternoon on Saturdays, depending on the weather, and last several hours. If you are interested in volunteering for this important project, contact Carolyn Kennedy, District Manager, at 867-2853 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CORONADO SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
GIVES AWARD TO JON COUCH
At its monthly meeting in July, Jon Couch was presented with an award for exceptional assistance in the District’s activities. Jon’s extensive experience and knowledge in all matters forestry has been invaluable, especially his contracting skills.
Coronado is about to advertise for bids to restore the reservoir of Las Huertas Community Ditch, which is in the National Forest. Jon is a Commissioner on this ditch and has taken part in all aspects of this project, from helping Coronado get capital outlay funds to engineer it to getting more funds to do the actual construction. Renovating this reservoir will improve operation of the ditch and conserve water.
Jon always puts up the signs and greets clients for Coronado’s chipper days. He has been a Supervisor in the past.
The Coronado Board of Supervisors is grateful for all his assistance through the years.
AQUIFER MAPPING PRESENTATION
Coronado hosted a presentation by Stacy Timmons, Aquifer Mapping Program Manager, Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, NM Tech, on July 10, 2018, at the Placitas Community/Senior Center.
The presentation, entitled Protecting New Mexico’s Groundwater … with Data! was very well received and attended by approximately 35 people, some from as far away as Cochiti Lake. The presentation focused on the Las Huertas Watershed (through Placitas and down to Bernalillo and Algodones) and its complex geology. The entire presentation can be found here. There has been little well monitoring since Peggy Johnson’s hydrological study of the Placitas area in 2002, when around 120 area wells were monitored. Her study can be found here.
To learn how our aquifers have fared over the past two decades, Stacy encouraged us to revive monitoring these wells and adding others through NM Tech’s Collaborative Groundwater Monitoring Network. For information on the program or adding your well to the network, email Stacy. More information is available online here.
Coronado SWCD Board Changes
Jon Couch stepped down from his position as a District Supervisor in April. Thank you Jon for all of your commitment to District projects and your terrific service on the Board throughout the years, both in your previous and most recent Supervisor position.
At the April 2018 Board meeting, Kathleen Groody was appointed as an interim Supervisor in position 1. Ms. Groody has a B.S. in International Agricultural Development and an M.S. in Soil Science/Hydrology, both from the University of California at Davis. She owns and operates a 25-acre alfalfa farm in Siles, NM and is interested in preservation of agricultural land, production of less water-intensive crops, and water rights. Welcome, Kathleen!
Judith Hurley resigned from her position as Associate Supervisor in May. Judith took the helm in designing a new website for Coronado in September 2014 when she was appointed an interim District Supervisor and has been serving as website manager since then. Mary Catherine Baca, a law student at UNM, will be stepping in to manage the website. Welcome, Mary Catherine!
Changes to SWCD election system
The Local Election Act, House Bill 98, was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Martinez on March 7, 2018. The bill stipulates that local, non-partisan elections, including those for Soil and Water Conservation District supervisors, will now be administered by the County Clerk. Previously, state statutes stipulated that Soil and Water Conservation Districts administer their own elections. Beginning in 2019, SWCD elections throughout the state will be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of odd-numbered years.
We Treat Soil Like Dirt
"Erosion is rampant in the Watershed, as bare, lifeless soil blows and washes away with every rain. Unpermitted roads snake through our hills turning into gullies and then arroyos, dumping tons of sediment into Las Huertas Creek," writes Coronado Chair Lynn Montgomery in an article in the April issue of the Sandoval Signpost. You can read the article here.
The Coronado Soil and Water Conservation District Land Use Policy Plan is available here.
The US Forest Service has released "A Citizens' Guide to National Forest Planning." It aims to demystify the forest planning process and explain how organizations and citizens can be involved in forest plan revisions. You can download the guide here. Posted 10/11/16
The New Mexico Drought Task Force has an information-packed website with monthly drought updates and other resources. You'll find it here.
Help kids learn about healthy soil! New soil health coloring book available from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service. Schools can request up to 50 copies and individuals up to 2 copies. The 24-page coloring book is expected to be available in mid-November. Copies can be ordered in advance here.
Help get kids engaged in water conservation! Free educational resources are available that combine a read-aloud story with fun activities to engage youth and adults together. Use the materials in classroom, home school, adult literacy programs and informal education programs. Some items are available in Spanish. Access the materials here.
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