For this land trust partner, a real dialog with local residents and stakeholders is fundamental to achieving a deliberate goal: conserving open, productive and natural lands for the benefit of the people and the culture of the area.
In support of this commitment to community conservation, The Taos Ski Valley Foundation, affiliate of The Moore Charitable Foundation is proud to partner with TLT as they engage the diverse communities of Taos to define cooperative conservation outcomes. Case in point: TLT is in the process of revitalizing a 20-acre property with 13 acres of historical agricultural land and 7 acres of wetland next to Fred Baca Park. This project is revitalizing a section of the Rio Fernando River, bringing an acequia back to life, and restoring the once-productive agricultural lands of this property. Once finished, the site will provide the community with downtown access to the river and green space through a network of trails. The ongoing rehabilitation work will also be used for educational demonstrations of best practices for conservation of soil, water and habitat.
In 2017, TLT re-established the Vigil y Romo Acequia Association and worked with members of the disused ditch to reopen it. In April 2019, after much negotiation with parciantes, funding from the Office of the State Engineer, and construction delays for a new headgate at the Rio Fernando, the Vigil y Romo Acequia opened and water came down the ditch for the first time in over 40 years. Dozens of community members participated in the cleanup and celebration of “bringing down the water.” TLT irrigated the fields at Rio Fernando Park for nearly 3 months, learning new techniques and employing traditional strategies to put water on over 8 acres of once-fallow land.
26,000+ acres of irrigated farm and ranch lands, wildlife habitat and open landscapes throughout northern New Mexico.
2,000 local citizens engaged in environmental restoration activities
20 acres of true community conservation: The Rio Fernando Park