If you have trouble viewing this email, click here to view in browser

Community Town Hall - Santa Fe Mountains Project

Community Town Hall Concerning the Santa Fe Mountains Project, Thursday June 8 at 6:30

Dear forest friends,

Commissioner Anna Hansen is sponsoring a Town Hall concerning the Santa Fe Mountains Project, on Thursday, June 8, 6:30-8:30 PM. It’s being held at Santa Fe Community College, and it can also be attended virtually. See Town Hall Flyer. Below is the information and link to attend virtually.

The Santa Fe Mountains Project decision has been signed. The Forest Service did not consider any points in any of the objections submitted to be valid, in terms of environmental law. So they chose to not even conduct objection meetings. They did meet with conservation organizations after the objection period was closed, and after our rights to participate in the objection process had been concluded.

Last month, on behalf of The Forest Advocate, I met with Santa Fe National Forest Supervisor Shaun Sanchez, Ranger Sandra Imler-Jacquez and Fireshed Coordinate Jacob Key, along with Dr. Dominick DellaSala. They seemed to listen to what we had to say and asked some pertinent questions. Supervisor Sanchez said that they would consider public input before each phase of the project.

In this community's long history with the Forest Service, culminating in the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire, the public has mostly not been heard. Still, we have made some very important progress, and we should not lose sight of this. The amount of prescribed burning planned for the Santa Fe Mountains Project was reduced from 48,000 acres to 38,000 acres. The amount of tree cutting was reduced from 21,000 acres to 18,000 acres. The largest diameter of trees that can be cut in the project was reduced from 24” at breast height, to 16”. The Forest Service has now opted to comply with the Roadless Rule and not cut trees larger than 10” in Inventoried Roadless Areas — areas that are meant to be kept as natural as possible.

Still, this is not nearly enough. The cutting and burning treatments the Forest Service plans to do are still much too aggressive and ecologically damaging. We need more analysis and consideration of the impacts of the treatments. We need the project to be based on current conservation science, with genuine consideration of the warming climate — a project that helps to hold moisture into the forest ecosystem, instead of opening up the canopy so much that to dries out the ecosystem. We need the Forest Service to stop carrying out prescribed burns in the spring, when the unpredictable winds make it too risky. And we need them to take into account the impacts of prescribed burn smoke on our health.

Supervisor Sanchez is new to the Santa Fe National Forest and has expressed his willingness to try to accommodate us at least in some respects. Let’s go speak to him, and see.

Let's ask Supervisor Sanchez to rescind the Santa Fe Mountains Project decision and complete an Environmental Impact Statement that has a conservation alternative. We can urge the Forest Service to include the input of conservation organizations and the public in project planning this time. We can hold to the vision of a holistic conservation project that works with the forest and communities, instead of against them.

This is in addition to other actions, such as continuing to urge elected representatives to help protect our forest and communities, continuing to write op-eds and letters to the editor, and the consideration of legal action.

For those who have not yet met and spoken with Supervisor Sanchez, this event is a good time to do so. Throughout this ten year and more project, we need to keep speaking up, for our forest and our communities. Improvement is possible during all phases, and it may have to be a gradual process. But you never know, the situation could improve in ways we haven’t even thought of yet.

For the forest,


Virtual links

Town Hall on Santa Fe Mountains Landscape Resiliency Project
Thursday, June 8, 2023
6:30 PM | (UTC-06:00) Mountain Time (US & Canada) | 2 hrs

Join meeting<>

More ways to join:

Join from the meeting link

Join by meeting number
Meeting number (access code): 2492 156 0294
Meeting password: BHeD3S7aiv7

Tap to join from a mobile device (attendees only)
+1-408-418-9388,,24921560294##<tel:%2B1-408-418-9388,,*01*24921560294%23%23*01*> United States Toll

Join by phone
+1-408-418-9388 United States Toll
Global call-in numbers<>

Join from a video system or application
You can also dial and enter your meeting number.

Subscribe to Forest Updates

The Forest Advocate
Santa Fe, New Mexico