Camino Real Forest Stewardship Meeting Coming Up This Week

Second meeting of the Camino Real Mayordomo Stewardship Pilot: Firewood Access through Community Forest Restoration: Thursday, January 24, 2019, 1 to 3 pm, Peñasco Community Center

In December of 2018 a group of Peñasco area stakeholders met to discuss reinstating the contract stewardship program that ran successfully on the Camino Real Ranger district for many years under the direction of timber specialist Henry Lopez before his retirement from the Forest Service. The meeting was convened by Matt Piccarello of Forest Stewards Guild, a non-profit based in Santa Fe, as a proposed Rio Grande Water Fund Project to work with community members.

Through the contract stewardship program community members signed an agreement to complete a thinning prescription on 1-acre blocks and purchased fuelwood permits for all material removed. All “leave trees” were painted within the 1-acre units and the community members were responsible for cutting everything else. The agreement/prescription  also included stipulations for how slash would be distributed within the unit. This current effort is essentially to re-establish that program but under the direction of a community led group as opposed to the Forest Service.

The Questa Ranger District has already established a program like this called the Cerro Negro Forest Council, a non-profit corporation that will essentially do the work that Henry Lopez once did, this time under the direction of a citizen mayordomo: lay out blocks, mark leave tress, and monitor the thinning and harvesting of the wood products. Leñeros, or woodcutters, will be recruited from the communities immediately adjacent to the project area who will perform the bulk of the thinning work. They will cut and haul away all the “take trees” for sale or personal use under the supervision of the mayordomo. A Forest Council, or board, oversees the mayordomo and is responsible for awarding and administering contracts and acting as a liaison with the Forest Service.

J.R. Logan, a member of the Cerro Negro Forest Council, will attend the January 24th meeting to provide an overview of the Cerro Negro project and answer questions. If work schedules permit, the mayordomo and other council members will also attend. Logan encourages Peñasco folks to go to the Cerro Negro Forest Council website to find out more about the Questa project.

Camino Real District Ranger Sean Ferrell was also invited to attend, but due to the federal shutdown Forest Service employees are on furlough.


Re-establishing shared forest stewardship in the Camino Real Ranger District
January 24th, 2019
Penasco, NM

 12:30 – 1:00   Informal discussion session

1:00 – 1:15     Welcome and introductions

  • Name, where you’re from
  • Review of project and last meeting

1:15 – 1:35     The Role of the Camino Real Ranger District

1:35 – 2:00     Lessons learned from the Cerro Negro Forest Council

2:00 – 2:30     Mission statement and sign-on letter

2:30 – 3:00     Forest council roles and responsibilities

3:00 – 3:00     Informal discussion session

Everyone is welcome.


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