Volunteers Continue Restoration Work in NM's Midnight Meadows
Thursday, September 22, 2022
Midnight Meadows in northern New Mexico's Carson National Forest is one of 22 sites identified as "wetland jewels," and volunteers will continue their work to keep it that way starting Friday.
Restoration has been underway since 2016 to install erosion and restoration structures including Zuni bowls, one-rock dams and rock rundowns. The project, organized by the Albuquerque Wildlife Federation and the environmental group Amigos Bravos, follows the principles of "induced meandering" to hold more water on the landscape.
Shannon Romeling, projects and foundation coordinator for the group Amigos Bravos, said restoration also includes fence construction to reduce possible damage from snowmobiles.
"These wetlands contribute vital function to the ecosystem, including soil health, ecosystem diversity," Romeling explained. "Having things like trout and different sensitive species in them and one of the largest things that they provide is water storage."
The annual three-day event starts Friday and wraps up Sunday with overnight accommodations for those who stay the weekend. It's also possible to volunteer for activities on Saturday only.
Romeling pointed out a unique undertaking this year will be the creation and installation of log swales.
"These are features made from natural materials that will help to decrease damage from recreation and cattle in a sensitive fen area of the wetland," Romeling noted.
In addition to smaller hand-built structures, volunteers have helped install and repair riparian protection along Bitter Creek and adjacent wetlands.
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