Size: 105 acres
Location: Sandoval County
Eco-Region: Southern Rocky Mountains
Conservation Values: Agriculture, Scenic Open Space, Wildlife Habitat
Type of Project: Donated Conservation Easement
Date Completed: December 2016
School Section Canyon Homestead
Situated within the forested slopes of the Jemez mountains about 19 miles southeast of Cuba, NM, this 105-acre property includes both dryland coniferous forests of Ponderosa Pine, piñon pine and scrub oak, and the cooler forests of Douglas fir, aspen and spruce, and provides natural habitat for numerous wildlife species.
Much of the property is open, mid-elevation meadow reminiscent of the grassland parks of the Valles Caldera and surrounding region, and provides prime summer breeding and foraging for the Jemez mountain elk herd – the 2nd largest herd in New Mexico. Mule deer, black bear, mountain lion, red fox, little brown bat and porcupine are but a few of the diverse species found on the property. Seeps and wet meadows support semi-acquatic and riparian vegetation and associated wildlife as well.
Remains of the homestead era can be found onsite, including corrals and livestock management equipment, grave sites, and the original cabin built in the early 1900s. Historically, the property was used to cultivate oats, timothy hay and potatoes during the 1920s, and used in the 1930s-40s as a small-scale dairy operation producing cream. Currently the property is used for recreational purposes including hiking, bird-watching and wildlife viewing.
As an inholding within the Santa Fe National Forest, near other important public landmarks and high-use areas, this property enhances the views for public recreational users accessing public lands.