Size: 300 acres
Location: San Miguel County
Eco-Region: Southern Rockies
Conservation Values: Scenic Open Space, Wildlife Habitat, Cultural/Historical, Agricultural
Type of Project: Transfered Conservation Easement
Date Completed: 2019
Standing atop a high point on the El Barro Canyon property, enjoying full-circle, scenic mountain forest views; the thin, clean air whooshing gently through healthy piñon trees; the occasional cry of a hawk, or trill of a Towhee breaking the silence . . . it’s easy to appreciate the importance of land conservation in New Mexico.
In 2019, NMLC accepted the transfer of two contiguous easements from the Forest Trust for the El Barro property situated in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains southeast of Pecos, NM. The two easements totaling 300 acres are adjacent to another NMLC-held easement across a 2,500-acre portion of Ranchos del Rito, a large-lot, residential conservation development bordering the Santa Fe National Forest.
An important factor in NMLC’s decision to accept the El Barro transfers was their proximity to our ongoing conservation effort in the greater Upper Pecos Watershed area, which includes NMLC-held easements on Ranchos del Rito, Forked Lightning Ranch and more recently, other properties along the Pecos River. Conserving forested land in key watershed origination points is critical to protecting New Mexico’s water resources, and land conservation becomes more powerful overall when contiguous or nearby conserved parcels help prevent fragmentation of the larger landscape from development. #