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Tiffany Fire watershed — Restoration and management project funded 

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This photograph shows the results of the Tiffany Fire at the Rio Grande Near San Marcial.

Socorro County, NM
— November 28, 2018

The Tiffany Fire Watershed Restoration and Management project is a collaborative effort to restore the area affected by the Tiffany Fire, which burned 9,200 acres south of the Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge along the Rio Grande riparian corridor in June 2017. This large-scale restoration project was initiated by a diverse group of stakeholders, including the Sierra Soil and Water Conservation District (SSWCD), New Mexico State Forestry, the Save Our Bosque Task Force, the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and private land owners. The project is organized in phases (Analysis, Planning, Site Preparation, and Environmental Compliance) in an effort to implement restoration techniques that produce the desired results that will be defined by stakeholders.

Researchers at NMBGMR recently received funding through the SSWCD to characterize the current shallow hydrogeologic system within the Tiffany Fire burn scar as a part of the “Analysis” phase. Talon Newton, Shari Kelley, Alex Rinehart from NMBGMR, and Lewis Land from NCKRI will be measuring groundwater levels in existing monitoring wells and conducting geophysical surveys to assess groundwater depths, flow directions, and other hydrologic processes. The information gained from this part of the study will be used to model different restoration scenarios to help determine the most effective restoration techniques to accomplish specific goals, such as the enhancement of wildlife habitat and improved water delivery to downstream users.