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Gallinas Implementation Phase I

March 1, 2013
The Hermit’s Peak Watershed Alliance was awarded and has begun work on an EPA 319 grant to implement On-the-Ground Improvement Projects for the Upper Gallinas River and Porvenir Creek.   We would like to thank those of you that provided letters of support and have already offered to collaborate on this project.  Your support strengthened our proposal and will undoubtedly help get more work done on the ground to improve the condition of our watershed.

This grant is a follow-up to the Updated Watershed Based Plan that was completed and accepted by NMED and EPA last year (see for a copy). See below for a brief explanation of this implementation project.

This grant offers us the opportunity to implement some of the work that is recommended in that plan to restore healthy conditions to the Gallinas River and Watershed.  It is also an opportunity to collaboratively work with other organizations to leverage funding so we can accomplish more watershed restoration, and educate community members on conscientious land stewardship to keep our watershed healthy.

We welcome your suggestions for specific projects or for how we might work together to improve the condition of our watershed.  Feel free to contact us if you’d like to discuss this work further.
Lea Knutson,                                                                    Katie Withnall,
Executive Director, Project Manager                                 Project Coordinator


On-the-Ground Improvement Projects for the Upper Gallinas River and Porvenir Creek
Project Summary

The NM Environment Department (NMED), with many years of data, has determined that the Gallinas River, from its headwaters down to the City of Las Vegas diversion, and Porvenir Creek, along its entire length, have stream temperatures that exceed New Mexico Water Quality Standards.  For that reason, NMED prioritized the Gallinas Watershed for the receipt of funding to develop, and later to implement a plan to restore stream and riparian conditions needed to support cooler water temperatures.

In April 2012, the Hermit’s Peak Watershed Alliance (HPWA) completed the Updated Watershed Based Plan for the Upper Gallinas River which addresses and recommends solutions to the stream temperature impairment as well as overall watershed health. The plan was accepted by NMED and EPA in August 2012. 
In January 2013 HPWA began work to implement some of the recommendations and projects laid out in the plan. Funding for this work comes from an EPA 319 grant and other related programs (NRCS-EQIP, Tierra y Montes Soil & Water Conservation Service, Partners for Fish and Wildlife). Our specific project goals are to:
1.       Implement improvements in the Upper Gallinas Watershed:
a.      Assist Landowners to develop and implement Riparian Sensitive Grazing Plans on 2 miles of river;
b.      Plant native riparian vegetation on 2 miles of river;
c.       Conduct stream channel enhancements on 2 miles of river;
d.      Improve two low water road crossing;
e.       Pursue the use of one conservation, planning, or regulatory tool to assist in restoring river or watershed health.
2.       Conduct Education and Outreach efforts:
a.      Develop and deliver educational materials and presentations to landowners, schools, and the general public;
b.      Build a volunteer Community Watershed Restoration and Monitoring Team;
c.       Establish a Watershed Resource Center.

While funding from NMED targets stream temperature problems, HPWA will strive to use this project to better understand and solve other related watershed health concerns.  We will further use this effort to educate our community in watershed stewardship.   We will make every attempt to make this a community effort while working with private and public land management organizations.
Contact HPWA if you know of projects that could be done on the ground to improve the condition of our watershed or are interested in working with us in any way.