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Socorro BLM Field Office Guzzlers Los Ojos Wildlife Water Disturbed Area Rehab & Erosion Control

July 13, 2023
posted in: Conservation, News

The Polvadera Mountains of south-central New Mexico are on BLM-managed public lands, ~9 miles north of Socorro. During the spring 2023 construction of the Los Ojos guzzler/water system, the work site was unavoidably disturbed and needed to be reclaimed.

This guzzler project was partially funded by the Wild Sheep Foundation, with partner funding provided by Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Outdoor Fund and the Pope & Young Club. The Water for Wildlife Foundation also partnered with the Socorro BLM Field Office. BLM wildlife biologist Carlos Madril organized and led the construction of this important guzzler. Madril also led a recent work project held on July 8, which attracted more than two dozen volunteers from the New Mexico Wild Sheep Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Southwest Conservation Corporation, and other interested conservationists. In addition to the desert bighorn sheep that rely on this water source, elk, mule deer, and other wildlife frequently show up on the trail cameras.

This project involved the restoration and rehabilitation of the guzzler work site to pre-disturbance conditions. Work included:
• digging and back-filling a trench for an overflow pipe
• construction of rock and waddle erosion-control structures
• placement of rocks to trap silt and sediment, thereby creating habitat micro-patches
• soils were stabilized and wildlife-friendly, native seed mixtures were scattered, with mulch added
• secondary benefits will be habitat creation/enhancement for pollinator species such as bees, bats, moths & butterflies.

This volunteer effort was so well received that the BLM is already planning another work project, to be scheduled in August 2023.

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