Andrew Hautzinger, District Director of the Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District, will describe his organization’s current work in plant selection for robust and resilient Rio Grande Bosque restoration as the climate becomes warmer and dryer. The Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area is a 97-acre preserve near Belen, and is part of the 3-unit Whitfield Complex, owned and operated by the District. With over twenty years of experience in bosque and wetlands restoration, the staff is excited about projects calling for thoughtful selection of plants that thrive further south, thereby increasing the survivability and diversity of the native plantings at the Whitfield Complex and beyond. The current plan is to move past the cottonwood-willow focus and develop a demonstration grove of a few woody native species that are native to the Rio Grande but are now absent or rare from the floodplain. Species currently being discussed include Black and Little walnuts, Arizona Sycamore, and various oak, fruit and nut trees. These plantings will be public demonstration opportunities to (hopefully) show what can be done to restore the local bosque with natives that might have an adaptive advantage to survive in our changing environment.
We plan to meet in person at the UNM Continuing Eduction Building, 1634 University Ave NE. Watch this website page and your email for updates about any changes. This first meeting will be “hybrid,” with a Zoom link provided along with our live reunion.
Masks are now optional at UNM and you may bring water for yourself.