ARROYO SECO, NM – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced a $5 million state investment in the Taos County green corridor, a series of projects throughout the county and the Rio Hondo watershed that will reduce wildfire risk, repair water infrastructure, and support watershed protection and restoration.
The funding will go toward several projects planned to continue important wildfire risk reduction and ecological restoration work in the Rio Hondo watershed, including:
- $1.5 million to Taos County for erosion control along Route 150 near Valdez
- $1 million to Taos County for wildfire risk reduction work
- $750,000 to the Village of Taos Ski Valley to repair water infrastructure
- $500,000 to Taos Pueblo for watershed restoration work on the Rio Lucero and wildfire risk reduction work
- $500,000 to the soil and conservation district for acequia water quality monitoring
- $500,000 to Taos County for the establishment of electric vehicle charging stations
- $250,000 to Taos County for Rio Grande cutthroat trout protection work
“I’m proud to put the force of the state behind the incredible grassroots work already happening in the Taos County green corridor to improve and preserve this beautiful landscape,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “This funding help mitigate erosion, repair water infrastructure, clear debris from the forests, support native species, and monitor water quality. We are making once-in-a-lifetime investments in New Mexico communities small and large to improve the lives of New Mexicans and deliver for generations to come.”
The funding will further ongoing efforts by the Taos Valley Watershed Coalition, which has brought together federal, state, local, and tribal organizations to implement science-based projects that are already resulting in measurable benefits to forest and watershed health while also promoting workforce development and enhancing centuries-old cultural ties to the landscape.
“This investment will not only benefit Taos Pueblo, but also our neighboring communities,” said Taos Pueblo Governor Clyde Romero. “This funding for the green corridor will support important ongoing projects like the pueblo’s cutthroat trout program and hazardous fuel reduction. We are very grateful to Gov. Lujan Grisham and the state for their ongoing support of Taos Pueblo and the Taos County community as a whole.”
“This funding will jumpstart important, on-the-ground work to protect the ecological health of the Rio Hondo watershed and surrounding forests while also bolstering the cultural and economic resilience of rural northern New Mexico,” said J.R. Logan, coordinator of the Taos Valley Watershed Coalition. “This includes reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire and improving habitat for the Rio Grande cutthroat trout. And it means creating restoration-related jobs that come with a sense of pride and purpose for local residents. The green corridor project is also an opportunity to find balance in the ways we collectively manage this watershed for the good of our entire community, long into the future.”