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The Gateway is for the conservation practitioner, scientist and decision-maker. Here we share the best and most up-to-date information we use to inform our work at The Nature Conservancy.

Santa Fe Watershed Management Plan

Margolis, Ellis; Savage, Melissa; Lyons, Dale; Dupzyk, Pamela; McCarthy, Laura

This master plan provides a framework and recommendations for long-term management, outreach and funding for the Santa Fe Municipal Watershed. The plan addresses four areas critical to the maintenance of the watershed:

  1. vegetation management and fire use;
  2. water management;
  3. public awareness and outreach; and
  4. financial management based on Payment for Ecosystem Services.

The cost to retain the restored forest condition is estimated at $4.3 million, an average of $200,000 per year. In contrast, the avoided cost that would result from a 7,000 acre fire in the watershed is estimated at $22 million. The likelihood of such a fire is 1 in 5 in any given year.