Tribe Works On Flood Plan - Albuquerque Journal

Tribe Works On Flood Plan

The damage done to one Native American community’s ancestral lands by the largest wildfire in New Mexico’s recorded history is being assessed as part of a new agreement reached between tribal leaders and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

An agency contractor this week started collecting aerial photographs of the burned area along Santa Clara Pueblo’s charred canyon as the first step in the watershed assessment.

Officials said the $1.8 million study is expected to take three years to complete. The findings will provide the basis for a long-term plan aimed at restoration and flood prevention.

The two partners were midway through a similar study when the Las Conchas blaze raced across more than 244 square miles of the Jemez Mountains this summer. The fire destroyed several dozen homes, threatened Los Alamos National Laboratory, burned through cultural sites and threatened an important water source for the pueblo.

“Now we’re going back to square one,” said Ron Kneebone, a tribal liaison with the Army Corps of Engineers. “We need new data on mapping because it has changed the geography of the watershed, it has changed the composition of the soils in the watershed, it has burned off all the vegetation. Whatever didn’t burn is getting torn up every time it rains as floods happen.”

Unlike the previous watershed assessment, Kneebone said the focus this time has expanded beyond restoration to include flood mitigation.

Situated at the mouth of Santa Clara Canyon, the pueblo faces the prospect of flood waters rushing into the community even with just a couple inches of rain, Kneebone said. He likened it to the community standing at the end of a fire hose.

“The fire is bad enough, but the aftermath of the fire is just as bad. The concerns will be around for years to come,” he said.

The agreement is the first signed with a tribal government under the Army Corps of Engineers’ tribal partnership program.

Under the program, a tribe can be awarded up to $1 million a year for water-related planning and to prioritize projects aimed at flood prevention, environmental restoration and the preservation of cultural resources.

The pueblo will cover 25 percent of the assessment’s cost.

Currently, officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency are working to come up with a dollar figure for the damage done on the pueblo’s land.

Tribe Works On Flood PlanSanta Clara Pueblo gets $1.8 million to study watershedWeb Headline

Feds work with New Mexico pueblo on fire recovery

Home » Journal North » Journal North Recent News » Tribe Works On Flood Plan

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
New NM health secretary learning on the job after ...
ABQnews Seeker
Patrick Allen heads a key agency ... Patrick Allen heads a key agency on the front lines of the state’s pandemic response, after leaving behind a lengthy state government career in ...
2
New Mexico bill would ban contracts for migration detention
ABQnews Seeker
Recently introduced bill could unwind contractual ... Recently introduced bill could unwind contractual arrangements at Otero County Processing Center in Chaparral
3
Native American leaders: Educational trust fund will be key
ABQnews Seeker
Native American leaders said creating a ... Native American leaders said creating a special $50 million trust fund to help finance educational p ...
4
NM lawmakers scrutinize pretrial release system
ABQnews Seeker
Sides clash over Arnold Tool, used ... Sides clash over Arnold Tool, used to assess defendants' flight risk
5
David Scrase to step down as Human Services Department ...
ABQnews Seeker
Physician emerged as the face of ... Physician emerged as the face of NM's response to the COVID-19 pandemic
6
'Travels with Darley': PBS travel show visits New Mexico, ...
ABQnews Seeker
Darley Newman is host of "Travels ... Darley Newman is host of "Travels with Darley," which airs nationally. "New Mexico always holds a special place in my heart," she said. "This ...
7
NM General Services Department Secretary John Garcia to step ...
ABQnews Seeker
SANTA FE - The leader of ... SANTA FE - The leader of New Mexico's General Services Department is stepping down after ...
8
NM lawmakers weigh job candidate secrecy
ABQnews Seeker
Spending transparency, lobbying disclosure measures move ... Spending transparency, lobbying disclosure measures move forward
9
NM lawmakers weigh application secrecy, lobbyist disclosures
ABQnews Seeker
This year's legislative session could bring ... This year's legislative session could bring a dose of sunshine to lobbying inside the Roundhouse. And it could curtail public scrutiny of applicants to ...