Northern New Mexico College invites community members, conservationists and interested parties to The El Rito Watershed from the Ground Up Conference, which will be held at Northern’s El Rito campus on Friday, July 14, 9 am – 5:30 pm at Alumni Hall and the Research Building (located just behind Alumni Hall).
The conference is premised on the notion that natural communities are dependent upon their watersheds, which when carefully used and protected, can continuously sustain productive local economies with a high quality of life.
The conference will feature over 20 local authorities who will discuss various aspects of the El Rito watershed, its geology, ecozones, unique vegetation and resources.
Presentations will also discuss current conservation and development activities in the watershed area and plans for sustainable economic development in the region that utilizes the watershed’s renewable resources.
The conference hopes to inform and engage the public in these planned and ongoing activities and help identify opportunities for collaborative actions, address potential obstacles and develop a shared calendar of stakeholder action.
The conference will employ a Geographical Information System (GIS) approach to explore the characteristics of the land and chart activities in the watershed area. For example, the presentation on ecozones will display the map of where each ecozone is present within the watershed, along with the unique vegetation of that zone.
Presenters will include the US Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, Rio Arriba County, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, New Mexico Forest Industry Association, Tewa Women United, Wildlife Defenders, Northern New Mexico College and others.
This free conference is open to all members of the public and lunch will be provided.
Northern New Mexico College is a minority-serving institution, offering bachelor's, associate, and certificate programs.
The college primarily serves rural communities within a 40-mile radius of its campus in Española, New Mexico, within one of the most underserved regions in the state.