Thank you for helping us in our environmental monitoring efforts at Los Luceros! In early 2021, Russian Olive and other invasive vegetation were removed from the Pond, a man-made waterbody only a few meters from the Rio Grande. Plant and animal life are plentiful at the Pond, where water levels rise and fall along with the Rio Grande. We expect the growth of native vegetation to provide a healthier ecosystem for northern New Mexico fauna. The Pond was first excavated to provide water for apple irrigation, a since discontinued purpose as the surrounding forest is now native Cottonwood.
In early 2021, Russian Olive and other invasive plant species were removed from much of the Los Luceros Historic Site grounds. In collaboration with the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, we are monitoring post-treatment environmental change at two locations at the site. We expect native vegetation to take hold and thrive, thus providing indigenous habitat for native animal life, and cultivating the healthy ecosystems natural to the Rio Grande region of northern New Mexico.