AP NEWS

Tree thinning in northern New Mexico causes uproar

January 8, 2020 GMT

GLORIETA MESA, N.M. (AP) — An effort by New Mexico officials to trim the density of piñon and juniper trees near Cañoncito is drawing criticism from some residents

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports state officials say the Ojo de la Vaca Meadow Restoration Project is designed to “encourage the growth of desirable understory vegetation.” The project also aims to improve forage for livestock and habitat for wildlife.

But residents say the tree-thinning project is doing more harm than good.

Stephen Dubinsky says the trees anchor the soil and prevent erosion.

State Land Office spokeswoman Angie Poss says the state treated more than 48,000 acres (19,424 hectares) last year in a range of projects similar to the work near Cañoncito that are meant to improve the health of the land.