Bosque fire mitigation work done by hand
April 25, 2018 06:18 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Around this time of year, it's nesting season for travel-weary birds trying to make a home and raise their young here in the Albuquerque Bosque. Beyond the regular predators, there's the ever-present fire danger threat. Dry fuels need to be removed quickly.
There's a federal law called the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which is in effect from April 15 to Aug. 15. During this time, no heavy motorized machinery is allowed to disturb the Bosque – not even for fire prevention.
However, there is a workaround.
"There's still a lot that can be done without the use of machinery in which case we result to hand crews and hand tools," said Matthew Peterson, the open space forestry supervisor.
That's right: only hand tools and a lot of sweat. Peterson said only a few high school students are chosen to do the work.
"Hiring 23 youth to do a lot of the handwork with hand tools," he said.
Peterson said a recruitment effort is already happening for the fourth annual Bosque Youth Summer Program. It's an opportunity to for teens to learn about conservation.
"Hard work, yeah! They get a great appreciation of the Bosque and things like that," Peterson said.
Updated: April 25, 2018 06:18 PM
Created: April 25, 2018 05:24 PM
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