Forest Service to begin aerial seeding of Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire burn scar
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — More than a year after fire crews were able to contain the massive Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire, the National Forest Service is working to regrow what was lost.
This month, they began aerial seeding treatments along the burn scar between Las Vegas and Mora.
Instead of the traditional shovel and glove approach, they are taking to the sky, planting hundreds of thousands of seeds at once.
The goal is to cover more than 11,000 acres of the Pecos/Las Vegas District of the Santa Fe National Forest, and parts of the Carson National Forest.
The Forest Service says they are focusing on areas with moderate to high soil burns.
Officials say seeding will help absorb rainfall and keep water from running off – thus slowing erosion and make any flooding less severe.
“Any stabilization of the watershed is helpful for our treatment, we’ve been experiencing increased amounts of sediment coming down river and so any stabilization of the soil, and of the watershed area will greatly improve our water quality, and our the ability for us to treat the water,” said Maria Gilvarry, a Las Vegas utilities director.
Crews will be using a combination of airplanes and helicopters to drop the mixture of native seeds, and locals are looking forward to the day they start to see growth
“We’re hoping over the next year or so that some of the sequels will start to take effect,” said Gilvarry.
A Forest Service spokesperson said they are hoping this process will only take two weeks, but that all depends on the weather.