2018 Programs and Projects Underway
1. Working hard to survive the ongoing drought - this has been one of the driest years since I have been in New Mexico. We are praying for rain daily as most of the springs and watering holes have been dry for months. The monsoon rains have finally arrived and we're hoping the moisture continues through late summer and fall.
Much of the ranch work is on keeping the fences mended and feeding the few head of cattle and horses hay. The price of hay has gone through the roof because without rain the hay production is down in New Mexico and Colorado to the north. Nevertheless we have 4 baby calves and some hungry moms trying to keep them nourished with rich milk. Below are some pictures of some new calves and a picture of me introducing our baby (Claire Avalon) to one of the ranch babies!
The photo below is of the ranch brand which stands for three large granite rocks and TP short for Tres Piedras. Designed by my good friend and ranch partner, Bill Casto.
2. The Mules - we've posted many pictures over the years of Cowboy and Dwayne and they have been living the life of leisure since they moved to the ranch 3 years ago. They were shipped off to a mule trainer, Ta-Willow Romero in Moriarty, NM in November, 2017. She has had her hands full training these big boys and they are coming along nicely. My intention is to use them for rides high into the mountains of the Carson National Forest as well as have them for some equine therapy with people as time goes along. Mules are smart, sensitive and highly intelligent animals and they will be great contributors to the Creative Healing Arts Center and our future projects helping get people out in nature.
3. Other projects currently underway
a. purchasing hay for fall and winter
b. mending fences
c. remodeling plans for A-frame cabin
d. planning for a 2019 fundraising retreat onsite @ the ranch in Tres Piedras
100% of all donations go directly into ranch needs such as these - any donation amount is greatly appreciated with no amount too small - feel free to designate the area you'd like to support
1. Hay purchases
2. Fencing materials - wire and metal posts for fence maintenance
3. Clearing 15 acres of sage so more grassland can be established - preferred method would be mechanical
4. Reseeding fields with mountain grasses - 25 acres - 10lbs/acre seed
Wish-list items for the future
1. Used 4-wheel drive ranch truck ~ $4000 - $10,000
2. A small used bulldozer ~ $10,000 - $15,000 to help in the maintenance of the ranch
3. Remodeling the A-frame cabin - windows, flooring, new doors, porch, electrical work ~ $15,000
4. A 30' yurt or 30' dome to be used for workshops and gatherings ~ $25,000
Scope of work for the year
It is with focused intention that the CHAC will continue working with various government agencies in 2017, and is striving to be a bridge between these agencies and the local Tres Piedras community, as well as communicating about these efforts in a world wide setting, so that all can witness the benefits of cooperative behavior.
- Continue the program started in 2014 with the Partners for Fish and Wildlife – United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) – spring enhancement, riparian environment, mountain grass establishment, monitoring of the small headed golden weed rare plant, and monitoring of ranch bird populations with the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory. Completion of initial contract.
- Continued implementation of the program started in 2016 with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS/USDA)
- Potential cooperative Landscape Restoration Project with the USDA – United States Forest Service (USFS) and the CHAC. After a slow start I am seeing the potential for a synergistic effect of working with the USFS and our adjoining lands.
Completed Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) projects on the ranch
1. Erosion control dams - built out of layers of rock and brush to filter back dirt, slowing water flow reducing erosion. Five dams were built in a large ditch suffering from long term water runoff. Completed July/August 2017.