Rio Arriba County CWPP Update

In 2015, CPLA was awarded $410,000 from The Nature Conservancy’s Rio Grande Water Fund for the treatment of 800 acres, through prescribed fire and thinning, over the next three years to improve forest health and restore wildlife habitat. For more information on this project, please click here.

Through our discussions with local, state, and federal partners on this project, the need to update the Rio Arriba County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) arose as a high priority. The plan is 9 years old and revisions are needed in order to continue applying for and receiving funds for hazardous fuels reduction in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) as well as the surrounding landscape. Forest treatments outside of the WUI are critical to further protecting communities from the effects of catastrophic wildfire.

Forest treatments, such as thinning and prescribed fire, build resiliency on the landscape so that when a catastrophic wildfire outside of the natural range of variation occurs, the landscape can withstand this fire and reduce the post-fire debris flows that may occur – such as the flooding and debris flows seen after the Las Conchas Fire in New Mexico.

Chama Peak Land Alliance received a $15,000 grant from the NM Association (NMAC) of Counties to update Rio Arriba’s CWPP. This grant is part of the 2016-2017 Wildfire Risk  Reduction Grant provided by the National Fire Plan through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in cooperation with the NMAC. As part of this update, we will be hosting community meetings in the Fall of 2016 to introduce the CWPP update and receive feedback on wildfire preparedness. We will then prepare a draft plan in Winter/Spring 2017 and ask for further feedback from the community for final plan completion in the Spring/Summer of 2017.

Upcoming Community Input Meetings

For a full project timeline and description, please click here.

For more information about existing CWPPs in New Mexico, click here.

Please consider taking a moment to fill out a survey to incorporate community feedback into the plan update!

For more information about the effectiveness of mitigation activities in the WUI, please click here (Forest Guild website and report).


Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs) are authorized and defined in Title I of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA). Federal and state funding for hazardous fuel reduction projects is dependent on whether a county or community has a signed and approved CWPP. CWPP’s have three main components: (1) Collaboration with all stakeholders throughout the CWPP process, (2) Identification and prioritization of hazardous fuel reduction areas and (3) addressing the treatment of structural ignitability within the CWPP area. CWPP’s are reviewed by the New Mexico Fire Planning Task Force by the 1st of December each year and if approved placed on this website.