Chama Prescribed Fire Training Exchange

As part of our Forest and Watershed Health Program, the Chama Peak Land Alliance (CPLA) in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and other regional partners will be hosting a Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX) in Chama, NM this spring.  The intent of this training is to provide opportunities for local and regional firefighters, scientists and managers to work and train together, build their experience in prescribed fire practices, fire effects, and other conservation efforts affecting forests, woodlands and grasslands in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.

The Chama Peak Land Alliance (CPLA) and partners are working collaboratively across ownership boundaries to improve the resiliency of regional forests and watersheds to catastrophic wildfire, forest insect and disease outbreaks, and climate change impacts. One-third of New Mexico’s drinking water is sourced from the San Juan-Chama Watershed, a matrix of private and public lands in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. By working together we are increasing the capacity of private landowners and public agencies to improve forest health at scale and protect vital water, wildlife, and cultural resources. Collaborative partnerships active in the region include the Rio Grande Water Fund, the San Juan Headwaters Forest Health Partnership, the San Juan-Chama Watershed Partnership, and the 2-3-2 Cohesive Strategy Partnership. More information and links to these groups may be found at

We'll be watching the weather as we get closer to spring. Recent dry weather may preclude conducting prescribed burns, in which case we will evaluate the event and seek other meaningful training and work opportunities for participants.

We invite professional wildland firefighters and prescribed fire practitioners, fire and resource managers, ecologists, biologists, conservationists, students and faculty, researchers and scientists from federal, state, tribal, non-governmental and private organizations to be part of our burn team.

Join us for hands-on burning and learning in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. Everyone is welcome; if you do not have the minimum training requirements we will provide them to you. There is no cost for basic training. Event registration fees may be waived for local participants.

More information and the registration form can be found here.

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The Chama Peak Land Alliance

Benefit Raffle

Support private land conservation and win one of four big game hunts or a fly fishing trip!

Drawing July 14, 2018

Fully guided hunts are available for bull elk, mule deer, Barbary sheep, and white-tailed deer. The guided fly fishing trip includes prime trout stream and pond habitat fishing opportunities. Your purchase of a raffle ticket provides critical support to the Chama Peak Land Alliance and our private land conservation mission. These hunting and fishing opportunities are donated by Alliance members who generously give their time and resources to support the organization--thank you!

More details are available HERE.

Third Annual Rio Chama Congreso - Registration is open!

Sponsored by the San Juan-Chama Watershed Partnership, the third annual Rio Chama Watershed Congreso is to be held March 10, 2018 from 8 am to 5 pm at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico.

The congreso concept is that collaborative decision-making can combine local knowledge with scientific management to sustain indigenous cultures, provide educational and economic opportunity for young residents and protect our resources. Last year’s event explored a dozen river and watershed restoration projects that have potential to improve the quality of life for all residents-ranchers, villagers, and recreationists who rely on the Rio Chama. This year’s theme is “Fire & Water – Building Resilience on Our Landscape.”

You are invited to participate! Together with students and other citizens, agencies (Forest Service, Game and Fish, State Engineer) and non-governmental organizations (Rio Grande Water Fund, NM Association of Conservation Districts, Chama Peak Land Alliance, Rio Grande Restoration, and others) help to decide how to best address our water and land management challenges in the Chama Basin.

Please SHARE this invitation and if you find others in your community or agency are also interested, by all means urge them to register. There is no charge to participate. You can download the full agenda here.


Questions or prefer to register by phone? Contact Steve Harris at home/office: 575-751-1269;  575-770-2502 cell or:

We're hiring! AmeriCorp VISTA Volunteer position open until Feb. 16th

Opportunity: The Chama Peak Land Alliance (CPLA) and Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) are requesting that interested individuals respond to this inquiry for a Conservation Legacy DOI/AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer position to be based in Chama, New Mexico. This is a 1 year position beginning in spring 2018.
Deadline: Friday, February 16th. (Please note that the AmeriCorps website gives “Accepting Applications” date until March 3rd; Final selection will be completed by Feb. 26th; Start date March 26th)

Position Summary: The San Juan – Chama DOI/VISTA Volunteer will work under the supervision of CPLA and BOR to increase watershed health in the San Juan – Chama region through strategic planning and impact assessment of forest health projects; help to alleviate poverty in Rio Arriba County by supporting a natural resource-based economy and community needs; and build organizational capacity for CPLA and the San Juan – Chama Watershed Partnership (SJCWP) through increased partnerships, fundraising, and strategic planning. Responsibilities include seeking funding opportunities and writing grants; developing and implementing outreach plans via a variety of media to communities, partners, and private landowners; assist with coordination of partner communication and project implementation; assist with planning and implementation of workshops, trainings, the Rio Chama Congreso annual conference, and other educational or outreach efforts; and assist with efforts to engage new stakeholders in local communities and conservation partners.

Qualifications: Preference will be given to individuals who reside locally in the region, however, out of state candidates are welcome to apply. Candidate should have excellent communication skills and have an interest in organizational development, poverty alleviation, and conservation. VISTA Volunteers are government employees and must have a valid U.S. driver’s license.
Stipend and Resources: The VISTA Volunteer will be provided with a monthly stipend that is equivalent to 105% of the poverty line for Rio Arriba County. Housing, utilities, office space, computer, cell phone, and a vehicle will be provided by the Bureau of Reclamation. Other benefits include a limited health plan, forbearance on qualified student loans, an educational award, and a professional development stipend.

For more information:

To learn more about the DOI/VISTA Program:

Apply online HERE