30 May 2016

Notes from the Road: Santa Fe River Traditional Communities Collaborative

beaver dam on creek

Down by the swimming pool you may notice a whole lot of planting going on. The landscape crew is undertaking a major poolside landscape project that includes new drip-irrigation systems for the new plants and reseeded grass areas. If you are in the hydrotherapy area take a look at the beautiful rock and flagstone work courtesy of the husband-wife team.

Santa Fe River Traditional Communities Collaborative
Four years ago, the Santa Fe River Traditional Communities Collaborative was established. The group’s initial focus was a restoration project from La Cieneguilla to the village of La Bajada but the Collaborative soon concluded that to plan a river restoration, there had be a steady and certain river flow. Unfortunately, there is no certainty of the river flow, which has resulted in problems for the people who have depended for centuries on this water.

The cause of the water problems along the Santa Fe River is complicated, but one major factor was the arrival of the beaver. Whether the animal migrated naturally or was brought in by humans, the beaver dams have impeded and diminished the water needed to sustain the area’s agricultural traditions. Beaver activities have damaged an important bridge and they are taking down carefully planted trees, causing fire and flood issues. The Collaborative is working to address the beaver and related water issues, which now may include live-trapping some of the beaver and moving them to Tesuque Pueblo land.

Carl DickensCarl Dickens began working at Sunrise Springs in 1984, the same year he and his family moved to the valley. Carl remained at Sunrise Springs for five years, and later returned in September of 2012. Carl is active in the local community and is passionate about the history of the area, preserving its agricultural traditions, and water conservation.