Project continues to reduce wildfire threat in high risk areas near Silver City, New Mexico

SILVER CITY, NM, Feb. 21, 2024 – The Gila National Forest, Silver City Ranger District plans to resume hand thinning in the Little Walnut area at the end of February, and is expected to continue for the next few months. Hand thinning will take place within portions of the 179-acre Unit 6 and the 41-acre Unit 4 that were unable to be treated with heavy equipment.

“We are in our second year of fuels reduction treatments in the Little Walnut area as part of the Bear Creek to Signal Peak Joint Chiefs’ project and have made a significant difference in fuels conditions in that area,” said Silver City District Ranger Elizabeth Toney. “These areas will need to be treated and re-treated on a recurring basis as understory vegetation naturally re-grows.”

For everyone’s safety, visitors to the area should watch and listen for sawyers and heavy equipment, allowing them plenty of room to work, as crews’ ability to see and hear is limited by vegetation and chainsaw operations.  Road and trail guards will be used as necessary for public safety.

This work continues the Joint Chiefs’ Bear Creek to Signal Peak Collaborative Restoration project, a joint U.S. Department of Agriculture effort between the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Forest Service. The New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department, Forestry Division, Socorro District, is a key partner, assisting with project assessment and subcontracting with local forestry contractors to complete the work. For more information contact Maribeth Pecotte at 575-388-8211 or .

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