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36.2 Bosque Acres Preserved and Protected

This indicator reports Bosque acres preserved and protected by the Albuquerque Open Space Division.

This indicator is part of Preserved open space.

Indicator description:

This indicator reports Bosque acres preserved and protected by the Albuquerque Open Space Division (AOSD). The Middle Rio Grande Bosque stretches 200 river miles, extending from Santa Fe past Socorro. Within the boundaries of Bernalillo County, the Bosque (Rio Grande Valley State Park) facilities, trails and lands are managed by the AOSD via a memorandum of understanding between the New Mexico State Parks, City of Albuquerque, and Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District. This area is approximately 20 river miles in Bernalillo County or 2,640 acres. The Bosque is home to a wide variety of shrubs, grasses and other green vegetation. By removing non-necessary, flammable overgrowth and non-native trees and other vegetation, acres are protected from high fire danger. Acres are preserved by restoring native species by planting and adding native trees and shrubs.

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Why is this indicator relevant?

One of the primary threats to a thriving and healthy bosque is damage to trees, shrubs and other foliage from fires. Through activities such as fire hazard mitigation, native tree plantings, and wetland creation, steps can be taken to achieve a more sustainable and restored bosque. Since the regeneration of trees can take as long as 20 to 30 years following a fire, the removal of non-native trees and shrubs and the planting of native species (e.g. grasses, trees, and shrubs) promotes a fire-resistant ecosystem.

Functional riparian systems such as the Middle Rio Grande Bosque are becoming increasingly rare in the Southwest. Such systems found in the heart of an urban area are rarer still. The Rio Grande with its Bosque weaves together different communities of the Albuquerque metropolitan area connecting the present-day urbanites to the original wildlife in the region. It provides unique aesthetic, cultural, educational and recreational opportunities for citizens and visitors to the region. The health of the region’s many species of wildlife (over 300 species of birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles live in the Bosque) rests on the long-term health and viability of the Rio Grande Bosque.

Data Sources:
City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department, Open Space Management; US Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District.

What can we tell from the data?

  • The goal for these numbers is to be low. The number of acres protected each year from high fire danger declined in fiscal year 2012. The number of acres protected from high fire danger fluctuates from year to year, but it is tied to what remains to be done.
  • Over 67% of the Bosque managed by Albuquerque Open Space Division has been preserved and protected.


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