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santa fe national forest

Before These Caterpillars Become Moths, They Unite to Destroy Forests

A caterpillar that’s been rarely observed in the wild is about to join with another species of inch worms to wreak destruction upon two national forests in New Mexico. The culprit, called Janet’s looper caterpillar, feeds on the needles of high-elevation fir and spruce trees, but this insect has rarely been observed for nearly 50 years.

Forest Employees Partner to Provide Improved Access to Historic Cemetery

Since the 1800s, heirs of the San Joaquin del Rio de Chama Land Grant in northern New Mexico have been tending to graves and religious sites in a small cemetery at the top of a mesa in the Chama River Canyon. For at least three decades, they had to travel by foot up the hill to reach the cemetery, which was assumed to lie within the boundaries of the Chama River Canyon Wilderness Area. 

Under that Wilderness designation, motorized access to the site was prohibited. As the trail disintegrated, elderly members of the community were no longer able to make the journey.  Through a unique effort, the Forest Service found a way to provide easier access to the cemetery.

The Lone Ranger Stars Depp, Hammer ... and the Santa Fe National Forest

Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, stars of Disney’s The Lone Ranger debuting July 3, join a long list of formidable Hollywood greats, including Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Elizabeth Taylor and John Wayne, who have acted on the nation’s outdoor soundstage – a national forest.

Last year during 10 days of filming on the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico, the Gilman Tunnels served as the backdrop for a scene in The Lone Ranger where a train passes through the tunnels.

Rescue Dogs Sniff for Salamanders to Save Rare Species and Help People

Shelter dogs that are often rejected are getting a new lease on life. Plus they’re helping wildlife and people!  These conservation canines climbed the Jemez Mountains, clambering over rocks, running from smell to smell, to track where rare Jemez salamanders, a species found nowhere else in the world, are living in New Mexico.