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How a Tribal Fire Crew Rescued the Real Smokey Bear

This year, we celebrated Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday as a national fire prevention icon. Many know Smokey’s message: “Only YOU can prevent wildfires,” but fewer people may know that Smokey was a real American black bear rescued, in the spring of 1950, from a raging wildfire in New Mexico.

Why I Love New Mexico’s Forests and Public Lands

I heard a story once about “horny toads” from my mother. How she used to catch so many they filled a shoebox. And my grandfather told me about the Lobo’s howl.

Both of these animals are rare or endangered now and I have not found one myself. I hope one day to tell my own children about the animals I experience in the forests of New Mexico. Tadpoles, horned owls, fence-tail lizards, trout, coyotes and bats. We hike through the forest into the Rio Grande gorge and I know it is magic. The beauty of it all is more than enchanting, it takes my breath away, or brings me back to it in a way. I feel like Brian from my book, Hatchet, when I spend time in the wilderness and I return to a place of quietness and respect for nature.

A Rare Glimpse at Traditional Crops Grown in New Mexico

Farming has been a part of New Mexico for over 2,500 years, ever since Native Americans first grew corn, squash, and beans throughout the region. The 2017 Census of Agriculture provides a rare look into our state’s agriculture crop acreages and livestock numbers. For instance, the 2017 Ag Census shows Native Americans account for 24 percent of New Mexico's farms and ranches. Maize, a crop traditionally grown here, can be found on 596 farms with 1,923 acres of the native corn.

Mission Accomplished: U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Arrives!

UPDATE: The Capitol Christmas tree successfully completed the journey from the Carson National Forest (New Mexico) to Washington, D.C.! The U.S. Capitol Architect will prepare the tree for a lighting ceremony on Wednesday, December 4.

At about 9 a.m. MST, in a remote section of the Carson National Forest in New Mexico, workers gently loaded a massive 60-foot blue spruce onto a very long trailer bed — the first stage of the tree’s 2,000-mile journey to Washington, D.C. The National Capitol Christmas Tree will stop in more than 25 communities as it makes its way across the country before arriving on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building on Monday, Nov. 25.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Sandra “Sandy” Watts

USDA is proud to share stories of women in agriculture who are leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. In this blog, we feature Sandra “Sandy” Watts, USDA Forest Service Region 3 Deputy Regional Forester in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Farm to School Grows with USDA Grants

Omar, the school garden club coordinator, instructs a group of seventh grade students to “pick an adult” and leads them to the greenhouse. The bright blue sky and expansive mountain range set a dramatic backdrop for the six raised beds and two greenhouses. Mona, a precocious 12 year-old student at Magdalena Middle School in New Mexico, wastes no time charging into the greenhouse and swiftly picking red leaf lettuce. She instructs me on proper harvest techniques while happily munching on Swiss chard, kale and lettuce straight from the garden – she clearly has no need for salad dressing.