Southern High Plains (Galisteo Basin Preserve)
Southern High Plains (Galisteo Basin Preserve), Santa Fe County, New Mexico
The Galisteo Basin Preserve represents a core, unique, and progressive approach to conservation. Our partnership with Commonweal Conservancy began with rescuing rare Gunnison’s prairie dogs that were in mortal danger from development in other areas of northern New Mexico and reintroducing them to the preserve, where they had been extirpated. As a keystone species, prairie dog reintroductions have been welcomed on this ecotone preserve and we are expanding this successful program to encompass two species of prairie dogs, the Gunnison’s and the black-tailed, in their respective ecological niches, which is unprecedented on the same preserve. We are also creating a plan for restoring native Southern bison to the preserve, as well as High Plains short-grass prairie remediation incorporating GPRC’s successful Ecological Health programs. This wild 12,000 acres is near both Santa Fe and Albuquerque, as well as 10 Native American Pueblos, offering exceptional opportunities to serve youth and young adults in these communities. Short term success: A Gunnison’s prairie dog colony has successfully been reintroduced and established, with a very high survival rate. Current work is to reintroduce a black- tailed prairie dog colony, remove hazardous old barbed wire fencing across the internal property, and prepare for historic bison reintroduction. Long-term goal: to expand to 80,000 acres in partnership with local, state, and federal partners (public, private, & non-profit). Restore wild populations of bison, pronghorn antelope, prairie dogs and others while protecting remaining indigenous wildlife like black bears and mountain lions throughout.