NM Boys and Girls Ranch Wetlands Hydrologic Assessment: An Interagency Pilot Program

Science Center Objects

In partnership with the USFWS Partner Program, the NMWSC has developed a network of piezometers and vegetation survey markers in order to assess groundwater levels and vegetation species at a proposed wetland area on the New Mexico Boy's and Girl's Ranch near Las Nutrias, NM. This proposed wetland area is intended to be maintained as both a flyway habitat for migratory birds, and as a training area for the ranch’s hunting dogs. The field protocol developed for this project will be shared with the USFWS to be used in future programs of this nature. 

NM Boys and Girls Ranch Wetlands Hydrologic Assessment: An Interagency Pilot Program

NM Boys and Girls Ranch Wetlands Hydrologic Assessment: An Interagency Pilot Program

(Credit: Alanna Jornigan, US Geological Survey. Public domain.)

Background:
In 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) partnered with the NMWSC to develop a monitoring network of wells, gages, and transects in support of a future wetland area on the NM Boys and Girls Ranch in Bernardo, New Mexico. This data will help the USFWS determine whether the existing hydrologic conditions on the Ranch can support a wetland. The wetland is intended to provide flyway habitat for migratory birds.

Approach:

  • Install piezometers to measure discrete and continuous groundwater­ levels
  • Implement vegetation transects that capture potential community shifts across the wetland
  • Install staff gages to collect preliminary surface water data

Objectives:

  • Investigate the groundwater/surface water interactions of the wetland
  • Provide high-quality data to support wetland management decisions
  • Develop a SOP for future wetland (USFWS/USGS cooperation)
NM Boys and Girls Ranch Wetlands Hydrologic Assessment: An Interagency Pilot Program

NM Boys and Girls Ranch Wetlands Hydrologic Assessment: An Interagency Pilot Program

(Credit: Alanna Jornigan, US Geological Survey. Public domain.)