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The West Potrillos Grassland Restoration Project was
by the Society for Range
Management for excellence in range management. The undertaking, 26,300 acres, was a brush control
project aimed at creosote eradication in the West Potrillos Mountains of western Dona Ana County.
Creosote, a very active forager of water and nutrients in shallow soils tends to eliminate turf within its expansive habitat. As a result, productivity of rangeland is diminished and wildlife and livestock alike are affected.

The project was conducted under the umbrella of the Restore New Mexico effort which has now
impacted more than one million acres in the state of New Mexico. It is having a
effect on native grasslands and the wellbeing of many species of plants and animals. The West Potrillos project has generated a lot of national interest because the entire project was conducted within a Wilderness Study Area which normally implies no broad scale alterations by
manmade activities. This project will likely alter that thinking to a certain extent and allow necessary and beneficial projects to proceed on a wider basis.
The participation of DASWCD was vital in several aspects not the least of which was the role of fiscal bridge from
the federal government to the actual expenditure of manpower and material on the ground. This was the proper
role of a conservation district and should serve as the model for future projects on District lands. DASWCD is hopeful this project strengthens its relationship with the BLM. Such projects demonstrate the coordination necessity that various federal legislation promises. This is a very high profile and productive start to better things in the future.