Santa Fe Conservation Trust and the Commonweal Conservancy have completed the permanent conservation of 315 acres of significant natural lands in the Galisteo Basin, furthering the protection of one of the largest undeveloped areas south of Santa Fe. Considered among of the most culturally-rich sites in the United States, the conservation easement overlays a landscape of open grassland, gentle slopes and piñon and juniper forest. The Galisteo Basin Preserve is a vibrant ecosystem that supports a diverse community of mammals, birds and reptiles.
This most recent acquisition is the thirteenth conservation easement in the Galisteo Basin Preserve protected by the Santa Fe Conservation Trust. Currently, 3971 acres are preserved in the Galisteo Basin Preserve protecting recreation opportunities, the conservation of wildlife habitat, scenic open space and cultural resources.
This critical parcel adds to the approximately 11,900 acres the Santa Fe Conservation Trust has previously placed under conservation through 29 permanent conservation easements in the larger landscape of the Galisteo Basin Watershed.
“The Galisteo Basin is a historically significant landscape, a major wildlife corridor and is one of the most beautiful places in northern New Mexico. Commonweal Conservancy has been a critical partner of the Trust — advancing our vision for permanently protecting land and facilitating public access to northern New Mexico’s wildlands,” said Sarah Noss, Executive Director of Santa Fe Conservation Trust.
“Our decade-long relationship with the Trust has ensured that thousands of acres of open space, trails and wildlife habitat in the Galisteo Basin will be forever protected. This conservation easement donation, valued at more than $500,000, is a gift to the community of Santa Fe and future generations,” said Ted Harrison, President of Commonweal Conservancy.
In the years ahead, Commonweal Conservancy plans to expand the preserve’s 28-mile trail system for hiking, biking and equestrian use. In collaboration with the Trust, Commonweal has offered to protect an adjacent 530 acres within the Galisteo Basin Preserve in 2019.