The Sangre de Cristo Mountains rise in beauty behind Santa Fe. They are home for species ranging from rare giant helleborine orchids to the tiny threatened American pikas, along with our state’s iconic bald eagles, mule deer, cougars and black bears.

Because the many life forms in the mountains face complex and diverse challenges, Santa Fe County, conservation organizations, biologists and forest specialists are urging Santa Fe National Forest to consider a wider range of tools in their Landscape Resiliency Plan.

The fire triangle — three components needed for fire: oxygen, heat, and fuel — contains more than just fuel. High wind speeds, and heated and dried plants and soils play crucial roles. We live in a world increasingly altered by climate change. Restoring forest resiliency requires new tools and integrated approaches to managing more forest values than those identified in past environmental assessments and silviculture methods.

Teresa Seamster helps manage family-owned forested land with her husband and is a representative for Sierra Club on the New Mexico Forest and Watershed Health Coordinating Group. Lisa Markovchick is the Southwest Conservation Advocate and Ecologist for WildEarth Guardians. Markovchick is an ecologist with expertise in natural resources management and Southwest ecology.