Annual Report 2015 – 2016
Cuenca Los Ojos Mission/Vision Statement
The Cuenca de los Ojos Foundation works to preserve and restore the biodiversity of the borderland region between Mexico and the United States through land protection, habitat restoration and wildlife reintroduction. The Foundation seeks to support these programs through scientific research and sustainable resource management techniques.
Cuenca Los Ojos Restoration – Sonora, Mexico
Project Background: The Cuenca Los Ojos Foundation (CLO) has been actively working on watershed and grassland restoration on its properties in northern Sonora for over a decade. This work has primarily occurred on the more than 45,000 hectares owned and managed by CLO, with additional work done on a neighboring ejido (lands granted under Mexico’s communal lands system). The importance of this area for Neotropical Birds and other important wildlife species has long been documented. Our monitoring program has shown that both the grassland and the watershed restoration efforts have been very successful.
On Cuenca Los Ojos properties, there are seven (7) major plant biomes (ecological communities) over the 45,000 hectare geographical area managed by CLO. Five of these seven biomes are highlighted on the map below. Ecologically, all of these biomes are important; however, the grasslands and their embedded wetlands, and birds and wildlife dependent upon this biome are a major focus for the restoration efforts of Cuenca Los Ojos.
The main activities on the year 2016 were:
Restoration of the Silver Creek
Has a result of the big flood receive on the past we had to build a new Gabion on silver creek located at rancho San Bernardino this gabion will help to keep alive the trees that we have plant on the past on the creek, on that gabion CLO Crew train a group of people from the Hopi tribe ad from the Navajo tribe as show on the image #2
Restoration of the Ojitos Pond
A Big restoration was also hold on the Ojitos pond in order to restore and improve the habitat for the Yaqui Chub, the Sonora Topminnows and the San Bernardino spring Snails all of those species are endemic ( only occur on this site).
On the pictures 3 and 4 the personal of CLO working on the pound of el ojitos pond
Picture # 5 el Ojito Pond restored under the direction of Chuck Minckley
Another action hold as a part of the restoration on the San Bernardino valley specially on the Agua Verde Creek in 2016 with the support of the San Bernardino Wildlife Refuge we plant over 1000 riparian trees on the creek Catton wood and willows.
Restoration of the Grassland
On the restoration of the grassland on 2016 with the support of Sierra Gorda and Conanp we restore 600 hectares of grassland using the Key line design and after that we use the Yeomans Plow to better distribution of the rain. This is the second year that we use this technique, with a good result of the distribution of the rain water.
Picture # 6 CLO tractor working on the restoration of the grass land.
Management Plan for Los Ojos Calientes.
With the support of CONANP last year CLO contract Dr. Rodrigo Sierra to make a management plan for the Property Los Ojos Calientes, with this management Plan we have more tools to properly management that ranch.
We have a really intense year of intentional and wild fires with over 15 incidents. Those fires were control with the personal of Cuenca Los Ojos, with the support of the Crew from CONANP in Imuris and Moctezuma with the support of the Mexican Military from Agua Prieta the support of the crew of CONAFOR from Cananea and the support of the equipment from the construction of Highway two, in total 2016 the area that burn on 2016 was 2,750 Hectares.
On picture # 7 show the magnitude of the fire on picture # 8 the equipment of the company that help on the control of the fire.
Picture # 10 the crew from Conafor Cananea and personal from CLO.
Prescribe fire at el Pinito
To prevent a catastrophic wild fire on December of 2016 with the support and direction of the Personal of Conafor Sonora we have a Prescribe Burn on the rancho el Pinito the total area of that burn was 800 hectares, Images of that burn are show on pictures # 11 and 12
Reintroduction of wildlife
Cuenca Los Ojos is working with Naturalia A.C. and CONANP on 2016 continue the effort of reintroduce the beavers to the Cajon Bonito River, at this time there are 3 individuals on the river. They are working on the river as show on picture # 13
Picture # 13 the work of the beavers on the Cajon bonito.
Honey bees at san Bernardino
As a new approach and looking on the future sustainability CLO is staring a project so produce honey, we start with 15 honey bee, we host a training course for the workers of CLO
Outreach and education
CLO host 2 groups of students from the Cebetis 81 the high school in Agua Prieta on the San Bernardino ranch, they have a full day of activities that show them the importance of the conservation and protected areas on the region, work with the students on different activities and power point presentations so we show them the work of CLO we also host a group of ranchers from New Mexico that came to us to learn of the different technics of restoration that CLO has done on the land.
As outreach Pasticutres del desierto a Group of land owners and ranchers and Observatoio Cidadano de la Piedad Michoacán invite CLO to make a presentation on their annual meeting on the work that CLO has done on the ground and to show those groups how can they apply the differents techniques that we use and prove that work.