img 1148Timm and Jennifer Hass receive the New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts Region 3 2018 Outstanding Land Stewardship Award from John Merino, Grant Soil and Water Conservation District chairman.Timm and Jennifer Haas have been at their Mule Creek ranch for over 15 years. They have been participating in Natural Resources Conservation Services Conservation Stewardship Program  (2 contracts) and EQIP (3 contracts) programs since 2004. Over the years they have installed solar pumping plants , watering facilities and pipelines to better manage and distribute water sources on their property. They also improved a riparian area with a brush management practice, pushing out invading Junipers. This practice allowed beneficial tree species to thrive and is allowing grasses to reestablish in the now open areas.

Timm continues to monitor this area and is grubbing out Juniper sprouts that return every year. Their NRCS CSP practices include monitoring key grazing areas, managing livestock access to water sources, retrofitting watering facilities for wildlife/bats/birds with escape ramps and implementing grazing management to improve wildlife habitat. The Haas are impatient to see more improvements on their ranchland and so they also do a lot of work with their own “out of pocket” money. They have built erosion control structures and they recently installed a pipeline and watering facility that they had applied to NRCS for help with. When funding for this request was not available, they proceeded with the much needed work on their own.

The Haases  were nominated in support of their long-term/on-going goals for improving the habitat of their rangeland. Timm acknowledges that the improvements he has made make managing his cow/calf operation easier but his ultimate goal is to give every advantage possible to wildlife, especially birds (wild turkeys were observed in the riparian brush management area the day of a NMACD visit). His implemented rotation system rests 1/3 of his pasture at critical times of years for improved fawning and nesting for birds and the Mule Deer population on the ranch. Elk also benefit from the improved water distribution.

They have established a wildlife sanctuary where hunting and trespassing are forbidden.

The couple are proud of the heritage of their ranch and the people who have gone before them. They have named their corrals and pastures with the names of the long-ago homesteaders who originally ranched their land. It is obvious that despite the enduring drought conditions in their area, their rangeland is well cared for.

He appreciates the NRCS programs for allowing him to get things done a lot quicker than he could on his own.

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