With the backdrop of the most recent intense wildfires in New Mexico and other parts of the Southwest U.S., PBS is airing a new documentary called “Sky Island” this month (starting July 10th), which explores the Jemez Mountains of north-central New Mexico. Known among scientists as the epicenter of climate change in the southwest U.S., this area has grown warmer, faster, over the past 60 years than any other place in the state. Impacts have included earlier spring snow melt, increased droughts and intense wildfires.
The Nature Conservancy in New Mexico has been working with local partners to look at ways nature is adapting to this change and how we might be able to help.
Check out this interview with The Nature Conservancy’s Anne Bradley, forest conservation program director in the Conservancy’s New Mexico chapter.
Bradley, who’s own family had to evacuate the Cerro Grande Fire in 2000, talks about how trees can help by not only storing carbon and pulling carbon from the atmosphere but also by helping nearby communities better adapt (by, for example, helping to maintain or improve the availability of clean drinking water to people at lower elevations).
Bradley also talks about how climate change doesn’t have to mean the end of hope. You can help move the needle by reducing your own carbon footprint and by learning more about ways you can support the type of work the Conservancy is doing in the Jemez range (check out Bradley’s Q&A on Nature.org for more information).
Matt Barrett is a blogger and communications manager at The Nature Conservancy
Photos by Las Conchas Fire Information (In the top photo, wildlife watches smoke from New Mexico’s wildfires. In the second photo, credited to Jason Coil, smoke is visible from Santa Fe.)
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