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Release Date: 12/07/12
Contacts: Donna Hummel , 505-954-2018  

Roswell Rancher Honored for Landscape Restoration Efforts Receives 2012 “Restore New Mexico” Award

Albuquerque, NM –Rancher Ross Chesser was presented the 2012 Restore New Mexico Award today at the New Mexico 2012 Joint Stockmen's Convention in Albuquerque for his work to improve range conditions on his ranch and BLM public land allotment near Roswell, New Mexico.  The annual award recognizes exemplary efforts to restore New Mexico’s landscapes to a healthy and productive condition.

Ross Chesser has been ranching and farming in the Roswell area for about 50 years.  Since 1997, he has also been the grazing permittee on the Huggins Draw BLM allotment located north of Roswell, New Mexico.  Mr. Chesser was one of the first permitees in the Roswell Field Office to participate in the Restore New Mexico Program.  The first treatment was completed in 2007 which targeted mesquite.  This proved to be a remarkable success that changed a shrub dominated environment to a rolling, black grama grassland. 

To date, about 8,300 acres of mesquite have been treated so far with additional acres planned for the future.  Today, range condition ratings on the allotment are in the high-good to excellent range. 

“As result of his dedication to improve productivity and rangeland conditions, even during our extended drought conditions, it is a pleasure to present Ross Chesser with the Restore New Mexico Award,” said Aden Seidlitz, Associate State Director of the BLM. “Ross has exemplified a high level of stewardship by treating mesquite and invasive plants on his private land and  BLM allotment and also adjusting livestock numbers to protect and preserve the range resources he relies on,” he added. 

Since 2005, participants in the Restore New Mexico initiative have treated over two million acres of public, State, and private land, making the Restore New Mexico initiative a model for rangeland conservation in the western United States.  Over 300 partners, have participated in Restore New Mexico including ranchers and other landowners, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, New Mexico State Land Office, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts, several Soil and Water Conservation Districts, New Mexico State University, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. 

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 01-08-2013