RIO ARRIBA COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – A plan to improve land within the Carson National Forest has been approved by Jicarilla District Ranger Jim Eaton. The goal is to help rare animals survive on the land.

“The end goal is to improve this part of the forest and encourage the expansion of and use from wildlife species in the area,” Eaton said in a press release. “We especially hope to encourage the federally listed Mexican spotted owl to reoccupy designated critical habitat, as well as see an increase in the presence of numerous other rare species, including the northern goshawk.”

The plan proposes clearing up dead trees that could cause wildfires to burn out of control. The plan also seeks to open portions of the forest and reintroduce low-severity fires to the forest; this would promote a cycle of growth that better matches how the forest grew before humans worked to prevent fires.

The U.S. Forest Service says the project is necessary to help local animals like mule deer, which winter in the forest. The project will also help grazing cattle and wild horses, the U.S. Forest Service says.