LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) – Forest officials have approved an environmental assessment for the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon burn area. The approval allows the U.S. Forest Service to move forward with restoration work, including removal of fuels and watershed repair.

An environmental assessment paves the way for large-scale restoration of more than 24,000 acres of land impacted by the 2022 Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire and the 2020 Luna Fire. You can find the full assessment at this link.

“I’ve been listening to affected communities about what we can do on Forest Service land to meet their needs in post-fire recovery,” Camino Real District Ranger Michael Lujan said in a press release. “I’m excited that the environmental analysis and planning is done so we can get to work and serve the people.”

Now, restoration will begin, with a focus on stabilizing watersheds, boosting local economic recovery, and addressing dead fuel left within the forest. To accomplish those goals, forest staff will contract with crews to do some of the work. Forest officials may also conduct pile burningwhich the U.S. Forest Service says will be done with strict adherence to the lessons learned from the start of the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire.