SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The U.S. Forest Service is air-dropping seeds on lands burned by the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon wildfire in 2022. The seeds include native plants and non-persistent annual barley.

The Forest Service recently approved an environmental assessment, allowing restoration work to move forward. Aerial seeding is just part of the work that the Forest Service hopes to eventually complete to restore the landscape and help prevent future fires.

For aerial seeding, the U.S. Forest Service awarded a contract to Aero Tech, a company based in Clovis, New Mexico. The seeds will be distributed using helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft on land in Taos, Mora, and San Miguel Counties.

The plants that grow from the seeds will help stabilize soil when rain falls. The hope is to reduce runoff and erosion in areas identified as moderate to high burn severity areas. Seeding will take about two weeks.