Landscape Stewardship Awards - 2021

Miguel Romero
Miguel Romero, center, receives the Public Lands Foundation Landscape Stewardship award at Kit Carson Park on Oct. 22. BLM fire management officer, Kyle Sahd, center right, hands him the award.

The Public Lands Foundation (PLF) presents Miguel Romero with its 2021 Landscape Stewardship Award and this Citation. The PLF grants this recognition to honor private citizens and organizations that work to advance and sustain community-based stewardship on landscapes that include, in whole or in part, public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management.

The Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in northern New Mexico was designated in 2013. It is approximately 15,000 acres of dry conifer forest, Pinyon-Juniper woodlands, sage flats, and pockets of aspen. Private land exists within the monument boundary, including land owned by Miguel.

Miguel has committed substantial time and effort involving fire management on this landscape over the past 15 years. His participation in NEPA analyses, fire planning, and fire projects has helped significantly in carrying these efforts to completion on the adjacent Federal land, and this is the case for both wildland fires and prescribed fires. In addition, he has employed the same thinning prescriptions on his private land that are used on Federal lands by strategically placing the thinning treatments to further the success of managed and prescribed fire, thus promoting forest health and wildlife habitat improvement.

He has helped in the management of wildland and prescribed fires on both Federal land and his private land by allowing the use of existing roads, thereby reducing costs. He has also willingly granted access to his property for studies and resource research endeavors.

He has taken the initiative to schedule field visits to learn about prescriptions, science, and ecological concepts, and he has applied this knowledge on his private land with no contributing funds or subsequent benefits, except for benefits that accrue to the ecosystem, lands, forests, wildlife, and other intrinsic values.

He has been instrumental in motivating other landowners to participate in planning efforts and on-the-ground treatments, including the New Mexico State Land Office and New Mexico State Forestry.

He understands and has total commitment to the long-term strategy and vision of landscape management that will improve resiliency of lands for generations to come. Miguel’s efforts enhance public resources across the landscape, blurring the jurisdictional boundaries that cross watersheds, waterways, forest stands, and wildlife habitat.

The Public Lands Foundation is pleased to present Miquel Romero with its 2021 Landscape Stewardship Award and this Citation for invaluable contributions to the stewardship of America’s public landscapes.

Edward Shepard
September 15, 2021