About the Forestry Division
The New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) Forestry Division was created in 1957 to address the critical needs of our state’s forests and watersheds. In the early years, the Forestry Division focused on regulating timber sales and extinguishing wildfires. Today, the work has expanded to reducing the overgrown trees and brush that act as fuel for future wildfires, identifying invasive insects and epidemics of native insects that lead to mortality and disease, conserving rare plants, and promoting healthy watersheds to ensure clean and reliable water.
The Forestry Division is headquartered in Santa Fe, with 78 full-time employees working at nine different offices across the state to serve the needs of the public and preserve our natural resources. The Division’s responsibilities include fire suppression on 43 million acres of all non-federal, non-municipal, and non-tribal lands in New Mexico and training and employing approximately 300 emergency wildland firefighters.
Forests and watersheds are important to all New Mexicans’ lives. Forests are essential for clean water and air and provide us with essential wood products and beautiful places for recreation. The health of our forests impacts our homes, businesses, culture, and future. We face urgent issues driven by climate change, ranging from catastrophic wildfires to epidemic insect outbreaks. And these climate change impacts expand the wildfire risk to communities, firefighters, and natural resources, and especially jeopardize our future water security. The Forestry Division’s responsibilities include responding to wildfire emergencies on state and private lands, providing statewide leadership to improve forest health and watershed conditions, and administering a wide variety of programs for state and private lands that range from providing rural volunteer fire departments with grants for the personal protective equipment, to helping private landowners identify insects damaging their trees, to protecting rare plants and conserving ecologically important lands. Through careful resource management, community engagement, and productive collaboration with stakeholders, the Forestry Division promotes healthy, sustainable forests and watersheds for the benefit of current and future generations.
Wildfire prevention through education and outreach is a critical part of the Forestry Division’s work, achieved by collaborating closely with the public and partner organizations. The Division undertakes numerous mitigation projects to reduce the fire risks in priority areas and helps partner organizations do the same. The Division offers forest management technical assistance to private landowners, helps establish Firewise USA® communities, offers climate-ready seedlings every spring and fall, and supports cities, towns, and villages with technical assistance to plant shade trees. These are just a few examples of our programs and services.
The New Mexico Forestry Division retains lead responsibility for wildland fire management on all non-federal, non-tribal, and non-municipal lands, maintaining fire suppression capacities and emphasizing public and firefighters’ safety. The Forestry Division promotes healthy, sustainable forests and watersheds in New Mexico for the benefit of current and future generations.
A New Mexico where all are responsible stewards of the natural resources that enrich our lives and those of future generations.