District VI – Bernalillo
The Bernalillo District serves eight of the state’s counties: Cibola, McKinley, Valencia, Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance, Los Alamos and Santa Fe. Located in west-central New Mexico, the Bernalillo District totals 6.6 million acres. This consists of 160,000 acres of commercial forest, 1.54 million acres of piñon-juniper and bosque woodland, and 4.9 million acres of non-forest watershed. The district office is located off Highway 550 on Santa Fe Hills Blvd., approximately two miles north of the intersection at State Road 528 that goes through Rio Rancho.
Each year district staff assist hundreds of landowners and fire departments by providing field visits, written management plans, and partnership of forest conservation practices. These practices include thinning and tree planting projects, workshops on forest and watershed health, and fire training. Staff also review commercial harvesting on private lands to assure compliance with state harvesting regulations. Morre than 200 wildland fires occur annually on state and private lands within the district.
LAWRENCE CRANE is the District Forester for the Bernalillo District. Lawrence has been with the Forestry Division since 2003, including working as the district’s Special Projects Forester for many years. In the District Forester role he oversees multiple programs including fire, timber, stewardship, wildland urban interface, and special projects. Lawrence also conducts environmental outreach efforts, leads mapping projects. and acts as the primary Line Officer and agency administrator for large fire incidents on all non-municipal non-federal lands within the Bernalillo District boundaries.
CLAY BENTON is the Project Forester for the Bernalillo District. Clay has a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Planning and is pursuing his Masters in Natural Resource Management. Prior to joining our Bernalillo District, he worked at the Albuquerque BioPark in aquatic endangered species rearing and reintegration and assisted in managing 16 federally endangered aquatic species. Clay enjoys spending his time outdoors enjoying New Mexico’s natural resources, including hunting, fishing, hiking, rafting, and exploring.
LAURA CLARK is the Bernalillo District Administrative Management Officer. Laura has been employed with the State of New Mexico since 2013. Laura keeps the administrative process flowing smoothly and ensures that the district adheres to New Mexico procurement guidelines and that budget expenditures correspond with what is allocated for the district. She is the district’s administrative officer, purchasing agent, budget analyst, and receptionist.