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See the Forage Through the Trees: Grazing on Public Lands for Improved Forage and Ecosystem Health

July 27 @ 9:00 am - 5:30 pm

 Saturday, July 27 | 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Costilla and Valle Vidal, NM

Join us for an all-day workshop in Costilla and the beautiful Valle Vidal of Carson National Forest. This workshop is designed for ranchers/graziers, or those interested in grazing, and public agency staff, but all are welcome!

Learn from current and former agency staff and innovative public lands grazers on how we can work together for better outcomes for grazers and the health of publicly managed lands. Topics covered will include: Grazing techniques for improved forage and ecosystem health; how to work with public lands agencies, NRCS, and private organizations to improve infrastructure and technical support on your allotment, and how we can all work together toward a better future for grazing on public lands.  

Lunch is provided. We’ll meet at the Costilla Community Center in the morning (35 New Mexico 196, Costilla, NM) and caravan/carpool over to Valle Vidal in the afternoon. There is camping available in Valle Vidal if you want to stay the night.

Contact Gillian Joyce (gilliandjoyce@gmail.com) or Leah Potter-Weight (education@quiviracoalition.org) with any questions. If you need further support, call Taos County Economic Development Corporation at (575) 758-8731.


Mark Torres

Mark Torres was raised on a ranch/farm in Black Lake, New Mexico. where he ranched with his parents, sisters and brother. They raised beef cattle and farmed grass and some oat and pea hay. Mark continues to farm and ranch with his family raising beef cattle on a combination of private, state and federal land. He also raises cattle, horses and chickens near Las Vegas, New Mexico with his wife. Mark is a member and president of a grazing association that grazes on the Valle Vidal Allotment of the Carson National Forest. Mark is a member of the Quivira Coalition and has participated on several projects in the Valle Vidal. Mark is also the past president of the Cimarron Watershed Alliance. He attended the University of New Mexico w/ a BS in Economics and was a computer system programmer before coming back to farming and ranching.

EZ Rael

Ezequiel “EZ”  Rael was born and raised in Questa, NM. EZ attended New Mexico State University where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Range Science. He has worked for the USDA Forest Service, Carson National Forest since 1999 starting in Fire and Aviation Management before transitioning to Rangeland Management. EZ has worked as a Rangeland Management Specialist on multiple ranger districts for the past 22 years. He is also a fourth generation farmer and rancher where he raises cattle and grows hay on the same lands as his father and grandfather. His hobbies include hunting, fishing, and camping with his family.

Charlie Hibner

Charlie Hibner is a retired soil scientist who performed soil surveys across New Mexico to create soil maps for the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). Charlie now devotes his time to running a cow-calf operation west of Cebolla, New Mexico. He says he ranches because he loves it as a way of life. The rangeland he leases on both public and private lands includes forest, dry land, rolling hills, scattered meadows, and wilderness areas containing steep canyons. For each land type he has developed unique soil health management strategies, but overall increasing soil organic matter is critical for retaining water and fostering the growth of microorganisms. He received the Land Steward Award from the New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts in 2019, the Bureau of Land Management Rangeland Stewardship Award in 2022 and is also a NM Soil Health Champion.


Jesse Juen

Jesse Juen retired as the New Mexico BLM Director. He’s held positions throughout New Mexico and Arizona, as well as serving as Deputy Assistant Director for the BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System office in Washington, D.C. His professional focus has been in the area of collaboration in particular with special interest groups, private landowners, citizens, industry, local communities, and governments in land-use planning, management, and restoration of land health. He currently serves as an advisor for the Western Landowners Alliance and a program manager with the New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts. Over the past 4 years, Jesse has worked as a private contractor assisting local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, landowners, agencies and NGO’s in completing conservation practices at a landscape scale throughout New Mexico. As a result of the successes he has seen, he believes the agencies, landowners and the public have a bright future full of opportunities to accelerate land conservation management in concert with meeting the needs of the nation and our communities.





July 27
9:00 am - 5:30 pm


Education and Outreach