and Remarks Welcome Opening

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Jose salinasl and Bob ~an~senkarnp?
Jose Salinas
Good afternoon! I am pleased to join Jim Baca of the New
Mexico State Land Ofl2ce in welcoming each of you to this
week's Phn-Juniper Symposium.
First, I want to take a moment to mpiz the Chaupemns
for this year's symposium. They have wolked hard and have done
a great job! If Jeff Kline of the New State Land office and Doug
Shaw of the Watershed Staff of the Forest Service office in
Albuquerque are in the audiem, will you please stand? Jeff and
Doug shared the responsibility in putting this coderence together.
Let's give both of them a big hand. Thanks, Jeff and Doug.
I also want to thank the New Mexico State Land Office for
providing us with a meeting place.
And thanks to the Santa Fe National Forest for taking time
out of their busy schedule to host a field trip on Wednesday.
This is not the fust Piiion-Juniper Symposium to be held in
New Mexico. However, I think this meeting is unique compared
to previous conferences. Why? In wiewing this week's agenda,
I noted three general promotional themes:
1. Building partnerships
2. The piiion-juniper ecosystem is a special place
3. All is not well in our P-J ecosystems.
I would like to briefly address each of these three themes.
First: building partnerships. For those of you who may not be
aware, about three weeks ago the New Mexico Legislature
passed a memorial highhghting the many issues surrounding the
piiIon-juniper (P-J) ecosystem. But more important opportunities
were also mentioned. With this in mind, the Legislature called
upon all appropriate federal and state agencies, county
governments, tribal governments, research and educational
institutions, non-profit organizations, as well as individuals and
groups with a vested interest in the piiion-juniper ecosystem
(such as the m h i n g community, the piiIon nut industry, and
many others), to join as partners to seek workable solutions to
the many problems and management questions related to
piiion-juniper woodlands. It was in this same spirit of wodcing
Director, Watershed Management, USDA Forest Service,
Albuquerque, NM.
Deputy Land Commissioner, New Mexico State Land Ofice,
Santa Fe, NM.
together through partnerships that each of you was invited to
participate in this week's symposium. Your input is criticall to
all of us: what you have to say is important in the success
of building true partnerships
Although this symposium is sponsored by New Mexico State
University, New Mexico State Land Office and USDA Forest
Service, the list of P-J partners exceeds 20 in number - too
many to name at this time. I hope that by the end this week,
the number of partners will have increased as well as the number
of worlung relationships.
I also mentioned the theme, "The piiion-~uniperecosystem is
a special place." Some lifestyles such as ranching make their
livelihood from the P-J ecosystems. Cattle grazing has been part
of the P-J for several generations.
Qually important, the P-J ecosystem is essential to the
survival of the Hispanic and American M i a n ' cultures especially to the American Indian We cannot talk about the
American Indian of the Southwest without talking about P-J
ecosystems and vice versa. Piiion-juniper is part of the
architecture of historical cities such as Chaco Canyon. Hundreds
of villages of the era from 750 to 1300 AD occupied the present
day P-J ecotypes. Direct descendents of these early day users
are mcipants in this symposium. Some attendees, some as
speakers and others as active partners, are part of the list that I
spoke about a moment ago. Piiron nuts, fire wood and other
wood by-products art: still very much part of these two cultures.
These and other by-products have become important to other
cultures as well.
To many of us, the P-J ecosystem has become the place to
recreate. This includes, but is not limited to: cross-country
skiing, hunting, hiking, bird watching, camping,
weekend/aftemoon drives, and family outings such as cutting
fire wood and collecting piilon-nuts.
The various P-J ecotypes serve as home to hundreds of
different types of wildlife, including both large and small
mammals such elk and field mice. The ecosystem is a home to
a variety of birds and a restmg place for neo-tropical birds. The
P-J ecosystem hosts a variety of plant communities mging from
grasses to shrubs that provide forage for the livestock we gmze
and the wildlife we hunt and supports the shrubs that we
transplant to our front lawns as decorative items to make our
home beautifid and to raise its value.
To all of us, the piiion-juniper ecosystem is a giant watershed
that provides the water we drink. Healthy P-J ecotypes are the
lifelines to quality that we expect each time we open the faucet
in our home. Healthy P-Js are the lifelines to the water we use
to bathe and to water our lawns. Healthy P-J is the source of
quality water that is delivered to huge reservoirs where we
recreate and store the water that is used to irrigate the hundreds
of thousands of acres of food crops. It is the watershed for
people outside of New Mexico as well, such as those from Texas
and across the international boundary into Mexico.
Equally important, healthy P-J ecotypes are the monitors of
our ability to care for the land and maintain soil productivity.
A healthy P-J ecosystem increases our ability to keep soil in
place mther than eroded far away, polluting our streams, rivers,
lakes and reservoirs.
Yes, P-J is a very special place. It has been a special place
for hundreds of centuries. It is special today and will remain
special for years to come.
we have studied and managed mainly according to biological
importance and, in most cases, for a single resource. Can we
continue with this process? Or would it be better to widen our
views to ecosystem management - to include the biological,
economical and traditional socialcultural needs?
I doubt if all the questions and concerns that will surface during
t h week
~ ~ can be answered On the other hand, the make-up of the
agenda and the attendees will help raise the awareness of the
complexity of the economic, socia and natural resource needs
within the P-J ecosystem Individual concerns and comments are
important - as will be networlang dunng designated breaks or
whatever other opportunities may exist to exchange ideas and build
partnerships to continue to make piiion-juniper a specla1 place, as
it has been for hundreds of years.
I encourage each of you to partxipate in the symposium as
much as possible and to have an enjoyable and productive week.
Thank you.
Bob Langsenkamp
The third theme that I note in the agenda is that all is not
well with our piiion-juniper ecosystems. The book, The G r a
River, documents the diaq of a Spanish officer located here in
Santa Fe. This officer was among the first Spaniards in this area
He writes of his concern that it had been two days since he sent
a patrol of soldiers to collect firewood. He also writes of the
tall grasses around Santa Fe and surrounding country. A quick
glance at presentday Santa Fe will tell us that much has changed
in the last two to three hundred years in terms of vegetation and
forage production Recent photos indicate that major changes in
terms of soil production have occurred in the last 100 years. A
quick visit to the Rio Grande and places like Elephant Butte
Reservoir will demonstmte that soil loss and reduction of water
quality are much greater than what would occur from natural
processes alone. A visit to our P-J ecosystem will show
unacceptable amounts of bare soil, depleted top soil, and
vegetation cover. We are not tallung about natural process, but
over and above n a t d erosion processes. We are talking about
the results of imbalances created by people; not only imbalances
that were created 100 years ago, but, more importantly, those
imbalances that we are allowing to occur today.
I recently overheard a comment by a land manager that it
was too expensive and that funding is not available to restore the
unacceptable condition of the P-J ecosystem This individual's
assessment is probably true. But, it is also true that we cannot
afford to continue with our present attitude. The present
unacceptable condition could be the result of lack of fundrng andlor
it could be the result of present management practices.
Our challenge is to do better in both understanding and
managing this forgotten natural resource heritage. In the past,
On behalf of Commissioner Baca I'd like to welcome you
all here today. He can't make it for reasons which are known to
most of you. Commissioner Baa may soon have responsibility for
much m o P-J
~ Woodland than he has now, and that makes the
infomation, goodwill and enthusiasm you genemte here all the
lhave his c o M o n heamgs for BLM
more important He d
Director before the Senate Energy Committee tomomw morning.
Like many of the most important thmgs in life, Modem society
in the Southwest has tended to take the P-J Woodlands for granted
It is certarnly true in my case, being a product of this society. As
a teenager in southvest Colomdo, P-J was just a rather scraggly,
unattractive ecotone that one had to travel through as a necessary
transition to get to more excitmg things like elk (elk in the
woodlands were almost unheard of then) and trout at the higher
elevations, or to get to my summer job as a choker setter on a
thought then) mixed conifer
logging crew in the m o valuable
or Ponderosa These were the sensibilities and aesthetics of an
Maybe living in the P-J Woodland for much of the last 30 y m
has finally given me an appreciation for it, or more likely society
in geneml, has matured in its understanding and appreciation of
P-J and has pulled me along with it.
The f a that this symposium is occurring at all is testimony to
the fact that there is greater appreciation and undershdmg of our
woodlands, much of which is due to the work of many of the
people who m in the audience and who will be on the panels. We
obviously have a long way to go, but maybe will we will mature
enough as a society in the west to approach the woodlands with
the same wisdom as those who have lived on a sustainable basis
in the woodland for generation after generation. So, let's get on
with t
k work of exploring how we p d c e the art of piiion-juniper
woodlard with great enthusiasm and flourish.