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Bandelier Fire Rehab

The Las Conchas Fire that burned through Bandelier National Monument in June of 2011 and the subsequent flooding of the ancient canyons dramatically altered the park and forced NPS to close their doors for three months. In the fall of 2011, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps continued their decade-long partnership with Bandelier National Monument in an effort to help the park rehabilitate the flood zone and the hiking trails in Frijoles Canyon.

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The damage is extensive and the work is repetitive, however, the crew has managed to make a significant impact on the rehabilitation efforts. Clearing visitor trails of sediment, removing logs and flood debris, and transporting 700 sandbags for the mitigation effort all contributed to re-opening access to the one-mile loop around the ruins that Bandelier is famous for.

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With the Visitor Center re-opened and the frontcountry trails maintained, the crew will now focus their efforts on re-establishing the Frijoles Canyon Trail that has been significantly impacted by the flooding. Installing erosion control structures and redefining the trail through corridor and tread work will be the focus of their work for the final month of the season. The crew will graduate in November with the confidence of having had a huge impact on the recovery efforts in one of New Mexico’s most historic landmarks.

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