Owls Delay Opening of New Mexico Campground (3/15/2019)

Story by Woodall's Campground Management

Mexican Spotted OwlMexican Spotted Owl

Plans to reopen South Fork Campground in Alto, N.M., the Lincoln National Forest this summer were shelved when a few pairs of Mexican spotted owls decided to move into the area, Smokey Bear District Ranger Jodie Canfield told Ruidoso village councilors Tuesday (March 12), according to the Ruidoso News

“We’ve been working hard to get South Fork Campground (ready),” she said. “While there were no people in that campground for five years, the spotted owls moved in.“

Because of the presence of the threatened owls who like old-growth forests, work in the area must not disturb them, she said. The Forest Service also will have to perform a formal review.

“In the meantime, they are allowing us to go forward with work that is not noisy,” the district ranger said. “We can’t do any heavy equipment work until breeding season is over, which is Aug. 31. If our monitoring shows the owls are not breeding, then we have the option to move ahead and get some things going in July."

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