Well, spring is almost upon us and its time for New Mexican hunters and anglers to start gearing up for the year ahead. Join BHA’s second annual chapter getaway to the Kiowa National Grassland (KNG) from April 8th-10th. Here we’ll continue last year’s highly successful antelope conservation work, get to know our fellow BHA members all the more, and enjoy the beautiful Mills Canyon area all in one trip.
Last year’s participants will remember that the hardworking folks on the KNG have established that allotment fencing is a significant barrier to pronghorn movement, and have asked for our help to modify old barbed wire fencing so that the herd can scoot underneath the bottom wire unharmed. BHA members numbering in the 30s successfully improved 8,891 acres of habitat with the work last year, and we’ll rise to the task of helping out our wildlife again this year. We won’t be wasting the chance to have a party at camp, either.
We’ll be camping out the nights of April 8th and 9th at the Mills Canyon Rim Campground, one of New Mexico’s true gems just above the Canadian River. Grassland researchers will be on hand to fill us in on land management practices in the area and shortgrass prairie ecology, among other topics. Bright and early April 9th we’ll get to work alongside Grassland staff to raise fence bottom wire heights or replace them with smooth wire where appropriate. No expertise necessary, just a willingness to put in some elbow grease to improve antelope migration in this important habitat zone!
Saturday after a solid day’s work we’ll gather around camp for a potluck meal and chapter celebration. The agenda here is still in the works, but certain to include a lot of food and chatter. Bring a dish and perhaps a hunting story to share around camp. On Sunday April 9th we’ll conclude with an optional half day of work in the morning, or you might take the opportunity to scout out the area on your own.
A few final details to keep in mind. You must RSVP for this event so that we can make the proper arrangements, please do so by April 4 to reserve a spot for you and your companions, and participants will be capped at 50. The Forest Service requires that, while at work on Saturday, individuals where masks when within 6 ft of another person. The event is also kid and family friendly, just let us know how many in your group to expect on the work crew. The campground includes developed sites and vault toilets but no running water or trash service. BHA will not be formally providing camping gear or transportation, however if these are issues for would be participants contact us and we’ll find a way to get you there.
Family friendly, chapter campout and potluck, presentations by Grassland staff, free time to explore the area.
Directions from the Forest Service Website: Traveling from Abbot, NM at the intersection of US Highway (Hwy) 56 and NM Hwy 39, drive south on NM Hwy 39 approximately 16 miles and turn west onto Mills Canyon Road #600. Drive west approximately 6 miles to the campground.
Traveling from Roy, NM on Hwy 39, drive north approximately 10 miles and turn west onto Mills Canyon Road #600. Continue west approximately 6 miles to the campground.
Mills Rim Campground is accessible for recreational vehicles and trailers.