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Pueblo of San Felipe Bosque Restoration Project
Environmental Assessment and
Finding of No Significant Impact

The Pueblo of San Felipe (Pueblo) is a federally recognized Indian Tribe with tribal lands along the Rio Grande floodplain. Serious environmental issues in the Middle Rio Grande Basin have the potential to affect the traditional way of life for the Pueblo, especially in the bosque, the deciduous riparian forest that borders the river. This area was once subject to frequent flooding, but changes in river hydrology have nearly eliminated the overbank flows and, as a result, the natural regeneration of many riparian plant species. There has also been a concurrent increase in non-native vegetation and loss of biological and hydrological diversity in this area.

As non-native saltcedar, Russian olive, and other exotics spread along the Rio Grande, funding for the removal of these species and site restoration has increased. Many projects of the type and magnitude proposed for this area have been carried out and the environmental consequences have been well studied (Barrows 1993; Zavaleta et al. 2001). Overall, if carried out properly in terms of timing and avoidance of direct negative to impacts to wildlife, the results of restoring native trees and shrubs have been generally positive or neutral for wildlife, water quality, and water quantity (Shafroth et al. 2005). In addition, the Pueblo, which views the bosque as a cultural resource, would reap the benefits of having plants of cultural importance restored. The Pueblo has begun to work with several federal entities on restoration and other projects in order to help preserve and sustain the Rio Grande, the bosque, and Pueblo lands. The Pueblo proposes to clear non-native vegetation from 10 acres of tribal land in the bosque on the east bank of the Rio Grande and replant it with native species.

Pueblo of San Felipe Bosque Restoration Project
Environmental Assessment and FONSI
 Environmental Assessment and FONSI
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Last updated: December 4, 2007