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Cuidad Soil & Water Conservation District

The Ciudad SWCD encompasses most of Bernalillo County and part of Southern Sandoval County, and includes approximately 918,000 acres of land. Approximate boundaries are the Laguna Indian Reservation on the west, Isleta Indian Reservation on the south, State Highway 217 on the east, and State Highway 550 and the Bernalillo/Sandoval County line on the north and northeast. The cities of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, multiple Land Grants, and the villages of Corrales, Los Ranchos, Tijeras and other East Mountain communities are all located within our District’s boundaries. Tijeras Canyon, which bisects the two mountain ranges via I-40 and Route 66, acts as the gateway between eastern plains and the Rio Grande Valley.

 Map of the Cuidad Soil and Water Conservation District

Responsibilities for Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCD)

Prevention of soil erosion; prevention of sediment and floodwater damage; furthering the conservation, development, beneficial application and proper disposal of water; promoting the use of impounded water for recreation, propagation of fish and wildlife, irrigation, and for urban and industrial needs; by the application of these measures, conserving and developing the natural resources of the state, providing for flood control, preserving wildlife, protecting the tax base, and promoting the health, safety and general welfare of the people of New Mexico.

Qualifications for the five positions

Position 1: Must be landowners, registered to vote in the county that lies within the district and they have to live within the district boundaries.

Position 2: Must be landowners, registered to vote in the county that lies within the district and they have to live within the district boundaries.

Position 5: Does not have to be a landowner, but they do have to reside within the district boundary and be a registered voter in the county within the district.

Position 1 Supervisor

Maria Christina Young

Maria Christina Young, Candidate for Cuidad Soil & Water Conservation District Position 1 Supervisor
  1. What qualifies you to be a member of the board of supervisors? The SWCD Board of Supervisors is composed of volunteer landowning citizens with knowledge of and a desire to protect and conserve land and water resources. I have lived in Albuquerque over 28 years, have been a Mastergardener and a Master Composter. I have served on the Board for Ciudad for the past two years which has been a great education itself about the District’s challenges.
  2. What are the most important unaddressed needs of the district? Funding and effective collaboration with the City and County and the public are limiting factors to the scope of Ciudad’s activities. Unlike other branches or departments of government the SWCDs are responsible for funding themselves with grants and utilizing volunteers. Ciudad is incredibly efficient at using the resources it earns but the scale of need for education and research and conservation outstrips its capacity
  3. How do you plan to work to meet that need? Currently I attend all Ciudad Board meetings as well as meetings of other organizations whose goals overlap. As time allows I take on administrative projects and support the District manager. I find opportunities every day to communicate to my fellow city- dwellers both the active roll of their SWCD and the needs of the mountain and river they may be taking for granted.
  4. What do you think is the highest priority for the district with current funding? The District is like a multi function tool- it does a lot with a little, from helping landowners be more fire wise in the East Mountains, to providing great educational programs for all ages, to funding and participating in research and remediation projects in the watershed. Continuing all these activities is important to helping the forest and river become healthier and more resilient.

Position 2 Supervisor

Thomas Ivey Allen

No reply received.

Position 5 At-Large Supervisor

Daniel F. Lyon

Daniel F. Lyon, Candidate for Cuidad Soil & Water Conservation District, Position 5 At-Large Supervisor
  1. What qualifies you to be a member of the board of supervisors? I Have the time, energy, interest and experience.  After fifty-years of active legal status with the New Mexico State Bar I retired this year.  My wife died in January leaving a vacuum.  We built a solar home on our irrigated farm in the south valley in the 1970’s.  My background includes being a 4-term State Legislator and 2-term Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority Director.
  2. What are the most important unaddressed needs of the district? Supervisors neither receive per diem nor mileage, i.e., they do not even get reimbursed for gasoline for their personal vehicle(s) when used for District business.  It is most difficult for many citizens to fully serve.  I am retired and can, but many cannot afford it.  The duties are numerous.  Let’s be realistic!  The total District budget is too little.  I commend those that have served.
  3. How do you plan to work to meet that need? The biggest unmet need directly affects every Supervisor and the Program.  I am running and if elected will serve my civic duty but will seek additional funding.  Our District goes into three counties.  It needs qualified staff assistance and resources to truly perform its statutory responsibilities just like AMAFCA, The Water Authority, Conservancy District, Corp of Engineers, City and County has in some overlapping functions.
  4. What do you think is the highest priority for the district with current funding? The highest current priority is to maintain the limited good work with volunteers and with cooperative relationships with other entities, e.g., COG.  More of the same must continue!  I think the “credited” involvement  by some, for example arroyos, flooding and subdivisions, is neither cost effective nor in the interest of the public.  At the same time, we will not have the resources to function properly.     

Daniel A. Conklin

Daniel A. Conklin, Candidate for Cuidad Soil & Water Conservation Position 5 At-Large Supervisor
  1. What qualifies you to be a member of the board of supervisors? Experience gained and relationships made during the last four years serving on the board. Time and energy spent in supporting our programs: Master Naturalists and Carlito Springs Open Space in partnership with Bernalillo County, Tijeras Creek Remediation Project and others.  Finance Committee member. Successful grant writer.  Keen desire to serve another term. (Thank you in advance for your support.)
  2. What are the most important unaddressed needs of the district? A steady funding source.  Our grants are non-recurring so it’s an on-going process to replenish them. We retain only 5 to 10% of grant monies to cover the costs we incur to administer them.  The supervisors are unpaid volunteers, but we have a small staff on payroll.  We need their dedication and hard work to get the job done.
  3. How do you plan to work to meet that need? The board is a team united in our commitment to watershed health in our District. We are continuously working on grant opportunities to fund our mission and keep the engine running.  We are currently meeting with potential partners to apply for funds under the new Healthy Soils Act to establish demonstration pollinator habitats and present soil health workshops to our constituents.
  4. What do you think is the highest priority for the district with current funding? Education and outreach programs directed to schoolchildren to foster an understanding of the importance of protecting our natural resources.  This activity has the best potential long-term benefit, to give our youth the tools to grow up to be stewards of the river and its watershed, of our mountains and forests.