In the last few years our facilities manager, Brian Van Der Wege, has diligently researched and perfected our composting program yielding beautiful “black gold” that we use to amend our soil prior to landscaping. We are very happy to have developed this system, turning a perceived burden into a real benefit. For an in-depth discussion of our program see Composting Horse Manure by Brian Van der Wege.
We have planted over 100 native trees on our Santa Fe property since we moved here in 2006. We bought our trees as young saplings from the New Mexico State Forestry Conservation Seedling Program, which helps landowners plant trees for reforestation, to curb erosion, and to create windbreaks. Over 50 different species are available.
With a little effort at proper planting, fertilizing, and monitoring almost all of these trees have thrived on our property. For more information go to the New Mexico State Forestry site and click on the “Conservation Seedlings” sub-page. We have also planted several Cottonwood saplings, taken as cuttings from nearby. These trees are well-adapted to our dry environment and have thrived despite the drought.
As an equine veterinary practice, we cannot help but leave a heavy footprint on our environment. We use an enormous amount of goods and labor to care for our hospitalized and boarded horses.
With that in mind, we try to recycle all materials accepted by Santa Fe County including cardboard, paper, glass, newspaper, aluminum and certain kinds of plastics. For more information about recycling opportunities throughout our State see http://www.recyclenewmexico.com/.
Recently, we built viewing stands for our wooden round pen, reusing rough cut native wood planks from the Thal Ranch that likely date back to the early 20th century.
Land Stewardship & Stream Reclamation
Dr. Thal has always had a strong affinity for the land and waters of New Mexico. He has spent most of his life in this fragile environment and finds both its sensitivity and its resilience amazing. In the early 1980’s the Thal Family implemented a system of rotational intensive grazing with their cow herd on their family ranch. In this system, they have greatly improved the quality of their range lands.
The Mora River and Coyote Creek both run through the family ranch. These streams have been badly degraded by land owners allowing cattle to congregate year-round on their banks. In the early years the Thals were also guilty of this practice, as they only saw these streams as simple conduits of water.
However, the family has come to appreciate the complex ecology of streams and rivers and have witnessed first-hand the dramatic results of a few modest management changes. By limiting stream access to the cow and horse herds, building up embankments, and planting hundreds of native tree species stream-side, the Thals have improved the land and streams that they so appreciate.