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Red River Tree Stumps to be Repurposed Into Fish Habitat

By ROB SWAN, Contributing Writer, Reprinted with Permission from the Questa Del Rio News

Sanchez Excavating & Trucking employee Phillip Mancell stands with root balls waiting to be repurposed into fish habitat. Photo by Rob Swan

The Dec. 15, 2021, storm left many neighborhoods in the Upper Red River Valley with a lot of devastation and cleanup work to be done, much of which centered around the disposal of large tree stumps. Sadly, the majority of the stumps end up at the landfill, but one local entrepreneur has found a more constructive purpose: fish habitat.

Andamo Sanchez, owner of Sanchez Excavating & Trucking in Questa, has a history of working with environmental engineers and government agencies restoring and improving waterways around New Mexico. Much of the restoration revolves around restoring fish habitat. Fish thrive better when they have sheltered areas in which to take refuge. Tree stumps with their tangled ball of roots offer the perfect solution, providing shade, cover, and an environment where additional marine life can exist which, in turn, helps to rebuild and strengthen the ecosystem. So out of all the bad things the storm brought, there is at least one positive outcome.

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