CLOVIS, NM (KFDA) - Cannon Air Force Base announced on Monday the protection of 30,653 acres of land adjacent to Melrose Air Force Range in partnership with The Conservation Fund.
Cannon AFB announced on May 6 that an exclusive right has been placed on the acreage around MAFR that restricts development, encroachment and changes to the land that could negatively affect operations of the MAFR and the 27th Special Operations Ring.
“This major success is the culmination of three years of effort and bridges the gap between military training and graduate-level conservation practices,” said Steven Coffin, Range Management Officer Director with the MAFR. “This union between the Department of Defense, State of New Mexico, The Conservation Fund, and private landowners demonstrates that uncommon partners can join for a common goal and protect both military training space and landowner interests.”
The Conservation Fund worked closely with landowners Tom and Sharon Davis to facilitate the purchase of a restrictive-use conservation easement on the privately owned ranch adjacent to MAFR that will be overseen and managed by the New Mexico Land Conservancy.
“On behalf of the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Special Operations Command, I want to express our gratitude to the state and federal lawmakers who provided early support, The Conservation Fund for providing strong leadership, and Tom and Sharon Davis for sticking with us through this challenging process,” said Col. Stewart Hammons, 27th SOW commander.