- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

TAOS, N.M. (AP) - A $1 million donation from a nonprofit group is expected to triple the acres thinned along the Rio Grande Valley in northern New Mexico and help leverage more funding for restoration projects.

The Nature Conservancy says the funding comes from the Wyoming-based LOR Foundation. It marks the second donation by the foundation to the Rio Grande Water Fund.

The fund uses donations to increase the scale and scope of forest thinning to improve watershed conditions and minimize the risk of wildfires.

Officials say the additional funding will be used in the Taos area. They also plan to create a template for restoration strategies that can be shared with other communities.

Supporters of Rio Grande Water Fund have set a goal of restoring more than a half-million acres in 20 years.

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