Topsoil Restoration Barriers, an Aerial View

Range land restoration at the Painted Pony Resort uses natural materials from the landscape and redistributes this material to barren areas with little or no top soil to encourage the development of new topsoil and native grasses by slowing water flow and providing microhabitat to catch wind blown seeds.  Using Amaranth, mesquite, or tumbleweed cannoli the before and after aerial views shown below demonstrate how the barriers encourage new grass growth and topsoil creation in overgrazed areas of the high desert of New Mexico.

Google Earth view of the north end of the estate before topsoil barrier construction.  The red line indicates the estate's northern boundary.

A recent still from an aerial video showing the locations of topsoil barriers at the north end of the estate highlighted with black arrows.  Aerial image courtesy of Dalton Wilson.
Another image from Wilson's drone showing state land and the west side of the estate.  Note the large areas where the topsoil is completely lost and large reflective areas of hard desert pan are visible.  These barren areas are restoration goals for the estate, as well as increasing productivity, restoration efforts will slow the water moving across the landscape allowing more to reach the aquifer.

State land versus the Painted Pony Resort an aerial view.


  1. Great photos by Dalton!
    Have you taken photos from your ultralight? I imagine so.

    Did you know that a rancher offered to buy that land and let it sit fallow for years since one rancher had overgrazed it? The person the current owner bought it from, bought it and the rest is history.

    And you are doing the restoration! Good job!

  2. Thank you, it is hard work but will pay off over time. I have already been approached by a number of ranchers who wish to lease the land for cattle but the owner has declined in favor of my restoration efforts. The former owner was actually a women in Sierra Vista and not the last tenants who ran Wolf Song.

    That specific aerial image I used was taken from a drone flown by Dalton during his recent stay doing astrophotography. I have taken many aerial photographs of the estate from my aircraft but none recently so I used one of Dalton's.

  3. I had forgotten you added the Wolfsong area. I was referring to the earlier section that was sold to McAfee.

    Must be good cameras or fast film that can handle focusing while moving up above. I am in awe.

  4. Oh, yes the core 80 acre parcel where the main building are located was in pretty bad shape. I still find old cattle bones scattered around in the drainage's. But between grubbing mesquite (about 40 acres is done) and topsoil barriers we are working hard to restore the land. The seed reservoir is a great plus for getting new grasses on the landscape and will help with the surrounding lands as well.

    Dalton's drone was a nice one with a built in 1080p camera and good stability software.

  5. stability software! that's what the Hubble thing needed!

  6. The Kepler telescope lost another reaction wheel, but the fix was ingenious, using the pressure of solar radiation help to maintain its' position.

  7. "all Greek to me!"
    I am sure out of the technological loop these days!

  8. Probably only interesting to rocket scientists and other geeks like me.

  9. You are too kind................I am just not technologically savvy.