Ruidoso  Department of Forestry

Dick Cooke - Forestry Director

Tel: 575-257-5544
Fax: 575-257-2980


Protecting the Forests in Our Village

The Forestry Department's mission is to address Ruidoso's forest health challenges and to protect this community's values at risk to the hazards of wildfire.

do your part. be fire safe. Safely remove your dead trees now!

Proper property preparation can make the difference between a saved home or a pile of embers during a wildfire. All flammable material around your house should be removed. This includes removal of dead branches, fallen leaves and cutting long grass. 

Fuels management costs will vary depending on slope, among contractors, density of trees, landowner management objectives, and distance to roads accessible to the “grapple” trucks. Typically, a cost range to treat one acre of land with a structure on it is $1,200 to $2,000. A range for one acre of vacant land is $800.00 to $1,300. These ranges do not consider removal of hazard trees. Generally, hazard trees are large trees close to structures or power lines that require specialized training and equipment for safe removal. A large tree looming over a house may cost $500.00 to $1,500.00 or more. Chipping debris may increase or decrease the cost depending on slope and distance to accessible roads. Property owners should consider treatment and disposal options. Currently, there are funding opportunities through the Cost Share Program.

The Village Forestry Department maintains a list of Forestry Contractors as a courtesy for property owners. Forest Contractors Criterions for posting companies on the list are:

  • Contractor must maintain a current Village of Ruidoso business license;

  • Contractor must demonstrate their knowledge and experience;

  • Contractor must attend periodic forest contractor meetings conducted by the Village. The meetings keep contractors updated on fuels management requirements and forest health issues.

Many of the forest contractors maintain workman’s comp and liability insurance. However, the Village does not regulate or maintain a log of forest contractors’ insurances. The Village does not regulate pricing. Property owners should secure certificates of insurance from the contractor where applicable.  Pricing estimates will vary and residents are encouraged to shop around.

Keeping fire at bay: Village and county approve updated wildfire protection plan

CLOSE Fire chief explains that village insurance rating is excellent and premiums remain fairly steady Every five years, fire officials from multiple agencies collaborate on an update to the Lincoln County and Greater Ruidoso Area Community Wildfire Protection Plan that shows the progress and accomplishments since the last revision.