Philmont Scout Ranch Receives Awards for
Environmental Achievement and Water Quality
Philmont Scout Ranch received the Excellence in Environmental Achievement
Award from the New Mexico Rural Water Association on March 22, 2006. The award
was the first of its type ever presented by the association.
The award is presented to an outstanding individual or utility that has gone
beyond normal requirements to be better stewards of the environment. Recipients
are automatically entered into a nationally sponsored competition by the National
Rural Water Association.
Philmont has also received several awards for outstanding water quality.
Philmont placed in the top five at the 2005 New Mexico Drinking Water Taste
Test. Philmont was awarded Outstanding Water System of the Year in 2003, and
Philmont staff received the Water Operator of the Year Award in 2004.
"Philmont strives to be a good steward of the land and utilize innovative
technology in that pursuit." stated Philmont General Manager Keith Gallaway.
"Philmont is a recognized leader in environmental education, watershed
restoration, and implementing sound ecological management practices."
- Philmont has been a key player in the organization and development of the
Cimarron Watershed Alliance, a nonprofit organization doing state and
nationally recognized work to improve the quality and quantity of water
in the Cimarron watershed. Work includes erosion and sediment control
projects, timber thinning and fire protection work, public outreach, and
riparian improvement projects.
- Philmont has implemented the use of gray water irrigation systems as
opposed to traditional septic systems in an effort to protect potentially
sensitive ground and surface water areas, and to lessen water requirements
for green spaces.
- Philmont has developed a wellhead protection program with requirements
more stringent than the New Mexico Environment Department.
- Philmont is experimenting with the use of self-composting toilets in some
of our environmentally sensitive areas.
- Philmont is using GPS technology to monitor the location and life span of
dry carriage latrine systems.
- Philmont has sponsored workshops on road building to prevent erosion and
riparian damage (in cooperation with the Cimarron Watershed Alliance and
- Philmont has spent thousands of dollars and thousands of man-hours doing
soil and watershed stabilization and improvement since the catastrophic
2002 Ponil Complex Fire. Projects include contour felling, reseeding,
and wellhead protection.
- Philmont has cooperated with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to
establish the longest stretch of native Rio Grande cutthroat trout stream
in New Mexico. This work has included thousands of hours and dollars in
watershed and riparian habitat improvement.
- Philmont was presented the Water System of the Year Award in 2003.
Philmont's chief water operator, Larry Archuleta, was named Water Operator
of the Year in 2004, and Philmont placed in the top five finalists of the
New Mexico Rural Water Association Taste Test in 2005. Some of the
significant accomplishments that led to receiving these awards are:
- Improvements that have been made for potable water systems and the
contributions Philmont has made to assist in the improvement of
other systems in northeastern New Mexico.
- Within Philmont's system, the camp has gone from having two "small
water operators" that were grandfathered into certification, to
having five level I operators, five level II operators, and one
level III state-certified water operators, seven level l distribution
certifications, and three state-certified wastewater operators.
- Philmont implemented and continues to provide and train all of its
publics in the necessary areas of water conservation and water
- Since 2001 all of Philmont's remote backcountry water systems have
been upgraded with new disinfection systems that consistently
provide the public with a safe, high-quality supply of potable
water. The majority of these systems are solar powered.
- Philmont's base camp operation has recently completed a new supply
line from its surface water and well supplies. Philmont researched,
directed the installation of, and is using a state-of-the art
membrane system for treatment of its domestic water supply.
- Philmont has actively initiated a wellhead protection program and
has made numerous improvements to maintain the integrity of natural
- Philmont has also hosted training sessions provided by the New
Mexico Rural Water Association, and the New Mexico Water Utilities
Assistance Program, which benefits not only our staff but the
operators and staff of other northeastern New Mexico systems as
well. This includes hosting State Operators Certification Exam