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About Río Responsible Forestry LLC

Founded in 2018 by Ben Van Kleeck, the Río team found itself in transition from working fire lines and large thinning projects to include more types of tree and forest management. This was born out of a means to bring solutions to solve the same issues that besiege our national forests to those that live in and around our wooded landscapes. The dangers of fire and health of our trees are sourced from limited water in a human impacted environment. This is what motivated the founding of Río Responsible Forestry LLC.

Utilizing Techniques developed from our background in wild land fire and other large forestry projects we are able to change a forested landscaped to make it not only safer but more resilient to drought and disease. This is done with the use of chainsaws, chipping or hauling the material and working with the given natural topography. Remediation work has been influenced by Bill Zeedyk, the premier expert on natural resource conservation in New Mexico, particularly in water systems and riparian areas. Rio is the culmination of a varied set of skills to meet the needs of our wooded landscapes.

Previous Projects

  • Firescaping homes and creating defensible space in the foothills of Santa Fe

  • Reduce hazardous fuels and create fuel breaks in Glorieta

  • Invasive species removal in the Galisteo Watershed

  • Beetle kill removal in our piñon and juniper forest

  • Arroyo erosion mitigation using natural topography and on site resources

  • Hazard tree removal and storm clean up

  • Mistletoe treatment and saving ponderosa pines

  • Chipping

About: About

Horse Skidding in North Carolina

Rìo Santa Fe running from spring melt

About: About

A Bit About Ben

Originally from Western Washington, Ben began his career in remediation at an early age pulling never ending vines and blackberries out of the neighboring woods. A career with the United States Forest Service began in the mountains of Utah allowing for an opportunity to fight fire all over the West and eventually onto the Santa Fe Hotshots.
Believing that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure led Ben to get into private forestry work. This has led to opportunities to remove invasive species and thinning our overgrown forests in the Southwest to horse logging in North Carolina all aimed to better the land.
Río Responsible Forestry LLC was named for the business being established on the Río Santa Fe and our belief in responsible forestry practices to leave the land better than we found it from the soil to the tree tops.

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