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Old 08-23-2016, 03:18 PM
Location: CO
2,533 posts, read 5,816,223 times
Reputation: 3295


Originally Posted by slsheppard View Post
. . .
What kind of trees can you plant out here that will survive the weather?
Research at Alamosa District of the Colorado State Forest Service:
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:29 PM
242 posts, read 262,758 times
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Originally Posted by slsheppard View Post
What kind of trees can you plant out here that will survive the weather?
I'd have to say "ones that you can legally water" before I suggested specific species of trees/plants/etc.

Find out what type of well right, if any, is attached or can be obtained on the 5 acres you are wanting to inhabit. Some (most) wells/permits/etc. these days are for "Household Use Only" and don't allow outside use whatsoever. It is incredibly important you find out what/if any well designation your targeted property falls under >before< you make plans/dreams/think about trees/any sort of garden/plantings/etc. outside.

You should be able to find a link on the Water Resources page above that allows you to search by parcel/township/section/etc/etc..etc. for info about the property....or get the info in hand and call them.

good luck
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:38 AM
9,816 posts, read 19,014,998 times
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Originally Posted by slsheppard View Post
I want to say thank you to all for your advise. We are tough cookies and feel the SLV is perfect. I realize it is going to be a rough road. But our determination hopefully will get us through the tough spots.
I will keep searching the forums for more info.
What kind of trees can you plant out here that will survive the weather?
One thing to go on is does your property and surrounding properties have trees on them now?

If it doesn't that should be a good indication what the answer is.

This is not a temperate zone, the higher you go in elevation, the smaller and longer it takes for plants and trees to grow. As I know from planting lots of trees, they require a lot of water, especially at the beginning. Where do you get the water? That valley is an arid high desert. I looked up Mesita property for sale and it looks like Mars out there.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:33 AM
10,868 posts, read 41,128,193 times
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trees ...

even if you have water available to water the trees ... and do so in a timely manner as required ... know that the survival rate of planted landscape trees in this area is minimal. It would be realistic to expect that as few as 10% of your planted trees will survive more than a few years, and some won't make it through the first winter or two.

At that, it wouldn't be unusual for the trees that survive to 5 years to die in the next few winters.

This is an area where there are few trees that get established ... and it's not just a moisture issue, it's a climate issue.
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Old 08-25-2016, 06:28 AM
958 posts, read 717,804 times
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Originally Posted by slsheppard View Post
Me and my wife are moving right outside of Mesita on a 5 3/4 acre.
We are retiring so money is a big issue.
I want to know about local well drillers. Any advise and estimated cost.
Does anyone have solar. Does that provide enough electricity to your home.
What was the cost and size of panels or panels you put up.
Is there anyone who would like to help put a kit home up on our land in May.
What kinds of permits will I need?
Any advise you have for us but run will be appricated.
God bless you
Water rights. What are your water rights? You have not mentioned that. Without that, you are in for a world of hurt. Let us know that and we will help you with your other questions.
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Old 09-28-2016, 06:44 AM
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I am currently looking for 35 acres of land in the SLV, in every county but San Luis County.

I have been researching everything from water rights to building and well permits for months. I also drove out there in August to look around. My wife and I were out there and nearly bought a Melby Ranch property on the Mesa about 20 years ago, and I'm glad we did not.

For anyone who wants to live there, reliable sources of water should be your number one priority, and you don't want to haul it or pay to haul it in. There is water in the SLV if you know where to find it. Just about any area of the valley has water at a reasonable depth (100 feet), but at some places the water table is only 4 feet deep (Alamosa). I continue to research, but I hope that I can drill my own well, rather than pay someone to do it. At $38/ft it's just too much money.

Let the satellite imagery be your guide. If the adjacent agricultural fields have large pivot sprinklers that water a quarter square mile of land, chances are there is water somewhere down there for your little property too. The Colorado Water Resources Board also has an online "aquamap" that shows you the locations of all registered wells in Colorado. Most of them have info on the overall depth, water level and gallons per minute rating for each well. Also, consider getting educated and drill your own well. I am currently looking for soils info for areas I'm interested in and if they can be drilled with something like a Deep Rock rig, then I will do that. If anyone has info on soils I would be grateful. Also, properties on alluvial fans near the foothills generally have great water within 75 feet, but these wells could be the first to dry up in a prolonged drought.

I have decided to stay away from Southern Costilla County, south of Hwy 142 between the Rio Grande and Hwy 159. Water is too deep or there is none. It seems romantic to have a scenic lot on the river, I know, but if you can't survive there then it's a waste of your money.
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:54 PM
Location: lakewood
572 posts, read 369,629 times
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about building structures on scenic lots near river's edge -- remember flooding.
not uncommon in the state
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Old 09-28-2016, 07:03 PM
6 posts, read 3,229 times
Reputation: 26
In southern Costilla County, the lots along the Rio Grande are elevated pretty high above the river, and most of that stretch is 'box," so there's not much danger of flood those properties. But there is even less chance of finding groundwater in those lots. :-)

In that area I'm told water is often 300 feet down. That southern part of Costilla County has rendered dry wells.

I just got a quote from Shawna at Pythian Well Drilling in Sanford, CO (about 10 miles from your property). Their cost is $38 per foot to drill a well. You can probably negotiate for them to include your pump, casing and pressure tank at that price.

If you drill, I hope you find water. Please let us know how it turns out. I have heard that land west of hwy 159 and closer to San Luis near Hwy 142 (several miles north of you) has water that is closer to the surface. Perhaps you could work out a land trade with another owner in that area if you want to move north.

Also, check out the Colorado water Resources Board website and look for their Aquamap. find your property location on the map and check information on the wells indicated around it. That will give you an idea of what to expect. It will tell you the name/owner of the well, when it was permitted, the total depth and the level of the water. It will also tell you the flow in Gallons per minute. Hope this helps.

Here is a 2015 CO Supreme court decision that created a brand new water right. Now you can mess with somebody else's ditch for secondary (junior) rights as long as you don't consume water belonging to primary owner. Did somebody say "use the ditch for hydropower?"


Last edited by Mike from back east; 09-28-2016 at 08:54 PM..
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Old 10-12-2016, 02:49 PM
1 posts, read 617 times
Reputation: 11
Default Water, Permits, Septic etc....

Greetings fellow valley dwellers.

I have 40 acres north of hwy 142. water was hit at 100 feet. We went 140 to make sure.
I have to get the septic put in, will be doing that myself, however I can not find exact specs required on the gov site.

Has anyone put their own in, in this area?

It seems backwards to put the septic in first to me, but oh well.

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Old 12-02-2016, 12:46 AM
4 posts, read 2,614 times
Reputation: 15

We bought 40 acres in San Luis. It has a ditch of the Culebra Resevoir(not sure if I can use after reading on here). Been tested 125 ft to dig well. It is a corner lot. Roads on both sides. With electricity to run to parcel.

Can I have(possibly) the right to the ditch as well as for my well? Or would I be restricted to only one source of water? I'm looking to homestead. Looking to build a nice straw bale house with natural plaster and stick framing for house.

Please let me know if there are 1)plumbers 2)electricianist 3)house frame builders.

I'm starting from ground zero and would love information! I do know how cold it get, the windy springs, isolation, crime, and not really liking outsiders. I just want help in information.

Looking forward to hearing from you! A million thanks!!!
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