DOI / VISTA Team Projects

Questa Economic Development Fund

Erin Freiboth

DOI / VISTA: Erin Freiboth
Supervisor: Malaquias Rael
Address: PO Box 09, Cerro, New Mexico 87519
County: Taos
Voice Telephone: 575-779-0623
Web site: No website available
Congressional District: 3
Bureau: Bureau of Land Management (BLM)


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) may best be described as a small agency with a big mission: To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. It administers more public land – over 245 million surface acres – than any other Federal agency in the United States. The BLM’s multiple-use mission, set forth in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, mandates that we manage public land resources for a variety of uses, such as energy development, livestock grazing, recreation, and timber harvesting, while protecting a wide array of natural, cultural, and historical resources, many of which are found in the BLM's 27 million-acre National Landscape Conservation System. The conservation system includes 221 Wilderness Areas totaling 8.7 million acres, as well as 16 National Monuments comprising 4.8 million acres.

The Questa Economic Development Fund's mission is to help the community of Questa develop its economy to ensure that a healthy and vibrant community continues following the 2016 closing of Chevron’s molybdenum mine between Questa and Red River.

About the Surrounding Community

The Questa Economic Development Fund was established, with initial funding by Chevron Mining, to help the Village of Questa develop its economy so that it would remain healthy after the eventual closing of Chevron’s molybdenum mine between Questa and Red River.  Steps to permanently close the mine were announced on June 2, 2014 and will be completed in 2016.  The DOI/VISTA project is working to develop strategies for the community of Questa to establish a tourism-friendly environment that will help replace some of these lost jobs. According to New Mexico Voices for Children’s annual Kids Count in New Mexico, New Mexico is ranked 50th in the nation for the overall well-being of the state’s children. Nearly one-third of the state's children live in poverty, with 60% coming from low-income families, far above the national average.

Project Overview

DOI/VISTA Erin Freiboth is focusing on the general economic development of the community. This includes attracting new businesses and jobs to the area, increasing tourism opportunities, improving community facilities, and supporting projects and initiatives within areas of Questa, New Mexico.  For example, Erin is helping to establish a gateway to the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument as well as nearby US Forest Service wilderness areas. The project includes work for local youth, job skills training, and the developing of grant proposals for habitat and historic site restoration. This improves opportunities for visitors to enjoy and learn about the area’s cultural heritage, identifies opportunities for special events that would bring new visitors to the area, and encourages local businesses to invest in ways that would provide services to new clientele.

Sponsors and Partners