Eastern New Mexico Sentinel Landscape

  • New Mexico

  • Established 2024


In 2024, a coalition of partners united around a shared vision of safeguarding declining water supply and protecting natural resources to create the Eastern New Mexico Sentinel Landscape. This region boasts vast expanses of private ranches and farmlands as well as Cannon Air Force Base (AFB), home to the 27th Special Operations Wing (SOW). Cannon AFB SOW encompasses the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, 43rd Intelligence Squadron, and approximately 5,100 active military and civilian personnel, 2,400 Department of Defense and installation contractors, five material design series platforms, and all of the Melrose Air Force Range. Climate-induced warming and aridification are intensifying water scarcity across the Eastern New Mexico Sentinel Landscape. This has magnified the strain on the dwindling groundwater reserves of the Ogallala Aquifer, the sole source of domestic water for Cannon AFB and most of the surrounding landscape. Heightened demand coupled with the aquifer's slow rate of recharge has underscored the urgent need for action by all local stakeholders to address challenges posed by limited water availability to agricultural viability, rare species, critical habitats, and natural resources. The development of wind farms also threatens vital military operation areas.



Meet the Coordinator

Ladona Clayton


Ladona Clayton is the Executive Director of the Ogallala Land & Water Conservancy and current point of contact for the Eastern New Mexico Sentinel Landscape. Since 2021, Ladona has worked in collaboration with private landowners and local, state, federal, and non-profit partners to conserve the rapidly declining groundwater resources of the Ogallala Aquifer for Cannon Air Force Base (AFB) and area communities. Before Ladona began leading efforts to advance water resilience, she served as a city commissioner facilitating the development of a Master Water Assurance Plan, the blueprint for the Cannon AFB REPI Project. She is a native New Mexican.