Doña Ana County



Mrs. Delk, Alvillar discuss target practice issue with District 5 Commissioner Sanchez.
     Hunting season is open and about a dozen residents in the North Del Rey Boulevard neighborhood are concerned about target practice on and near their homes throughout the day or night, they said. 

     Almost a dozen residents from that area reached out to Doña Ana County representatives recently, concerned for their own safety and for Interstate 25 drivers and passengers. Doña Ana County Manager Fernando Macias, Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division Commander, Captain Manion Long and Office of the Flood Commission Director John Gwynne met with the constituents to discuss their concerns and viable solutions.
     Apparently target-practicing, shooters seem to convene near three dams referred to as “Alvillar Dams,” which are managed by the Doña Ana County Flood Commission, and sit within the privately owned Alvillar Farm and Land LLC.
     “We don’t feel we have a safe environment right now,” residents said.  Several neighbors have recently noticed an increase in shooting practice in or around their farms, especially from the dams.  Riser in Alvillar dam 1.
Shooters reportedly aim at risers and destroy them. Risers are metal, tube-like structures in the dams that help prevent floods in the area. Shooters seem to miss their target and instead hit unintended marks, both near the dam and hundreds of feet away, across the highway.
     The bullets are reportedly hitting nearby homes, trees or animals. Bullet holes show up on homes and other structures while shell casings and debris have become a common sight, especially around the risers.  The dams are also close to the Doña Ana Trail Head used by hikers, cyclists, and horseback and all-terrain vehicle or ATV riders. 
     A high-power rifle, “Can travel upwards of 2,800 feet per second, or faster,” Mark Delk, a neighborhood resident said. “And our homes range in distance from the first Alvillar dam between 3,500 to 4,500 feet, just due west of Interstate 25.”
Visitors to the area may be unclear about property limits and thus, trespassing. In the North Del Rey area, farms and private land intertwine with public, recreational areas, so it is easy for visitors to enter private property, unobstructed.  Some “No Trespassing” or “Private Property” signs either fell or were used as targets and destroyed.
     Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Patrol Division Commander, Captain Manion Long laid out an immediate action plan, including re-posting signs, increasing patrols to the area, direction to patrol deputies and educating area visitors.
 Mr. Alvillar explains concerns to District 5 Doña Ana County Commissioner Sanchez.      “While law enforcement will not solve the ills of society, we are part of the solution,” Capt. Long said. “Weapons must be used responsibly and in areas that are set up for safe target practice, like shooting ranges.”
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For more information or to request interviews with Doña Ana County representatives, please contact Luce Rubio at (575) 386-4348,

Photo captions:

  • Photo 1 From left: David Alvillar and Joe Delk, farm owners and concerned residents discuss concerns with Dist. 5 Doña Ana County Commissioner Manny Sanchez.
  • Photo 2: Riser in Alvillar dam 1.
  • Photo 3: David Alvillar explains concerns to District 5 Doña Ana County Commissioner Manuel Sanchez.