Your question has landed with me over here in Alabama. I can't tell enough from the photo and description to give a diagnosis.
If you could provide more information that could give me a clue about the symptoms, the general site and conditions would help.
Also, you could call your local Dona Ana Cooperative Extension Office at: 575-525-6649. Perhaps they have information on the situation or the issue is already known to them.
Ponderosa pines are susceptible to bark beetles, you should check the trunks for numerous small pine pitch leaking holes. If this is the case, removal is likely your only option.
I know you folks have been in drought for some time, and you might, just a guess, be witnessing the end run for severely stressed trees.
Another option for you is to call on an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist and get the trees inspected. This will likely cost you money, but could also catch symptoms and information where you are that we can't way out here in the internet. You can locate local Certified Arborists using
You can search by zip code or city.
Good Luck and I hope this helps.