Jemez Ranger District Plans Vallecitos Prescribed Burn

Julie Anne Overton



Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest hope to take advantage of unseasonably favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts, to resume the Vallecitos prescribed burn on the Jemez Ranger District.

Ignitions could begin as early as Tuesday, Nov. 28, on the final 91-acre unit in the Vallecitos treatment area adjacent to the East Fork trail head and NM Highway 4.

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Ranger Ethan Ortega is now the Historic Site Instructional Coordinator

By Matthew J. Barbour, Regional Manager


After an exhaustive search, New Mexico Historic Sites is pleased to announce that one of its own, Ranger Ethan Ortega, has been selected as the new Instructional Coordinator. He replaces Instructional Coordinator Sharon Walker who departed Coronado Historic Site on June 15. During her relatively brief two-year tenure, Ms. Walker visited over 50 public schools and published 11 lesson plans utilizing Common Core State Standards for literacy.

The role, as envisioned for Mr. Ortega, is quite a bit different from the one Ms. Walker held. He will not only service Coronado Historic Site, but the entire Northern Region of New Mexico Historic Sites. It will include duties both at Jemez and Los Luceros (situated in Acalde, New Mexico). Mr. Ortega will work in tandem with Jemez Instructional Coordinator Marlon Magdalena on public outreach and digital media promoting the sites. However, Coordinator Ortega’s primary role –at least initially- will be on re-imagining the exhibits at Jemez Historic Site.

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Still Abuzz, After All These Months

Photos R.W.

I know, official winter doesn’t begin for well over a month yet, and most folks in the Jemez have already had their first season-closing freeze and are all set for their long dark chill ’till late March, early April, while here, we nestled up in the warm glow of red earth and red rocks you see no smoke rising from our chimneys,  it’s still Summer, late Summer perhaps, no decent banana crop ’till climate change gets a good hold, but the air dense with more bugs than through all the past months of this year, doing what they do with their loads of pollen buzzing from flower to flower and birds gasping for a sip from the bowl of fresh well water provided for their comfort in this bit of a drought, drought lite, but growing, sharing it with the odd chipmunk, rabbit, even the occasional lizard or the neighbor’s cat.

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Santa Fe National Forest Offices Closed

Julie Anne Overton 
Acting Public Affairs Officer, SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST

All Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) offices will be closed Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, in observance of Veterans Day, which honors the service of all who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Forest offices will resume regular business hours on Monday, Nov. 13.

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Magical Abundance

By Jennifer Olson


Before the sun crests over the mesa to shine on the fall foliage, there is a mystical quality in the atmosphere, and the air itself is tinged with gold. It magically holds your soul and reflects the beauty that we are so fortunate to behold. Kinda like the ever-flourishing garden at the Bodhi, as it spews forth the bounty of the land under the ever watchful eye of Walter and the Woofers.

Hosen reported that the market last Saturday was a huge success, with Walter harvesting as it was needed, and people happily carrying off the absolute freshest produce to be had. So, take your smiling selves there again this Saturday, and haul away even more happiness. There is still an abundance of greens of all sorts, broccoli, cauliflower, and whatever else the earth is offering up there. Hosen said there would be quince preserves and yogurt available.

Get your rear in gear and stay on the road to good, healthy eating, starting with Saturday mornings at the Bodhi, 9 til 11. Offer up smiles of gratitude for this magical abundance of beauty and bounty. We all live in a wonderful place.

Celebrating the Return of the Jemez Post Heavy Drinkers Invade Red Rocks Back Yard

Photos by R.W.

After a  sustained glitch, the Jemez Post lurches back onto the internet, still slightly dazed and not quite sure what really happened. Testing the waters, literally, here are some characters, signalling seasonal change, who, put out by the recent drought-like conditions jostle by a constantly refilled bowl of water. Anyone identifying some of these, especially the small one with all the white on its face, will be appreciated.

Yes, this one in the foreground.

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Forest Service Hiring for Temporary Positions for 2018 Field Season

By Julie Anne Overton, Acting Public Affairs Officer


The Forest Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, will be accepting applications for temporary spring and summer jobs in Arizona and New Mexico from November 1-9, 2017.

More information on temporary employment in the Forest Service’s Southwestern Region can be found at Centralized Temporary Hiring Outreach, including a link to the 2018 Outreach Notice with job listings for the Southwestern Region.

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The Glow is On

It was a treat to share the full wonder of the Jemez Valley in Fall with so many visitors this weekend, and to see their wonderment at it. 

Trail Sale

Photos R.W.

Can’t complain about the setting. The Jemez Valley bosque put on a great Fall show; the Jemez Valley Trail Sale caught it at just the right moment this year.

Here  are some shots of (some of) what went on, here and there:

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Stable Mesa Prescribed Burn Begins


Fire managers on the Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest started operations on the 1,950-acre Stable Mesa prescribed burn today, blacklining the perimeter of the treatment area.  If conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts, are favorable, the expectation is to complete ignitions this weekend.

The Stable Mesa unit is located about 5 miles northwest of Jemez Springs, 8 miles north of Gilman and 6 miles west of La Cueva.

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Fall Color Road Bike Ride

Sandra West


Inline image 1

Photo by ©Phillip Noll

Jemez Springs.

Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) and the Los Alamos Mountaineers (LAM) are partnering to offer a road ride from Jemez Springs to the Gilman Tunnels and back on Sunday, October 29th. Join Ross Lemons on a paved ride to enjoy fall colors, great company, and colorful geology.

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Opportunity Rover Heading Our Way


New Mexico on the map…of Mars, but still good.

With names like Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos, and a giant crater the size of the Valles Caldera, future maps of the planet Mars will contain a lot of names familiar to the people of New Mexico. Suggested by a member of the Mars Rover team based in New Mexico, the names are of cities and locales along the legendary El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro and are being used to name features visited by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity during an important phase of its mission.

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Volunteers Needed For Rio Cebolla Wetland Restoration


We will work with Santa Fe National Forest personnel to construct several beaver dam analogs (BDAs) on the Rio Cebolla meadows downstream of where the Cebolla flows under FR 376. The work area is approximately 10 miles north of Porter’s Landing on FR 376.

This is the first stage of a project to increase riparian wetland area, to improve water quality, and to benefit fish habitat on the Rio Cebolla. We will be applying techniques similar to those Bill Zeedyk taught at a NM Trout workshop in 2015, including post pounding, rock placement, and willow weir construction. Some of the work will be in-stream and other parts will be on the stream banks. We suggest you bring waders if you plan to work in the stream.

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Jemez Mountain Trail Sale Will Happen Saturday and Sunday Oct. 21 and 22

This year, the 14th year of the Jemez Mountain Trail sale, will catch the bosque Fall colors at their peak. So there will be a light chill in the air this late in October, but that will just add vigor to the whole event.

The sale area will extend along the length of N.M. Highway 4 in its Jemez Valley stretch, also branching out to Gilman along N.M. Highway 485 and to Ponderosa along N.M. Highway 290. Starting this Saturday and running through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on each day there will be over 150 sellers along these stretches of road, selling a wide variety of goods ranging from traditional yard sale material to high quality arts and crafts.

The event is sponsored by Jemez Valley Credit Union, Laughing Lizard Inn, & Jemez Springs Bath House.

For any additional information contact Joy Bandy at 928-432-5109 (c) or 575-834-7729 or


Firewood Permits at Santa Fe National Forest Offices

We might be in the midst of an unseasonably warm spell, but since seasons do change what lies ahead is Winter. I have noticed that folk have been reaching an old post, dating back to May this year, that details the firewood permits offered by the  Santa Fe National Forest. That information is still accurate, so to make access to it easier here it is again.


Jemez Ranger District Firewood Permits for Sale Now

Real Chill Creeping In

It was bound to happen sooner or later, but snow already? Well, perhaps not in the lower reaches of the Jemez Valley, but up and above 9,000 feet and in the frigid heights of places like the Sangre de Cristos and Raton Pass, where up to 5 inches are possible.

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It Was Fun While it Lasted

Early Fall mini-monsoon made up somewhat for absence of full-blown Summer monsoon with swirling brown waters, great puddles to drive through and mud to waddle in and out of. Now, back to the still air, cool mornings and clear skies of what we expect at this time of the year, with the Balloon Fiesta set to enjoy what New Mexico promises each year (but does not always deliver).

Looking back over the past few days:

Gushing and swirling brown liquid at Soda dam.  

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Stricken Tree in Area 3

By Suzanne Swetnam

This  Douglas Fir tree was struck by lightning this morning on Ponderosa Drive in Area 3, right above the road at the big curve, about 200 yards from our house. It hit about 7:30 a.m.

As you can see, the lightning blew the bark off from the top to the ground. Bark shards are dispersed all over the ground and road.  It was so close that it shorted out our internet modem and the monitoring system for our solar power grid. I heard a popping sound in the house at the same time as the thunder and lightning.

Too close for comfort.

Photos by Suzanne Swetnam


Photos R.W.

Heading south on New Mexico Highway 4. Wrong side of the road, but pointed in the general direction of the feed store.

Flash Flood Watch for the Jemez

Starting this afternoon all the way through Sunday night the National Weather Service has announced a  flash flood watch for large parts of New Mexico, including the Jemez. They tell us that a few strong storms are possible across western New Mexico this afternoon and evening. Torrential downpours and small hail are the primary threats. Minor flooding is possible due to heavy downpours over already saturated soils.

Both localized and distant heavy rainfall will create dangerous flows in arroyos and over low water crossings. Do not attempt to drive through these waters. Water in arroyos may travel many miles and take hours to reach your location from upstream rain areas.

In many locations the ground is already saturated from 2 days of moderate to heavy rainfall, so even moderate rain amounts in a short period of time could lead to flash flooding.  Other vulnerable locations will include steep terrain, urban areas and burn scars. Keep a watchful eye on arroyos and small streams, and stay out of flooded low water crossings.

Drier air will arrive from the west and southwest on Saturday evening decreasing the risk of flash flooding.


All over?…

Entrance to the “fire zone” off Forest Road 376 yesterday. Rising smoke visible beyond skyline.

Julie Anne Overton, Acting Public Affairs Officer for the Santa Fe National Forest issued this final sounding press release concerning the Deer Creek Fire:

Crews on the Santa Fe National Forest have completed fire operations on the 1,022-acre Deer Creek Fire on the Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF).  The lightning-caused wildfire on Peggy Mesa gave fire managers the opportunity to capitalize on a natural ignition to provide long-term benefits to the fire-adapted ecosystem.

Objectives for the fire included:

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Heavy Fire Traffic on Forest Road 376

Smoke rose above and crept down the mesa this morning.

The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) warns that today heavy fire traffic is expected on the south end of Forest Road 376, and motorists are urged to use caution while driving through the staging area. This is the road that is the continuation of N.M. Highway 485 which starts at N.M. Highway 4 north of Cañon. Forest Road 376 is popular with visitors to the Jemez; it passes through the recently reopened Gilman Tunnels.

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