National Parks Senior Pass Prices Increase

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

It’s official, Senior Pass prices are going up August 28th. An annual, and lifetime pass with be available for $20 and $80 respectively.

On August 28, 2017, the price of the America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass will increase for the first time since 1994. The additional revenue will be used to enhance the visitor experience in parks. Learn more about the changes, what they mean for you, and how the additional funds will be used.

Why is the price of the Senior Pass increasing?

Continue reading

Off-Road Vehicles Will be Impounded if Found Riding Within Designated Wilderness Areas.

SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST

Call them what you will – four-wheelers, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) or utility vehicles (UTVs) – but remember that off-road vehicles of any kind are always prohibited within congressionally designated wilderness areas.

This past weekend, ATV tracks were observed within the San Pedro Parks Wilderness on the Coyote Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF).   San Pedro Parks is one of the original wilderness areas created by the Wilderness Act of 1964, which set aside “primeval” federal land to be managed as “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

Continue reading

Street Music

Photos R.W.

No hail bouncing of red rocks today, so here are some images of street musicians bouncing of the sidewalks of cities in East Central Europe instead. These shots were taken late March, early April in Prague, Gdańsk and Warsaw.

Lady in red hat ignores paper cup in back alley in Prague.

Continue reading

Los Amigos de Valles Caldera Make a Date Change

Los Amigos in action.

Due to complications from the Cajete Fire, Los Amigos de Valles Caldera, Valles Caldera National Preserve’s industrious friends group, will be celebrating their 10th anniversary and the grand opening of the preserve bookstore on July 22nd during our 17th Preserve Birthday Bash! Between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, enjoy music, refreshments, artist demonstrations, facepainting, visiting wildlife from the New Mexico Wildlife Center, a 10% discount at the bookstore, souvenirs, and a drawing. A ribbon cutting will be held at the new bookstore at noon.

For additional information about this event and the Preserve Birthday Bash, check out our events calendar, https://www.nps.gov/vall/planyourvisit/calendar.htm. See you at the party!

http://losamigosdevallescaldera.org/events/

Cajete Fire Burn Area Closed to the Public until July 31

The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) today issued a closure order for the approximately 1,400 acres on the Jemez Ranger District burned by the Cajete Fire.  The restricted area includes:

  • all lands, roads and trails within the fire perimeter (depicted on the closure map),
  • Trail #137 between the last bridge coming from the Las Conchas Trailhead (before the trail ascends) and the East Fork Trailhead, and
  • segments of Forest Road (FR) 270 south of the fire and FR 4G, 4GA and 4GB on the northwestern point of the burned area.

Continue reading

More Abandoned Campfires in Santa Fe National Forest

There will be another community meeting tonight at 6 p.m. June 18, 2017 at the Jemez Mountain Baptist Church, 6 Riverview Court, La Cueva, NM. to give the community latest information on the El Cajete Fire.

It has been determined the fire was started by an abandoned campfire. The carelessness of these campers has disrupted peoples’ lives, cost the taxpayer millions of dollars and endangered the lives of hundreds of firefighters. Three more abandoned campfires that needed the attention of fire crews in the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) were reported on the New Mexico Fire Information site. This is happening as smoke billows over the mountains and over 300 firefighters battle the nearby 1.367 El Cajete blaze.

Continue reading

Dogs Welcome on Santa Fe NF, But Owners Have Responsibilities

By Julie Anne Overton

SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST

Last week, a visitor to the Santa Fe National Forest was resting on a rock by the trail after hiking up Tesuque Peak Road from the Aspen Vista Picnic Site.  His idyllic afternoon took a turn for the worse when an 80-pound pit bull – running free – charged him with teeth bared.  The hiker had the wherewithal to thrust his walking stick between his face and the dog’s jaws.  Then the dog took another try, knocking the 74-year-old 150-pound man off the rock.

Continue reading

Blowdowns and Deadfall Hazards on Trails in Santa Fe National Forest

By Julie Anne Overton

SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST

 

As peak recreation season gets underway on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF), hikers, cyclists, equestrians and other trail users should be prepared for the possibility of fallen trees and tangled brush impeding their way.

As recent reports of a blowdown in the Pecos Wilderness make clear, it’s not uncommon for weather, winds and other natural events to bring trees down over the winter.  Forest Service staff and volunteers are getting out into the field and reporting back on what they find, which seems – at least anecdotally – to be worse than usual.

Continue reading

Watch Archaeologists Hand Excavate Kuaua Pueblo Site

By Jennifer Padilla

Photo Alex Cedillos. Kiva ladder at Coronado Historic Site.

The live dig started yesterday and will continue until Sept. 30, 2017.

 

New Mexicans have a rare opportunity to watch archaeologists on a live dig at the Coronado Historic Site off U.S. 550 in Bernalillo. The Dig Kuaua! handexcavation of the Kuaua Pueblo will be performed by the Office of Archaeological Studies from May 15 through June 30, 2017. Members of the Friends of Coronado Historic Site group can even participate alongside the archaeologists.

“This dig has the potential of yielding hundreds if not thousands of artifacts,” said Matthew J. Barbour, Regional Manager, Coronado and Jemez Historic Sites. “The hand-excavation will focus test units throughout Kuaua Pueblo and the surrounding refuse piles called ‘middens.’ Architecture dating to the 1500s will also be unearthed.”

Continue reading

Travelers from Jemez Get Easy Access Bandelier Shuttle

By Chris Judson

BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT

Photo NPS.

It’s been a busy Spring at Bandelier National Monument.  There have been many days when it was very noticeable that there’s just not enough parking in Frijoles Canyon near the Visitor Center,  and visitors and rangers alike wished the shuttles were running.  Now the waiting is over – the shuttles will start back up this Sunday, May 14.  On the same day, the Bandelier Visitor Center hours will lengthen to 9 AM – 6 PM, and the Los Alamos County White Rock Visitor Center hours to 8 AM – 6 PM.

Continue reading

Bears Beware, Marathon Returns to Bear Country

By R.W.

A bear.

(Please note comment at end of article)

Around this time last year a marathon pounding through bear country during cub season, caught national attention when a runner was mauled by a bear in the course of the race.  The incident occurred when the runner ran between a mother bear and her cubs. The cubs scampered up a tree, the bear rushed in defense of her cubs biting and clawing at the runner, who took good precaution to protect herself and survived with minor injuries.Continue reading

Forest Service Offers On Site Demonstrations to Explain Treatments to Restore Forest Health

By Julie Anne Overton

SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST

 

Members of the public are invited to join Forest Service specialists on a field trip to the La Jara Phase III project area on Friday, May 5, 2017, to learn about planned treatments to restore forest health and protect the La Jara watershed from catastrophic wildfire.

Continue reading

A Visit to the Tunnels

DRONE UP NORTH

 

I can see that the notice of the closure of the Gilman Tunnels has produced quite a strong response from people. A site so familiar, so often visited, and a route to so much beyond has been snatched from us for a long spell. So to wipe a few tears, here’s a video posted on the Sandoval County site that takes us through those holes in granite in an unfamiliar way. The authors present themselves as Drone UP North, but I am not familiar with their names.

As an aside, fun though this video is, I would not be happy to be driving through the tunnels at the same time that this thing appeared, buzzing just below the roof.

If you enter Drone UP North’s video pages, there is more interesting drone footage to watch there.

 

Enjoy National Park Week at Bandelier and Throughout the National Park System

By Chris Judson

BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT

All across the country, National Park Service units will be celebrating National Park Week from April 15-23. For parks that charge entrance fees, including Bandelier National Monument, both weekends, April 15-16 and April 22-23, will be fee free days, with no entry fees being charged.

During both weekends, everything in the bookstore in the Bandelier Visitor Center will be discounted 15%, and select items in the Gift Shop and Snack Bar will be on sale.

Continue reading

Second Notice: Volunteers Still Needed for Rio Guadalupe Annual Cleanup

By Ron Loehman

Conservation Chairman, NEW MEXICO TROUT

We can use a few more volunteers for our annual cleanup of the Rio Guadalupe along FR 376.  Please come and help out.
We will meet at 9 a.m. at the informal parking area at the locked  Forest Service gate above the Gilman Tunnels on Forest Road 376 (directions below). With sufficient volunteers we will be finished by early afternoon.

Santa Fe National Forest Issues Maps of Roads, Trails and Areas For Motor Vehicle Use by Class of Vehicle

By Julie Anne Overton

SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST

 

 

Updated Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs) that show all forest roads and trails open to motor vehicle travel on the 1.6 million-acre Santa Fe National Forest are now available in both electronic and hardcopy formats.

Continue reading

Two Geology Outings for Every Interest and Ability Level in April

By Sandra West

PAJARITO ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER

The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is offering two geology outings in early April—a driving tour though the Pajarito Plateau on April 1st and an outing to the Joseph Mica Mine in Ojo Caliente on April 9th. PEEC’s popular geology outings, led by Patrick Rowe, fill up quickly, so interested participants are encouraged to register at peecnature.org/events.

Continue reading

Volunteer Project: Rio Guadalupe Cleanup for Saturday, April 8, 2017

By Ron Loehman,

Conservation Chairman, NEW MEXICO TROUT

 

New Mexico Trout has a tradition of welcoming the Spring opening of FR 376 between the Gilman Tunnels and Porter’s Landing with a volunteer trash pickup. That Forest Service road provides access to our Rio Guadalupe home water and it accumulates a lot of roadside trash over a season’s heavy use by the many people who visit that corridor. Doing these annual cleanups is one way we can express our thanks for the wonderful trout fishing opportunities the Rio Guadalupe affords, while we help maintain it in a state that we like to visit.

Continue reading

Help Maintain Your Favorite Hiking Trails

By Julie Anne Overton

SANTA FE NTIONAL FOREST

 

Spring on the Santa Fe National Forest means it’s time to get out and work on trails, getting them ready for the heavy use of the summer recreation season.  If you are interested in donating time and a little manual labor to benefit the forest, we’ve got the volunteer opportunities you’ve been waiting for.

Continue reading

Mammal Alert

By R.W.

 

Are you a large mammal?

All large mammals in the Jemez should report to the U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service.  A grant of $100,000 has just been awarded to assess your response to forest management in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. A GPS collar will be placed around your throat where it will remain through at least 2019 pending continued funding availability.

Continue reading

Jemez Resident Patty Foy Appears Before Senate Conservation Committee

By R.W.

 

The bill to ban trapping of animals on public lands in New Mexico has once again stalled out in a legislative hearing, despite the Senate Conservation Committee hearing gruesome and horrifying accounts of the practice of trapping animals. State Senator Pete Campos (D-Las Vegas), who introduced the bill, today withdrew it, saying that he was unable to find room for compromise between supporters and critics of his initiative.

Continue reading

Fee Free Presidents Day and Other Events at Bandelier

By Chris Judson

BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT

NPS Photo

Mesas in the Tsankawi section of Bandelier National Monument

Looking for an inexpensive way to get into the outdoors on the Presidents Day holiday on Monday?  Perfect – it’s a Fee Free Day at Bandelier National Monument and other National Park Service areas across the country, which means no entrance fees are charged.

Continue reading

Snowshoe Hike in the Valles Caldera this Saturday

Sandra West

PAJARITO ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER

The Valles Caldera is coated in snow and open for people explore its frozen beauty. Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is working with the Valles Caldera National Preserve (VALL) to offer educational, family-friendly, hikes this winter. The next hike will take place in the afternoon this Saturday, February 18, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and be led by a VALL ranger and a PEEC representative. Along the way, participants will have the chance to learn tricks and tips for navigating by snowshoe, understanding how plants and animals adapt to cope with winter, and exploring the fascinating geology of the Jemez Mountains.

Continue reading