Category Archives: Albuquerque

Fall for a walk | Albuquerque Journal News

A description of several nice trails in or near Abq.

The cooler temperatures of fall make it a great time to spend some quality time outdoors. But the shorter days also mean weekday outdoor time probably has to be close to home.

Fortunately, the Albuquerque area has many great trails (both urban and forest) where you can enjoy the weather, get some great views and get in some exercise if you’re so inclined. Only the trail on the east side of the Sandias takes more than 30 minutes to get to. And all are uniquely Albuquerque.

Fall for a walk | Albuquerque Journal News

National Urban Refuge Partnership sites

Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge

Six new cities have been designated as Urban Refuge Partnership sites! Valle de Oro received this honor last year and we are thrilled to see this program expanding.

Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge

Fish and Wildlife Service News Release System

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced today it will partner with communities, corporations and nonprofits to help restore the natural environment and boost opportunities for residents in six cities to connect with nature. Together, the Service and partners expect to direct more than $1.7 million to community-led habitat restoration projects and engage thousands of volunteers in the efforts.

Six national wildlife refuges will play a key part in the Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships: Hopper Mountain Refuge in Ventura, CA; Bayou Sauvage Refuge in New Orleans, LA; Rocky Mountain Arsenal Refuge in Denver, CO; John Heinz Refuge at Tinicum in Philadelphia, PA; Wallkill River Refuge in Sussex, NJ; and Santa Ana Refuge in Alamo, TX. The partnerships will encourage participation in conservation and outdoor recreation in residents’ local communities.

“Thanks to our partners, we are expanding beyond our national wildlife refuges and finding new ways to educate and inspire young people living in urban centers, helping raise a new generation of conservationists with a passion to care for our lands, water and wildlife,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.

The Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships, part of the National Wildlife Refuge System’s Urban Wildlife Refuge Program, raises awareness and capacities to engage a new and more diverse constituency in meaningful, collaborative ways to nurture an appreciation of wildlife conservation, both on and off urban refuges.

Fish and Wildlife Service News Release System

Sandias closed due to fire danger

I thought I had another day. (Isn’t that always the case.) Why wouldn’t the Forest Service keep the forest open through the last day of the month, the last day of the fiscal year? I’m not protesting the closing, but when it’s this hot, the only relief starts at 10,000 feet.

Rain is expected this week. Will enough come to prevent the closure of the bosque? How much of New Mexico will be destroyed on the Fourth by idiots celebrating their right to be stupid?

Forests close due to fire danger | Albuquerque Journal News


Bosque bike trail named among country’s most scenic | Albuquerque Journal News

Every mile of this trail is gorgeous and most of it has adjacent unpaved trails closer to the river. I walk along the shoulder so I don’t have to fear cyclists who won’t share the road. 

Bosque bike trail named among country’s most scenic | Albuquerque Journal News By Jessica Dyer / Journal Staff Writer PUBLISHED: Friday, April 25, 2014

The Paseo del Bosque Trail in Albuquerque has been named one of the country’s 15 “most scenic bike trails” in a new story from The Active Times.

The 16-mile multi-use paved trail that runs from the South Valley to Alameda and through the Rio Grande Valley State Park is not new to accolades. Sunset magazine once proclaimed it among the best trails in the Western U.S.

The bike trail nod is just the latest highlighting Albuquerque’s active culture.

Earlier this month, Outside magazine proclaimed Albuquerque one of the “10 best big cities for active families” alongside the likes of Austin, Texas, and Portland, Oregon.

In March, mountain-biking website Singletracks named Albuquerque to its list of the top 10 mountain bike cities in North America.

Bosque bike trail named among country’s most scenic | Albuquerque Journal News

Pitch in to clean up foothills hiking trails | Albuquerque Journal News

Pitch in to clean up foothills hiking trails | Albuquerque Journal News

The City of Albuquerque’s Open Space Division will be working every Saturday in April in to remove graffiti, clean up trash and/or perform trail maintenance in the foothills. Volunteers who want to help are asked to meet in time to start work at 9 a.m.

The schedule includes:

  • April 5: Copper trailhead. East of Tramway on Copper Ave.
  • April 12: Indian School trailhead. East of Tramway on Indian School Road.
  • April 19: Menaul trailhead. East of Tramway on Menaul Blvd.
  • April 26: Piedra Lisa Open Space. East of Tramway on Candelaria Road and south on Camino de la Sierra.

Bring gloves, a picnic lunch, a water bottle, sturdy outdoor shoes and sun protection. No registration necessary, unless you are part of a group.

Groups of 10 or larger are asked to register by calling 452-5213. Children under 18 must have a parent/guardian with them.

Pitch in to clean up foothills hiking trails | Albuquerque Journal News

The State Bar Albuquerque Journal Center green space is gorgeous

It has taken me years to finally visit this area I have driven by countless times. This pleasant spring afternoon, people walked among the buildings and played frisbee over the arroyo, while a class of young students sat in grass under a spreading tree.The landscaping and surrounding architecture make this a fabulous walk in the middle of the city with amazing views of the Sandias. This is also a birding hotspot, though not on the occasion of my first visit.

I applaud the architects, planners, and builders for this area. However, it was a terrible mistake to allow the AC systems on the back of the building adjacent to this space — those should be on the roof. This adds unnecessary noise to an area that already suffers from the adjacent Interstate. (Perhaps this should be a requirement of zoning codes.) The smoking area behind one of these building should also be moved — gag, people, take a walk and stop killing yourselves and the rest of us.

select for Bing Mag

lots of great reflections in this area

North Pino arroyo

one of MR's favorite buildings in Abq

Journal Center green space

Journal Center green space

Journal Center green space

Journal Center green space

real and reflected trees are wonderful, plus I like that one can see all the way through to the other side of the building

lots of bold colors inthe area to contrast with the very soothing green

Journal Center green space

See all 11 photos in album format.

Neighborhood Merlin

Just this morning, as I walked Luke to the park, I thought about how we didn’t see our usual merlin (falcon) this winter. In years past, it occupied a particular telephone pole top almost every late afternoon from October to March. Not so this winter. Imagine my surprise when I spotted this merlin an hour later near the usual spot.

merlin (falcon) - mjh

merlin (falcon) - mjh
Death bows its head.

As I watched and photographed, the merlin left its prey and moved to a nearby tree. A scrub jay flew at it and the merlin flew around a bit before landing in another nearby tree. The jay went straight at the merlin and landed near it. A moment later, the merlin left the area. Drama on our street. Was the prey related to the jay?

Storm leaves a mess across New Mexico | ABQJournal Online

Our yard didn’t get more than a dusting, even though it snowed off and on over more than 24 hours. Albuquerque frequently has extremely strong winds blowing from East to West through Tijeras canyon. This creates the “snow hole.” Surrounding areas — especially the mountains — may get massive amounts of precipitation while Abq gets little or none.

Storm leaves a mess across New Mexico | ABQJournal Online

Snow totals
Snowfall totals from around the state, Wednesday evening to Sunday afternoon:
Albuquerque: up to 2 inches
Farmington: up to 2.1 inches
Santa Fe: up to 9.5 inches
Roswell: up to 3.3 inches
Clovis: up to 7.5 inches
Source: National Weather Service

Storm leaves a mess across New Mexico | ABQJournal Online

Keep your dogs on leash

Remarkably, people who let their dogs run free also tend to be very belligerent about their “right” to violate laws and to behave recklessly and dangerously. Keep your dogs on leashes or take them to dog parks. Period.

Group questions effect of bosque habitat restoration on birds | ABQJournal Online

“A low level of disturbance doesn’t cause much problem when there is a dense understory,” [Gail Garber of HawksAloft] said.

But recent projects have removed invasive species, such as the salt cedar and Russian olive trees, and there are wide trails along the west side of the river, which encourage people to walk and bring their dogs, she said. The dogs that are walked off-leash are especially problematic for the birds, she said.

The relatively low density of birds in the area is not primarily caused by drought, she contended. There are about 270 species of birds that can be found throughout the bosque, including the mourning dove, black-chinned hummingbird and the bushtit, along with birds of prey, like the great horned owl and coopers hawks.

“Imagine if you are a bird that weighs 50 grams, with people and dogs everywhere and nowhere to hide and no food,” she said.

Group questions effect of bosque habitat restoration on birds | ABQJournal Online

The flood that wasn’t #ABQJournal #abqbosque

John Fleck rightly points out elsewhere that the subject of water in New Mexico is frequently a front page topic at the Albuquerque Journal (as opposed to the more narrow subject of the Albuquerque bosque and the Mayor’s Vision).

There might have been a great disaster in Albuquerque a week ago. On the other hand, the bosque might have gotten the rejuvenating flooding it appears it will never get without managers hand-picking which segments will be so nurtured. We like to imagine the bosque is a strip of wilderness but it is really just an unkempt park. That’s OK. Central Park is a great park and couldn’t be more unnatural. Let the professionals do their jobs managing nature for our benefit.

The flood that wasn’t | ABQJournal Online

Authorized by Congress in 1960 and completed in the mid-’70s, Cochiti is one of the largest and arguably the most controversial dam in New Mexico. Its completion drowned farmlands, summer homes and culturally significant sites at Cochiti Pueblo, and seepage beneath the dam waterlogged remaining pueblo farmlands downstream. In addition, the way it altered the Rio Grande’s flows has caused lasting environmental problems downstream, depriving the riverside ecosystem of natural floods.

But on Sept. 13, it did the job we gave it when we built it, which was to protect the Middle Rio Grande Valley from flooding.

The flood that wasn’t | ABQJournal Online

Bosque plan depends on details | #ABQJournal Online #abqbosque

Originally, the Journal gave NO coverage to the meeting that became the turning point for public discussion of our community’s vision of the bosque, the riparian ribbon along the banks of the Rio Grande. (Small wonder because the bosque buys no advertising.) Today, that discussion appears on page one thanks to Leslie Linthicum.

Bosque plan depends on details | ABQJournal Online

It’s no wonder that a discussion about changing access to the river – “bringing the river more into our daily lives” – has found broad, bland support and narrow, passionate opposition.

“The bosque” means different things to different people.

Bosque plan depends on details | ABQJournal Online

Ironically, Leslie and the crowd she joined were out not to see the bosque but to see the river as we never get to see it — almost flooding enough to keep the bosque alive. Also ironically, she speaks of enjoying the view from bridges, as artificial and controversial a vantage as one can get. (Mind you, I love that old Alameda bridge and am so glad someone had the foresight to leave it standing — what was that discussion like?) Nevertheless, this topic should be on the front page of the Journal more than once because we all need to know about the options. Doing nothing is not a long-term option, albeit a wise short-term one.

Bosque conservation and restoration first #abqbosque

 (1) At the Sept. 4 Town Hall meeting, one of the… – Rio Grande Bosque by Jasper (Joe) Hardesty

While progressive and caring, the design firm and others employed by the City (tax dollars spent) do not include ecological or restoration expertise (until just recently retained, but only late in the process, with minimal design or project scope input). The recent hiring of an environmental firm is unfortunately a whitewash to give credibility to a plan that has no legitimate restoration element. Given this, starting over makes a lot of sense. If the City is not willing to start over because it would cost too much, then we can’t afford the project after all. If the City is willing to do it right, this is good news for the designers, as it means more work. They can thank me later.

From the perspective of the architect, this is an amazing opportunity to demonstrate how design and nature can be integrated to create beautiful elements that people will enjoy. No doubt, I would LOVE this type of a project and that opportunity! However, great design at the expense of environmental damage is not actually great design, and definitely not a community benefit. Integrating nature and design will have other, more appropriate opportunities. The Bosque Plan should be about what is best for the long term health and vitality of our community.

(1) At the Sept. 4 Town Hall meeting, one of the… – Rio Grande Bosque

Improve the bosque with more wetlands, meadows | ABQJournal Online #abqbosque

Improve the bosque with more wetlands, meadows | ABQJournal Online By Ross Coleman / Albuquerque resident | Mon, Sep 16, 2013

If I were to make a single suggestion regarding the Rio Grande vision it would be this: Take a significant portion of the funding (half or more) for ecological restoration. Focus that effort to create groundwater infusion wetlands (mimicking oxbow marshes), wet meadows, wooded wetlands and overbank wetland areas.

The benefits for wildlife and the people who will be visiting the bosque will be tremendous.

I think there is a place for improvements, such as trails that will bring pedestrians into the bosque and along the river. They should be designed with an emphasis on a low-impact human presence.

Improve the bosque with more wetlands, meadows | ABQJournal Online