Category Archives: Uncategorized

Crowded trails spur rising ‘off-road rage’ –

Crowded trails spur rising ‘off-road rage’ – 

Critics point out ATV riders account for 10 percent of visitors to public land, at most. Yet their impact whining engine noise, dust clouds visible for miles and nuisance driving, especially by young operators profoundly affects the other 90 percent.

"You can’t recreate with these machines around. It will ruin your day," said Bob Clark, a Sierra Club regional official who was knocked to the ground by a dirt bike in the Great Burn Roadless Area in eastern Idaho two summers ago.

Clark declined to discuss the episode after the biker was penalized with only a misdemeanor $72 fine. But according to witness accounts, the dirt bike’s front wheel was in line to come down on Clark’s head when Clark deflected it, spilling the rider atop another hiker. Clark had been trying to get a photo of the biker, who was on a trail barred to motorized vehicles.

"If you’re out there, just about every time you’ll run into off-road vehicle conflict," said Mike Eisenfeld, a Farmington environmental activist who often mountain bikes in nearby Glade Run, the sort of demi-urban recreation zone under the most pressure.

"It’s the norm, not the exception," he added.

Trail tensions are not driven exclusively by ATVs. Hikers are irked at having their solitude broken by careening mountain bikes. And everyone has to get off the trail to let horses pass. But along with their noise, recreational off-roaders often are preceded by their reputation.

"It’s totally about culture," said Bethanie Walder of Wildlands CPR, which opposes off-roading. "I think that’s where the problem derives. They prefer to ride off-trail. They want to blaze their own trail. The culture’s one of ‘I can do whatever I want.’ I think the Forest Service is afraid of them. I wouldn’t confront an ORV rider."

Crowded trails spur rising ‘off-road rage’ –

Where I’ve been and where I’m going

Almost two weeks ago, I accepted a big project from Wiley Publishing. I’m co-authoring a book on digital cameras and photography. The schedule is crazy — crazier than my Vista book, in fact. (If such things can be measure, it’s 4 times crazier.) I’ll report more about the project in a few weeks — when it’s over.

Immediately upon accepting a killer schedule, I left town to go camping. (Wiley knew.) Six of us went camping just north of Chama in a favorite spot. It rained several times every day and every hike ended in the rain — one ended in hail. It was green, cool, and wet, none of which New Mexico is right now, as the monsoon pauses.

The high point of the trip was having hummingbirds sit on my finger for up to a minute at a time as I held my hand over my head, next to a feeder. Pure delight — one of those top ten joys, though, I suspect, anyone could get the hummers to do the same with enough hummers, food and patience.

The second great thrill of the trip was sighting a magnificent hummingbird, both a description and the species name. The magnificent is two to three times larger than its cousins. Our trip ornithologist (we know how to travel) says the farthest north the Mexican magnificents have been reported is the Gila, in New Mexico. This female was way off-course.

There are pictures and more commentary, all of which have to wait a few weeks.


[cross-posted to all my blogs]

See the difference you can make – Earth Hour 2008

See the difference you can make – Earth Hour 2008 

Created to take a stand against the greatest threat our planet has ever faced, Earth Hour uses the simple action of turning off the lights for one hour to deliver a powerful message about the need for action on global warming.

This simple act has captured the hearts and minds of people all over the world. As a result, at 8pm March 29, 2008 millions of people in some of the world’s major capital cities, including Copenhagen, Toronto, Chicago, Melbourne, Brisbane and Tel Aviv will unite and switch off for Earth Hour.

See the difference you can make – Earth Hour 2008

Misc (year-end cleaning of drafts)

Salmon Ruins Museum and Research Library

Buggs’ Blog » Trips

Archaeology, Archeology or Archæology – The Science of Archaeology / Picture of the Day: Ancient Ruins in the Canyon de Chelle, N.M., by Timothy H. O’Sullivan, 1873.

Hike the best of the West – Nashville, Tennessee – Sunday, 07/16/06 –

World Hum | Travel | Writers on Ruins: An “Anthology of Archaeological Travel Writing” / Travel: America’s Ancient City in the Sky

Flagstaff’s ring of fire / Western town on Route 66 heats up, and not just because it’s flanked by 600 volcanoes

More About the Ancestral Puebloan People of Colorado’s Mesa Verde Country™

The Seattle Times: Outdoors: Wealth of new guidebooks to the outdoors

Public Meeting On Chaco Canyon Road 11/15/07 in Albuquerque, NM

Your Input Needed!

The New Mexico Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration, in cooperation with San Juan County, has initiated a study to evaluate alternatives for improving the unpaved portion of San Juan County Road 7950, the roadway providing primary vehicular access to Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

DATE: Thursday, November 15

WHERE: NMDOT District 3 Office
7500 Pan American Freeway, NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109

TIME: 6:00 pm: Open House
6:30 pm: Staff Presentation
7:00 pm: Public Comments

If you are interested in the project, but are unable to attend the meeting, please contact John Taschek, at TEC, (505) 821-4700. Comments will be accepted at the meeting or can be mailed to John Taschek at 8901 Adams, N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87113, or e-mailed to Requests for Americans with Disabilities Act-related accommodations should also be directed to John Taschek.

For Talking Points Contact Nathan Newcomer (

View Larger Map

Upcoming Hikes & Projects at

November 10, 2007
Geology hike into Rio Grande Gorge at Big Arsenic Springs within proposed Ute Mountain National Conservation Area.
Leader: Elsbeth Atencio, trained educator, geologist, hydrologist.
Maximum Participants: 12
Cost: $5.00
Distance: 3 miles round trip

Hike into the Rio Grande gorge to learn about the natural and geologic history of the gorge. Frequent stops to discuss features and visit to ancient petroglyphs. Pass through numerous ecotones to a lush riparian zone interspersed with huge, river-side ponderosas. Spectacular views of the river. Trail could be slightly icy at the rim dependant on the weather. Bring lunch, snacks and plenty of water.

Contact: Jim O’Donnell (751-7309) or Roberta Salazar (776-5200)

November 10
Piedra Lisa Trail Service Project

Last New Mexico Wilderness Alliance project for 2007! Join us for a day of general trail maintenance on the Piedra Lisa trail on the north side of the Sandia Mountain Wilderness near Placitas. We will be doing tread work and erosion control along the trail. Piedra Lisa is Spanish for smooth or slippery rock, and the northern section of the trail has plenty of loose rock on slightly steep sections that give credibility to the name.

Afterwards, we will join other groups working on projects and environmental issues at Anasazi Fields Winery. This gathering will be a chance for folks to meet and learn what others are doing to protect the Sandia Mountains.

Maximum participants: 30

Contact: Bill Velasquez at 505-881-0555, for more info on the Service Project. For more info on the gathering at Anasazi Fields Winery, contact Michael Scialdone,, 505-843-8696.

Chaco Collection to Open at UNM

[from UNM Today]

The collaboration between UNM and NPS dates back to the founding of the Chaco Culture National Historical Park in 1907. Edgar Lee Hewett, founder of UNM’s anthropology department, the Museum of New Mexico and the School of American Research, was instrumental in passing the Antiquities Act of 1906, which led to the creation of Chaco Canyon National Monument the following year.

UNM had partial ownership in the monument; acquired sections from the SAR,
and all state sections were deeded back to the federal government in 1949. Hewett conducted research in Chaco Canyon at Chetro Ketl in the 1920s and early 30s. The UNM/SAR Archaeology Field School built research facilities in Chaco Canyon and excavated several small sites from 1935-’47. As a result, UNM holds extensive and important collections from Chaco Canyon. The collections complement the NPS collections and provide researchers an opportunity to study the full range of Chaco material culture.

UNM and NPS signed a memorandum of understanding in 1949 when UNM deeded its parkland to the National Park Service. As a result, the NPS granted UNM “perpetual preferential rights” to conduct scientific research in Chaco Canyon.

The MOU was renegotiated to establish the joint NPS-UNM Chaco Project, which was designed to determine through survey, excavation and multi-disciplinary research, the relationship between the environment and the prehistoric inhabitants of Chaco Canyon. The Chaco Project was based in the UNM Department of Anthropology and funded by the NPS from 1970-85.

UNM Wolf Awareness Week (Oct 15th – 19th)

UNM Wilderness Alliance

October 17th– Wolf Awareness Day, East side of SUB, 9AM – 3PM. Join UNM Wilderness Alliance, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, and others out showing support for UNM’s mascot, the Mexican gray wolf. Featuring guest speakers, live music, and a special appearance by the Great Old Broads for Wilderness.

October 17th– Special showing of the documentary “Wolves” at 7:30PM at the Curio Artspace – 1451 12th NW in the warehouse district, north of Mountain between Bellamah and Aspen. Featuring live music after film.

October 18th– Special wolf presentation by Michael Robinson, conservation advocate with Center for Biological Diversity and author of “Predatory Bureaucracy”. 6PM in the SUB.

October in Conservation History (


This Month in
Conservation History
October 2, 1922 – Aldo Leopold proposes 1 million acre Gila Wilderness.
October 25, 1923 – Carlsbad Caverns National Monument is officially
October 31, 1982 – Yates Petroleum Company illegally bulldozes a road into the Salt Creek Wilderness, near Roswell, New Mexico.

Conservation Quote of the Week
“For if one link in nature’s chain might be lost, another might be lost, until the
whole of things will vanish by piecemeal.”
– Thomas Jefferson


13-15, 2007
Taos Convention Center,

Educational sessions will address topics
ranging from cultural heritage of the night sky, storytelling
and star lore, night sky tourism, lighting ordinance efforts,
and the impact of artificial lighting upon wildlife and the
natural world.
Featured and keynote speakers include:
Anna Sofaer, Chaco Canyon “sun dagger” discoverer;
Alan Hale, co-discoverer of Comet Hale-Bopp; and Robert L. Gent,
President of the International Dark-Sky
For the complete three-day conference
brochure and on-line registration, please go to
or call 505.989.7745
Hosted by the Night Sky
Program of the New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance (Santa
Fe) along with co-sponsor The International Dark-Sky Association

Photo on New West

Many thanks to Chris Lombardi for picking one of my photos for the New West Images photoblog.

Riding the Continental Divide Trail

If you’re coming from that link, look around here before heading over to my photos on flickr. mjh

New West Network | Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming


New West Images

A New Mexico Wilderness Festival and Summer Equipment Swap

WildFest 2007
Produced by the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
Date and Time

Saturday May 19th 10 to 4
And Sunday May 20th 11 to 4
Equipment Check in Friday May 18th 4 to 8

142 Truman NE
Albuquerque, NM 87108

A Spring and Summer garage sale. Clean out the garage and sell the old stuff so you can buy new.

* Kayaks
* Canoes
* Backpacks
* Sleeping bags
* Tents
* Cooking gear
* camping, climbing, spelunking and hiking gear
* Sell your gear to the public for 20% commission


* Backpacks
* Sleeping bags
* Outdoor clothing
* Tents
* Adventure Racing Clubs
* Kayaking Whitewater clubs
* Hiking clubs
* Sports and Outdoor shops
* Outdoor and Fitness magazines
* National forest service: Carson, Cibola, Gila, Santa Fe, Lincoln
* State of New Mexico: The Roadrunner
* City of Albuquerque: bike paths, Trolley

Backpacking and hiking seminars

* How to pack light
* How to buy, fit and pack the right pack
* No trace camping
* Wilderness First Aid
* Gourmet Wilderness Cooking
* Layering Techniques
* Intro to Map Reading
* Outdoor Photography


* Acoustical Folk and Bluegrass acoustical
* Speakers
* Contest.

1. Aldo Leopold look alike contest.
2. Kids Wilderness art contest/ next year’s poster