Category Archives: newmexico

Rock of ages: Up to 70,000 petroglyphs may exist along Mesa Prieta | Albuquerque Journal News

Slides at the link.

Rock of ages: Up to 70,000 petroglyphs may exist along Mesa Prieta | Albuquerque Journal News By Jackie Jadrnak / Journal North Reporter PUBLISHED: Friday, November 21, 2014 at 12:05 am

Along the entire Mesa Prieta, which stretches to the confluence of the Rio Grande and Rio Chama, and the first Spanish settlement of San Gabriel, some 70,000 petroglyphs are estimated to exist. They include abstract images, except for human handprints and animal footprints, from the Archaic Period (2,000 to 5,000 years ago), a host of human, animal, cosmic and geometric forms from the Puebloan Period (beginning in 1200 A.D.), and even more from the Historic Period, which begins with the Spanish arrival in 1598 around Ohkay Owingeh.

Rock of ages: Up to 70,000 petroglyphs may exist along Mesa Prieta | Albuquerque Journal News

The Land Grab Out West By Senator MARTIN HEINRICH

In their typical multi-prong attack, the Republicans cut funding to public land services, then accuse those services of being unable to handle the task. The goal is to pass the lands to local governments where it will be much easier to bribe politicians and cherry-pick the best lands. When the burden of land management falls on local governments, they will fail and throw up their hands and sell the lands. ROBBERY!

If local governments happen to bankrupt themselves trying to manage public lands, all the better, because then local governments will have to beg corporations to take over a wider array of public services. This is the most transparent of vile schemes. [hat tip to Meg Adams]

The Land Grab Out West By Senator MARTIN HEINRICH

These types of land-grab schemes are as old as the railroads. But the chief salesman for this latest land seizure campaign, the American Lands Council, is having some success pitching state legislators on “model legislation” to enable these transfers. The legislation was drafted with the help of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, which receives financing from the utility industry and fossil-fuel producers.

It is unclear whether such legislation is even enforceable.

Continue reading the main story 423Comments

Still, even the Republican National Committee has bought the snake oil the American Lands Council is selling. Last January, the committee endorsed the transfer of public lands to the states. In addition, the United States House of Representatives, controlled by Republicans, endorsed the outright sale of our public lands.

Like other Westerners who value our shared lands as assets to be used, enjoyed and passed to future generations, I find this dispiriting to see. And for an overwhelming majority of public land users in the West who pay their grazing fees and play by the rules, the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion of Cliven Bundy and the American Lands Council is not so much a movement as another special-interest-financed boondoggle.

The Land Grab Out West –

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

Why can’t we take the Crane Train to Bosque del Apache?

Imagine boarding the Rail Runner in Santa Fe or Albuquerque and riding south to Bosque del Apache. Wouldn’t it be fantastic? We have the tracks, we have the trains, we have the natural attraction. More than anything we lack imagination and determination to make it happen.

The people most likely to take this train don’t require a fancy stop. The Durango-Silverton rail simply stops in the middle of wilderness for hikers.

Eventually, I’d like to see a special Crane engine modeled after the lovely Rail Runner. But we could start this run in no time. We have trains going to the Wine Festival in Bernalillo. Why not to the Festival of the Cranes?

[reposted from 10/23/13 every year until we can do this]

The 24 Wilderness Areas, proposed wildernesses and 60 WSAs in New Mexico

Lifted from Tina of the Wilderness Alliance, who is trying to visit all of these in 2014.

New Mexico Wilderness Areas and Maps |

Aldo Leopold Wilderness (map)
Apache Kid Wilderness (map)
Bandelier Wilderness (map)
Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness (map)
Blue Range Wilderness (map)
Bosque del Apache Wilderness (map)
Capitan Mountains Wilderness (map)
Carlsbad Caverns Wilderness (map)
Cebolla Wilderness (map)
Chama River Canyon Wilderness (map)
Cruces Basin Wilderness (map)
Dome Wilderness (map)
Gila Wilderness (map)
Latir Peak Wilderness (map)
Manzano Mountain Wilderness (map)
Ojito Wilderness (map)
Pecos Wilderness (map)
Sabinoso Wilderness (map)
Salt Creek Wilderness (map)
San Pedro Parks Wilderness (map)
Sandia Mountain Wilderness (map)
West Malpais Wilderness (map)
Wheeler Peak Wilderness (map)
White Mountain Wilderness (map)
Withington Wilderness (map)

New Mexico Wilderness Areas and Maps |

Proposed Wilderness — NMWild

Proposed Wilderness — NMWild

[originally posted Apr 21, 2008]

List of U.S. Wilderness Areas: Information From Wilderness Areas by State

BLM, NM, OK,TX, KS, Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas

Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) in New Mexico
Name – acres – date designated
Aden Lava Flow – 25,972 – May-92
Ah-shi-sle-pah – 6,563 – May-92
Alamo Hueco Mountains – 17,244 – May-92
Antelope – 20,710 – May-92
Apache Box – 932 – May-92
Apache Box Add-on – 4,365 –
Big Hatchet Mountains – 67,697 – May-92
Blue Creek – 14,620 – May-92
Brokeoff Mountains – 30,848 – May-92
Cabezon – 8,159 – May-92
Canyons – 4,000
Carrizozo Lava Flow – 10,408 – May-92
Cedar Mountains – 14,908 – May-92
Chain-of-Craters – 18,300 –
Chamisa – 13,692 – May-92
Continental Divide – 68,761 – May-92
Cooke’s Range – 19,872 – May-92
Cowboy Spring – 6,666 – May-92
Culp Canyon – 11,265 – May-92
Devil’s Backbone – 8,904 – May-92
Devil’s Den Canyon – 320 – May-92
Devil’s Reach – 860 –
Eagle Peak – 43,960 – May-92
Empedrado – 9,007 – May-92
Florida Mountains – 22,066 – May-92
Gila Lower Box – 8,178 – May-92
Gray Peak – 14,471 –
Guadalupe Canyon – 4,145 – May-92
Guadalupe Escarpment – 6,957 –
Horse Mountain – 5,032 – May-92
Hoverrocker – 22
Ignacio Chavez – 33,264 – May-92
Jornada del Muerto – 31,147 – May-92
La Lena – 10,438May-92
Las Uvas Mountains – 11,067 – May-92
Little Black Peak – 14,904 – May-92
Lonesome Ridge – 3,505 – May-92
Manzano – 881 – May-92
Mathers – 362 – May-92
McKittrick Canyon – 200 – May-92
Mesita Blanca – 19,414 – May-92
Mount Riley – 8,488 – May-92
Mudgetts – 2,941 – May-92
Ojito – 10,903 – May-92 [made a Wilderness Area in 2005]
Organ Mountains – 7,211 – May-92
Organ Needles – 5,959
Peloncillo Mountains – 3,993 – May-92
Pena Blanca – 4,780 –
Petaca Pinta – 11,668 – May-92
Presilla – 8,680 – May-92
Rio Chama – 11,985 – May-92
Robledo Mountains – 13,379 – May-92
Sabinoso – 15,760 – May-92
Sacramento Escarpment – 3,010 –
San Antonio – 7,050 – May-92
Sierra de las Canas – 12,838 – May-92
Sierra Ladrones – 45,308 – May-92
Stallion – 24,238 – May-92
Veranito – 7,206 – May-92
West Potrillo Mountains – 151,049 -May-92 Wilderness Area Search

NM Books and Maps | Public Lands Information Center

[originally posted 5/11/06; revised 6/26/06]

“In Wildness is the preservation of the World” #wilderness50 #wearethewild

Nobody said it more succinctly than Thoreau. We arose from the wildland and have been close to wilderness for most of our existence. Only in the last two centuries have we become a serious threat to wilderness (and, not coincidentally, the Earth itself). I give thanks that 50 years ago today, people had the strength to draw a line and say ‘no farther.’

That first official Wilderness was the Gila here in New Mexico and New Mexicans played key roles in the passage of the Wilderness Act. I can see more than one wilderness from my house in the middle of the largest city in New Mexico. (A hundred mile vista helps, and the closest wilderness towers 5,000 feet above the city.)

There are those who would sell off our shared heritage for quick profit and longterm devastation. The profiteers oppose every effort to expand wilderness beyond the tiny islands remaining from what was an entire continent of wilderness. Those islands are isolated and riven by roads. Their silence is shattered by air traffic. Their lifeblood is coveted by those who would bottle and sell it. Every single day, we need to roar “no farther!”

Wilderness Quotes

“The West of which I speak is but another name for the Wild, and what I have been preparing to say is, that in Wildness is the preservation of the World.” – Thoreau

Wilderness Quotes

Wilderness Act – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Wilderness Act is well known for its succinct and poetic definition of wilderness:

“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized 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.”

Wilderness Act – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

50 years later, Wilderness Act divides ranchers, environmentalists – The Santa Fe New Mexican: Home By Staci Matlock, The New Mexican

50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act sees disagreements between ranchers and environmentalists

Aldo Leopold, an avid hunter and angler who worked for the U.S. Forest Service in New Mexico, convinced his bosses in 1924 to designate 750,000 acres of the Gila National Forest as the world’s first wilderness.

It would be four decades more before a bipartisan Congress, with only one dissenting vote, approved the Wilderness Act. …

Only 2.5 percent of public land is protected wilderness. “We’re not talking about a vast part of our public lands,” said Mark Allison, director of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance. “These are places so special that we want to set them aside for future generations.”

The first two wilderness areas approved under the law were both in New Mexico — the Gila and the Pecos Wilderness. Since it was enacted, the act has preserved more than 109 million acres in 756 wilderness areas around the United States.

Over the past 50 years, Congress has approved millions of acres of designated wilderness, with votes of support from both sides of the aisle and presidents from both parties signing the bills into law.

But bipartisan support has changed in the last half dozen years.

50 years later, Wilderness Act divides ranchers, environmentalists – The Santa Fe New Mexican: Home

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

More from before (photos from the unnamed wilderness)

OK, I did name the wilderness in the photos themselves. These newest photos are the oldest. (I know, it sounds wrong, but it’s true.) We took a trip to the unnamed wilderness in June with friends Melissa and Lew. We camped in a campground, instead of the jack-camping we did in August. Follow the link for all photos (14 from June plus the previously posted 60 from August).

pale wild iris Western Tanager gray jay (not to be confused with a Clark's nutcracker) a snake in a stream (much smaller than it may seem)

all photos

A place too magnificent to share

We camped in a magical place. We were just below 10,000 feet altitude among huge aspen on the edge of a wildflower meadow at a wilderness trailhead for 6 days. We hiked down a steep trail into broad canyons with meandering trout streams. We hiked up to open fields with vast views. We hiked straight out through dense aspen among elk. Most of that time, we were alone.

why we love New Mexico
On our way to heaven.

where the camper takes us
Our truck gets us there and our camper keeps us comfortable.

a trail through the aspen
These aspen are young, but we saw many old giants.

Indian paintbrush in front of aspen
The wildflowers were past peak but still wonderful.

Merri in her happy place
Merri in her happy place.

This place isn’t really a secret. Two months ago, a dozen tents occupied our future campsite. (Tent campers have damaged many of the trees. You bastards!) On that hike, we met people coming and going on the trail. This time, not so much. Maybe it was the weather, which was hotter than we expected, though we enjoyed the little rain we got. I’m sure this place is completely different in hunting season and when the snowmobiles arrive. Our biggest disappointment was the surprising frequency of air traffic noise. Wilderness advocates should sue the federal government to demand quiet airspace, at least at times, around these sacred spaces.

More photos (and the location).

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


Sessions examine Cibola National Forest plan changes

Sessions examine forest plan changes | Albuquerque Journal News

By Journal Staff
PUBLISHED: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 12:05 am

Scheduled public sessions

  • June 9 – 6-9 p.m., UNM Continuing Education Bldg. Room C, 1634 University NE, Albuquerque
  • June 10 – 1-4 p.m. and 6-8:30 p.m., Gallup Community Service Center, 410 Bataan Veterans St., Gallup• June 11 – 6-9 p.m., Socorro County Annex, Co-op Extension classroom, 198 Neel Ave., Socorro
  • June 12 – 1-4 p.m. Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th NW, Albuquerque and 6-9 p.m., Mountainair Senior Center
  • June 23 – 6-9 p.m., Mountainair Senior Center
  • June 24 – 1-4 p.m. and 6 – 8:30 p.m., Northwest New Mexico Visitor’s Center, 1900 E. Santa Fe Ave., Grants
  • June 25, 6-9 p.m., Socorro County Annex, Commission Room, 198 Neel Ave., Socorro
  • June 26, 1-4 p.m., Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th St. NW, Albuquerque, and 6-9 p.m., UNM Continuing Education Building, Room C, 1634 University NE, Albuquerque

Officials with the Cibola National Forest will host a series of work sessions this month as they move forward with planned revisions to the forest plan for the Sandia, Mountainair, Magdalena and Mount Taylor Ranger Districts.

The plan will guide future uses of the 1.63 million-acre forest.

The five-year process of revising the current forest plan, implemented in 1985, began in late 2012 when the Forest Service started a detailed assessment of the four districts.

Forest officials recently finished a series of public meetings on the draft Cibola Forest Assessment Report that was completed in April.

This month’s workshops provide another opportunity for the public to discuss any needed changes to the plan.

View the plan at

For more information, call 346-3889.

Sessions examine forest plan changes | Albuquerque Journal News

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in south-central New Mexico

It’s right thing for our land | Albuquerque Journal News

By Oscar Simpson / State Chair, New Mexico Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
PUBLISHED: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 12:05 am

The story of the hunter-conservationist is built on the premise that those of us who take directly from the land have the most obvious incentives and mandates to care for it. We have something tangible at stake when species, habitats, special spots, wildness and natural beauty are in jeopardy of being tamed or compromised. They are our skin in the game.

These are things we know. Things we love. And they are decreasing commodities in a world of growing human pressures.

Regardless of your political leanings, if you are among our ranks as a hunter, angler or outdoors person in North America today, and you are true to your roots as an advocate for the resources we all value, then you have every reason to join in applauding President Obama’s move to designate the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in south-central New Mexico.

He did so by pulling the ultimate trump card of the presidential conservation deck – the American Antiquities Act of 1906.

With the stroke of Obama’s pen, nearly 500,000 acres of our public lands – your public lands – will be afforded a phenomenal degree of protection in perpetuity. Whether anti-conservation opponents like it or not. No Washington, D.C., bickering necessary.

What a fine law it is that allows the right thing to happen in spite of the gridlock that has paralyzed and polarized the political climate today.

It’s the right thing because desert species and ecosystems, like those found in these special acres, are among our most unique and imperiled. Particularly in the face of a changing climate. … [more at the link]

It’s right thing for our land | Albuquerque Journal News

Happy Birthday, Gila! | New Mexico Wilderness Alliance

Sorry I’m late. The first designated wilderness. Wow! And we still have to fight to protect the tiny bit of land left unspoiled.

Happy Birthday, Gila! | New Mexico Wilderness Alliance

Happy Birthday, Gila Wilderness!

June 3, 1924-June 3-2014

Today is the 90th birthday of the world’s first designated wilderness, the Gila Wilderness.

In 1922, Aldo Leopold, a United States Forest Service supervisor of the Carson National Forest, proposed that the headwaters area of the Gila River be preserved by an administrative process of excluding roads and denying use permits. Through his efforts, this area became recognized in 1924 as the first wilderness area in the National Forest System. Then, in 1964, the Gila became the first congressionally designated wilderness of the National Wilderness Preservation System when the Wilderness Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Happy Birthday, Gila! | New Mexico Wilderness Alliance