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News Summary

  • Thank You Wilderness Rangers

    Thank You 2017 WILDERNESS RANGERS Rhett SpencerCarson National Forest Josh ParkenCarson National Forest Jade McLaughlinCibola National Forest Hailey HenckCibola National Forest Luciano NaranjoSanta Fe National Forest Zack BumgarnerSanta Fe National Forest Thank you to our Wilderness Rangers who have successfully Read More
  • Monument recommendations would put important cultural and ecological resources at risk, and harm local economies

    New Mexico Wild Calls on President Trump to Stand with Voters Above Special Interests for New Mexico’s National Monuments Monument recommendations would put important cultural and ecological resources at risk, and harm local economies Albuquerque, NM—Yesterday, Department of Interior Secretary Read More
  • New Mexicans condemn Secretary Zinke’s assault of our nation’s National Monuments

    New Mexicans condemn Secretary Zinke’s assault of our nation’s National Monuments Local communities urge President Trump to not upset broad protections that are benefiting diverse access and economic activity Las Cruces and Taos, New Mexico – New Mexicans of all Read More
  • New Mexico Wild Celebrates Expanded Access to Sabinoso Wilderness Area

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 9, 2017 New Mexico Wild Celebrates Expanded Access to Sabinoso Wilderness Area The Department of Interior announced today its intention to add approximately 4,000 acres to the 16,030-acre Sabinoso Wilderness east of Las Vegas, New Mexico.  Read More
  • Court Throws Out Feds’ Misguided Policy Limiting Prosecution of Killers of Endangered Wildlife

    For immediate release                                                                                                June 22, 2017 Contacts: Bethany Cotton, WildEarth Guardians, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 406.414.7227 Judy Calman, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 505.615.5020 Court Throws Out Feds’ Misguided Policy Limiting Prosecution of Killers of Endangered Wildlife Flawed ‘McKittrick’ Policy Ruled Unlawful Read More
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Save Our Monuments before July 10

Give comment to protect our monuments

Assault on forest also assaults our sensibilities

By Mark Allison / Executive Director, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance

Sunday, November 15th, 2015 at 12:02am

I’m sure many of you have seen the numerous articles on the illegal tree cutting recently discovered in the Santa Fe National Forest near the Santa Fe ski basin.

Hundreds of trees have been illegally felled, some as tall as 50 feet.

Surveying the area recently with my dog, Jed, I personally measured one with a circumference of 36 inches. A dozen or so different trails have been created, the largest 40 feet across and a half mile long running from the top of Raven’s Ridge to the ski area parking lot.

Some trails encroach into the wilderness.

The best guess is that they were created by rogue skiers/snowboarders wanting to “glade” through the trees on their own private runs.

The hitch? It’s not private land, but public.

No doubt, the damage is significant. The selfishness breathtaking. The audacity impressive.

A few things come to mind.

It was discovered and reported by day hikers. Their concern and action exemplifies what it means to be citizen conservationists.

It also illustrates the importance of on-the-ground eyes and ears and the importance of reporting illegal or inappropriate behavior.

This has also underscored how under-resourced the Forest Service is: With a single enforcement officer for the entire Santa Fe National Forest, they need good private partners like us (along with a bigger budget).

This seems to have shocked our collective conscious. I have to ask, why?

With all of the threats to our public lands that we deal with every day, this truthfully is well down on the list. Has the negative reaction been disproportionate to the offense?

After all, the felled trees will eventually rot and recycle, the scar will disappear. The forest will certainly survive.

My sense is that people are outraged in part because the issue is small enough and close enough to feel. It feels like an assault on what is collectively ours, because that is exactly what it is.

It assails the awe and reverence that many of us feel when we enter a wild place.

This crime feels so personal because it is such a flagrant attack on the pact we have – between us and wild things and with each other.

And while our public lands are great for recreating – I’ve personally skied, snowshoed, hiked and backpacked this area – wild places are about much more than a couple minutes of thrill ride down a mountainside.

It is this lack of respect or even understanding for other users and the land itself that is so galling – that and the fact that it is literally in sight of an area developed specifically for that kind of use.

If it is perhaps indicative that the very notion of the commons is under threat, it is also a reminder that humans are wild places’ biggest threat.

And with people like you, the wild’s staunchest defenders, we will faithfully keep watch.

 

http://www.abqjournal.com/676047/opinion/assault-on-forest-also-assaults-our-sensibilities.html