• Wolf Stamp Contest

    The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance invites submissions for the 2018 Mexican Wolf Conservation Stamp.
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    Join us today as we continue to defend your New Mexico National Monuments
  • War On The Gila

    We need your help today to stop a proposal that would jeopardize all of our work in the greater Gila area and destroy the wild qualities of the world’s first Wilderness.
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News Summary

  • Mexican Wolf Stamp Contest - 2018

    About The Contest: The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance invites submissions for the 2018 Mexican Wolf Conservation Stamp.  Artists worldwide are invited to enter two-dimensional drawings, paintings, or photographs featuring the Mexican gray wolf.  The winning artwork will be featured on Read More
  • Cerros del Norte Conservation Act passes U.S. Senate

    Christmas Miracle! Cerros del Norte Conservation Act passes U.S. Senate Senate passes measure to protect special areas as wilderness within Río Grande del Norte National Monument                                                                       Contact:  John Olivas, (505)379-5551, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. TAOS, NM (December 22, 2017) – Just days before Christmas, the Read More
  • Congress Considering Bill Riders Which Undermine the Roadless Rule

    An assault on roadless areas was recently launched in Congress. Riders attached to a federal spending bill would introduce logging and road-building to some of our national forests, undermining the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. The Roadless Rule, one of Read More
  • 133 Conservation Groups Tell Congress: Keep Bikes Out of Wilderness

    133 Conservation Groups Tell Congress: Keep Bikes Out of Wilderness U.S. House Hearing on GOP Bill Opening All Wilderness Areas to Bikes and Other Wheeled Contraptions is Thursday, December 7th CONTACT: Mark Allison, Executive Director, New Mexico Wild, 505-239-0906 Albuquerque, Read More
  • New Mexicans Declare an Attack on One National Monument is an Attack on All

    For Immediate Release December 5, 2017 Contact: Mark Allison, Executive Director, New Mexico Wild, 505-239-0906 Michael Casaus, State Director, Wilderness Society, 505-417-5288 Stewart Wild, Wild Earth Llama Adventures, 575-779-2408 New Mexicans Declare an Attack on One National Monument an Attack 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