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Public input needed on potential changes in recreation management along the East Fork Jemez Wild and Scenic River
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By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From Los Alamos, NM
Apr 15, 2009
Climbing at the Belvedere crag near Nago with a great view of the northern end of Lake Garda and the town of Torbole sul Garda below. June 2013.

Hello NM climbers,
The Santa Fe National Forest Jemez Ranger District is holding two public meetings, April 21st in Rio Rancho, NM and June 5th in Jemez Springs, NM, regarding potential changes to recreational management along the East Fork River in the Jemez. This has the potential to affect climbing at Las Conchas and Upper East Fork so I believe it is important for the climbing user group to get involved with the discussions. See the full press release (PDF) here. (I posted it on my personal site after a friend scanned it...we couldn't find it on the USFS site.)

The April 21st meeting is at 6:30pm at the Loma Colorado Main Library in Rio Rancho, NM (755 Loma Colorado Drive, Rio Rancho, NM 87124). I won't be able to attend this one. If anyone here attends, please post here after the meeting with your thoughts and some information about what was discussed.

The June 5th meeting is at 6:30pm at the Valles Caldera National Preserve Main Office (18161 Highway 4, Jemez Springs, NM 87025). I plan to attend this meeting.

It sounds like the discussions are mostly centered around camping restrictions but no doubt other recreational use will be considered.

The East Fork of the Jemez River was congressionally designated as a Wild and Scenic River on June 6th, 1990 and is one of four rivers in NM with this status. (The others are the far northern section of the Rio Grande, Pecos River and the Rio Chama.)
Thank you! Jason

A few of the upper East Fork a couple years ago...

UEF in December 2007. The <a href='/v/monster-wall/106382989'>Monster Wall</a> can be seen in the right portion of the photo.
UEF in December 2007. The Monster Wall can be seen in the right portion of the photo.


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By jcardon
From Las Cruces, NM
Apr 15, 2009
A Cool Place in the Desert

Thanks for the heads up!


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By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From Los Alamos, NM
Apr 21, 2009
Climbing at the Belvedere crag near Nago with a great view of the northern end of Lake Garda and the town of Torbole sul Garda below. June 2013.

As a reminder to those of you in the ABQ/Rio Rancho area, the first meeting on this topic is tonight. It's still not clear to me what will really be discussed/considered at these meetings but if you go tonight, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks.


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By Williampenner
From The 505
Apr 22, 2009
Beaver Mountain

Sadly, I was one of only two folks at the public meeting last night. The Forest Service never had a formal presentation but were looking for input on the user plan for the entire East Fork corridor from the Valles Caldera to Battleship Rock. Their primary concern is un-regulated camping along the stream that leads to soil/resource degradation. The most impacted areas are along the walk to the jumping rocks and the Las Conchas corridor.

We've all seen the honyockers camping right next to the stream and trail in the Las Conchas area. My personal favorite are the folks who camp under the Gateway rock and drink/have fires all day. The Forest Service folks were very nice and asked what of three management options was preferred:

1) Designated campsites along the East Fork,
2) Designated camping zones, or
3) No camping along the East Fork.

I felt options 1 or 2 were fine; however, I rarely camp in the area.
I let the FS folks know that a bathroom at the Las Conchas parking lot would help immensely during the busy summer months. This seemed like a good idea to them but it is unlikely to be dealt with this year.

There was no discussion of changing the management strategy to limit climbing.

Feel free to contact me directly if you need any more information.

William


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By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From Los Alamos, NM
Apr 22, 2009
Climbing at the Belvedere crag near Nago with a great view of the northern end of Lake Garda and the town of Torbole sul Garda below. June 2013.

Thanks a lot William. I really appreciate you taking the time to go to the meeting and filling us in on the what took place at the meeting. And thanks so much for mentioning the toilet idea for the Las Conchas area. Well done.


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By Josh Smith
Apr 22, 2009

Yeah, thanks, William. A toilet at Las Conchas is a great idea. We'll see if we can get a few folks from Los Alamos to the June 5th meeting. I'd be nice to raise the issue of grazing leases in the Conchas area. In terms of shear impact, cows and Hollywood seem to be at the top of the list.


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By Williampenner
From The 505
Apr 22, 2009
Beaver Mountain

I know the FS would like to hear from the users. They genuinely seemed to appreciate climbers as a user group. Maybe because we stick to the trails and stay near the rock.

If anyone wants the EA (environmental assessment) related to the original creation of the East Fork management plan, let me know and I'll email it.

William


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