Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
  Public Safety

Robert Martinez of the Northwest Albuquerque Optimist Club and Venus Sanford of the Coronado Optimist Club of Bernalillo shepherd Rafael Roybal through the course during the Optimists bike rodeo at Rotary Park.
Photo credit: —Bill Diven

Kids rodeo for bike safety

About twenty kids took advantage of the first morning of spring to learn more about their bicycles and how to ride them safely. The Coronado Optimist Club of Bernalillo sponsored what is expected to be an annual bike rodeo aimed at younger riders.

“We provided helmets to everyone who came, and instructed them on how and why to use them, to encourage that kind of safety throughout the community,” said Coronado President Suzann Owings.

Before anyone rode, their bikes got a safety inspection from Optimists handy with tools.

“One little girl came in with her handlebars loose,” Owings said. “That’s extraordinarily unsafe.”

From there, the kids rode a number of courses laid out in Rotary Park. They learned hand signs to tell other drivers when they plan to turn or stop.

PNM scatters trimmings after tree project

—Signpost Staff

Slash piles of juniper trees left behind from a thinning project in the Bureau of Land Management’s Buffalo Tract recently led to concerns of a fire hazard being created instead of lessened.

One person familiar with that 3,100-acre piece of public land in northwest Placitas contacted the Signpost with questions about what was happening. The answer, in short: PNM cleared out trees beneath a major power line but didn’t clean up to the satisfaction of the BLM.

PNM notified the BLM about the thinning being done in October to comply with industry standards, intended to keep power systems in the U.S. and Canada safe and reliable. The 345-kilovolt line strung on transmission towers runs in a 150-foot right-of-way, but the PNM contractor only trimmed a one-hundred-foot strip.

“Their guys pulled the slash to the side,” BLM Acting Assistant Field Manager Calvin Parson said. “We said that wasn’t the best way to do it. We showed them how to disperse it.”

The BLM hadn’t specified how to handle the slash when PNM alerted the agency to the project, he added.

By the time everyone met on the site early in March, some of the larger juniper logs had disappeared since the cutting. The BLM issued woodcutting permits for the area, and Parson said that they had found much of their work already done.

PNM spokesperson Susan Snyder Sponar said it’s not unusual for landowners to have different preferences for how to handle slash from leaving it near the stumps to spreading it around. PNM tries to work these things out in advance, she added.

The Buffalo Tract, which also has active mining and grazing leases on it, is one of three BLM parcels in Placitas involved in an update of a regional Resource Management Plan that will set future uses of the land. Indian pueblos and the land grant association are among those who have expressed interest in using all, or part, of the tract if it’s designated for disposal. The BLM has said that it is close to releasing the document for a last round of comments before it is made final.

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