Sandoval County Fire Department, Placitas Volunteer
Fire Brigade, and other rescue vehicles cruise up Highway 165 for
the Annual Placitas Fourth of July Parade.
Thank you from the Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade
—SAL GULLO, ASSISTANT FIRE CHIEF
On behalf of the Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade (PVFB), District
4 of the Sandoval County Fire Department, a few “thanks”
are in order.
The PVFB would like to thank the Placitas community for a safe
and happy 4th of July. The start of the day was the usual parade
through the village, where this year we had in attendance by invitation
the Sandoval County Fire Chief, Jon Tibbetts, and the Med Unit.
Also present was a fire engine and crew from Bernalillo. We are
glad to report that there were no medical or fire responses directly
related to fireworks. Our area has been experiencing our usual dry
weather that has caused danger of wildfires sparked by fireworks.
A handful of our members were out on patrol on the evening of the
4th in some of our emergency vehicles looking for hazardous fireworks.
Thankfully, there were very few of the illegal type and all of the
rest that were being used were very much under control. Again, thank
The Fire Brigade is also proud to offer congratulations to a few
of our members for advancing their medical training levels: Debby
Brinkerhoff and Page Brown, for becoming Emergency Medical Technicians
Intermediate and Stephen Snider for advancing to Emergency Medical
Technician Paramedic. Our brigade also has the good fortune of the
support of Jerry Temple. Jerry has completed training in Socorro
at the state fire academy to become Firefighter 1 certified. If
you know these people, please take the time to thank them for supporting
their families and the Placitas community.
Santa Fe National Forest solicits public input on travel management
On July 10, the Santa Fe National Forest released its Proposed
Action for Managing Motorized Travel, as part of a nationwide effort
by the United States Forest Service to address unmanaged motorized
recreation on national forests. The Proposed Action, or “scoping
phase” is the first step under the National Environmental
Policy Act (NEPA).
“This reflects what the forest [service] has heard from the
public for the past couple of years, combined with an initial analysis
of what would best protect natural and cultural resources, minimize
conflicts between users, and still provide access and motorized
recreational opportunities on the forest,” announced Forest
Supervisor Daniel Jiron. “We are asking the public to stay
engaged through the process by providing comments and ideas within
these next forty-five days and attending one of the thirteen public
meetings scheduled. Public input is important and will add value
to the environmental impact statement.”
“This proposal, is merely that—a proposal, a starting
point,” said Jiron, “We’d like people to read
the Proposed Action, view the maps on the website (www.fs.fed.us/r3/sfe/travelmgt),
at Ranger Stations, at local libraries, and let us know, preferably
in writing, if you’d like to suggest changes.”
The Proposed Action includes amending the forest plan to prohibit
“off-road” driving across most of the forest. The Proposed
Action will also propose to close numerous roads that are unnecessary
or redundant, that cannot be adequately maintained, or that compromise
the integrity of sensitive resources. However, adding some currently
unauthorized or “user-created” routes to the forest
transportation system is also proposed in order to provide access
to points of interest and to maintain some loop-riding opportunities.
The Proposed Action will:
•Continue to provide motorized access to the forest;
•Prohibit cross-country motorized vehicle use off designated
roads, trails, and areas;
•Reduce the miles of roads open to motorized travel;
•Increase the miles of trails designated for motorized vehicles;
•Designate motorized access to dispersed camping;
•Limit the use of motor vehicles to retrieve downed game
to designated routes only; and
•Amend the Santa Fe National Forest Plan to comply with direction
in the Rule.
Throughout this process, the Santa Fe National Forest has been
committed to protecting values and traditional uses such as getting
firewood, picking piñon, and managing livestock operations.
“These activities and traditions are important and will continue
on the Forest,” added Jiron.
The development of the Proposed Action is the start of the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. The scoping period (forty-five-day
comment period) is for the public to provide information on resource
issues and concerns with the proposed action. The agency will next
develop alternative proposals, based on public input received. The
proposed action, alternatives, and a full analysis of the environmental
effects of each alternative comprise the draft environmental impact
statement (DEIS). During the preparation of the DEIS (usually about
eight to twelve months), the Forest Service will continue to welcome
public comments. When the DEIS is completed, the public will have
another forty-five-day “notice and comment” period.
Based on the analysis and public input, the agency will make a decision,
which will be published as a record of decision. The Forest Service
plans to have the record of decision completed in 2009.
Public meetings will be held to address concerns regarding the
decision. One will be in Rio Rancho on Tuesday, August 19 from 6:00
to 8:30 p.m. at the Destiny Center, 4401 Northern Boulevard NE.
An Albuquerque meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 20 from
6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the UNM Conference Center, Room B, 1634 University
A forty-five-day comment period will run from July 18 through September
Decision made for Sandia Ranger District Travel Management Plan
On July 15, Cibola Forest Supervisor Nancy Rose, after careful
consideration of the many public comments and review of the project
analysis, issued a decision for the Environmental Assessment for
Travel Management on the Sandia Ranger District. The legal notice
of the decision was published in the newspaper of record, the Albuquerque
Journal, on July 14, 2008.
The selected alternative four with modifications designates a system
of roads and trails for public access and motorized recreation travel.
This decision includes: Prohibiting cross-county motorized travel
off of the designated system on the Sandia Ranger District. It prohibits
motorized off-road travel in all areas of the forest north of I-40.
This includes the La Madeira area east of Placitas. The only motorized
access to this area is a pipeline service road that prohibits use
by the general public. La Madeira borders other public and private
lands that are relatively undeveloped and is considered to be an
important wildlife corridor.
The decision designates the Cedro area south of I-40 for mixed
motorized use, including 42.66 miles for motorcycle use, 1.76 miles
for vehicles under fifty inches (ATVs and motorcycles) and 10.12
miles open to all vehicles (including OHVs).
There are also 7.02 miles designated for highway legal vehicles
only. The decision includes approval to construct 3.5 miles of trails
for motorized use to address resource and access concerns and one
trailhead facility to accommodate motorized recreation. It also
approves use of the Oak Area in the Oak Flat Picnic Ground as a
motorized trailhead in addition to the reservation group picnic
This decision will result in the publication of a Motor Vehicle
Use Map (MVUM). Designations made with past decisions will also
be shown on the MVUM. After the MVUM has been released, travel off
the designated system will be prohibited unless authorized by permit
or other authorization. The Environmental Assessment and Decision
Notice/Finding of No Significant Impact can be obtained from the
Supervisor’s Office at the Cibola National Forest Office,
2113 Osuna NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87113, or can be requested by phone
at (505) 346-3900, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or on the Sandia Ranger District Travel Management website at www.fs.fed.us/r3/cibola/travel-management/tm_sandia/index.shtml.
This decision is subject to appeal pursuant to regulations at 36