SANTA FE – Crews are working on the Cañada Bonita trails accessed from the Pajarito Ski Area trailhead through Sept. 2, felling hazard trees in the burn area from the 2011 Las Conchas Fire.
In coordination with the Santa Fe National Forest, the Southwest Nordic Ski Club contracted with the non-profit American Conservation Experience to perform the work along the original road and on the trail loops above the main trail.
Post-fire erosion, higher-than-normal moisture and wind are bringing weakened trees down in record numbers. The main trail to Cañada Bonita is open, but hazard tape and signage warn users to be cautious if they continue on the trail.
Recreationists who choose to hike the Cañada Bonita trails this weekend are advised to stay on the main trail, keep dogs on leash and watch for crew members guarding the work area on both ends of the trail segment. Users may be directed to wait if a tree is coming down in the vicinity.
Hazard tree management is a safety issue. Hazard trees are defined as dead or dying trees or unstable live trees with the potential to cause property damage, personal injury or fatality if or when they fall. Trails may be safer after the hazard tree removal operations, but it is not possible to remove every hazard tree. Hikers should still be cautious and avoid using trails in the burn areas during periods of strong winds.
The Forest Service website has additional information on hazard trees and how to recognize them.