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Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve Closed

on June 20, 2013 - 10:00pm

Courtesy/SFNF

STATE News:

The entire Santa Fe National Forest will be closed to public entry effective at 8 a.m. Monday, June 24, 2013

The only exception to the closure is the Rio Chama Scenic River corridor which will remain open to the public, with Stage II fire restrictions. The accessible area along the Rio Chama includes 100-feet from both sides of the river starting at the north end of the river at the Coyote and Cuba Ranger District Boundary downstream to the southeastern boundary near Forest Service Road 151.

“The weather forecast is calling for dry, hot and windy conditions in the coming days and with the current fires and new fires reported daily, we cannot afford to take the added risk of human-caused wildfires,” Forest Supervisor Maria Garcia said.

Some areas have reported rainfall but it has been isolated and not enough to lessen the probability of wildfires spreading quickly.

“These safety measures (restrictions and closures) are primarily meant to protect the public and also to protect the natural and cultural resources people enjoy and which sustain their way of life,” added Garcia, “The closure will be lifted once we receive significant rainfall to abate wildfire risk.”

As per Closure Order 10-387, the entire Santa Fe National Forest is closed to all access except for the Rio Chama Scenic River corridor; exceptions to this closure order include:

  • Persons with a Forest Service letter or permit specifically authorizing the prohibited act or omission.
  • Any Federal, State, or Local Officer, or member of an organized firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
  • Residents in the area accessing private property via a restricted Forest Service road.

Valles Caldera National Preserve main entrance is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The public can drive to the Valle Grande Staging Area where they can visit the gift shop or view elk and other wildlife in the area; visit the website: http://www.vallescaldera.gov/

Carson National Forest will remain in Stage I Restrictions and continue with the closure of Pecos Wilderness managed by the Carson National Forest and the trails which access the Pecos Wilderness. These include: the San Leonardo Trail #30, Trampas Trail #31, Santa Barbara Trail #24, Serpent Lake/Alamitos Trail #19 and Ripley Point Trail #36; visit the website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/carson

Bandelier National Monument is open to visitors. Fire restrictions are in effect; visit the website: http://www.nps.gov/band/

New Mexico Game and Fish recreation sites along the Pecos River, Bert Clancy, Tererro, Jamie Koch and Mora camping and fishing areas are also closed. Monastery Lake along the Pecos River, Highway 63 is also closed; visit the website: http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/recreation/fishing/documents/fishing_report.htm
New Mexico State Parks— Fenton Lake State Park near Jemez Springs, and Morphy Lake State Park near Mora are both closed. Hyde Memorial State Park will close at 8 a.m. on Monday, June 24th, however The Lodge at Hyde Memorial State Park will remain open for all scheduled activities and preexisting reservations.

These parks will remain closed for the duration of the Santa Fe National Forest closure. Many NM State Parks remain open with fire restrictions; visit the website: http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/FireRestrictions.html

People who have trips planned to the area should continue with their plans and visit some of the villages and communities that are rich in culture and friendly people. Local business owners in these communities are known for their great hospitality and keep their businesses open to serve visitors and to share their knowledge of the area and love for the land.

Forest Service Law Enforcement and other personnel will be patrolling forest roads and trails. We ask that people be extremely cautious outdoors at this time, be aware of your surroundings and report all illegal activity to proper law enforcement authorities. “Know Before You Go”—look for the latest information on restrictions and closures of public land by calling your local ranger station or park or via Fire Restrictions website Fire Restrictions: http://firerestrictions.us/nm/, Fire Restrictions Hotline: 1-877-864-6985 or call Santa Fe National Forest, 505-438-5300.

As always, fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices are always prohibited on National Forests System lands.

ORDER
USDA FOREST SERVICE
SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST / VALLES CALDERA NATIONAL PRESERVE
FOREST AND PRESERVE CLOSURE

Pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 551 and 36 CFR 261.50(a), the following acts are prohibited on all National Forest System lands within the Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve as described below in the following counties: Rio Arriba, Los Alamos, Sandoval, Santa Fe, San Miguel, and Mora, within the state of New Mexico.

The “restricted area” is described below and depicted on the attached map, hereby incorporated into this Order as Exhibit A.

PROHIBITIONS

1. Going into or being upon the restricted area. 36 CFR § 261.52(e)
EXEMPTIONS
Pursuant to 36 CFR § 261.50(e), the following persons are exempt from this order:
1. Persons with a Forest Service letter or permit specifically authorizing the prohibited act or omission.
2. Any Federal, State, or Local Officer, or member of an organized firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
3. Residents in the area accessing private property via a restricted Forest Service road to the extent necessary to gain access to their property.

 

RESTRICTED AREA

The restricted area includes all National Forest System lands, roads and trails within the Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve within the following counties: Rio Arriba, Los Alamos, Sandoval, Santa Fe, San Miguel, and Mora, within the state of New Mexico (Exhibit A)
• National Forest System Lands 100-feet from both sides of the Rio Chama Scenic River starting at the north end of the river at the Coyote and Cuba Ranger District Boundary downstream to the southeastern boundary near Forest Service Road 151.
• Valles Caldera Valle Grande Staging Area.

PURPOSE

This order is necessary to protect public health and safety due to extreme fire danger.

IMPLEMENTATION

1. This Order will be in effect at 8 a.m. on Monday, June 24.

ORDER
USDA FOREST SERVICE
SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST / VALLES CALDERA NATIONAL PRESERVE
STAGE II FIRE RESTRICTIONS

Pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 551 and 36 CFR 261.50(a), the following acts are prohibited on all National Forest System lands within the Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve as described below in the following counties: Rio Arriba, Los Alamos, Sandoval, Santa Fe, San Miguel, and Mora, within the state of New Mexico. The “restricted area” is described below and depicted on the attached map, hereby incorporated into this Order as Exhibit A.

PROHIBITIONS:

1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove. 36 CFR § 261.52(a) Exceptions: The use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, propane grills, or heating devices is allowed, provided such devices meet the fire underwriter’s specification for safety. Generators that are specifically designed by the manufacturer to be used within, and are used within, an enclosed recreational vehicle, such as a motorhome or travel trailer, are allowed.
2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building. 36 CFR § 261.52(d)
3. Using an Explosive, 36 CFR 261.52 (d)
4. Discharging a firearm, air rifle or gas gun. 36 CFR 261.58(m)
5. Operating a chainsaw or any other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine. 36 CFR § 261.52(h)
6. Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame. 36 CFR § 261.52(i)
7. Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order meeting either:
- Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Standard 5100-1a; or
- Appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice J335 (b) and J350 (a). 36 CFR § 261.52(j)
8. Possessing or using a motor vehicle off National Forest System roads, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway or when parking overnight in Forest Service developed campgrounds and trailheads. 36 C.F.R. § 261.56
9. Violating the following state laws: NMSA, Section 68-2-16, and other sections of the Forest Conservation Act, NMSA 1978, Section 68-2-1 to 68-2-25, and 19.20.3 NMAC, concerning burning, fires, and is for the purpose of preventing or restricting the spread of fire. 36 C.F.R. § 261.52 (k)
EXEMPTIONS
Pursuant to 36 CFR § 261.50(e), the following persons are exempt from this order:
1. Persons with a Forest Service letter or permit specifically authorizing the prohibited act or omission.
2. Any Federal, State or Local Officer, or member of an organized firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.

RESTRICTED AREA

The restricted area includes all National Forest System lands, roads and trails within the Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve within the following counties: Rio Arriba, Los Alamos, Sandoval, Santa Fe, San Miguel, and Mora, within the state of New Mexico (Exhibit A).
• National Forest System Lands 100-feet from both sides of the Rio Chama Scenic River starting at the north end of the river at the Coyote and Cuba Ranger District Boundary downstream to the southeastern boundary near Forest Service Road 151.
• Valles Caldera Valle Grande Staging Area.

PURPOSE

This order is necessary to protect public health and safety due to increased fire danger.
Order Number: 10-386

IMPLEMENTATION

1. This Order will be in effect at 8 a.m. on Monday, June 24, 2013, and shall remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2013, or until rescinded, whichever event occurs first.
2. Violations of these regulations is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor, by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six (6) months or both; 16 USC § 551, and 18 USC §§ 3559 and 3571.
3. This Order supersedes, rescinds, and replaces order 10-384 and is in addition to Regional Closure Order R03-001.
Done at Santa Fe, New Mexico this 20th day of June 2013.
/s/ Maria T. Garcia /s/ Dennis Trujillo
MARIA T. GARCIA
Forest Supervisor
Santa Fe National Forest
Order Number: 10-386
DENNIS TRUJILLO
Executive Director
Valles Caldera National Preserve

 


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