SANTA FE ― Santa Fe National Forest (Forest) officials remind everyone that the entire Forest is closed to the general public.
The Rio Chama Corridor is closed to all public use, with the exception of permitted commercially outfitted and private boaters that launch from El Vado Ranch (Cooper’s Ranch) and take out at either Chavez Canyon or Big Eddy. Additionally, Forest Road 151 is closed to the public except for BLM-permitted float trips, private land owners and their guests.
“We’ve had members of the general public access, or try to access, the Rio Chama portion of the Santa Fe National Forest in recent days and we want to clarify that the area is closed to the general public,” Deputy Forest Supervisor Joe Norrell said. “We are working closely with BLM to communicate with permitted outfitters and private boaters about restrictions they and their support crews need to follow while on the river or in the corridor. Questions regarding the Rio Chama Corridor can be made to BLM at 505.954.2002, or to the Santa Fe National Forest at 505.438.5300.”
“Overall, the public has been good about adhering to the forest-wide closure, and we thank everyone who has,” Norrell said. “We understand how difficult it is for the many people who love the Santa Fe National Forest, and we look forward to the day that we can open it again to our visitors.”
In some areas of the forest, however, a number of violations have occurred since the June 1 closure.
“There have been instances where fishermen, hikers, and campers thought it was okay to enter the forest if they didn’t start a fire,” Norrell said. “Unfortunately, the conditions on the forest are so dry that just being on the forest when a wildfire occurs could put the lives of both visitor and rescuer at risk.”
Forest officials implemented the forest-wide closure to prohibit public access to the 1.6 million-acre forest for public safety and forest health while in high to extreme fire danger. The closure order prohibits activities on the Forest and will remain in effect until enough moisture arrives to lift the closure order.
Campgrounds, trails and trailheads, and National Forest System roads are closed to the general public. County and state roads that cross USDA Forest Service lands are not under USDA Forest Service jurisdiction and will remain open to vehicular traffic.