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Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
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 Author: bdlb
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:16 pm 
By bdlb

We were successful in getting one of the $25,000 grants from Michelob last year. The funds will be spent by the Continental Divide Trail Coalition in Silver City and Chama, New Mexico. The energy and enthusiasm the contest generated were spectacular. This spending is sure to benefit the CDT in and near the Town limits.

But what of our local trails? What attention shall be paid to them this year?

I had the pleasure of walking San Vicente from Corbin Street south to the railroad bridge abutment this afternoon. What a lovely way to enjoy a quiet interlude in this environment, the Town's hidden -- and largely neglected -- gem. Water in the creek gently burbling, dog walking and exploring with me. Not another human in sight.

• Except for the possibility of a homeless person's camp near the creek, not far from the former trailhead; and
• Plenty of ATV evidence, including tracks and severed fences; and
• Trash in abundance, including current and historic industrial waste/dumping; and
• Desecration of interpretive signs previously installed by the Gila Conservation Education Center.

This new year promises some improvements to the trail, especially the restoration of the formerly designated trailhead location. Once the bridge construction is complete, there will be an effort to beautify and make safer and more welcoming the parking area under the bridge.

The stream bed will be returned to prior status. And Stream Dynamics has funding to introduce native plantings instead of the invasive species that were all too common there.

But what of the rest of this trail? Several years ago a user survey was conducted, and the results were mixed. Folks praised the beauty, accessibility, and affordability of the trail, but complained about safety and security -- the creepy characters, the lack of patrol or direct enforcement, and questionable property ownership status.

Except for the last issue (which is being addressed), very little has changed. The work of Gary Stailey and his youth crews in helping to clean up flood debris and trash should be encouraged, but there is a lot of work for additional volunteer assistance.

A small group of advocates has been persistent in emphasizing the health, economic and aesthetic benefits of the San Vicente corridor, and the whole Greenways trails plan. This group has made some gains, but needs more voices to convince Town officials to pursue the regulatory and financial solutions to make the trail more comfortable for a variety of user, and to extend it, north to the Big Ditch and south to Scott Park and the golf course. Families with small children were noticeably absent as respondents to the early survey. This can and should be corrected by making San Vicente safe, and by making it a conduit to the recreation facilities down south.

This new year will see elections of a new mayor and council members, as well as state and national positions. You can influence the improvement of the San Vicente corridor as well as that of all the Greenways Master Plan watersheds by insisting that candidates make it a priority. Together, we can improve the San Vicente trail, and extend it both north and south. Keep it in the spotlight this year, and we'll see what joy 2017 brings to our own superior trails.

 Author: frances
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:49 am 
I doubt families with small children use most outdoor spaces provided excepting those with picnic tables or amusements like Penny Park. The other child driven use might be small groups with targeted purpose from schools for say, earth sciences. In the 20 plus years of living and hiking and walking here I have rarely...less than six times, perhaps...encountered a family using even the most simple trails like the one formerly used under the new bridge construction (San Vicente Trail). As much as we wish and encourage and make available better access for those under 18 years of age with or without adult family members I think I can reliably say that I spent more time outdoors, in a natural habitat unsupervised as a child, with none of these specialized features in place. Can we admit the irony of living in glorious natural beauty while epitomizing the "Last Child in the Woods" phenomena? Youth groups used in outdoor projects often feel like inmates on work detail despite the best efforts of their leaders. By the time these teenagers are tapped for their energy any connection with the natural world has been obliterated...too little too late ...and no trail improvements will change this. With both parents working, all the fear generated by media (those "creepy" folk scattered along the S.V. trail are harmless outcasts inventing a life as best as they can with addiction and mental illness. My mother made sure not to demonize our local hermit in the woods with an alcohol problem when we passed his shack on our way to pick blueberries) and every activity either "enrichment" focused or wired for a wifi hot spot ..errr.. need I go on? Make and improve trails and don't stop to worry about who will use them. They will be used and enjoyed by those with time and enthusiasm for the natural world and a few ATV'ers.... and unless money is spent on installing cameras to ID the latter offenders (which will not result in a conviction or even reprimand) avoid spending money on purposeless tweaking.

 Author: bdlb
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:25 am 
There will be an update about the bridge and trail head restoration tomorrow, Feb 17 at 6:00 pm at the County Admin Bldg.
Sorry about late notice, but please do come and add to comments about the planning.
Please take advantage of these rare opportunities~
Correction: the meeting is Wednesday the 17th

 Author: ynotwrite2
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:31 am 
thanks for the previous comments!
the town code officer notified the downstream residents to vacate and remove their stuff on March !st.
a week and a half ago the encampment was still there with its attendant trash, dirty clothing and bedding,etc
I noticed Thursday last that the stuff had been removed by someone.

the new mayor, Ken Ladner, had a campaign point to move forward with trails and open spaces. he's the first successful candidate who made this pledge in my memory.
I for one wish him well.
I will check the box "notify me..." and if you see trash, bad spots in the trails, or other issues that need volunteers in the field, post it here.
I've got a trash bag and a hoe and occasionally some friends who might want to help.
If you have some time and don't mind exercise, let me know here.

 Author: bdlb
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:59 pm 
Here's a question for trail users.
Are the ancient vehicles that line the creek still quaint? Or are they no longer appealing?
This might be a good forum for some feedback on the question.
Don't forget that you can access the trail from Corbin until the former trail head is restored.
Please take the time to get down there and check out the cars. My opinion is that they've been trashed, smashed, and otherwise mutilated nearly beyond recognition.
Don't forget that the last bridge update meeting is Wednesday, the 20th, at the County Admin. Bldg.

 Author: Marsh
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:03 am 
I love the cars!!! Please don't take them away! It's a sculptural history of Silver City, like the worn foundations of old miners shacks further down. The trail has been well developed, and the signage a wonderful read, including about the cars. Every time I have visitors, I take them to see the cars, and they think it's so cool. They're an interesting part of a lovely walk!

 Author: JE1947
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:11 pm 
I'd suggest a very dignified thinning of the brush along the road that parallels San Vincente Creek.
Some solar lights in case folks emerge as it grows dark.
Yes, there's plenty of evidence of booze bottles and dope down there. Thinning the foliage so that line of sight can be made by anyone walking the parallel road ... perhaps some solar lights along that ... could possibly deter anyone with malicious intent. The fact is, in America, there are thousands of homeless all across the country.

One word that people can take or leave:

Not every person who claims to be a "homeless vet" is in fact, a vet.
There are many that when I asked them questions about their unit, branch of service, time in ... I get a fair number of sputters, "I can't remember any of that crap ..." "I don't remember ..."

For me, that always suggests they're not vets, but have a hope that they will be given more spare change if people think them vets. I also try if I see some of these folks sitting on benches in town, if I can remember, to buy them some fruit or energy bars or Recharge (like Gatorade) ... water ... that way, I don't have to worry about whether the money I give them is going to meth, crack, booze ...

Many of these folks have just eschewed homeless shelters. They have SSI (or, in the case of legitimate disabled vets), compensation checks. While I imagine there are few who fit this bill ... remember for those who clamour for war and more war ... Syria, Libya, Iran, Iraq again, Lebanon, North Korea ... every war that people are all gung ho for, some others go off to fight ... and some return never the same again. For those who are in favor of "another war" in the places mentioned (not too mention, putting "Boots On The Grount" in Ukraine or duking it out with China ... there are still thousands of nuclear weapons. And poison gas. And nerve gas.

My guess is, with the North Koreans advertising a much heavier long range missile capable of greater ranges ... i.e., more capable of hitting west coast ... the likelihood of a pre-emptive strike grows. If that happens, there is a likely possibility North Koreans would storm across DMZ. Having served in South Korea prior to going to Vietnam, that means roughly 500,000 North Korean soldiers streaming across the 38th Parallel. With several candidates, a response to keep a war from going nuclear ... would lead to a possible ground war.

There IS a modernized Draft right there, on the shelves, waiting to be used.

A Draft would surely include women now.

A long way around to vets ... frankly, being disabled since 1969 (wounded 1966), I see the vets from: WW II (a few); Korea; Vietnam; Gulf War;
Panama; Grenada; Lebanon; Iraq; Afghanistan ... and it is depressing. If any homeless people can readily answer questions about their service, then it is likeliER they are vets. Lots of alcohol and drug abuse among such vets. PTSD can happen from many circumstances.

There are remnants of the Chinese garden households far down on the trail. I've never done it. I should. I believe there is Apache history there ... Apaches surely would've used San Vincente Cienega prior to arrival of Americans. Mexicans surely may have used, as well. Would've been a very dangerous place for bringing sheep, horses, cattle, oxen, to water there. This was all Mangas Coloradas country and before him.

I've not personally found any direct evidence in writing of Apache presence, but that doesn't mean they weren't there.The nature of the cienega was such that it would've been a tremendous source of clean water before one headed south, down San Vincente Drainage, out through the "Santa Clara/Bayard/Hurley area. Those drainages drained off and joined Lampbright Draw and Cameron Creek and Twin Sisters Creek and Apache Tejo. All were natural water holes for thousands of years. Apache Tejo, with is kind of at the far end of all that, is the area now owned by the Mines, and there is a tall gate with white pillars, and a very rusted sign which reads: "Apache Tejo." Mangas, et al, used that all the time. So did miners moving ore from Santa Rita Mina, down the Santa Rita del Cobre Trail.

Ft. MacLane was situated across the road from Apache Tejo, and on the south side of the road that turns west towards the airport. There are often antelope on those rolling hills. The area was called the Antelope Plain on some Spanish maps I've got. Undoubtedly, there were many more antelope present 400 years ago, when the Apache ruled this area. Ft. MacLane was a temporary fort where the Delk Ranch is located. It was there that men from the California Column, under the direction of General Carelton and Colonel West, assassinated Mangas Coloradas. It should therefore be clear that the entire area along this drainage that includes San Vincente Creek, was likely used by Apaches. Mogollon as well.

The cars ... I'm trying to find photos I took of the cars, which I think might've been used as a form of rip rap.

They could be dangerous for young kids who might be allowed to just wander and get in them ... pack rat nests might carry disease ... but the rusted metal could also give tetanus (I think), to anyone who cut themselves jumping around in the old bodies. I think as long as they're not a hazard ... they are cool. I never saw cars used as rip rap till I came to New Mexico. The Cañada Alamosa, Rio Alamosa, that runs west to east, into Monticello, NM., also has some old cars and trucks as rip rap, for what it's worth.

To sum up: judicious thinning of the foliage is proven to leave hikes feeling more safe in such urban environments. The safer people feel, the more traffic will be generated. The more traffic generated, including couples of all ages, with kids as well, there will be activity and many homeless don't want that ... While some solar lights down there might seem a distraction, remember: some people may come out later in afternoon in fall or winter, and lighting might again allow folks to feel safe. When you look at the trail system that has developed on Boston Hills (I've been here 14 years and most of those trails weren't there in the current upgraded form), it was a cool place to hike ... but was NOT heavily traveled because it was kind of wild, lots of potential dangerous pits and tailings, lots of distance that a person could lose line of sight and if the winds were wrong, yelling wouldn't have helped much. Also, twisting ankle, etc.

Now, the traffic there is tremendous and assuring.

Urban spaces increase the interest in certain demographic groups COMING HERE. As such, they improve the tax base ... all good things. I hope the trail can be utilized and for me ... hiking trails that remind me of the Vietnam jungle aren't that much fun.

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