Every month the Trails Alliance of Santa Fe meets at lunch to discuss our favorite subject, trails. ( Il Vicino, noon, on the first Monday of the month to be precise). To us, trails are dirt, narrow, sustainable, scenic, and on land accessible to the public. Beyond this simple definition, there’s a lot going on.
The January, 2019 lunch brought us a visitor from OTAG, the legendary hiking group called Over The Arroyo Gang. For years OTAG has adopted the Borrego-Bear Wallow loop in the Santa Fe National Forest, working on trail maintenance. (By the way, OTAG is grateful to the Fat Tire Society of Santa Fe which completed a major re-route on the Borrego portion of the trail in 2017-18) OTAG would like to develop another core of volunteers to do trail work.
OTAG’s request was an example of the mosaic that forms the volunteers who maintain and build Santa Fe’s trails, whether on city, county, National Forest or BLM lands. Beside mountain bike enthusiasts, volunteers are drawn from hiking groups like OTAG and high school organizations like those at Capital, Waldorf, and the Masters Charter School. The Masters in particular has a Public Lands class that works each Friday. They are responsible for the new and improved Little Tesuque Trail which has hundreds of new users.
Backcountry Horsemen are another group that provides volunteers for trails. (If I’ve left anyone out, please respond, and we’ll add your name.)
The Fat Tire Society of Santa Fe donated a collection box in the Galisteo Preserve so that everyone can contribute to the maintenance of that fine system of trails.
Money helps, of course, paying for tools, rentals, archeology review, but the consensus of our lunch group is that organizing, recruiting, and training new volunteers are the primary needs of all trail groups including the Trails Alliance of Santa Fe.
If you’re interested in helping Santa Fe’s trails, please join us on the first Monday of the month, noon, at Il Vicino.