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Reserve, NM, July 21, 2018— Recent monsoonal rain has caused increased runoff in the Buzzard Fire scar. This runoff has made Forest Road 94 impassible within the area of Five Springs Canyon. There is no access from NM Hwy 12 at the Apache Creek Campground to Collins Park.

Alternate routes to Collins Park are from NM Hwy 12 at Horse Springs, south on the Bursum Road (CR B 019) to Y Canyon Road (CR B054) to Collins Park.

During monsoon season it is always important to “Know before You Go.” Check the weather forecast before visiting fire impacted areas or nearby locations. Flash floods can occur very quickly, even if the storm is not directly overhead. If you encounter flood waters, move to higher ground immediately. Do not attempt to walk or drive through flowing water. Turn around, don’t drown, since only one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away. For more safety tips, visit https://www.ready.gov/floods.

For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila 

By Mary Alice Murphy

After a great deal of public comment on two issues [which will be covered in a future article], the commissioners went into executive session to discuss the disposal of county-owned property, namely Gila Regional Medical Center.

Those who had given public input milled around the room and others in attendance the meeting left while the commissioners were out of the room.

After a relatively short session, the commissioners came back into the room and moved back into open session.

Silver City, NM, July 18, 2018—The Gila National Forest is currently revising its land and resource management plan – also known as the Forest Plan. As one part of the larger Plan Revision effort, each national forest undertaking Forest Plan Revision is required to complete a process of identifying and evaluating lands that may be suitable for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System. The four-step process concludes with a determination of whether to recommend any of the evaluated lands to Congress for wilderness designation. Congress reserves the authority to designate wilderness through legislation.

After considering public feedback, the Gila National Forest has adjusted and finalized the inventory map as the first step of the four-step process. For the second step of the process, the draft evaluation report is now available for public review and comment. The evaluation step examines the level of wilderness characteristics possessed by the lands identified in the Inventory step of the process. The Gila National Forest developed the final evaluation process paper used to produce the draft evaluation report after listening to stakeholder ideas during community and technical meetings and review periods that provided opportunities to submit written comments.

Jemez Springs, NM – As part of managing the lightning-caused Hidden Valley Fire by reducing fuel loads in the area, fire crews will continue implementing firing operations today. Resources on scene include one hotshot crew, three type 2 IA crews, one fire use module, one rapid extraction module, and three engines.

"Wildfire is a natural component of our forest and grassland ecosystems, and when conditions permit, we strive to safely manage these naturally-caused fires," said Valles Caldera Superintendent Jorge Silva-Bañuelos. “Unlike during the recent San Antonio Fire on the preserve’s north rim, the monsoon rains have created safe conditions to manage the Hidden Valley Fire,” he added.

By Mary Alice Murphy

The Grant County Commissioners this morning at their regular meeting, Thursday, July 19, 2018, after hearing an hour and a half of public input, some on the hospital and some on the Wildlife Services contract, moved into executive session to discuss disposal of county property, specifically the Gila Regional Medical Center.

After their deliberations, they came out of session. Commissioner Brett Kasten made the motion to keep the hospital as is.

By Mary Alice Murphy

Alex Brown, Silver City manager, said the whole recycling saga started about three months ago. "We took a load to Tucson and got a $4,000 bill. Before we had gotten a check for the materials. The following month, we were ready to take a delivery to Tucson, and we were informed that the company was no longer taking single-stream recycling products."

Brown said he called around, including to Albuquerque. They, too, were no longer taking in recycling from others. "In fact, they were stockpiling their recycled materials and received a citation from the state because of the large amount of materials they had."

"I called El Paso," Brown said. "They wouldn't even talk to us, because they were not taking new customers."

Jemez Springs, NM – The lightning-caused Hidden Valley Fire was first reported on Tuesday, July 17 around 3:30 pm on Valles Caldera National Preserve. The ¼-acre fire is currently burning within a recent forest thinning area on the north flank of South Mountain. Given favorable conditions, including monsoonal rains, high humidity, and the availability of fire crews, the preserve intends to manage the fire to decrease fuel loads in the thinning unit in order to reduce undesired fire behavior in the future.

"Wildfire is a natural component of our forest and grassland ecosystems, and when conditions permit, we strive to safely manage these naturally-caused fires," said Valles Caldera Superintendent Jorge Silva-Bañuelos. “Unlike during the recent San Antonio Fire on the preserve’s north rim, the monsoon rains have created safe conditions to manage the Hidden Valley Fire,” he added.

By Mary Alice Murphy

The first item of business was the director's report, which had been sent out to all members.

Cari Lemon, Grant County Community Health Council director, added that she had been approached by Anna Daggert, the new FORWARD New Mexico program director.

"She asked me how she could help with the Red Hot Children's Fiesta, coming up in September," Lemon said. "It will be our 17th year."

When asked how she was promoting it this year, Lemon said she had sent out a save the date to past participants, as well as an application for a booth.

Live from Silver City

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