July 21, 2009

Bingaman & Udall: $11.06 Million in Stimulus Funding to Improve New Mexico Forest Facilities and Trails Across New Mexico

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall today announced that Forest Service is releasing $11.06 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for upgrades to forest facilities and trails across New Mexico.

"New Mexico's forests and trails attract visitors from around the country and are an important part of the state's tourist economy," Bingaman said. "The stimulus funding released today will put people to work while investing in our state's public lands."

"Funding for these improvements to our forest facilities, trails and watersheds will allow for an increase in recreational opportunities like camping, fishing and hiking that New Mexicans treasure," said Udall. "It will afford us the resources to help preserve historic buildings and make additional improvements that will create jobs in many New Mexico communities and boost tourism to bring in additional revenue for the state."

$500,000 for construction at Cedro Trailhead in Bernalillo County: Funding will be used to construct a new trailhead to provide access to the Cedro trail system. This trailhead would provide needed parking, a restroom, education and information signs, and picnic table sites for multiple trail users, including off-highway vehicles, equestrians, and mountain bikers.

$115,000 for Cimarron Campground water system improvements in Taos County: Funding will be used to replace a leaking water line on an existing water system that serves the Cimarron Campground, Shuree Ponds day use site, and Shuree Lodge in the Valle Vidal unit of the Carson National Forest.

$615,000 for phase I of the Mexican Canyon Trestle restoration project in Otero County: Funding will be used to complete restoration of half of the Mexican Canyon Trestle. This will include the replacement of rotted and missing timbers and the stabilization of 6 additional bents of 22 total bents. A bent is one section of the trestle comprised of vertical posts and the associated cross members supporting the track.

$2.075 million for phase II of the Mexican Canyon Trestle restoration project in Otero County: Funding will complete restoration of the Mexican Canyon Trestle and construction of all elements of the Trestle Recreation area and viewing deck.

$950,000 for maintenance of Forest Administrative Facilities in Taos County: The project will involve maintenance and rehabilitation work on a variety of facilities such as the warehouse, office, campgrounds and historic structures. The project will improve the facilities and resolve safety and health issues by meeting building code requirements in the facilities for both the employees and the visiting public. The project will also preserve historic structures for future generations.

$100,000 for restoration to Old Shuree Log Cabin in Colfax County: Funding will be used to restore the historic Old Shuree Cabin located on the Valle Vidal unit of the Carson National Forest.

$285,000 for Jemez Falls Restroom Facility installation in Sandoval County: This project will replace all six buildings and restroom facilities to meet current environmental and accessibility standards.

$680,000 for Facility Site Improvements in Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe Counties: The project will enhance visitor safety and health with bear-proof trash receptacles, replacement and improvements to water systems, fencing, and by adding host sites and tent pads in seven campgrounds forest-wide. It also includes constructing kiosks, fencing, restrooms and signage at dispersed camping areas and trailheads.

$835,000 for forest-wide restroom improvements in San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe Counties: This is a Forest-wide restroom replacement project for seven campgrounds and three day-use facilities. These facilities are all quite old, do not meet accessibility standards, and are leaking.

$100,000 for Wilderness District Recreation improvements in Grant County: Funding will be used to reduce maintenance backlog at recreation sites and install facilities to expand recreational opportunities.

$120,000 for improvements to the Aldo Leopold Vista rest stop in Grant County: Upgrades to the facility consist of ADA accessible parking space and sidewalk to the bathrooms; rock barrier between restrooms and parking area to prevent shooting at windows; sidewalks and garbage can bases.

$140,000 to construct the Little Tesuque Restroom Facility and Shelter in Santa Fe County:
The restroom has been damaged twice by vehicle collisions due to its location on a curve, is leaking, and does not meet Americans with Disabilities Act or Architectural Barriers Act standards. It needs to be moved away from the road and replaced with more modern equipment. The picnic shelter needs to be replaced to accommodate larger groups.

$1.5 million for restroom building replacement at forest campgrounds and picnic grounds in McKinley and Sandoval Counties: This project replaces six flush restroom buildings at McGaffey Recreation Complex in McKinley County and two flush restroom buildings in Las Huertas Picnic Ground in Sandoval County with vandal-resistant buildings. It will also benefit residents of the nearby communities of Gallup, Grants, and metropolitan Albuquerque who use these facilities.

$350,000 for the Lincoln National Forest Trail maintenance backlog: Funding will allow the forest to maintain 50-70 miles of trail and install new or improved trail signs on all three ranger districts.

$260,000 for the Cibola National Forest Trail: Funding will be used for maintenance and construction of trails in the Cibola National Forest. Trail maintenance includes trails managed for motorcycle and mountain bike use in the Cedro area in Bernalillo County with additional trail maintenance in the Sandia and Manzano Mountain, Apache Kid and Withington Wildernesses for hiking and equestrian use.

$100,000 for the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail and Pecos Wilderness Trails in Taos County: Funding will be used for trail maintenance on the Continental Divide Trail and trails in the Pecos Wilderness to insure visitor safety and resource protection. The trail maintenance work will include removing trees blown down on trails, improving drainage structures, trail signing, and providing informational and educational kiosks at trail heads.

$100,000 for Trail Bridge Replacement for Goose Lake Trail, Red River / Rio Grande Bridge and Trail 24 in Taos County: Funding will be used to survey, design and construct a replacement trail bridge and supports for the Goose Lake Trail and for Trail 24 on the Pecos Wilderness.

$100,000 to identify, locate and interpret the Camino Real and Old Spanish National Historic Trails in Taos County: Funding will be used to boost the local tourism economy in Northern New Mexico by providing more information about the region's history. The project involves conducting archival research and initial field work to validate the location of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail, as well as providing interpretive information for both the Old Spanish Trail and the Camino Real Trail. Information kiosks would be constructed and installed at key points along the trails.

$1.196 million for 476 miles of trail maintenance in Catron, Grant and Sierra Counties: This project will significantly reduce the backlog of deferred trail maintenance on approximately 476 miles of trail.

$197,000 for trail maintenance on the Continental Divide in Catron County: The project involves the construction of 34 miles on the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) through the northern end of the forest. The completion of the 34 miles will add to the approximately 230 miles of CDT on the forest.

$145,000 for forest-wide trail maintenance in Rio Arriba County: Funding would be used for repair and maintenance of trails damaged by heavy snow combined with high wind, which has caused considerable blowdown of trees and has increased the workload and cost of trail maintenance.

$100,000 for Dry Canyon Trailhead/Crossings in Otero County: This project will review and implement an existing site plan resulting in a significant improvement to recreation user safety and enjoyment, as well as a reduction in resource damage and littering caused by overuse of motorized traffic.

$250,000 for the interpretation, trail planning and design of the Mexican Canyon Trestle Overlook in Otero County: Funding will be used for the planning and design of a scenic overlook with parking, interpretive signs, and trail system for viewing the restored Mexican Canyon Trestle.

$250,000 for repair to Three Rivers Trail in Otero County: Funding will be used to repair damage caused to the trail by Hurricane Dolly in 2008, and the subsequent flooding that followed.