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Southwest Region Updates for June

BLM meeting in New Mexico - I had a great meeting in early June with the BLM State Office in Santa Fe, NM. We discussed a few areas for potential trail development, with several rising to the top including the Organ Mountain & Desert Peaks National Monument in Las Cruces in southern New Mexico; the Horsethief Mesa area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in northern New Mexico and the nearby town of Questa. We’ll follow up with the BLM and local advocates to further explore the opportunities for trail development in these areas. What do you know about these zones? Any input? Please patrick [dot] kell [at] imba [dot] com (send your ideas).

New Mexico Forest Plan Revisions - We remain engaged in the Forest Plan Revisions for all five National Forests in New Mexico (Gila, Lincoln, Carson, Cibola and Santa Fe National Forest), as they develop their long range management plans. We expect the Cibola and Carson National Forests to soon release some preliminary reports, which we will review and respond to. We’ll post links on the IMBA Southwest Facebook page, alerting you as to how you can be involved and respond to these processes, with the goal of optimal mountain bike access.

Progress in Caliente, NV - Did you see our recent Facebook post about the progress in Caliente, NV? The great news is that 40 miles of new trail construction has been approved there and in the next few weeks we are meeting in town to further discuss our national partnership with the BLM.  We may also soon apply for funding to plan the next 40-mile network near Cathedral Gorge State Park, Pioche and the Highland Range to the north and west of Caliente. During our upcoming meeting we’ll also head over to Cedar City, UT about 90 minutes away to checkout the Lava Flow and Lichen It Trails, build by IMBA Trail Solutions in fall 2015 to review the types of trail that could be built in Caliente.

More progress thanks to REI - Several IMBA chapters in the southwest recently received grants from REI, including the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society who received funding for a technical trail build; the Desert Foothills Mountain Bike Association (Scottsdale and Cave Creek, AZ) who received funding for a new parking lot to improve their network of trails; and a grant to the Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists in Tucson, AZ who received funding for their ongoing work in building new trails for you in the Starr Pass area. A big thanks to REI for the support.

We also recently held a conference call with chapters from NM, AZ, and UT to discuss another grant opportunity. We discussed how to best word our proposals, how to develop grant budgets and what types of projects may likely be priorities for the funder. Hopefully six chapters from the southwest will apply and get funds. Membership has it benefits, and we are more than happy to work with our chapters to help them write their proposals.

Elsewhere in the region - the Southern Nevada Mountain Bike Association recently completed a cool trail signage project with the BLM in the Cottonwood Canyon area. We will also meet again in mid-July with all the partners in Superior, AZ to move forward with the trail planning process there. We are working with several agencies in Sierra Vista, AZ to secure funding for a bike park in town, and also in far southern Arizona we are working with 0s3 Movement, helping them with some trail planning projects.

A big thanks to all of our members, who help fund this work all around the region.

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