Spring 09 Newsletter

Spring is here, and its shaping up to be another productive and exciting year for Gallup Trails 2010, and you, our members and supporters. Our namesake year, 2010, is just around the corner and we're continuing to serve cyclists, runners, and hikers with maintenance and monitoring of the existing trails, installing new trailhead facilities at Quaking Aspen Trailhead, and continuing our strategic partnerships with the city, county, and federal agencies to create, make accessible, and protect even more miles of trails in and around Gallup. GT2010 is also ramping up our outreach and membership activities in-time for our 10th anniversary year with new ways of keeping our members informed of our trail advocacy efforts and monthly events where members can help maintain and create trails, improve their trail-riding and navigating skills, and perhaps discover new trails and hiking/riding partners at the same time. Join us in '09, on Gallup's trails.

Planning and Partnerships News

For 2009 we're doing anything but resting on the laurels of our past successes like the creation of the High Desert Trail system in Gamerco, or the creation of the Zuni Mountain Trail Partnership which has added 26 miles of trails designated and improved trail in the Zuni Mountains; this year may be our most productive to date. While none of these successes came quickly or easily, it's the consistent and reliable synergy that GT2010 has enabled between federal and private land managers, local governments, and individual trail users, that has resulted in Gallup's nationally renowned trails system. While it's doubtful that trail development would have succeeded to this degree without GT2010, it would definitely not have happened without the assistance of numerous organizations and governments who have been our partners along the way.

The Forest Service continues to welcome the efforts of GT2010, and we're collaborating closely with them to develop a trail system throughout the entire Zuni Mountains area. We've provided input to the Forest Service's designation of motorized trails and roads in the Zuni Mountains. In 2007, the FS officially recognized many of the trails in the Quaking Aspen area, and we're hoping to extend this level of recognition and protection to all of the trails in the Milk Ranch Canyon, McGaffey, and Twin Springs areas this year. We've already done much of the planning for the Quaking Aspen Trailhead and facilities, and this is the year it will be built, thanks in no small part to the FS, a generous in-kind donation from McKinley County to construct the parking surface, and the contributions of our members and business supporters.

GT2010 continues to work closely with the NM Youth Conservation Corps (YCC). Following up on their great work at the High Desert Trails, YCC is bringing their technical trail building expertise and their dedicated crews of local youth to the forests of the Zuni Mountains for a second summer. They'll help us install the trailhead facilities at Quaking Aspen Trailhead and do the intensive labor needed shore up unsustainable portions of the forest trails.

The Gallup-McGaffey Trail. That name has a ring to it, doesn't it? GT2010 is working on the partnerships that would make an accessible single-track trail connecting Gallup to the trails in the Zuni Mountains a reality in the coming years. Among other trail projects on our horizon, we're looking into the potential for a trail system in the dramatic red rock canyons located on BLM land southwest of Gallup.

Trails Update

This year we'll be continuing our '3rd Saturday's' Trail Maintenance rides each month from April thru September. We're improving on last year's efforts by focusing on a different trail area each month, providing notice through the local media and our website, as well as our member e-mail list, and having a broad range of tasks available at each event. We're going to recognize volunteers with a GT2010 'Trail Crew' embroidered patch for helping out. Through our coordination with YCC, the trail maintenance events will be structured to meet the needs of groups of varied size, fitness, and commitment level. We'll ask you again later, but come out and join us in improving your trails, and maybe discover a trail new-to-you while your at it. Here is our 2009 schedule of trail maintenance days:

April 18- Quaking Aspen Trailhead

May 16- Quaking Aspen Trailhead

June 20- Twin Springs Trailhead

July 18- Quaking Aspen Trailhead

August 15- Twin Springs Trailhead

September 19- Quaking Aspen Trailhead

October 17- McGaffey Wildlife Center (annual party)

The ski trails of this winter have receded to memory, and our brief muddy season is upon us. Remember, that it's harmful for our trails to be ridden when your tires sink more than an 1/8" into the soil. If it's muddy; ride on dirt road, hike Pyramid Rock, go fishing, or even perform some much needed bike maintenance (cables, chains, etc..), anything.... but don't damage a soaked trail.

Membership Update

Our members are the core of GT2010 and for 2009 we're planning numerous ways that members can participate and stay informed of our trail advocacy and planning, volunteer events, and local group rides, runs, and races through our newly updated website (www.galluptrails2010.com), an active e-mail list, and regular features in the Gallup Journey. We're also raising the public image of GT2010 with an increased presence at local trail events with a large information display and merchandise for sale such as trail maps, patches, and t-shirts with GT2010's distinctive 'rock art style' logos of hikers and cyclists.

In addition to our new efforts to involve and communicate with our members, don't forget we'll all celebrate this year's accomplishments at our annual Membership Party in October- rumor has it that The Back Porch Band will be once again spreading their foot-stomping bluegrass music through the pines of McGaffey.

--Kevin Buggie