Taos BLM employees survey about 10 miles of trails in the Sombrillo ACEC, assessing resource damage and potential areas for trail signs to help reduce future damage.
Some new trails and damage to the Sombrillo ACEC soils from motorcycles and ATVs were found.
Damage from intentional off-trail motorcycle riding in the cryptobiotic soil crusts is shown in this photo. No motor vehicles are allowed in Sombrillo ACEC.
Motor vehicle tracks in the Sombrillo ACEC.
A newly constructed illegal trail in the Sombrillo ACEC was found off the historic “West Loop”. This new trail follows a ridgeline to the south.
Increasing off-trail damage to the fragile mounds close to where fossils of horses and camels from the Miocene were found. This mound remained untouched for decades, with no footprints from hikers or bikers. Now, it has turned into a stunt area with mountain bike tire ruts everywhere, increasing erosion and visual resources.
Motorcycle tracks from blatant disregard for the ACEC, riding off trail through many miles of cryptobiotic soil crusts. No motor vehicles are allowed in the Sombrillo ACEC.
Intentional wildcatting of new trails across fragile soils in the Sombrillo ACEC. This trail was created perpendicular to an existing authorized trail across untouched fragile soils in an area where significant paleontological resources were discovered.