Resource Damage Reports for the Sombrillo ACEC and Nambé Badlands

The landscape in the Sombrillo Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), and the greater Nambé Badlands, is highly erodible. Fragile biological soil crusts protect the fine powdery soils from blowing away.

All it takes is one footprint or bike track to kill the protective crust. It takes decades or longer for these crusts to reestablish.

Bike tracks across cryptobiotic soil crusts channel water flow resulting in deep erosion troughs, which continue to direct more water. An ongoing erosion process occurs, damaging the landscape in irreversible ways.

Please stay on existing trails to minimize erosion.

Damage to the natural resources in the Sombrillo ACEC and Nambé Badlands is being monitored and documented here so that remedial and preventive actions can be taken. These resource damage reports notify the Bureau of Land Management, Taos Field Office — the office responsible for managing the resources and implementing the protections required in the Sombrillo ACEC.

If you notice any resource damage, please take a photo of it, record the location (a smartphone camera typically geotags the photo), and submit it to us, along with any additional information, so we can include it here and share it with the BLM Taos Office.  Or if you prefer, please let the BLM Taos Field Office know about the resource damage directly.

  • off-trail mountain biking
  • riding on biological soil crusts
  • creation of new (illegal) trails
  • cutting of trees
  • dumping or trash
  • cutting of switchbacks
  • other damage

June 2, 2022

Fresh cutting of tree in the  Sombrillo ACEC, West Loop trail (trail segment 62), June 2, 2022.  This tree was previously “trimmed” last year, on an established trail that had plenty of trail clearance from the tree and did not cause any issues with mountain biking.   Cutting trees like this is illegal.

 This tree was previously “trimmed” last year, on an established trail that had plenty of trail clearance from the tree and did not cause any issues with mountain biking.   Cutting trees like this is illegal.

New trail in the Sombrillo ACEC that heads north and then east off BLM trail segment #28P, photographed on June 2, 2022.  Erosion is already significant from this new trail.

February 12, 2022

Intentional off-trail riding on fragile soils. Sombrillo ACEC, West Loop trail (trail segment 62), February 12, 2022

January 31, 2022

Off-trail riding, widening of single track, CR113 access trail (segment 46) in the Sombrilo ACEC. Photo taken on January 31, 2022.

January 25, 2022

New shortcut trail created at the intersection of (illegal trail) “Razor’s Edge (segment 4P) the West Loop trail (segment 62).  This trail was created between January 21 – Jan 25, 2022.  Photo taken January 25, 2022

Recent Red Bull can litter found on the West Ridge (Vista View) trail (trail segment 2022) in the Sombrilo ACEC. Found on January 25, 2022. This Red Bull litter was not present on January 21, 2022.  Is it a coincidence that this litter and the piles of human waste and toilet paper were found just after two New Mexico mountain bike clubs organized a big ride event in the Sombrillo ACEC?

HOW TO PROTECT THE SOMBRILLO ACEC AND NAMBE BADLANDS

Please provide any useful comments on trail conditions below

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