Share Your Concerns About the Sombrillo Area of Critical Environmental Concern

  • The Friends of the Nambe Badlands does not advocate closing the Sombrillo Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) to all users.
  • We do promote responsible recreation by all user groups as long as the fragile resources in the Sombrillo ACEC can be protected.
  • Not all the trails can sustain mountain biking and/or horseback riding.
  • We encourage authorized new mountain bike trails to be built on the east side of NM 503, outside the ACEC.
  • In the past two years, the Sombrillo ACEC has experienced significant damage due to a small cadre of irresponsible mountain bikers.

Please express your concerns with your representatives

Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez, New Mexico 3rd District Representative


Resource damage in the Sombrillo ACEC from illegal mountain bike trail construction, 2021

Illegal trail constructed March 2021 in the Sombrillo ACEC

Summary Points

  1. The Sombrillo ACEC land is exceptionally fragile.
  2. Illegal trails have been constructed on the most delicate terrain, including steep erodible slopes and ridgelines protected by law under the rules of the Sombrillo ACEC.
  3. The past two years have experienced a dramatic increase in the number of mountain bikers in the ACEC.
  4. Irresponsible mountain bikers built illegal trails on the most sensitive areas of the ACEC and are now having Strava races on them.
  5. There has been no self-policing by the mountain bike community. Instead, local bike clubs are promoting riding on known illegal trails.
  6. The above facts question whether sustainable mountain biking is possible in the fragile Sombrillo ACEC.
  7. The Sombrillo ACEC can only sustain mountain biking if the mountain biking community can self-police and only ride on officially authorized BLM trails.
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