Philmont 2002 Fire and Drought Conditions

Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 12:48:03 -0600
From: "David A. Wilson" <>
Subject: [Philmont]: Fire & Drought Conditions HIGH!!

Note: this was written before the Ponil Complex fires happened.

I just returned from Philmont this weekend.  Here is the latest update on fire and drought conditions -- It may affect your treks.

  1. On May 21st the Valle Vidal unit of the Carson National Forest was closed to the public.  Philmont is NOT permitted to operate in the Valle until this closure is lifted.  ALL TRESPASSERS will be arrested and fined.
  2. On May 23rd the Barker Wildlife Area was closed to the public.  Philmont treks will be allowed to cross the Barker only to reach Rich Cabins and Dan Beard.
  3. Wilson Mesa is closed to all.
  4. VERY LITTLE moisture has fallen at Philmont since February of this year (less than .50").  The whole of NE New Mexico (and for that matter much of Colorado, Utah, parts of Arizona, etc..) is experiencing a severe drought.
  5. Everyone is strongly encouraged to conserve water. Mark Anderson mentioned that Crews will be asked to take 'bandana' showers during parts of their treks.
    1. Hope this information proves helpful.  Logistics is working to route treks around and to make things work out for all (to the best that they can).  All know of the concerns so when you arrive -- they'll be there with alternatives for you to lo ok at and decide. 

      Two new camps have been added, one up by Baldy (Skyline camp) and one near Uracca (forgot the name -- sorry).  The backcountry staff is are still checking on what camps may be "dry" (this will change as the season progresses due to the lack of mois ture) this year and what (if anything) can be done about it.

      Even with the drought and such -- Everyone that I talked with at Philmont is gearing up for a FULL and exciting year.

      Enjoy your treks!

      David Wilson // LDS Chaplain 2002 

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