Open for adventure: New Mexico trust lands

New Mexico has become a pioneer in developing state trust lands for outdoor lovers. ‘Open for Adventure‘ elevates and advances the state’s vision of uniting our incredible lands with education experiences for the next generation.”  –Axie Navas, Director of Outdoor Recreation for the Economic Development Department, New Mexico

The New Mexico State Land office’s new Open for adventure campaign invites more people to share in the experience of recreating on the more than nine million of acres of land in state trust.  The campaign includes an initiative to provide free access for fifth graders and their families to explore their land.  Normally a recreational access permit costs $35.  Commissioner Stephanie Garcia spreads the news in this very brief video:

State trust lands were granted when new states joined the Union to generate funding to support the public education system.  New Mexico’s land produces an extraordinary amount of revenue, mostly from oil and gas leases.  The Open for adventure campaign marks a diversifying of land valuation, recognizing outdoor recreation as an emerging economic force and also seeing the land as an educational resource itself and a basis for experiential learning.

The full press release from the NM Land Commissioner is copied below, and here are some additional resources:

New Mexico held its second annual Outdoor Economics Conference this October in Silver City:
https://outdooreconomicsnm.com/outdoor-news/

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s report on aligning state land trust activities with the economic futures of western communities, and enhancing the decision-making environment for trust management, provides additional background:
https://www.lincolninst.edu/sites/default/files/pubfiles/state-trust-lands-in-the-west-updated-full.pdf

Maps of New Mexico State Trust Lands:
https://www.nmstatelands.org/maps-gis/interactive-maps/

We did a post on this website this past Spring on the joys of “Bike-IN Landscapes”:
https://bikeinitiative.org/2019/03/11/bike-in-landscapes-bikepacking-nm-and-the-wild-us/

And another post on New Mexico’s leadership in facilitating safe experiences outdoors:
https://bikeinitiative.org/2019/02/08/new-mexico-a-leader-in-great-outdoors/

FULL PRESS RELEASE is below:

————–

Stephanie Garcia Richard, Land Commissioner
State of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2019

Contact:
Angie Poss, Assistant Commissioner of Communications
505.470.2965
aposs@slo.state.nm.us<mailto:aposs@slo.state.nm.us>

State Land Office Launches “Open for Adventure” Outdoor Recreation Campaign

Includes Partnership with the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, Hiring of Outdoor Recreation Specialist, and Launch of Online Application Portal

SANTA FE, NM – Commissioner Stephanie Garcia today announced the launch of the Land Office’s outdoor recreation campaign, “Open for Adventure.” The announcement was made in partnership with the New Mexico Wildlife Federation and Pojoaque Valley Intermediate School. Thanks to a partnership with the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, the Land Office is now offering free recreational access permits to New Mexico 5th graders and their families.

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The “Open for Adventure” campaign launch also includes the creation of a new outdoor recreation specialist position to coordinate efforts at the Land Office. It is the first time that a position has existed at the Land Office that will be solely dedicated to expanding, developing, promoting, and stewarding outdoor recreation on about nine million acres of state trust land.

“New Mexico is at a unique position to significantly increase opportunities for outdoor recreation across the state. We now have the first Director of the Division of Outdoor Recreation at the Economic Development Department, we have outfitters and companies ready to invest and do the work, and we have the Equity Fund, which is a game changer for improving the quality of life for kids,” Commissioner Garcia Richard said. “Through our partnership with the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, we hope to give kids and their families access to explore and seek new adventures in New Mexico that they may not have done before.”

For the first time in history, recreational access permits for state trust land access can be processed completely online at https://OpenForAdventure.nmstatelands.org. Applicants previously had to fill out paperwork and make a payment at the State Land Office or mail an application and check to the office.

“Under Commissioner Garcia Richard’s leadership, New Mexico has become a pioneer in developing state trust lands for outdoor lovers. ‘Open for Adventure’ elevates and advances the state’s vision of uniting our incredible lands with education experiences for the next generation,” Axie Navas, the first Director of Outdoor Recreation for the Economic Development Department, said of the Land Office’s campaign.

“The New Mexico Wildlife Federation believes that encouraging more of our children to spend time outdoors supports our goals. The mission of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation is to inspire New Mexicans to conserve landscapes, watersheds and wildlife for our children’s future,” Jesse Deubel, Executive Director of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, added. “Our state trust lands are managed to support our youth by generating revenue for public schools. The ‘Open for Adventure’ program extends our students’ learning experience out onto our magnificent state lands.”

Recreation permits will be free for 5th graders and their families but are typically $35 annually from the Land Office. The permit will allow recreational access for hiking, climbing, and other activities on state trust land.

Pojoaque Valley students in Abel Acosta’s 5th grade classroom were provided the first permit applications. They also received information about some of the current outdoor recreation opportunities on state trust land<http://www.nmstatelands.org/resources/recreational-access/recreational-areas/>, including the Mystery Stone, the Luera Mountains, the Melrose Trap birdwatching area, and many more.

The outdoor recreation specialist position will be tasked with finding new opportunities for recreation on state trust land, including opportunities for photography, climbing and bouldering, hiking, cycling. The State Land Office has made an offer to fill the position.

The goal of the broader campaign is to focus on these new opportunities, partner with outfitters or businesses where possible, as well as to increase the revenue brought into the Land Office from these activities.

“We know that outdoor recreation is a multi-billion dollar industry, and the Land Office recently announced that we raised a billion dollars for the first time,” Garcia Richard added. “With a talented person in this new position, and a truly focused effort on marketing and lifting up the vast beauty that New Mexico and our outdoor spaces offer, I’m hopeful that we won’t have to rely on just one billion dollar industry to support our public schools, universities, and hospitals.”

Oil, gas, and mineral production, ranching and farming, outdoor recreation, and commercial development on State Trust Lands support public schools, seven universities, New Mexico Military Institute, New Mexico School for the Deaf, New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired,  three hospitals, correctional facilities, water conservation projects, and public building construction and repair.  In fiscal year 2019, the State Land Office collected $1 billion from lease payments, oil and gas lease sale earnings, rights-of-way, permits, interest, fees, and oil, gas and mineral royalties.

American Women’s Cycling at the Colorado Classic

The Colorado Classic is a women’s pro race this year, and you can watch live on the web every day August 22-25, 2019. https://www.coloradoclassic.com

The race creates a synergy between collaborative movements in cycling and sustainability.  It is billed the Greenest Bike Race in North America.

They have an Open Streets event in Denver Sunday August 25 before the race, where streets are made car-free to be completely family friendly, creating an invitation for people to bicycle, scoot, skate and walk.

Today’s stage is in beautiful Avon, Colorado, beginning at 1pm.  With a huge climb and mountains all around, it is sure to be a classic.  Here are highlights from yesterday’s 1st stage.


Or watch on Youtube: https://youtu.be/A2fC2RPoNbs

Check out the race, festivities, and cycling culture!  Cycling brings out the best in life.  Hear the stories of the riders and how they balance school, work, and family, while enjoying life’s adventure more with cycling.  Here is a profile of Erica Clevenger, a PhD student and professional bicycle racer.


Or watch on Youtube: https://youtu.be/TookLzqbzbs

Healthy images of our City: Sustainable mobility with Gil Peñalosa

Imagination is more important than knowledge.  –Albert Einstein, quoted in “The Artist’s Way”

Join AARP New Mexico Wednesday, August 14 for an evening with Gil Peñalosa.  Engage your imagination in creating more verdant and healthy places to live, today and for future generations. Gil specializes in creating vibrant and healthy cities in a world that works for all.

https://www.gpenalosa.ca — Gil Peñalosa’s website
“Sidewalks are the most important infrastructure in any city, as walking is about more than just walking”. –Gil Peñalosa on sustainable mobility

https://local.aarp.org/nm/ — AARP New Mexico, this event’s host
“AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment.”

http://www.abqciqlovia.org — Albuquerque’s Open Streets festival is Sunday, Oct 20, 2019
For more information check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/abqciqlovia

These NM Kids are ready to ride!

Grants, NM hosted a bike rodeo, safety and education course this summer!

It was made possible by Bike Santa Fe, New Mexico Brain Injury Advisory Council, LOOK FOR ME, Albuquerque Parks and Recreation, Future Foundations Family Center, Grants Public Schools, Cibola General Hospital, and Mt Taylor Dental, and dedicated community organizers!

More photos on https://www.facebook.com/CycleCibola/

To keep the body in good health is a duty. . . . Otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.  –Buddha, quoted in “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron

Slow Roll 505

I am large.  I contain multitudes.  –Walt Whitman, from “Song of Myself” in Leaves of Grass

There’s a new bicycling event in Albuquerque called “Slow Roll 505”.  I participated in the June 10th ride around the Barelas neighborhood and had such a good time!  It is relaxing and open to all.  The next ride is July 22 in Wells Park/Sawmill/Old Town. Fun! https://www.slowroll505.com

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The event is designed to get the community out cycling on our neighborhood streets.  Albuquerque Police escorted us and controlled traffic through intersections to let the ride pass by.  The response was pretty phenomenal.  Traffic slowed down and people were curious and receptive.  Lots of waves and smiles were shared as we cycled.

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We went over Bridge Street, which is usually filled cars.  I would never have imagined an experience like this were possible but it really is special when you invite people out to see their city from the perspective of a bicycle.  Living with a light footprint enlarges the sense of spaces around us and all the friendly people on bicycles sure did light up our city.  I was asked to help be a traffic guard and they gave me this bright green vest to wear.  I was shy at first controlling intersections but found the rest of the traveling public had a great attitude.  A driver leaned out of his window and said, hey, what is this ride?  I said Slow Roll 505.  He said if he would have known he would have joined us on his bicycle.  Maybe I’ll see him again on his bicycle on the next Slow Roll 505 July 22.  Sweet.

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Check out the schedule and awesome image gallery on the promoter’s website.  They are starting out small this year.  Next year they plan to have rides every week. https://www.slowroll505.com

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The organizers. Photo from their website https://www.slowroll505.com

Cycling as medicine

I was riding with Zach up Gutierrez Canyon and he said, “If cycling was a pill, everybody would be taking it.”  That’s a neat saying, but after pondering it for a while, I thought cycling is way more fun than taking a pill or vitamin. The benefits of cycling are proven medically effective, and the evidence keeps mounting.

The Specialized Foundation uses cycling as a tool for children to achieve academic, health and social success through their Riding for Focus program.  The Foundation partners with Stanford University to better understand the effects of cycling on the learning process in children.  It’s pretty incredible to see the positive results of cycling becoming more visible.

Play is a huge part of learning!  Cycling play promotes mental health and overall wellbeing.  As a team sport, it builds social connections and a sense of belonging.  When we do high intensity intervals on the bike, the mind focuses on exercise and nothing else.  The goal-oriented part of the brain gets more oxygen causing a focus-shift away from the other parts that might be stressed.  This exercise-focused goal-orientation leads to mental relaxation.  The following study by Global Cycling Network goes into the details more.  Basically the same kind of exercise doctors prescribe for heart patients is also good for our heads, and more.

The bottom line is the value produced by cycling is so positively impactful, we’ll have to create a new economic model to measure it.  The rewards to the individual and society are only just beginning to be understood.  The bicycle is releasing so much human potential!  Kudos to everyone making an effort to harness it more, including the people riding bicycles.

“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.” –H.G. Wells

Further reading:
Kids are getting on bikes sooner and having more fun: https://bikeinitiative.org/2017/08/25/cycling-for-kids-strider-bikes-and-specialized-foundation/
Cycling as a national investment: https://bikeyogiblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/14/the-bicycle-is-americas-vehicle/
The Specialized Foundation: https://www.specializedfoundation.org

Cycling connects us with nature, too, which is good medicine

Bike-In Coffee hosts Semper Porro cycling team

Our motto at Old Town Farm is pedalers welcome.  We would like for that to be the motto of every city in America.  –Lanny and Linda, owners of Bike-In Coffee at Old Town Farm

On Saturday, April 27, two great things come together.  One of the top bicycle racing teams in America in 2019, Semper Porro, will be at Albuquerque’s Bike-In Coffee at Old Town Farm to connect with the broader community from 10am-12noon.  Join in the celebration of cycling fun!  Semper Porro will discuss how their mission of athlete development translates into helping people reach their fullest capabilities in life through healthy living, process excellence and community building.

Semper Porro Elite Road Bicycle Racing Team

When: Saturday, April 27, 2019 10am-12noon
Where: Bike-In Coffee at Old Town Farm ( http://oldtownfarm.com/bike-in-coffee/ )
What: Community gathering with cycling demonstrations, w/ optional ride at 12noon

More About Bike-In Coffee at Old Town Farm:  Bike In Coffee caters to cyclists, serving food and coffee from 9am-2pm every Saturday and Sunday on their glorious farm in the heart of Albuquerque with easy access off the Bosque Multi-Use Path.  The property has been farmed for at least 500 years, and the current owners have adapted it from a horse farm 35 years ago to the changing urban context, so people can connect with nature and one another through relaxation and sharing food and cycling culture, and enjoying everything that’s beautiful about Albuquerque, NM.

More About Semper Porro:  An elite road bicycle racing team with roots in the Southwest U.S., Semper Porro is Latin for “always forward”.  The Semper Porro team is in Albuquerque training for the Tour of the Gila bicycle race in Silver City, NM May 1-5. They’ve had an amazing season thus far, including winning the Redlands Classic while competing with many of America’s top cycling athletes. Semper Porro’s mission connects cycle sport to the highest ideals and values in life and uses processes that are universally applicable to building successful careers, relationships, reaching life goals and helping individuals and communities flourish.

References and further reading / viewing:

Hear Old Town Farm’s vision for New Mexico and Albuquerque as America’s leader in cycling:

Watch Semper Porro at Redlands:

The Tour of the Gila draws professional and amateur teams from across America to New Mexico for the some of the finest bicycling roads in the world with clear air, high altitude, and spectacular landscapes, great food and culture and an awe-inspiring atmosphere.  Cycling in New Mexico has deep roots and is an integral part of our communities.
https://tourofthegila.com

Semper Porro media:
https://www.facebook.com/semperporrotraining
https://www.instagram.com/semper.porro/
https://semperporro.com

Bike-IN landscapes: Bikepacking NM and the wild US

“Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe?”  –Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

Unique in the New Mexico 2019 legislative session is House Memorial 10, which recognizes the contributions of bikepacking for outdoor recreation.  Bikepacking is a combination of camping and cycling, akin to backpacking, but gear is mounted on one’s bicycle instead of carried on one’s back! Outside Magazine covers the genesis of this grassroots, community-driven movement in New Mexico, which was born out of residents’ interest of getting to know this place better, and enjoying the abundant natural assets of quiet, dark night skies, and wonderful landscapes.  Bikepacking creates unlimited, sustainable travel opportunities while supporting local communities and small scale enterprises, and keeping nature intact.  It encourages us to slow down and take in the treasures of the places we inhabit, all while improving mental and physical health and well-being.

photos from day rides. With bikepacking those envoys of beauty, the stars, string our days together

Bikepacking speaks to the most important issues of our times.  You don’t need expensive equipment to enjoy it, so it’s affordable and accessible.  Think of the health boom bikepacking creates!  A health boom could expand indefinitely and include all people, residents and visitors, natives and newcomers.  A health boom has no down side. Bikepacking preserves natural habitats and biodiversity, and utilizes the existing network of trails, dirt roads and paved connecting roads from population centers.  Through bikepacking adventure, we learn to take better care and pay attention to all we have, including our subsistence infrastructure.

Bikepacking contributes to health, economy, and communities all in one activity, and seems to honor the essence of things.  It contributes to the upbuildling of human lives and community and the conservation of nature for future generations, while increasing the capacity today for appreciating the life we are living.  Bikepacking is not an extractive activity, rather it is regenerative.  We can also train for it right here in the villages, towns, cities and countryside where we reside.  Cycling has many practical uses, and is beautiful poetry, too.

Bikepacking brings people IN to the landscapes we call home and we see the world with new eyes from a bicycle.  We sharpen our ingenuity and hone our skills.  We learn to sense better when a rain storm is coming, to know when to pitch camp for the evening.  Truths flow out of the recesses of our consciousness in the backcountry, and we realize there is a tranquil sense of unity throughout nature, one that flows in us and through us and that we are a part of.  We meet people while bikepacking and build up the fabric of engaged, supportive community.  Biking in nature helps us appreciate things and know ourselves.

“The charming landscape which I saw this morning is indubitably made up of some twenty or thirty farms.  Miller owns this field, Locke that, and Manning the woodland beyond. But none of them owns the landscape.  There is a property in the horizon which no man has but he whose eye can integrate all the parts, that is, the poet.  This is the best part of these men’s farms, yet to this their warranty-deeds give no title.”  RW Emerson, Nature

 

References and Resources:
House Memorial 10 recognizing the importance of bikepacking in New Mexico
https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/19%20Regular/memorials/house/HM010.pdf

Outside Magazine “New Mexico Wants to Make Bikepacking Mainstream”
https://www.outsideonline.com/2391248/legislators-trying-make-bikepacking-go-big

I’ve written about my cycling day trips.  I would like to try overnight trips by bikepacking.
https://bikeinitiative.org/2016/12/18/cycling-from-home/

A couple Team CSP-SBI New Mexico cycling ambassadors took a wild ride just yesterday
https://www.strava.com/activities/2205526850 “Cabezon loop extended aka luxury gravel”
https://www.strava.com/activities/2205408125 “Exploring that other side”

I could see some write-ups on bikepacking here, in the ‘slow travel’ section
https://www.theworldinstituteofslowness.com “the fastest way to a good life is to slow down”