Public invited to 4x4 roads workshop in Red River

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Red River and Questa's popular four-wheeling roads will be the focus of a U.S. Forest Service and National Forest Foundation workshop Monday (May 14) from 4-7 p.m. at the Red River Conference Center.

The meeting's purpose is to "launch a dialogue concerning the Forest (Service) roads near the communities of Red River and Questa," Questa District Ranger Jack Lewis wrote in an email to invitees. "Many of the roads are in a state of disrepair and are neither safe nor ideal for use by 4-wheel drive, all-terrain or utility task vehicles off-road recreational use. The Forest Service often lacks resources to repair the roads and keep them open for use, so we're looking to the community for help identifying creative solutions to restore and maintain the most needed routes. We would like to hear your opinion of which roads are vital to the users who live in our community or bring revenue to the town of Red River or village of Questa when they visit. We would also like to identify the uses that are most desired at different times of year and how the communities can help the Forest Service steadily monitor and maintain the roads.

"With assistance from the National Forest Foundation, we will be convening three successive workshops to share ideas and consider proposed solutions for a roads system that benefits the communities while restoring and protecting vital ecological functions of the forested landscape traversed by these roads.

"In a three-hour workshop over an NFF-hosted dinner, we will engage in an NFF-facilitated discussion with our community partners to explore authorities, maps, use and sustainability assessments, and opportunities to improve and maintain Red River and Questa Roads. We know of seven that are of concern, but we look forward to hearing your thoughts on others."

Roads of concern are:

• Goose Lake Road (Forest Road 486);

• Old Red River Pass (Forest Road 480);

• 4th of July Canyon Road (Forest Road 490);

• Greenie Peak Road (Forest Road 54);

• Cabresto Lake Road (Forest Road 134);

• Flag Mountain Road; and

• Pioneer Creek Road (Forest Road 485).

"Participants should plan to continue their involvement over the next five months, with two more workshops planned between May and September, and possibly others later this fall/winter.

Lewis concluded, "Please do not hesitate to contact me (575-586-0520 or jlewis03@fs.fed.us) or Jonathan Hayden, Acting Deputy District Ranger (575-586-7307 or jonathanhayden@fs.fed.us) if you have any questions or concerns. Anyone can come, but let (the foundation) know if you want to go so they can make sure they have enough materials and food. If you have other questions in the meantime, please contact a member of NFF's Team:

Julie Anton Randall, ecomtinternational@verizon.net; or Spencer Plumb, splumb@nationalforests.org.

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