Take a hike with PEEC

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By Special to the Monitor

Chick Keller will lead a “Frijoles Canyon Devastation and Recovery Interpretive Hike” Sept. 16.  The hike is free and open to the public, with no registration required. Participants should meet at 8 a.m. at Ponderosa Campground, near the intersection of N.M. 501 and N.M. 4.  

The hike will first go about one-and-a-half miles to the rim of Frijoles Canyon, through moderate burn damage and one badly flood-damaged site. Participants who wish to continue will hike down into the canyon to Upper Crossing and then bushwhack up-canyon about a mile farther. 

Keller chose this hiking route to show both the devastation of the fire and subsequent flooding in upper Frijoles Canyon, habitat loss that has occurred and the amount of recovery that has taken place. Total hiking time will be about five hours, with around 500-feet of elevation gain on the way out.  

Keller is former director of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, and has been a critic of fire management in the Southwest.  

He is also the curator of Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s Jemez Mountains Herbarium. As part of its mission, PEEC has taken on the task of collecting every species of plant in the county, as well as in the Jemez Mountains. 

Due to this research and collecting, Keller is knowledgeable about what grows where in the county, and therefore in a position to know what species are missing since the fire.  

 Join PEEC for this look at fire damage and recovery in the area. For more information, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460 or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.