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Use official trails when biking and hiking

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Trails opened last year at TA-70 and TA-71 south of White Rock for recreational purposes may be closed if users continue to stray off of the official trails.

“We want people to use and enjoy these areas, but it’s important to stay on the designated trails to protect wildlife, archaeological sites and other trail users,” said Environmental Planner Dan Pava, chair of the Trails Working Group. 

Designated trails are shown on 11 large kiosks at official trailheads and are patrolled regularly by rangers from Bandelier National Monument, who have full authority to issue tickets for use violations.

Straying off of official trails disturbs animal habitats and archaeological sites and can unearth or expose unexploded ordnance, Pava said, which can pose a danger to mountain bikers, hikers and horseback riders. Also, crossing into San Ildefonso Pueblo lands without permission constitutes trespassing, he said.

“Trails are closed for a number of reasons, including erosion control and environmental remediation,” Pava said.  “We want to continue to provide access to these areas for recreational users, but we need the users to respect the limits and stay on the official trails.”