• Angel Fire announces new summer racing series
    The Angel Fire Bike Park recently announced that it will be hosting a new downhill mountain bike racing series this summer. Angel Fire Bike Park’s Fire 5, presented by Schwalbe, is a premier downhill race series in the Rocky Mountains. A series of five unique downhill races will take place at Angel Fire Bike Park throughout the bike season. Amateurs and pro riders are invited to race in one or all five races. Registration for the first race, which will be held May 29, is open now. “We created the new Fire 5 racing series here at Angel Fire Bike Park because we wanted to offer racers a better experience with a legit series,” Angel Fire Bike Park director Hogan Koesis said. “Since the Mountain States cup dissolved a few years ago, we feel that downhill racing in the Rockies has been underserved and underrepresented. Angel Fire has always had a rich racing culture with proper tracks. We believe that by offering some cash, amazing products from our sponsors and a five-race series, that we can grow racing back to where it once was.” The five races will take place May 29, July 16, Aug. 3, Sept. 4 and Oct. 8. There will be pro, open and junior categories for men and women. Over $20,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded for each race and overall series winners.
  • Be bear aware when outdoors this spring
    SANTA FE — Spring is in the air, and as people and wildlife become more active outdoors the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is encouraging everyone to be aware of the potential of encountering bears and other native wildlife. Young bears are emerging from hibernation and will be foraging and seeking territory to call their own, said Rick Winslow, the department’s bear and cougar biologist. Sows with cubs will follow later in May. Those living in urban-wildland interface areas such as the foothills around Santa Fe or Albuquerque may have a greater chance of encountering bears, Winslow said. If a bear exhibits aggressive or strange behavior, people are encouraged to call the department and report it. Bears that appear to be moving through the country should be left alone – no need to report them. If you visit or live in bear country: • Keep garbage in airtight containers inside your garage or storage area. Place garbage outside in the morning just before pickup, not the night before. Occasionally clean cans with ammonia or bleach. • Remove bird feeders. Bears see them as sweet treats, and often they will look for other food sources nearby. • Never put meat or sweet-smelling food scraps such as melon in your compost pile.
  • New hunting, fishing rules take effect this month
    SANTA FE — Springtime marks the beginning of a new April 1-March 31 “license year” for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish each season – and it’s always a good time to bring hunters and anglers up to date on any rule changes. This year, some of those changes are significant: • Military discounts: Starting this year, New Mexico residents who are active-duty military or veterans will receive 50 percent discounts on all licenses, permits and stamps. Documentation is not required at the time of purchase, but may be requested later. • OK on bow fishing: Bow fishing now is a legal means to take game fish in reservoirs and lakes that are open to fishing. It is not allowed in special trout waters, rivers or streams. Fishing with crossbows is not permitted. Prior to going out, be sure to confirm that local ordinances or laws allow for the use of bows. • Bear and cougar pelt tagging: The pelts of all harvested bears and cougars must be accompanied by a license and properly tagged by a Department of Game and Fish conservation officer or staff at an area office. Beginning this year, hunters who appoint a designee to present their bear or cougar hide for tagging must first report the harvest to a conservation officer themselves.
  • New fishing season underway
    SANTA FE – A new fishing season began April 1 in New Mexico and anglers are reminded to buy a new license before venturing out to their favorite waters. The fishing license-year runs April 1 to March 31. Anglers can buy a new license online, over the phone or from a vendor. Starting this year, resident military veterans or active-duty members receive a 50 percent discount off their fishing license and stamps. New Mexico residents who are 100 percent disabled as a result of having served in the armed services will remain eligible for a free fishing license. Fishing licenses cost $25 for state residents. Most anglers also are required to purchase a $4 Habitat Management and Access Validation Stamp. Anglers intending to fish on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or U.S. Forest Service lands also will need a $5 federal Habitat Stamp. Children younger than age 12 do not need a license to fish, and anglers age 70 and older qualify for a free license. Please consult the Fishing Rules and Information Booklet at wildlife.state.nm.us for more information. Printed versions are available from vendors or at New Mexico Department of Game and Fish area offices.
  • Española coach says he was suspended for praying with his team
    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A boys’ basketball coach says he’s been placed on leave for praying with his team. Española Valley High School coach Richard Martinez told KOAT-TV (http://bit.ly/1Mma6Xb) he prayed with the athletes he coaches and was suspended as a result. He said he doesn’t know when he’ll be back on the job. Española’s Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez declined to comment on personnel matters, but said Martinez was notified Monday. The team won a state championship less than two weeks before the suspension. Martinez said the team winning the school its second state basketball title was like entering the Kingdom of Heaven.  
  • UNM, NMSU alumni all-stars to square off
    Last year, fans over 10,000 strong came out to WisePies Arena and witnessed the UNM Alumni Game, which was put together through the efforts of former Lobo Cameron Bairstow as a part of his Cameron Bairstow Basketball camp. Bairstow once again will host the camp. And the alumni game? It’s going to be bigger. It’s going to be The Battle of the Rio Grande, as alumni from The University of New Mexico will take on alumni from New Mexico State University at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 25. While teams will be announced later, fans of New Mexico will see Danny Granger, Alex Kirk and Dairese Gary take on former New Mexico State Aggies Tshiliszi Nephawe, Daniel Mullings and Sim Bhullar. Pro players of this caliber have not all played together on The Pit floor since 1996 when Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls squared off in a preseason game. The inaugural Lobo All-Star game brought together many of the best UNM basketball players from the last 20 years. Kirk, a two-time All-Mountain West defensive team selection and three-time conference champion, was among the 20 players selected to participate in the game last year, as well. “All of these guys are legends,” Kirk said after the game. “It was truly an honor to be here.” The game featured impressive dunks, lots of 3s and very little D.
  • UNM fires Sanchez
    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — After five seasons and an ouster from the Women's Basketball Invitational this week, New Mexico fired women's basketball coach Yvonne Sanchez. Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs announced the decision at a press conference Friday and said it came after he didn't see a "trend" toward a championship for the team. New Mexico (17-15) fell in the first round of the Women's Basketball Invitational 75-67 to Weber State on Wednesday. They finished the regular season with a fifth place finish (9-9) in the Mountain West. Sanchez had a 77-81 record in five seasons as New Mexico's head coach. She joined the staff in 2000.
  • Comments sought on Gila trout restoration project
    SANTA FE – The Department of Game and Fish, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is seeking public comment on a proposed project to restore native Gila trout to 24 miles of Whitewater Creek and its tributaries in the Gila National Forest and Wilderness. The project aims to expand public angling opportunities while improving conservation of native fish species. Competing non-native fish would be removed from the creek to accommodate the repopulation of native fish. The creek would be treated with rotenone, a naturally occurring substance that affects only gill breathing animals and poses no threat to humans, but is very effective at killing fish and degrades rapidly after treatment. Once all non-native fish have been eliminated from the creek, it will be stocked with native Gila trout and anglers will be allowed to fish for them with a daily bag limit of two. The project includes rebuilding trails to provide good public access to the creek.
  • Skiers, snowboarders go big in Taos FWQ
    Challenging snow limited the terrain available for this year’s Salomon Extreme Freeride Championships at Taos Ski Valley, but athletes aspiring for a spot on the Freeride World Tour didn’t hold back. The snowy early season provided enough coverage for the competition to go off, even though it has barely snowed in New Mexico since the beginning of February. The dry month restrained the venue to the first section of the West Basin, from Stauffenberg to Waterfowl. Typically the first day of the competition stretches all the way to the big lines down Heavy Timber and Bamboo before the finals move over to Kachina Peak. The hard-packed snow and limited terrain didn’t hinder the quality of the competition. The most crowd-pleasing lines included back flips and 360s thrown off of cliffs, linked with as much other air as the riders could find on their way down. A triple air down the looker’s left side of Staffenberg was a popular line for the athletes to link some big airs with steep, relatively open landings. One skier ventured into WaterFowl, a forest that dead-ends with some mandatory big air, in the final. He dropped off a small cliff and almost immediately off of a second, bigger cliff. He stomped the double drop and the crowd erupted with applause as he flew out of the trees.
  • Eagle Nest closed for ice fishing
    Abiquiu Lake: Anglers reported fair to good fishing for walleye using Rapalas. Animas River: Water flow near Aztec on Monday morning was 468 cfs. Bluewater Lake: Fishing was excellent using PowerBait, Gulp eggs, salmon eggs, worms and homemade dough baits for trout. A few were also caught by anglers using Kastmasters. Canjilon Lakes: Closed by the U.S. Forest Service until further notice due to danger from falling trees. Chama River: Monday morning water flows below El Vado and Abiquiu were 79 cfs and 77 cfs respectively. Fishing below Abiquiu was fair using worms, egg patterns and midge patterns for trout. Water release from the lakes can alter fishing conditions. The best fishing is on those days when the flow has been consistent for a period of time. Cochiti Lake: Fishing was slow for all species. Eagle Nest Lake: Closed to ice fishing effective Wednesday, March 2, 2016. Fishing pressure was very light and our only report was of a few perch caught by anglers using meal worms and small ice jigs. For updated ice conditions, contact the State Park office at 575-377-1594.