Letters to the Editor (08/28/14)

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Keep wildnerness wild
One of my favorite things about living in New Mexico is the ability to access peaceful, beautiful mountains so easily. Living in Socorro, there is nothing better than escaping the heat of summer to find a forest just 20 minutes away that is 20 degrees cooler.
I am looking forward to the opportunity to participate in the public meetings to help the U.S. Forest Service decide how the Cibola National Forest is managed.
The plan has not been updated since 1985, and a lot has changed. We need a plan that will manage for 21st century issues, like climate change, outdoor recreation, and wildlife habitat.
The new plan for the Cibola National Forest (including ranger districts of Magdalena, Sandia, Mountainair and Mt. Taylor) will include use of best available science and plenty of opportunities for public input.
One of the forest plan topics that will be coming up for discussion soon is Wilderness and the lands with Wilderness characteristics in the Cibola National Forest. New Mexico is home to many diverse wilderness areas which provide much needed habitat for ecosystems to thrive without the impacts of vehicles, roads, or permanent structures.
In the 1.6 million-acre Cibola National Forest, less than one-sixth of that is wild and unroaded. We should safeguard this area as wilderness so future generations can always have a wild place to hike, hunt, fish and reconnect with nature.
With ever-increasing demands on the environment, it is rare that we have an opportunity for conservation. In this time of re-visioning how the Cibola National Forest is managed, I think this is a small window to be proactive.
By preserving some wilderness, the effects will be positive for watersheds, animal habitat, and surrounding and downstream communities.
The forest service is seeking information and involvement from citizens who use the forest, so now is a great time to get out, use the forest, and get involved.
Sincerely,

Amy Galanter
Masters hydrology student
New Mexico Tech Earth and Environmental Science Department
Grateful for assistance
On Aug. 12 my life almost ended. I was driving north on 107 when, only 100 yards from the pavement, I hit a hole in the road that I didn’t see. My truck went out of control, rolling over and landing on its side. After crawling through the broken window, surprised that I had survived, I started to pray for someone to find me soon.
Someone did and I want to thank him again for taking me to the clinic. The staff at the PMS Magdalena Area Medical Clinic could not have been more wonderful! I thank each and every one of you one more time! Magdalena Marshal Larry Cearley helped me so much.
He was professional, compassionate and made my tragedy easier with his assistance. A few locals came and talked to me as others gathered the debris from around my Ford Ranger while we waited for a tow truck.
I am so impressed with the people in Magdalena and very grateful to those who helped me. Keep up the good work and blessings to you all!
Also, I want to caution everyone about Road 107 as it can be extremely dangerous. Please be extra careful when using that route. I was told that there have previously been five fatalities in the same spot where I wreaked. Beware and be aware.
Sincerely glad to be alive,

Monika Budinger
Elephant Butte