The Sacramento District Review – October 2011

In this Month’s Issue:
Owning Private Property Next to a National Forest
2011 Summer YCC Program
Fuelwood Facts
Fall Colors
The Ranger’s Report
The Sacramento District Review is a monthly newsletter prepared by the Sacramento Ranger District of the Lincoln National Forest.


Owning Private Property Next to a National Forest

– Marcie Kelton

National Forest boundary marker

For many people, owning a piece of property next door to a National Forest is the fulfillment of a dream because they can enjoy the beauty of the forest, abundant wildlife, spectacular scenery, and have a sense of solitude right out their back door.
At the same time, it is important for private property owners to understand that along with the many benefits of being a National Forest neighbor, there are also responsibilities.
National Forests are “working” forests managed for multiple uses like wildlife, timber, water quality and recreation.
The USDA Forest Service offers opportunities for residents to get involved and participate in project planning and provide input in these land management activities and decisions during a process called “scoping”.

The Lincoln National Forest does have the authority to buy land from willing sellers as funding is available. Properties that provide important wildlife habitat, protect endangered species, improve access to public lands and improve National Forest ownership patterns are considered for purchase.
Although there is no authority to sell National Forest system lands, the Forest Service may convey land through land-for-land exchanges when it is clearly in the public’s interest. The lands to be exchanged must be of equal value or equalized with a cash payment less than 25% of the value of the Federal Land.

The most valuable advice for private property owners is to have their property surveyed by a licensed land surveyor. The fence that one might think is on the property line may not be. The site where someone would like to build a dream home may be partially on National Forest System lands.
Early consultation with a surveyor or the Lincoln National Forest may prevent encroachment onto National Forest System land. Private property owners can avoid costly mistakes by knowing where their property lines are located.
Resolution of encroachments can be expensive if court costs and possible restitution are required. The Lincoln National Forest has authorities available to resolve encroachments when a licensed surveyor is used, although a cost may be incurred.
Many Forest boundaries are not marked, but are described by deeds on file and shown on USGS Maps. Boundary lines are marked and maintained as funding allows.
National Forest System land is also defined and marked to prevent Forest activities, such as prescribed burning and timber harvest, from encroaching onto private land. Marked boundaries also help recreationists and hunters identify National Forest System land, hopefully limiting trespass on adjacent landowners.

Something to remember if you are purchasing land is to always make sure that it has legal access from a public road. If there is other private land between the land you are purchasing and a public road, there should be some type of documentation that you will have access across that land.

Property for sale adjacent to National Forest

Documentation may include an easement or specific documentation in the deed. USDA Forest Service personnel are not trained in legal matters; if you have any questions, please consult a legal professional.
If you are a potential purchaser, a current landowner, a realtor, or if you would like more information about land ownership adjacent to or within public lands, do not hesitate to contact Marcie Kelton at the Sacramento Ranger District. This guidance is provided so that when you are able to fulfill the dream of living next to the National Forest, you have the information needed to make good decisions concerning your land purchase or where to build that dream home.

When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.

-Author Unknown


2011 Summer YCC Program

– Heather Berman

2011 Summer YCC Crew, left to right: Alida Clarke, Ragan Cole, Bryan Reyes, Austin Sanchez and Christina Heart

This past summer, the Sacramento Ranger District was very fortunate to have a Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) crew work on projects in various departments. Projects included repairing fence for range, cleaning water tanks for wildlife, clearing trails for recreation, seeding skid trails for timber and other similar activities.

Parents, would you like your son or daughter to gain valuable outdoor work experience? They can work for the USDA Forest Service through the YCC Program. The YCC is a summer employment program for young men and women, ages 15 through 18, working together to conserve the natural resources of the United States.

What are the requirements for the program?

  • Be between 15 and 18 years of age and not have reached 19 years of age during the term of employment.
  • Be a permanent resident of the United States, its territories or possessions.
  • YCC crew clearing debris from a trail

  • Have a Social Security number, or have applied to obtain one.
  • Have no history of serious criminal or anti-social behavior.
  • Participate in the various work and training projects of the YCC program. Youth with special needs who can perform the essential functions of the program are eligible to participate.
  • Obtain parental or legal guardian consent.
  • Provide the proper type and amount of work clothing, such as long sleeved shirts, long pants, and work boots.
  • Comply with the program’s ethical and legal considerations.

Any youth who would like an opportunity to work in the outdoors with the YCC and learn about natural resources management, should apply this coming spring at the Sacramento Ranger District Office. For more information contact the Recreation Department at 575-682-2551.

When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam,
May luck be yours on Halloween.

-Author Unknown


Fuelwood Facts

Did you know that when cutting or transporting dead fuelwood on or from the Lincoln National Forest, permittees must have in their possession?

  • A copy of the Lincoln National Forest 2011 Fuelwood Guide
  • Forest service product permit
  • Fuelwood tags issued with the permit
  • Fuelwood area maps

Fuelwood permits cost $20, are good for four cords of wood and expire 60 days from date of issue.


Fall Colors

Once again fall is upon us and with it comes the changing colors of leaves that dot the landscape with a mosaic of brilliant colors. Some of the best color in the District can be found along the Sunspot Byway (6563). Along this route, the leaves of the aspen trees turn brilliant gold and showcase the best of autumn.

Fall colors along Benson Ridge

Forest visitors may also travel Highways 244, 130, Forest Service Road 64 at the south-end of Sunspot Byway traveling south to Scott Able and Aqua Chiquita Canyons to find more remnants of gold glorifying the mountainsides.
In addition to the aspens, maple trees with brilliant red leaves can be found near Sunspot Solar Observatory and along lower Karr Canyon road.
Lower elevations where visitors may enjoy the season can be found along La Luz, Canyon, Fresnal Canyon and West Side Roads.
Fall colors usually peak during mid October. Call the Sacramento Ranger District at 575-682-2551 for information.


The Ranger’s Report

James Duran, Sacramento District Ranger

Many enjoyed the Labor Day Holiday spending quality time on their public lands. I was able to travel throughout the District and visit with many families and individuals who were out recreating and enjoying outdoor experiences.
I also had the privilege of meeting people who made long distance journeys to attend family gatherings, many which have occurred for consecutive years on the District.
Many other local residents used their three-day weekend as an opportunity to cut firewood in preparation for the cooler temperatures ahead.
As folks were out enjoying some relaxation during the holiday, game hunters were all business during the recent bow season in the State of New Mexico Game Management Unit 34, which encompasses most of the Sacramento Ranger District.
My public interactions once again reminded me that the Lincoln National Forest is a very important piece of many citizens’ lives.
New Mexico residents are fortunate to have public lands readily available to explore. Many other states, such as Texas, our neighbor to the east, have very limited free access to lands for the purpose of recreation and enjoyment. Hunters in other states often have to seek private land lease agreements in order to access hunting grounds.
Overall, these displays of public use and enjoyment are a great indication as to the value of our public lands, especially when September 24th was National Public Lands Day. This event promotes public land enjoyment and volunteering on public lands.
I am committed to working with volunteer groups and partners who support and are interested in promoting public land uses. Should you desire to coordinate and/or lead a volunteer event or you desire assistance with your efforts, we are always interested in activities that promote sustainable, multiple-use management concepts that meet the diverse needs of the people we serve.
Your questions can be submitted and answered if you mail your letter to Sacramento Ranger District, Attention: Ranger, P.O. Box 288, Cloudcroft, NM 88317.


Write a letter to the Ranger

If you’ve ever wondered about timber harvests, endangered species, off-road vehicle use, or other natural resource management topics, this is your opportunity to get your answer.

Individuals aspiring to acquire knowledge about the US Forest Service are encouraged to escape the fast pace world of technology and write a good old fashion letter to the Ranger.

If you would like to write a letter to James Duran, Sacramento District Ranger please mail it to: P.O. Box 288, Cloudcroft, NM 88317.

The Sacramento Ranger District Office is located in the Village of Cloudcroft, at #4 Lost Lodge Road, one mile south of Highway 82 on Highway 130.

We are open Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed Saturdays, Sundays and Federal Holidays.

For more information about the Sacramento Ranger District and the Lincoln National Forest go to:

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