Sacramento Ranger District Benefits from The Big Give

LNFAlamogordo, Cloudcroft, NM – 8/13/2015 –The 49 Cons and The Savages Big Give Teams worked the past three weekends on the Sacramento Ranger District in Cloudcroft, NM, to donate more than 129 hours of labor to the Lincoln National Forest. The groups completed trail maintenance, painted signs, repaired benches and conducted tool rehab work.

“We are very grateful to the groups who volunteered their time and effort on the district this year,” stated Loretta Benavidez, Acting District Ranger. “The work they did will benefit visitors to the Lincoln National Forest for years to come.”

“We chose the Sacramento Ranger District because it is a site a lot of people visit to enjoy nature,” said The Savages group leader Staff Sgt. Jamey Rainer, who has participated in the Big Give for two years. “There is so much foot traffic each year to the area and it causes wear and tear. We want to make sure we keep it looking nice and functioning properly.”

The Savages worked at the Trestle Recreation Area just outside Cloudcroft on Highway 82. The site boasts a replica of the train depot used by the railroad in the early part of the 1900s. Multiple trails start from the recreation area, including Trail 001, where the team repaired a bad washout that occurred because of the rains the area received this year. The group filled holes with rocks and sand to repair and divert water off the trail. They also carried a railroad tie weighing 200 pounds about a mile to fix a spot buy non generic nexium that has a bench.

“The Trestle Recreation Area is one of the post popular destinations on the district,” said Marcie Kelton, Recreation Natural Resource Manager. “Visitors use the spot to picnic and escape the heat of the basin.”

The 49 Cons Big Give Team initially started trail maintenance in Karr Canyon, however rainy weather forced the group inside. Instead, the group instead sanded and painted a sign that is now back on Highway 244. They also sharpened chain saws, spades and pulaskis, which are used by recreation and fire personnel on the forest.

“All of this work is important,” said Jeremy Evans, Recreation Technician for the Sacramento Ranger District. “Tool maintenance always needs to be done and is important to our jobs.  When our tools are ready to go it makes field work that much easier.”

“We really wanted to work more on the trail and were disappointed the weather didn’t cooperate,” said 49 Cons Group Leader Benjamin Hedges. “Hopefully we can get back to finish where we left off.”

This is the eighth year of The Big Give competition. Teams compete to change the lives of people in Otero County communities in the most creative and dramatic ways. At the end of The Big Give, judges determine which team has completed the most projects and/or has made the biggest impact, and the team wins $10,000.

“It was a pleasure doing the work and giving back to the community, and we look forward to doing it again next year,” said Rainer.