2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 30 Oct 2003 21:22:07 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Warning Signs In Works for Otero Canyon
New Mexico
Warning Signs In Works for Otero Canyon
By Penne Usher
Thursday, October 30, 2003

Signs will be posted along trails in Otero Canyon to warn people of
potential dangers.

But if, when and where a fence will be added to keep the public out is
still undecided.

The popular hiking and mountain biking area off N.M. 337 south of
Tijeras has been the center of a debate since Kirtland Air Force Base
proposed fencing off the area in April. The Otero Canyon trails lie
within the base boundaries.

Ralph Francis, director of public affairs for Kirtland, said two
different issues are on the table for Otero Canyon right now.

One is the issue of the fence, which is still under review. The other is
the signs that Kirtland and the Department of Energy plan to post in
areas of the canyon that pose a danger to the public.

Francis said the signs will be posted, but when and where they will go
up has not been determined.

Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., said Monday base officials feel an
obligation to warn people of possible dangers in the Otero Canyon area.
Base officials say unexploded ordnance such as rifle and mortar shells
and other munitions is still hidden in the area.

Save Otero, a grass-roots coalition working to convince base officials
not to fence off the popular recreation area, would like to preserve
access to the area for hikers and bikers and still meet Kirtland's
security needs.

Matt Turgeon of the Save Otero group said he was told about the plan to
post signs a month ago. Turgeon does not object to the signs, which will
advise trail users to stay on the trails at all times, according to Lt.
Kelley Jeter of Kirtland. As of this week, no signs had been posted.

This article can be viewed at:

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