The fires have devastated many areas of New Mexico. Now, Santa Fe has closed hiking trails right ahead of Memorial Day, disappointing a lot of outdoor enthusiasts in the process.
That being said, they have made this decision to protect the community because the current conditions are particularly fragile to wildfires.
"Extreme drought conditions gripping most of New Mexico, rising temperatures and heavy gusts that continue to batter the state are not just raising the risk of another raging wildfire but also are putting the squeeze on outdoor recreation." —Jessica Pollard
This seems like the best route to take considering the situation, even though it might be tough for the state and adventurers alike.
“We’re dealing with an extraordinary situation...Not just from the fires that already are surrounding us, but the inadvertent activity that could spark a fire within the city.” —Mayor Alan Webber
It is best to be safe this summer, even though a lot of people will likely flock to Utah and Colorado for outdoor recreation opportunities, which could be detrimental to New Mexico's economy.
"Webber said the council will convene for a special meeting Tuesday to extend a proclamation ordering the closures, which align with recently announced state, federal and county shutdowns of forests and open spaces that are a draw for hikers, mountain bikers, campers and other outdoor enthusiasts — especially over a long holiday weekend." —Jessica Pollard
While this is disappointing news, it's important to remember that these measures are being enforced to protect our communities and prevent further damage to our open spaces.
“My summer hiking in New Mexico may have, for the most part, come to an end...I would say that’s true for a lot of people.” Trail closures throughout New Mexico have interfered with recent activities planned by the group’s more than 800 members, he said. While he supports the trail closures, Garrity said, they are likely going to push local hikers, bikers and climbers to Utah and Colorado." —Brian Garrity (Board President of New Mexico Mountain Club)
A large portion of New Mexico's revenue usually comes from outdoor recreation, so this could be problematic.
"In total New Mexico's outdoor recreation activities contributed about $2.07 billion to the state's GDP of about $95 billion, records show, supporting 26,000 jobs and $1.04 billion in wages." —Associated Press
This information is from 2021.
Hopefully, this short-term sacrifice can lead to long-term success regarding the economy. If nothing else, they will likely preserve the beautiful open spaces in New Mexico that so many cherish.