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[cdt-l] Malpais EIS

Jim -
I wonder - about a lot of things, but specifically -
The EIS states in a number of places that the Chain of Craters route is a 
problem with respect to Native American (Navajo) religious claims. It also 
states plainly that La Ventana and the Narrows have no such problems.  Who 
is it that can't read?

We talked to the BLM rangers down there - they don't think much of the 
"official' route either.  Not only because of the 42 mile waterless section, 
but also because of the long subsequent roadwalk into Pie Town.

We spent some time (11 miles) on a paved road (NM 117) south of the Zuni 
Acoma Trail, but our route minimized that time/distance.  The Chain of 
Craters route maximizes the road walk --- on paved (and busy) NM 117 (about 
50 miles total) and NM 36 (another 5 or 6 miles) and then more on the back 
roads heading east to Pie Town.  The only mitigating factor is that there's 
"supposed to be" trail from the west end of the Zuni-Acoma Trail where we 
picked it up near Bonita Road to the Ranger station 5 miles west on NM53.  
That means less road walk, but more rough lava.  Then you begin the 
waterless stretch.  The previous stretch between the ranger stations is 
about 15-20 waterless miles and part of it is really rough.

Actually, the real mitigating factor on the 'official' route is that it's 
really pretty country - but no more so than Bonita Canyon, La Ventana, the 
Narrows and the Cebolla Wilderness.

I need to go back and take another look at the EIS - I think they ignored 
some other things in there too. Seems to me that the plans were to put in 
some horsey trailheads - and there were some words about trails on the east 
side.  Hmmm - I wonder if the Navajos would appreciate some more allies.  

On the other hand, the Navajo wouldn't like my view of their objection to 
routing the trail over Mt Taylor.  But that's another discussion.

Walk softly on that lava,

>When the draft was published, CDTS submitted comments urging BLM to take
>another look at the route of the Trail.  We pointed out that when the route
>was originally selected, BLM agreed to consider other options in the future
>-- and that subsequent Federal acquisition of certain key parcels in the
>Cebolla area opened up possibilities that had not previously been 
>The BLM decision rejected our suggestion.  We have filed a formal protest 
>await further action.
>Continental Divide Trail Society
>3704 N. Charles St. (#601)
>Baltimore MD 21218
>(Jim Wolf, 410/235-9610, cdtsociety@aol.com)

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