Saturday, February 14, 2015


A couple of things happened over the last week that turned out to be a reckless execution of best intentions.  Both involved to some extent the inept Mayor Berry administration and one was aided by a poorly thought out charitable act.

I can't get my arms around Mayor Berry's ham fisted invasion of the Rio Grande Bosque.  His incursion with earth movers to put in trails was a slap in the face of all of the groups that have been trying to work out a way of getting more visitors into the Bosque with as little damage to the natural setting as possible.

This is damage.  

We took a walk in the area this morning and I can't really say this has been well done and thought out.  My hiking companion said walking on the newly cleared trails made him feel he wasn't in the midst of the Bosque as before, but merely looking at it.  I think he  is right.

This photo shows the old vs. new trail.

And then there was the coalition in the Barelas neighborhood who unilaterally invited a homeless tent city onto a vacant lot near an old neighborhood.  It was done with out talking to the neighbors or to the owner of the land.  How inept was that?

I snapped this photo this morning at the site.  If I were one of the nearby homes I would be pretty much upset too.  Good intentions, and badly handled.  What did the coalition think would happen?


Anonymous said...

My wife and I walked it today. Ham fisted is an apt comment. This is another instance of Berry ignoring public opinion and staff either dutifully spouting talking points to the media or being ignorant, or disingenuous, themselves. A. People do not "trample all over the bosque." That comment in the papervwas bithbognorant and disrespectful of people who do use the bosque and care about it. The existing trails are relatively few and simply the result of normal proxemic behavior. That will continue, as any university campus architect well knows. B. This will definitely prove to be a significant barrier to north-south movement of wildlife, as a Sierra Club letter to Matt Schrader pointed out. I have walked the bosque for over 30 years, almost daily, both east and west of the river, north of Central, dawn, midday, and dusk. I can say with certainty the change in wildlife patterns on the west side has been astonishing, once after the thinning of undergrowth (which can hardly be argued with, given the fire hazard) but again with the short crusher fines trail and the development of the minnow channel and subsequent removal of native coyote willow. Where there was once a great diversity of wildlife, there is almost none now, except the waterfowl on the river.

If the intent is to create an alameda, as described by Enrique Lamadrid in one of the public meetings, with a trail that forces all users onto it, from bikes, to people walking dogs, to runners, to wheelchairs, with whatever wildlife remains, then the Mayor (not his staff spokespersons) should go out front and say that is his decision, and take responsibility for it. We shouldn't kid ourselves about the wildlife issue and they have no business trying to tell people we can have our cake and eat it too. If we believe that, we are fools, and maybe that's what they take us for.

Much damage has already been done, but it could be repaired, with time...and more money from our pockets. There were many people with good intentions in this project but, unfortunately, they, so far, have not prevailed. We need to stop, take a deep breath, and salvage what we can.

Bubba Muntzer said...

That's pretty sad about the Bosque. That should be illegal. I don't know who these groups are that you mentioned but if they can't prevent a mayor coming along and acting like the Bosque is his own personal property he can do whatever he wants to they aren't very effective.

The mayor, remember, has plans to let private developers go down there and build fast food restaurants and laundromats and auto parts stores or whatever, and it appears from this that there's nothing standing in his way. In fact these big scars he's making in there could well be planned future roads.

Michelle Meaders said...

Some of the groups working on this and upset by the city's actions have scheduled an event at the new trail today at 3 pm.

"The Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter and Bosque Action Team will visit the area affected by bulldozing by the City this Sunday at 3pm.

What: Visit to Bulldozed Area of the Bosque
Where: Parking area, North of Central, East of the River.
When: Sunday, February 15th, 3pm
Contact: Camilla Feibelman, 505.715.8388

Take action:

Visit to Bulldozed Area of Bosque Sunday, 3pm"

Anonymous said...

I don't feel sorry for any of you who are upset by this. I voted for Dinelli in the last election, but most of you stayed home. Well now you get to see what democracy is like when you don't exercise your right to vote. You get a wooden head Conservative Republican who thinks he has a "mandate from the people" and he is going to bulldoze whatever he wants.

Maybe next time you will take the time to vote for your candidate.

Anonymous said...

I think that last comment is probably Pete Dinelli.

Anonymous said...

I think the last comment was from someone who complains and does not vote.

Anonymous said...

nope, I voted for Dinelli. He ran a horrible campaign though.

Anonymous said...

I think he ran a good campaign, the Democrats deserted him (Bregman are you out there?). He took public financing and that allowed Berry to out spend him at least 4 to 1.

The Democratic party in Bernalillo County and New Mexico are at fault, they did nothing to help Pete. Now we will continue to live with Wooden Head Berry and his destructive policies. Good for you Albuquerque!