by Ron Loehman, Conservation Chair
New Mexico Trout has a tradition of welcoming the Spring opening of FR 376 between the Gilman Tunnels and Porter’s Landing with a volunteer trash pickup. That Forest Service road provides access to our Rio Guadalupe home water and it accumulates a lot of roadside trash over a season’s heavy use by the many people who visit that corridor. Doing these annual cleanups is one way we can express our thanks for the wonderful trout fishing opportunities the Rio Guadalupe affords, while we help maintain it in a state that we like to visit.
Twenty new Mexico Trout members volunteered for this year’s cleanup. The weather was excellent and, thanks to the excellent turnout, we were able to pick up along the entire seven-mile stretch by lunchtime. It’s always a mystery to me how some people can go to such a beautiful area and then throw their trash all over it. It would be interesting to see what their own homes look like. This year’s tally of trash was thirty large garbage bags, with a truck tire and a kitchen sink as the big-ticket trash items.
We all enjoyed the lunch, especially the chocolate chip cookies for dessert. One highlight was the club’s recognition of Phyllis Martinez as an honorary New Mexico trout member. Phyllis is a ranger in the Jemez District office and is the main USFS staffer with whom we organize our conservation projects. She always works the hardest on any project we’re on and is outstanding in every respect.