Thursday, January 7, 2016

First Day Hike

On New Years Day, Bluewater Lake State Park hosted a First Day Hike. We went out and hiked a few of the trails available at the park. The photo above is our GPS track overlaid onto Google Earth. We started out hiking down into the canyon where the Bluewater Creek is at and down almost to the Dam Then we came back and climbed back up to the parking area and walked down to the pavilion that overlooks the lake. In all, we hiked three and a half miles. There was snow on the ground and it was a cold and overcast, but it was an enjoyable hike. 

While we were hiking the canyon trail, we heard the call of a hawk, but we couldn't see it. It was up on the rim of the canyon.

If you are interested in hiking down into the canyon, be aware that the rim at the top is an elevation of 7400 Ft and the canyon below is almost a 100 ft drop down to 7300 ft. If you aren't used to the elevation, it can be a quite a climb back up. 

At the moment, the lake is closed for fishing due to the ice. It's not thick enough for ice fishing yet. When we were there on the first, the ice was approximately three inches in depth, they won't allow ice fishing until the ice reaches at least four and a half inches. 

Keep an eye out on the Park's website for more information about the ice fishing.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Latest News

The Board has signed the By-laws and the Letter of Intent to form a group. We have forwarded that to the State for approvals. A meeting of the group is expected to happen shorty. The tentative dates is Friday December 18th, but the date, time, and location has not yet been finalized. If you are interested in joining or attending the meeting, the information will be posted here as soon as it become available.

We look forward to having meeting with all the people who've expressed interest in the group.
The tentative agenda:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Friends of Bluewater Lake State Park Organizational meeting.

I went to the second meeting of the Friends of Bluewater Lake last night and ended up being voted in as the secretary for the newly formed association. 

I’ll keep you all informed of the developments of the “association." The association was created with a five member board for the moment. We will have a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and one Board member to allow for an odd number during voting.

The Friends of the Lake will be developing by-laws and a Cooperative agreement with the state park very soon. Once we get approved, then we will be holding a membership drive if anyone is interested.

Informational Meeting for the Friends of the Bluewater Lake Group

I attended the initial meeting of the Friends of Bluewater Lake. This was an information meeting on how to get an association started and to advocate for and raise money for the “friends” to assist the lake in developing more opportunities at the lake. Everyone interested in the Lake’s success is welcome, not just fishermen, and boaters. As I also had to attend the other meeting, I bounced back and forth between this meeting and the Cibola County Commission meeting, so I may have missed a few things.

A "Friends" group is non-profit organization that forms a cooperative agreement with the park and helps fund development at the park. So if you want to have a bird blind area for bird watching, the Friends group could propose that and raise funds to help pay for it. If you'd like to see more trash dumpsters around the park, the Friends group could raise the funds and help pay for it. If you would like to see more trails for hiking, biking, and equestrian, the Friends group could help raise the money to pay for development of the trails. 

The members discussed some of the issues they would like to see worked on at the park. It included trash dumpsters, hiking trails, equestrian trails, fishing events and many other things.   
We did get into a minor discussion of the previous exclusion of equestrian from the lake. That was a past administration, and any animosity toward equestrian was not found among the current administration. Those of you who were asked to leave in the past, let it be known that they won’t run you out again. There currently is not a camping site available for horses so don’t expect to drive in and camp at the main parking area. For safety reasons, the Park won’t let you camp there. However they are completely open to development of an equestrian friendly campsite. Equestrian are welcome to ride the park and assist in trails development as well. 

The Park personnel are also in discussions with our Zuni Mountain Trail Partnership to work on developing a trail from the south end of the park to connect into the proposed Zuni Mountain Trails in the USFS just a mile away.

Right now the biggest concern the park staff has is the interactions of the feral horses coming in from the section of Navajo Tribal land that may harass and or attack the riders and their horses. When we rode the park years ago, we never really had a problem with this, but it is still of some concern. 

So what does this all mean for us? Well, the development of a “Friends” group outside of the state financial control means that we as a group can fund the projects that are important. We as a “group” can help develop trails, the camping areas, bring in events to the park as fund raisers etc. So if you like to ride and your spouse likes to fish or hike, you can help the park develop both resources. 

We can do this in a couple of ways.

1.    We can join the “Friends of Bluewater Lake” and have direct input as the project priorities and development of facilities.

2.    We can assist as any other association, and have indirect input and aid to developing the trails. 

3.     Or we can do a little of both. 

I don’t know how many of you have ever been to the El Caballo Lake State Park down in T or C, but they have an awesome campsite that is multi-use and equestrian friendly. It’s mainly used for large groups with a pavilion in the center and the campsites circling like spokes from a wagon wheel. It had water and electric hook ups at each site as well as room for the large trailers and horses. I’d love to see something like that developed at Bluewater Lake.

There will be another meeting set up in November (around the 17th or 18th) (date not set in stone yet) to organize the “Friends” association and to elect board members. It will be held they believe again at the Cibola County main office and hopefully in the large conference room as it won’t be competing for space with the commission meeting. 

More details as they come.