Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

New Mexico lawmakers urge agency to allow hill climbing near Albuquerque | Ap

ALBUQUERQUE – Several members of the New Mexico congressional delegation are calling on the US Forest Service to re-authorize a decade-old race through wilderness and up into the mountains with views of Albuquerque.

A letter from Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján and Rep. Melanie Stansbury asked the agency to reverse its 2020 decision that the La Luz Trail Race is not allowed under the Cibola National Forest’s Draft Land and Resource Management Plan close.

Legislators wrote that the nine-mile event, which has been held annually for over 55 years, “is a pride for New Mexicans and a major source of recreation and tourism.”

The race, which attracted hundreds of runners, began in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains on the outskirts of Albuquerque and ended in Sandia Crest after climbing over 4,000 feet in elevation.

In a 2020 announcement, Sandia District ranger Crystal Powell said officials determined that the wilderness race should not have been allowed because it was a commercial event.

The members of the delegation wrote on Wednesday that the race was carried out “in full compliance with the requirements of the wilderness”.

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