There’s a new (park) ranger in town
On Friday, September 8th, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced the appointment of Ryan Ashcraft, the first ever recreation services on public lands in Santa Fe County, which includes areas in and around the Caja del Rio. This appointment comes at a crucial time for the Caja given the years of vandalism, illegal dumping and shooting and, most recently, two wildfires that threatened the public safety of local communities and strained local emergency response services.
The Caja del Rio coalition is pleased to see the BLM respond to local communities and looks forward to working with Ryan. We also hope his appointment will be the first of many steps the BLM and other federal agencies take in protecting the Caja.
“Santa Fe area residents – and all those who enjoy the Caja – expect and deserve to have their tax dollars devoted to keeping this area safe and preserved for future generations,” said Andrew Black, a coalition member and minister at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe and public lands field director for the National Wildlife Federation.
According to the BLM, Ashcraft now actively patrols the La Cieneguilla, Camel Tracks, Buckman, San Pedro, Sombrillo/Nambe and Ojo Caliente areas, among others. In addition to the appointment of Ashcraft, the BLM has long had a Law Enforcement Ranger patrolling public lands in Santa Fe County.
“I’m very passionate about helping the public connect to their public lands and helping people get outside,” Ashcraft said in a BLM press release. “I’m looking forward to engaging with the Santa Fe community and organizations to further better our public spaces.”
Ashcraft will be communicating about public land ethics and education with visitors, pueblo members and recreation organizations. He will also be actively working with the Caja coalition to organize cleanup efforts on public lands. Ryan can be reached at (505) 929-5784.