This is private land known as the Northside at Taos Ski Valley, it was owned by the Pattison family for several decades and was sold last year to Robert Caroon, Jr. acting as the Taos Land and Cattle Company; https://www.taosnews.com/stories/busine ... rief,57488.fmarrs3 wrote:... I ask partly because some trails, e.g. the Wheeler Peak trail (as marked by OnX, and #90 according to NFS), run through it. ...
Where the Wheeler Peak Trail #90 crosses this property is a long-established public easement on which the general public has legal access to use this trail, however not to leave the trail on either side until it re-enters Carson NF lands near the Bull of the Woods Mountain - Frazer Mountain saddle. Access to the Northside property for mountain biking and hiking during the summer, and snowshoeing/xc skiing during winter has long been via purchasing a daily or seasonal permit. It is unclear what the new owner's intent is, however word going around last year was that he was going to keep the property open for permitted access as had been done in the past. There's some really sweet mountain bike trails that a lot of us have dedicated a lot of time to building and maintaining, and I feel confident to say our community really hopes these trails stay open.
As for the pictures Marc posted via the ONX app; SOMETHING FISHY IS GOING ON REGARDING THE PUBLIC LAND/PRIVATE LAND BOUNDARY ALONG THE OLD, HISTORIC WILLIAMS LAKE TRAIL. These plot maps, and others I've seen show the boundary being much further west than EVERY National Forest map I have seen except one (see below about the mtb trail project), including current and historic maps.
Please compare Marc's screenshot here with the photographs and screenshots of other maps I've examined, including official Forest Service and BLM maps;
These photographs are of an official BLM land management map published in 2015;
This is a section of the Carson National Forests official Motor Vehicle map for the Questa Ranger District;
These maps were attached to the TSV mountain bike trails project which was approved by the Carson NF and began last year, which included re-routing the lower section of the William's Lake trail. https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/n ... 415063.pdf
When the project was first going through the approval process, the original map included reflected the historic boundary clearly, where the trail zig-zagged back and forth along the private land boundary south of the service road;
Then when the project was approved, a different map was attached showing the boundary further to the west;
It appears this boundary was altered/changed to accommodate the private development that is underway in this area. Since all historic maps show the public land boundary in one area, and now newer maps and surveys show a different boundary, it seems something is not right. I can find no records of the boundary being changed, no land swaps with the Forest Service and have looked at master title plats at the County Recorder's office and the BLM office in Santa Fe which seemed to reflect the historic boundary was intact. Were there some back-door, closed-door deals between the Forest Service and TSV, Village of TSV, and/or private interests who own adjacent lands to the east? I don't know, but something is not right and this is affecting our historic access on and to our public lands. Even mylandmatters.org which is the go-to resource or mining claim info in the west and updates their database regularly shows the current boundary being where all the historic maps show it, on both their topo and satellite views;
I've been working on this for a while, something is up and we need to get to the bottom of it. The Carson NF has dodged my inquiries about why the map was changed during the middle of the mtb trails project and has not responded to my calls or emailed letters about this matter, and I cannot find any documents online on public databases explaining what is going on here. This is important because it appears that a swath of Public Land has mysteriously been transferred to private hands without anyone knowing!!!!!!!