Current Events

Our meetings are normally held at 7:00 pm on the first Tuesday of each month from April to October (meetings are not held November through March) at the Sandia Ranger Station in Tijeras, featuring an informative presentation on subjects pertinent to our mission.

Our monthly meetings will once again be held in the Sandia Ranger District conference room beginning in August. 



Next Friends Meeting: August 3, 2021, 7PM.

Speaker: Sam Beard

Topic: “Airplane Crashes in the Sandias”

Brief abstract of presentation: We are blessed to have the Sandia Mountains in our backyards, but a mountain rising a mile above a major airport less than 14 miles away has inherent risks. Many who have lived in or around Albuquerque for years are familiar with the tragic crash in the 50s of TWA Flight 260 into a ridge not far below where the upper Tram terminal now sits. Probably many of you have made the challenging hike to where the wreckage rests in what we reverently call TWA Canyon. However, few people know that the TWA site is only one of 18 (or perhaps more) where lives were lost (with one rare exception) in crashes into our beloved mountains. Sam, who personally has visited all but 5 of these sites and was the first person on the scene after one of the crashes, will describe the wide variety of sites, weather conditions, and aircraft involved.

Bio: Sam joined the USAF after high school, trained as a Russian linguist in Texas and Monterey, CA, and was stationed near London for three years. He earned degrees in physics from Mars Hill Junior College and N. C. State University. Sam and wife Edwina moved to Albuquerque in 1965, and Sam retired from Sandia National Laboratories in 2003 after 37 years in the Aerothermodynamics Group. Sam began developing cross-country ski trails on the Sandia Ranger District as a volunteer in 1970, published a trail guide in 1979, and published a second edition in 1988. He is a founding member of the N. M. Cross Country Ski Club, N. M. Volunteers for the Outdoors, and Friends of the Sandia Mountains.

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 907 527 5815

Passcode: 722104

Dial-in (Not toll-free): 346-248-7799




Previous FOSM Monthly Meetings



Friends Meeting: July 6, 2021, 7PM.

Speaker: Pauline Ho and Rick Buss

Topic: “Australian Trails and Trains”

Brief abstract of presentation: In Jan/Feb 2020, we traveled to Australia to hike, see wildlife, and play tourist. We started in Tasmania, where we did the Overland Track, then met up with family for touring on the mainland. That included
the Great Ocean Road, Kangaroo Island, and taking tourist trains; the Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin, and the Indian Pacific from Perth to Sydney. We ended the trip hiking to the highpoint of Australia, Mount Kosciuszko (7310 ft) in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales.

Bios: Pauline Ho is a physical chemist by training who retired from Sandia National Labs in November 2011. She now spends her time traveling, hiking and camping with her husband, Rick Buss, who retired from Sandia 4 years before she did.

A video recording of Pauline’s interesting presentation is available. Please contact Cliff Giles ( if you would like to view the recording.


General Presentations




Friends Meeting: June 1, 2021, 7PM.

Speaker: Mike Madden, FOSM President 

Topic: “The Sandia Collaborative – Preserving the Sandia Mountains for Current and Future Generations”

Brief abstract of presentation: The Sandia Collaborative brings together a diverse group of organizations and state and federal agencies who are working together and leveraging their efforts to promote, protect, preserve, enhance and restore the Sandia Mountains for traditional and contemporary multiple use for current and future generations. Currently there are 14 members of the Collaborative, and 10 non-member stakeholders who participate in our monthly meetings.

Bio: Mike is currently management chair of the Sandia Collaborative, president of FOSM, chair of San Pedro Overlook HOA Design Review Committee, and co-founder of East Mountain Regional Trails Council. He also serves on the boards of NMVFO and Turquoise Trail Regional Alliance. When away from his desk, he walks dogs at Animal Humane, reads pre-Columbian history, and loves to backpack. For 6 months during COVID restrictions, he laid-out and led resident volunteers to build 3.5 miles of HOA Open Space trails in his subdivision.


General Slides

Sandia Collaborative



Friends Meeting: May 4, 2021, 7 PM. 

Speaker: Crystal Powell, District Ranger for the Sandia Ranger District

Topic: “Looking Back and Moving Forward: A pandemic, drought and continuing our work”

Brief abstract of presentation: How we managed the challenges and successes the District experienced during a year of COVID, how we are moving forward managing through a pandemic, fire season outlook, what we have been working on and what we are planning for the near future.

Bio: Crystal Powell, the District Ranger at Sandia since 2016, has 21 years of service with the USDA Forest Service.  Until the past few years as the District Ranger, her career has focused on her passion of recreation and public information management.  She has worked in 4 of the 9 Forest Service Regions, on 6 National Forests, in 5 states from the east to the west at the District and Forest Supervisor’ Office levels as well as on a National Recreation Area. Until 2015, Crystal also served in a logistical role to a Type 1 National Incident Management Team, which is an all-hazard team essential in management of, and response to local/regional/national emergencies, natural disasters and public events.  Originally from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Area — and a Steelers and Penguins fan!!!  — she graduated with a degree in Parks and Recreation Management from Slippery Rock University – yes it is a real school!  Her children are four-legged and fuzzy rescues, my dogs Bella, 16; Dolly 10; Corben, 6; Opal, 4 months. Warning – she can talk dogs for hours!


General Slides

Crystal’s Presentation



Friends Meeting: April 6, 2021, 7 PM. 

Speaker: Scott Dietrich

Topic: “Sandia Nordic Ski Club and FOSM: Working Together to Serve Our Community”

Scott is a founding member and the current President of the Sandia Nordic Ski Club, which was formally incorporated as a 501(c)(3) public charity on April 17, 2017.  He will provide a general overview of the Club’s mission, as well as an update on membership growth and plans for the future, including a briefing on the status of the Special Use Permit Application filed with USFS on June 5, 2017, which formally requested permission to improve the quality of the groomed trails and add additional segments to the network.  Specifically, the Club has proposed to widen and level the trails where needed, to reroute sections with poor contours and limited visibility, and to add approximately two additional miles to the existing trail network.  

In his 2018 Annual Letter to Club members, Scott stated: “We have several members of Sandia Nordic who are also members of the Friends of the Sandia Mountains, aka FOSM. As the staff at the Sandia Ranger Station like to say, FOSM is awesome, and indeed they are. Ever wonder who cuts the fallen trees off of the hiking and skiing trails? FOSM. Who paints and reroofs the picnic area pavilions and restrooms? FOSM. Who fires up chainsaws to low cut tree stumps that impede our grooming equipment? FOSM. We are fortunate to have such a wonderful group of volunteers help us with our trails.” 


General presentation – 
Scott’s presentation –