Our History

First, some clarification: FOSM began not as “Friends of the Sandia Mountains” but as “New Mexico Friends of the Forest,” which was incorporated by co-founder Sam Beard as a non-profit corporation on April 7, 1997.

The articles of incorporation state:

New Mexico Friends of the Forest is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to working in partnership with the United States Forest Service and other groups and individuals to maintain, protect, and restore the natural, cultural, and scenic resources of New Mexico’s forest lands for the enjoyment and use of present and future generations. Our focus is on conservation and education activities within the Sandia and Mountainair Ranger Districts of the Cibola National Forest and adjacent lands.

The name “Friends of the Sandia Mountains” trademarked in October 2004
IRS letter designating New Mexico Friends of the Forest as 501(c)(3) corporation

Sam prepared a document in 2006 describing the history and operating procedures of the organization as well as the reason for the name change. According to Sam, the new name “Friends of the Sandia Mountains” was adopted “…to better reflect the mission of the organization and reduce the possibility of confusing the Friends with other organizations having similar names.”

The name “Friends of the Sandia Mountains” was trademarked in late 2004, but the legal name of the organization was not changed, which is why you’ll see the original name when using PayPal to pay your membership dues or donate.

Sam’s document summarizes the organizational details found in the articles of incorporation including:

  • Bylaws
  • Election of officers and board of directors
  • 501(c)(3) status

The document also discusses the following:

  • Reasons for our different fiscal (October – September) and membership (January-December) years
  • Monthly general meetings
  • Board meetings
  • Relationship with Sandia Ranger District
  • Memberships
  • Annual newsletter
  • Communications
  • Projects
  • Volunteer training and certification

FOSM typically has about 100 members including active participants and individuals who support the organization financially or otherwise but don’t participate in activities.

Not all volunteers supporting Sandia Ranger District are members of FOSM.

Sam and fellow co-founder Don Carnicom remain active members of the organization. In addition to his management of FOSM projects, Sam edits the annual newsletter, which reviews major events and accomplishments over the past 12 months. The newsletter is distributed to all FOSM members as a Word document.

Copies of newsletters since 2007 are available here.