Membership Meetings

Our meetings normally are 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.

Unfortunately, no meetings were held in 2020, and all meetings in 2021 were held by Zoom due to the COVID pandemic. Click here for a short tutorial on using Zoom.

Information on upcoming and past 2021 meetings is presented below. Links to presentation materials are provided as available.


2021 Meetings

September 7, 2021, 7PM. 

Our planned speaker for the September 7 meeting is on fire dispatch, so Kerry Wood graciously agreed to move his presentation up a month.

Speaker: Kerry Wood

Topic: “Bikepacking the Oregon Timber Trail (OTT)”

Brief abstract of Presentation: Bicycle touring has enjoyed national popularity for decades with numerous road routes established across the country whereas long-distance trail based routes are still somewhat in their infancy. With the increased technology advances in bicycles as well as bike bags and other gear to carry “stuff” on trails comes the ever expanding pursuit of “bikepacking”. An ever-growing list of routes have been developed ranging from quick overnight trips to long distance trails. One trail, the Oregon Timber Trail (OTT) was established recently that stretches across the state from south to north. As the second rider to complete the OTT self-supported, we’ll discuss my route planning and how it went! Plus, any additional information on the activity of bikepacking.

Bio: Kerry is currently the Trails Program Manager for the Cibola National Forest and has been in New Mexico since 2010. Prior to coming to New Mexico, he worked trails in Tennessee, Virginia, Wyoming and Colorado. He has been riding bikes for a long time and even lugging camping gear around on different contraptions on trails for years before it was cool 😊.

General slides

Kerry’s presentation


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.

LINK TO PRESENTATIONS (PDF FILES)

General Slides

Sam’s briefing plus crash site coordinates

Additional records & articles on crashes


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 (cliffgiles@mac.com) if you would like to view the recording.

LINK TO PRESENTATIONS (PDF FILES)

General Presentations


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.

LINKS TO PRESENTATIONS (PDF FILES) –

General Slides

Sandia Collaborative


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!

LINKS TO PRESENTATIONS (PDF FILES) –

General Slides

Crystal’s Presentation