Cienega/Armijo Trails Improvement Project (CATIP)

This multi-year project began in March 2017 with a scoping letter signed by Sandia District Ranger Crystal Powell. FOSM’s work was done in partnership with and under the supervision of Sandia Ranger District trails specialists Kerry Wood and Russell Berman and was led by Bob Galloway until mid-2021 despite his cancer diagnosis in 2020. Jenny Blackmore led the project after Bob’s health no longer allowed him to do so.

The new trail system added over six miles of new sustainable trails to the Sandia Ranger District trail network.

Work was approximately 73% finished by September 2020. Work the previous year included major reroutes of Armijo Trail #222, a trail popular with hikers, equestrians, runners, and mountain bikers. Other tasks included clearing trail corridor, building designated reroutes of user trails, and obliterating extensive sections of unsustainable trail.

Work in 2020 was impacted by a lawsuit against the Forest Service over the Spotted Owl as well as by COVID. Crews limited their efforts to building planned trails in masticated areas or in less dense ponderosa forest. Several sections of unsustainable user trail were bypassed and obliterated, and dozens of trail signs were installed.

Jenny Blackmore assumed project manager responsibilities in mid-2021 including completion of the project and new work on an extension of the nearby Wagon Trail. Work in 2021 included completing new trails This Way, That Way, and Vista. Crews also obliterated unsustainable user trails, cut trail corridor, removed deadfall, rerouted sections of Un Poquito Trail in Cold Canyon, and completed the installation, begun in 2019, of trail signs at the new trail junctions.

The new trail complex was essentially complete in 2022. Approximately 54 trail signs were installed at trail intersections. Thirteen temporary trail maps were installed throughout the complex until permanent maps are available.

Some remedial work was done on Pinedrop Trail in 2023.

Bob, Jenny, and occasionally others published dozens of detailed, informative reports summarizing the project including hundreds of colorful photographs documenting the work and the beauty of the surroundings.

You can access the reports here. The reports often refer to a temporary designator for a trail or trail segment being worked on. The maps above and table at right identify the segments and final trail names. Click on an image to enlarge it.

Special thanks to Jenny Blackmore for providing Bob’s reports as well as the map and table defining the trail components.

CATIP Trail Components

Remembering Bob Galloway

Bob and Betsy Galloway joined FOSM prior to 2009, the earliest year for which membership records exist. Before the start of CATIP in 2017, Dan Benton remembers Bob leading FOSM volunteers rerouting sections of Faulty Trail out of the wilderness area so mountain bikers could use the trail legally.

Betsy and Bob Galloway.
Bob led the CATIP work until mid-2021 while courageously fighting cancer. Bob died in September 2022. Photo credit: Unknown
Betsy and Bob working on Faulty Trail reroute. Photo credit Dan Benton

Bob’s CATIP reports are so comprehensive they could form the basis for a couple of textbooks:

  • Building sustainable mountain trails.
  • Flora and fauna of the Sandia Mountains.

Bob’s reports not only are full of facts but occasional humor as well. Consider this punny description of work being done by retired oral surgeon Steve Roholt in December 2017:

Roholt, totally absorbed in a careful but violent extraction, reaches for his favorite tool to complete the operation.

You can access these reports by clicking on the image at right.

Bob’s wife Betsy took most of the wonderful photographs in these reports. Betsy took very few photos of Bob, who can be recognized as the distinctive tall man usually wearing an orange safety helmet covering a floppy hat. Jenny Blackmore’s review of dozens of reports and hundreds of photos yielded the few of Bob below.

Bob’s reports usually include a photograph or two of a nature scene⏤typically a beautiful wildflower or an odd-shaped tree⏤taken by Betsy during the day’s work. After choosing the photos, Betsy and Bob “… consulted Wildflowers of the Northern and Central Mountains of New Mexico by Larry Littlefield and Pearl Burns for identification.” You can view these wonderful photographs here.

Rest in Peace, Bob. We miss you. The CATIP trail system is a memorial to you.

Jenny’s Photos

Jenny Blackmore continued Bob’s tradition of publishing informational and entertaining project reports. Below are just a few of the hundreds of photos in her reports since mid-2021, which illustrate the variety of work performed and recognize some of the many FOSM volunteers who have contributed to the project.