April 27, 2001
Dear Subscriber:

We are a small community. Cloudcroft is not big enough to have
any political clout in Washington. We are a small voice crying
from the wilderness.

Every year about this time we are reminded of that. Because of
environmental edicts, the forest is over-grown. Not only does
this over-growth cause watershed problems, it also paves the 
way for possible catastrophic fire.

Why hasn't this problem been addressed by the federal 
government? Because, as it is in all sociological models, 
"the squeaky wheel gets the grease". Urban problems, highways 
and taxes are more top-of-mind with America at-large than 
what's going on "up there" in the mountains.

Here's a brief eco-lesson:

Fire has always been a natural occurrence in forested areas. It
is nature's way of keeping growth at an even keel. It has been
that way since God planted that first little pine tree.

When man began occupying the forests, he was afraid of fire 
and what it might do to his home and family. Instead of letting
forest fires burn naturally, man invented the bucket brigade 
and the pumper truck. Man hired Smoky Bear to tell us that 
"only we could prevent forest fires" (not true, since the 
overwhelming majority of forest fires are caused by lightning).

Man (who IS this guy, anyway?) took it one step further. This
self-appointed protector of the wilderness decided he would not
only prevent fires, he would also protect wildlife by preventing
tree harvesting and underbrush clean-up. After all, there might
be wildlife somewhere in all that over-growth. Man forgot that
these creatures had been taking care of themselves for thousands
of years without his help, thank-you-very-much. Many of
America's forests are estimated by experts to be 3 to 5 times
more dense than normal because of human intervention.

The result: The Scott Able Fire, the Los Alamos Fire, the
Ruidoso Fire and other blazes that made last spring one of the
worst in modern history with regard to burned forests and
destroyed wildlife habitat in New Mexico.

It's not nice to fool Mother Nature.

Washington is beginning to pay attention. Smoky Bear is now
telling our school kids that there are "good fires" and there 
are "bad fires". The forest service is stepping up its 
"controlled burn" program. Underbrush clean-up is getting more

Meanwhile, the spring winds are drying out the forests, 
creating virtually the same conditions that spawned the 
destructive fires last year. Residents around here are 
organizing their "fire luggage" (boxes of their most cherished
and important valuables that can be quickly placed in their 
cars if all hell breaks loose). We wake up each morning to 
the bright sunshine, hoping for an early-season rain and calm 

The good news...the National Forest Service is well organized 
in fighting forest blazes. It is America's seldom heralded
interior army. Without the bravery and professionalism of The
Hot Shots, airborne fire attack units, local professional and
volunteer fire fighters and other facets of fire-control that
stand at the ready each year, things could be much more dicey 
in terms of property loss and natural resource damage.

The proper care of our nation's forests continues to be a 
source of debate. Meanwhile, Cloudroft.com will provide regular
updates to our online visitors should there be an outbreak of 
fire around the Cloudcroft area.

As of Wednesday, there were no closures or use restrictions in
the Sacramento Ranger District (more details in the weather
section of this newsletter).

Don Vanlandingham

This issue of the Cloudcroft Newsletter is brought to you by
Dusty's Place. Make the most of this summer's vacation. Stay
with us at Dusty's Place, "where mountain memories are made".



Another cold front blew through this past weekend, reminding
us that the only predictable thing about mountain weather is
that it is largely unpredictable. Winds of 50+ mph Saturday
(4-21) preceded the cold front. The latter part of the week was
warmer and calmer. Highs are in the low 60s. Lows still
reaching into the high 20s.

The National Forest Service has set the fire danger level at
"very high," but has stopped short of issuing any use or access
restrictions (as of 4-25). Restrictions can be imposed at any
time the NFS deems it necessary.

For updates, call (505) 682-2551.
The re-building of First National Bank was originally scheduled
for completion this past January, but weather and other 
deterrents have put off that date.

Now, according to an FNB-C spokesperson, the move-in to the new
facility should be in about 2 weeks.

It would not be prudent to be more specific than that, the
spokesperson said, since the move-in involves the transfer of
significant amounts of cold-hard cash.

The Grand Re-opening will be in June.
On the cutting edge of Cloudcroft area real estate (the first
real estate agency to advertise on Cloudcroft.com), Emerald
Forest places a high priority on integrity. They have built
their business over the years on honest representation to the
buyer and seller. See their web page link on Cloudcroft.com.
While natural gas costs have doubled in the past year,
electricity rates in the Cloudcroft area have remained fairly

Otero County Electric Co-op is a not-for-profit entity that has
been at the forefront of providing electricity to the secluded
and sparsely populated areas of the Sacramento Mountains.
Q - How does the Forest Service arrive at their fire danger
assessments posted along the highways?

A - The fire danger is calculated through the measurement of
moisture in the forest combined with recent past and near 
future weather forecasts.

This time of year, re-evaluation of fire conditions are updated
about once a week.
April 28 -- Clean up Cloudcroft day. Volunteers are to meet in
front of the Chamber of Commerce building at 9am.

April 28 -- Native Plant Society of New Mexico presentation by
John L. Conner. 10am. Cloud Country Party Barn on Hwy 82. Free
to the public. For more information call (505) 687-2896.

April 28 -- Lake Lucero Tour. 9am. White Sands National 
Monument. Advanced registration required. Call (505) 479-6124 
or (505) 679-2599 for information.

May 5 -- High Altitude Classic mountain bike race. 
Entertainment scheduled on Burro Avenue that night.

May 25, 26 -- Melodrama. The Open Air Pavilion.

May 26 -- Mayfair Street Dance. Burro Avenue. 7pm.

May 26 -- G. Gordon Wimsatt Memorial Rodeo. Wimsatt Arena. 2pm.

May 26, 27 -- 25th Annual Mayfair Juried Art Show. Zenith Park.
10am, both days.

May 28, 29 -- Cloudcroft Academy of Ballet. "The Bride". First
Baptist Church in Artesia.

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Thursday of each month
in the Old Red Brick Schoolhouse. Call (505) 682-2494 for more
info. The Society is sponsoring a Miniature Art Show each 
Friday (10-4pm), Saturday (10-4pm), and Sunday (12-4pm)in May.
All art work is for sale and is by area artists.

Senior van from Timberon to Alamogordo leaves the Timberon
Lodge promptly at 8:30 every Tuesday morning.

If you have news of public events in the Cloudcroft area, email

For an online calendar of area events, click the Events Calendar
link in the left column of our home page:


Dear Newsletter:

I just wanted to respond the last newsletter about the "forest 
fire that almost was...." 

We should all say thank you to the HERO('s) that decided nothing
else was more important to them at that moment than to stop 
their vehicle and take time out of their travels to try to put 
out that fire. 

THANK YOU for saving those trees, etc.

A Cloudcroft wanna be.

Dear Newsletter:

I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to Mikel McGinn for stopping to
put out the fire. It's a sad commentary to know that is was 
ignored by so many people. 

We have property in High Rolls - not far from that beautiful 
tunnel vista. I have promised myself that by the time we 
actually get to move into our home there, that we will no 
longer smoke - and we are quitting now.

I hope you know how much your efforts and initiative are 

Diana Powell

Dear Newsletter:

Your reunion sounds wonderful but "overdone". Here's the 
solution: Set a date and only communicate once a month.

I have friends that I have kept in touch with for 30 years by 
writing a "generic" letter once every month or two. Some of 
them don't always write back, but they ALL say how much they 
look forward to my letters. I guarantee if I wrote every week 
(or every day) they wouldn't be half so precious. Give it a 

Carolynne Priore

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks so much for your recent newsletter about starting up with
old friends from your high school days. I, too, am e-mailed 
daily with people I haven't seen or talked to since graduating 
in 1969. So I do understand how the process goes. Keep up with 
your classmates because we all aren't getting any younger. I 
think you will also find that those you thought you didn't like 
are not so bad after all, and those you liked may not be as good
a friend as you thought in the years past.

But all in all, you learn all kinds of things thanks to access 
to the internet. You really communicate more than you ever did
in high school.

We all had our little groups, as every high school did, but now 
there are no little groups, just people, yes, middle-aged and 
probably looking a lot different, but it doesn't matter. When 
a friend needs a friend, he or she is just an e-mail away.

Well, again, I want to say thank you for your newsletters and 
look forward to one day actually meeting the person behind the 
screen and keyboard.

Your friend in El Paso,
David Burks

P.S. Will be up there April 20th through 22nd, the Good Lord
willing, and the wind doesn't blow us all away.

Dear Newsletter:

My wife and I enjoy your Newsletter very much. We have a home 
up here in the mountains that we spend at least 40% of our time
at, and know first hand of what you speak about.

I did not finish my high school years, but my wife did. She 
kept putting off going to her class reunions until her 50th,
which took place last October, so I went with her.

You can not imagine the changes in the appearance of herself, 
and of her school chums. If there had been no name tags, they
would have been totally lost.

It was really comical to watch, as one would meet another, they
would look them in the face, then look at their name tags, and
only then would they give a squeal of recognition.

After reading of your e-mail experience, I fully understood
where you were coming from. Speaking about where you are coming
from, nowhere in your extensive website can I find a map of 
your subdivision, "Silvercloud". I know where the subdivision 
is, but we drove around it, trying to find you, to thank you 
in person, for the coverage you gave us during the Scott Able 

Again, thank you for such a fine newsletter.

We are above Weed, in Hay Canyon, at Pinehurst #1 subdivision.

Phyllis & Shelby

Dear Newsletter:

My husband and I got married at The Lodge 4/29/95.

Neither one of us had ever been to Cloudcroft (or the area). 
Some friends have a house there and said we could use it for our
honeymoon (we have used it many time since). Over the next few 
years we found that we kept going back. 

Other then trips to see family, Cloudcroft was our number one 
vacation choice (I work for a major airlines and can fly any
place). In Oct 1999, while on vacation, I said to my husband 
"maybe we need to start looking for our own piece of heaven in 
Cloudcroft". We spent one day looking around at properties and 
we found our heaven in the High Nogal subdivision. 

We don't have a house on the property yet, but we have our 
"trees, fresh air and a great view" (and 2 small streams-lucky 

Our friends have retired and live in Cloudcroft full time, but
we still have a standing invitation to stay with them any time.

My husband grew up in CO and I grew up in NH. Both beautiful 
places, but there is just something special about Cloudcroft, 

Getting this newsletter every week make me feel closer to "our
piece of heaven". THANK YOU for giving me a weekly reminder 
that "heaven" is really out there.

Keep up the Good Work!

Fran Osten-Snowden

Dear Newsletter:

I have written before about almost being a resident of 
Cloudcroft. I live in Lubbock and have been going to Cloudcroft
all my life, and I am now in my late 40's. So that is a long 
time!!! So I claim Cloudcroft as my second home. Cloudcroft 
and Alamagordo and White Sands and Las Cruces are some of my 
favorite spots that I love to visit. In fact, every year for my
birthday we head up there and I love to eat at the Double Eagle
Restaurant in Mesilla Plaza, in Las Cruces. It's just a 
tradition thing. 

In February, I went on a mission trip with my church to Cottage
Grove, Oregon and met some wonderful people there. They took 
us to the coast and everywhere. (But between you and me, 
Cloudcroft is still my special place, no matter where I go in 
the world!!) 

Well, to make a long story short, one of the wonderful ladies
we met is coming down to visit me for 3 weeks. And she wants me
to take her to all my favorite places. Well, she will be here 
in time for my birthday tradition. 

She is very excited about seeing Cloudcroft and has read up on
it, but wants me to make up an itinerary of what we will be
doing. I have been having more fun logging on to different 
websites, making up a travel book of where we are going, and 
believe me, we will be doing some traveling!! I have got stuff
about Cloudcroft, White Sands, Las Cruces, Alamagordo, the 
Tunnel, Lincoln, Ruidoso, and even Carlsbad Caverns.

But the one thing I can't find any bit of information about is 
Rebecca, the ghost at The Lodge. I have found web sites about 
The Lodge and its history, but no info on the history of 
Rebecca, and you and I know she is the first thing you see when
you walk in the front door, and there are pictures of her 
everywhere. News crews have filmed there too. I know one of our
local channels got some pretty creepy film there! All I want 
is a photo of Rebecca, and the history behind her. Can any one
help me out? I would certainly appreciate it.

Well, I have gabbed too long. See everyone on Memorial weekend.
There will be two in our group celebrating their birthdays!! 
I am bringing two other people with me who have never seen the
area, besides my friend from Oregon. I will love showing the 
place off!! 

Thank you, 
Della Eckles

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Copyright © 2001 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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