[Cdt-l] lost another water cache in Grants

Designer Aviaries birdcage at 7cities.net
Mon Dec 15 14:38:23 CST 2014

I have bad news.  I posted a month or so ago that a southbound hiker told 
the ranger at the Hwy 53 station that there was a water cache at the west 
side of the Acoma-Zuni trail and gave the ranger my name and phone number. 
He called to confirm the water cache and get directions and told me he would 
check it out and get back to me.  Got a call over the week-end and the 
ranger wanted to meet at the cache yesterday - we agreed.  When we drove 
into the parking area, we knew there was a problem.  The ranger was a law 
enforcement ranger and had backed into the last parking space and was 
standing at the front of his vehicle complete with his gun belt and bullet 
proof vest. When we got out to talk, he obviously had an agenda.  He was 
polite but seemed obsessed that we hadn't asked permission to have the water 
cache in the area.  Bottom line, he not only asked us to remove any evidence 
of the water cache, but also took my drivers license and gave me a Federal 
citation for "digging and disturbing the ground and  plants on Federal 
Land", with a fine of $125.00.  He said if I didn't pay the fine within 30 
days there would be a Federal Warrant issued for my arrest.  When I signed 
the citation he gave back my license and did say that we seemed like nice 
people so he gave me the lowest fine possible for our infraction.  We drove 
away feeling like criminals - a sad day! I feel this was completely 
unnecessary. All he had to do was say we couldn't have the cache there and 
to remove it.
Now, we still have the water cache on the east side of the Acoma-Zuni trail 
on Hwy 117.  We are willing to continue to maintain that cache because we 
think it is the most critical place that you need water. Please do not tell 
anyone other than a hiker that it is there, we don't need any more trouble. 
Also, on the west side of the Acoma-Zuni trail there is a wind mill 2 miles 
north on Bonita Canyon road that the ranchers fixed earlier this year.  We 
will drive out the canyon next spring before the northbounders come through 
to see if it is still running.  If it is, we will post the info and that 
will have to be your water to get to Grants.  Sadly, Carole Mumm 

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