This award is given in recognition of successful efforts to influence public policy relating to trail planning, trail protection, trail development, or maintenance.
Deirdre Monroe fits this description as she continually promotes and gives voice to the 67,000 acres of the Santa Fe National Forest called the Caja Del Rio.
Deirdre extols the beauty of an unconventional “forest” whose trees are low and sparse by photographing, publicizing, and ultimately winning funding for trails improvement. Monroe started riding in the Caja in 1998 with her endurance horse, Buddy. Frustrated by lack of user-friendly maps, she used her GPS and computer skills to ultimately produce a user friendly map that included photographs, driving directions, trail characteristics, and water locations.
During the past eighteen months, her riding and hiking with the GPS has expanded her data base. Using this data, she plans on updating her map to eventually include “connections to other trail systems and give hikers accurate trail information on the adjacent Bureau of Land Management ground,” according to Monroe. In her community, Monroe attends BLM meeting as well as county and city meeting to continually voice support for trails funding and publicity. She speaks at New Mexico Horsemen meetings and travel club gatherings, giving a slide show presentation on what the Caja has to offer to hikers, bikers and equestrians.