The Criswell Range and Bell Mountain as seen in winter (mirrored). © 2007 - 2008
© 2007 - 2008
© 2007 - 2008
© 2007 - 2008

Welcome to Criswell Cattleguard!

Spring 2007 - Special Edition...
From Criswell Cattleguard Staff:

This message is being sent to all Criswell landowners who have supplied us with their E-mail address. The purpose of the multiple-mailing is to try to answer quickly, the questions that were e-mailed to us after the Cattleguards for December 2006 were received. The response was just too great to send individual answers. Consequently, there will be some of you who are going to get answers to questions that you did not ask. Some others will get messages and won’t know what it is about. But don’t worry; somebody out there wants the answer. Thanks for your patience.

The first thing I want to say is that from the $25 contributions to build the park we have been able to raise enough to buy a used road grader. Most contributors are not landowners on the Criswell. The park itself is not the main thing. We could have had a park built by now. But what good is a park if you can’t get to it? So the main endeavor is to build the road. then we will build the other roads.

We will now be able to build roads because we now know what is private land; state land and federal/BLM land. And we now have a road grader!

A few years back we tried to get sections surveyed by getting owners to share in the cost. We said that we would front the money for a section if we could get half of the owners to put up a survey deposit. We only were able to get one section surveyed. Some of those that did put up deposits offered to let us use their money to build roads. We tried to get some built. But the only piece of equipment we had was a dozer. It took too long and we couldn’t grade diversion dams and ditches with it. So what work we did do, would wash out in the next big rain. But with a grader we can raise the roadbed and grade the roads and diversion dams and ditches.

Now about priorities. Those who contributed to the original survey and left their money in will naturally get priority consideration. Those who get priority and happen to be on the road to where the park is being built will get #1 priority. So what we call Bell Mountain Road will be the first area that we will work on. That is in the T3 R9 township, or eastern side of the Criswell. But we will not finish that side. We will break off and start building roads on the T3 R 10 or western side. Then we will go back to the eastern side and put in drive ways for those owners who want them and will issue easements if we need them. Please remember that easements already exist on the outside thirty feet of your property. We will try to stay on those easements, but we might have to ask you to trade land on the inside of your property for the easements.

There have been quite a few who have offered their help in getting these improvements started. And we will take all of the help we can get. But scheduling this work is going to be one great big headache. So anyone who feels a desire to get their hands dirty should advise us as to when they can be available and what kind of bedding they will need. We have some campers and trailers that can be used and my place in Pie Town will be able to house anyone who does not require a luxurious camp.

Now for you who have asked about getting GPS created coordinates. I can get the coordinates by putting a dot on my screen and clicking the mouse. Then I can print them. Now that doesn’t seem like a lot of work. But it is not what we yet have to do; it is what we have already done that drives this economy. So those who have contributed to the survey will get their coordinates without further payment, because it was their money that made it possible to get a surveyor to come out here and do the primary surveys step with his expensive GPS gadget. That part of any survey is what costs. The fieldwork is just going out and driving stakes where they should be. In New Mexico, if a surveyor completes that part of a survey he or she must record it in the county office. That would have been costly to get all of the Criswell recorded. We opted out because we couldn’t pay for it. If you ever meet Richard Daley from Socorro he can tell you why the BLM didn’t survey any more than half of the Criswell allotment. They ran out of money. But you’ve read that before.

So you who have not contributed before are being asked to help by contributing to what we are trying to do here. Which is getting roads built so property owners can at least get to their property. And those who want to sell can get a Real Estate office to list their property.

When you contact the office be sure to give us your Name, Township, Range, Section, correct address e mail and phone number so we can get back in touch with you without having these heavy expenses.

Now this will absolutely be the last bulk mailing of the Cattleguard. This one is necessary because the one we sent in January got pretty torn up in the mail and many have asked for copies. Sorry but you will have to go get it on the web page. So this is how to do that:

Enter: in your browser and then GO or SEARCH (or click this link).
Use whatever browser works best for you.

A Word About the Community Center and Park

We all know that a park and community center is not needed out here. But on the other hand, as an icon of what this country once was, it could be an attraction and a meeting place. The land where the park is being built is now privately owned and the owner has promised to deed the property to CDG in perpetuity if we meet certain requirements. The requirements are not difficult. They are simply to lay out and grade good useable roads and to construct some buildings that are reminiscent of the old west.

As for the roads; about 60% of the existing roads can be repaired and graded with the dozer and grader that we have now. We raised the money for that equipment by getting contributions from people who do not own property on the Criswell. People who answered a promotional ad to contribute to the building of a park that would be reminiscent of the old west. Contributors to the park fund will get ownership to a share of the park. When the road to the park is able to handle traffic, we will have another promotional campaign.

Those roads are the roads that will help you get to your property. And I for one am looking forward to showing you the roads we are going to build, especially those of you who said it couldn’t be done.

Some owners have sent us large contributions, some in the thousands of dollars, to build a road to their property. And while we don’t want large contributions to the building of the park, we accept them for road building. We will give those roads priority as long as the equipment is in the vicinity. To that end, we had been thinking about having a competition that would bring ATVers and GPSers together to form teams to plot out new roads for the road crew to work on. We were going to call it a trac-o-bamma. But that plan got shot down in the first minutes of the first meeting of the plotting committee.

It was decided to keep the fun of plotting roads for locals who have ATVs.

Of course anyone who wishes to bring their ATV and GPS out can join a team. We just hope that you will coordinate your time out here with the plotting committee. The best way to do that is with an E-mail to

The most time consuming job for the road committee, is to lay out possible trails or paths or roads from one place to another. Even with the GPS lines and coordinates it can take a full summer day to lay out a road that is only going to end a mile from the starting point. We have found that the most efficient way to lay one out is to make a track with an ATV that is equipped with a GPS. Directions go something like this.

Locate on the map a place where you might leave the road that is close to where the ending point is. Then you drive the ATV toward the coordinates of the final point, Because of hills and gullies and arroyos and such, you will be zigging and zagging. But when you get to your destination, you start tracking back to your starting point. But this time you will be following the little flags you put out on your outward leg. And you will mark all of those way-points on your GPS. Sounds easy and it is lots of fun.

The road plotting will be ongoing. Weather is a large factor. The big rains from the Pacific come in July and August and sometimes into September. And some years the rains are here in June. April, May and June are still cold in the mornings. But the days and evenings are pleasant.

- Registration and Information -
P O Box 771
Pie Town NM 87871
Phone #575 772 2773
E-mail Address:

Road / Survey Committees Combined:

At our General Membership meeting in September 2004 it became evident that there was more interest in roads being laid out and for members to be able to get to their own property than to have their property surveyed.

After the meeting we received many letters stating that they would like to have their survey money transferred to the road committee so they could get on with the task of building roads. So we sent letters to all members who had requested surveys. We offered three choices. 1. No interest in having a road to their property and to return their money. 2. Transfer their money to the road committee and notify them when a survey becomes feasible. 3. Transfer their survey money to lay out a road to their property.

Many of the requests for advice were not answered; a few requested the return of their money and about 50% said to use their money for road work.

So at the Fall board meeting, the survey and road committees were merged into one committee. With the primary effort to be on laying out roads and causing “two track” roads to be formed. It is important to note that unengineered roads have a tendency to evolve into arroyos when they are not used. For this reason, planned roads will not be gouged into the ground until it is evident that the roads will be maintained..

The surveying plans have been put on the back burner. Mostly because our surveyor has moved to Clovis, New Mexico, and not enough members saw fit to request a survey. But the committee is planning a membership roster that will list the name and address of the owners of property in each section. The hope is that the members might contact each other and think once again about getting a survey. If enough members in a section request a survey, the committee will get a quote and arrange for a survey.

If you would like to have the names and addresses of the other members in your Section, drop a line to the CDG road/survey committee. Tell us your name and address and the legal description of your property.

If you'd like to print this newsletter and save it, a printable copy is available in Adobe Reader's popular PDF format in our "Resources" section on the "PDF Downloads" page or just click here.

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© 2007 - 2008

© 2007 - 2008
© 2007 - 2008