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What is La Tierra/Buckman? Most obviously, today, we think of Las Campanas and a dozen or so smaller subdivisions nearby. But if we look into the past, the area was the stage for many human endeavors, including ranching, logging, and railroading rail·road·ing  
The construction or operation of railroads.

Noun 1. railroading - the activity of designing and constructing and operating railroads
rail technology

The dirt track known as Buckman Road takes off just outside Las Campanas and from there it's only about a half-hour (mildly jarring) drive to the road's end at the Rio Grande Rio Grande, city, Brazil
Rio Grande (rē` grän`dĭ), city (1991 pop.
. When you see the road pass through a grove of tamarisk tamarisk (tăm`ərĭsk), shrub or small tree of the genus Tamarix, native chiefly to the Mediterranean area and to central Asia. The plants are often heathlike and thrive in arid and coastal regions.  up ahead, you've arrived at the river. It's a beautiful spot, but there's quite a bit of litter: household garbage dumped in the shrubbery -- too many salt cedars competing with the native willows -- and beer cans and shotgun shells and plastic.

This area of sandy hills on the Rio Grande in White Rock Canyon once was the town of Buckman. "It was a railroad station and there was a crossing over the river," said Hedy Dunn, director of the Los Alamos Historical Museum The Los Alamos Historical Museum is housed in the historic Guest House of Los Alamos Ranch School, which was General Leslie Groves's favorite place to stay during the Manhattan Project. . "When there was logging in A colloquial term for the process of making the initial record of the names of individuals who have been brought to the police station upon their arrest.

The process of logging in is also called booking.
 the Jemez that crossing was important."

The reason was that the timber came from the Pajarito Plateau on the west side of the river, while the sawmill sawmill, installation or facility in which cut logs are sawed into standard-sized boards and timbers. The saws used in such an installation are generally of three types: the circular saw, which consists of a disk with teeth around its edge; the band saw, which  and the means to ship the wood out -- the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad -- were on the east side.

The D&RG, nicknamed the Chili Line, got its start in 1870, said Richard Dorman, a longtime railroad buff whose numerous books on the subject include The Chili Line and Santa Fe Santa Fe, city, Argentina
Santa Fe, city (1991 pop. 341,000), capital of Santa Fe prov., NE Argentina, a river port near the Paraná, with which it is connected by canal.
 the City Different. The track from Antonito, Colo., to Espanola was completed on Dec. 31, 1880.

There was no rail link to Santa Fe until January 1887, when the Texas, Santa Fe & Northern Railroad was completed. The Santa Fe Southern Railroad acquired the section from the Texas, Santa Fe & Northern Railroad Co., then it was purchased by the D&RG, which ran the entire line beginning in 1908.

The Denver & Rio Grande transported local chile, wool, fruit, and lumber, and brought in manufactured items like kitchen stoves and roofing metal.

"Ten carloads of cattle arrived over the Santa Fe from Engle, Sierra County Sierra County is the name of several counties in the United States:
  • Sierra County, California
  • Sierra County, New Mexico
, and were transferred to the Denver & Rio Grande for shipment to Rifle, Colo.," The Santa Fe New Mexican New Mexico Abbr. NM or N.M. or N.Mex.

A state of the southwest United States on the Mexican border. It was admitted as the 47th state in 1912.
 reported on June 27, 1904. "Four carloads of wool came in over the Santa Fe Central, the spring clip of the Bond Bros BROS Brothers
BROS Benefits and Retirement Operations Section (King County, Washington)
BROS Barnes and Richmond Operatic Society (London, UK) 
. at Estancia es·tan·cia  
A large estate or cattle ranch in Spanish America.

[Spanish, room, enclosure, country estate, from Vulgar Latin *stantia, something standing, from Latin
, and will be stored here temporarily."

Linda Aldrich and John Wirth John D. Wirth (1936-June 20, 2002) was the Gildred Professor of Latin American Studies at Stanford University. Wirth earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1958 and a doctorate in Latin American history in 1967 from Stanford.  note in Los Alamos Los Alamos (lôs ăl`əmōs', lŏs), uninc. town (1990 pop. 11,455), seat of Los Alamos co., N central N.Mex. It is on a long mesa extending from the Jemez Mts. The U.S. : The Ranch School Years 1917-1943 that the railroad also enabled early homesteaders in the area to sell their surplus bean harvests for cash.

The D&RG was the first to cut timber on the Pajarito Plateau. A mile of track required 3,000 ties, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 Logging Along the Denver & Rio Grande, a 1971 book published by the Colorado Railroad Museum The Colorado Railroad Museum is a non-profit railroad museum located at the foot of North Table Mountain near Golden, Colorado, United States. The museum has the largest collection of 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge rolling stock of any museum in the North America . . The cross-ties used by the D&RG were hand-hewn, six and one half feet long by six inches square.

Then came Harry S. Buckman, a lumberman from OregonBut let's take a closer look at the history before 1900.

Today, Buckman is well known for numerous deep wells that bolster Santa Fe's domestic water supply, and as the site of a project that will increase that supply by diverting water directly from the Rio Grande.

The environmental impact statement for the Buckman Direct Diversion (BDD BDD Base de Données (French: Database)
BDD Business Desktop Deployment (Microsoft)
BDD Behavior Driven Development
BDD Binary Decision Diagram
BDD Bantam Doubleday Dell
) project says some deeply buried artifacts artifacts

see specimen artifacts.
 at the project site may indicate that cultures from the Late Archaic period The name Archaic Period is given by archaeologists to the earliest periods of a culture. In particular, it may refer to:
  • the Archaic period in the Americas (8000 BC–1000 BC)
  • the Archaic period in Greece (1000 BC–500 BC)
 (about 1800 B.C.-A.D. 300) were the first to occupy the area year-round.

"There's also some Paleo-Indian evidence not too far from there, also in the Caja del Rio area, that goes back perhaps to 12,000 B.C.," said Robert Dello-Russo, a deputy director at the Museum of New Mexico's Office of Archaeological Studies.

During the early Spanish period, Governor Gaspar Domingo de Mendoza established what became known as the Ramon Vigil Grant in 1742. In the 19th century that land suffered severe overgrazing overgrazing

see overstocking.
 by a cattleman's 3,000-head herd, then, in 1898, came Harry Buckman.

Buckman "made a small fortune in New Mexico by specializing in cutting timber on Spanish land grants as they fell into the hands of Anglo speculators," Craig Martin writes in Los Alamos Place Names.

Buckman logged the Ramon Vigil Grant around 1900. The lumberman built a bridge across the Rio Grande -- Buckman Crossing -- and constructed a sawmill and a siding (a short sidetrack) to facilitate loading milled lumber onto the Chili Line. A town, named after Buckman, grew up around the lumber camp.

"There would have been some sort of buildings there for off-loading goods from the train, as well as loading the livestock or timber that came from the Plateau," Aldrich said in an e-mail interview. "There were also corrals for the livestock (sheep at first, then cattle), and so I surmise there were some sort of sheds for hay and equipment for dealing with livestock. Whatever buildings were there were hardly substantial in nature; more likely they were what we might term shacks -- rustic buildings put up in a frontier area to serve rustic purposes."

Buckman was gone by 1903, "leaving behind large swaths of tree stumps," Aldrich and Wirth write in their book about the Los Alamos Ranch School Los Alamos Ranch School was a private boarding school for boys near Otowi, New Mexico, in what would eventually become Los Alamos, New Mexico.

The school, which was established in 1920, offered a program modeled after the Boy Scouts of America, combining a college

The school, founded by Ashley Pond in 1917, was a more constructive beneficiary of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. Although self-sufficiency was a goal of the remote school, some supplies and the mail came from Santa Fe via the railroad. In the school's early days Buckman was the train's drop-off point for the school; later it was at the Otowi Switch four miles farther up the river on the opposite (west) bank.

"Ashley Pond came to the Pajarito Plateau in 1913, when the [Buckman] bridge was still the primary way to get onto the plateau," Aldrich said. The school's boys, who were nurtured in campcraft as well in academics, used horses to explore the entire area. "In the first few years of the school, the road between the school and 'civilization' in Santa Fe led through Buckman, and so that was where they went on horseback going off the mesa."

The students of Los Alamos Ranch School, which operated until the U.S. Army took it over during World War II, included Santa Fe Opera The Santa Fe Opera (SFO) is an American opera company, located 7 miles north of Santa Fe in the U.S. state of New Mexico, headquartered on a former guest ranch of 199 acres.  founder John Crosby; anthropologist Edward T. Hall; and writers William S. Burroughs Noun 1. William S. Burroughs - United States writer noted for his works portraying the life of drug addicts (1914-1997)
Burroughs, William Burroughs, William Seward Burroughs
 and Gore Vidal.

The Buckman Post Office closed in the early 1920s, according to a Bandelier National Monument Bandelier National Monument: see National Parks and Monuments (table).
Bandelier National Monument

Archaeological area, north-central New Mexico, U.S. Lying along the Rio Grande 20 mi (32 km) northwest of Santa Fe, it was established in 1916.
 history. By the 1940s the "town" of Buckman had faded from the landscape. The rickety rick·et·y  
adj. rick·et·i·er, rick·et·i·est
1. Likely to break or fall apart; shaky.

2. Feeble with age; infirm.

3. Of, having, or resembling rickets.
 old bridge over the river wasn't far behind. In the year the Ranch School was established, the Buckman Crossing bridge began falling apart. Four years later, in 1921, the Union Bridge Company built a new structure over the Rio Grande at Otowi -- a short distance upstream of the D&RG railroad bridge over the river.

Also in 1921, a new road was built to Los Alamos. It replaced a steep switchback switch·back  
1. A road, trail, or railroad track that follows a zigzag course on a steep incline.

2. A sharp bend in a road or trail on a steep incline.

3. Chiefly British A roller coaster.
 Harry Buckman had blasted through the cliffs of Mortendad Canyon to the top of Pajarito Plateau. "You can still see remnants of the old road as it comes up onto the mesa top on San Ildefonso land just north of White Rock," Aldrich said.

Although the road from Santa Fe through Otowi was well established, there was talk at two periods of constructing a second route to the Pajarito Plateau that would follow Buckman's logging road. The first, in the early 1930s, would have connected Santa Fe more directly with the increasingly popular Bandelier National Monument. The second was in the 1980s, when the New Mexico Highway Department was considering a new route to the Los Alamos area. Neither plan came to fruition.

The Denver & Rio Grande ceased its Santa Fe service in 1941. "Sept. 1 was the last run. They had a little party," said Milton Combs of the Trust for Public Land. Combs has walked the entire, old rail route from Santa Fe to Otowi over the years. The tracks went out Guadalupe Street and up Rio Grande Boulevard, through La Tierra and along an arroyo, then back and forth across the alignment of today's Buckman Road.

"South of Otowi Bridge, there are abutments where the railroad bridge was, and just before that there's an old foundation for the water tower that was there for the trains," Combs said.

Another remnant of the Chili Line was mentioned by Rick Carpenter, Santa Fe's senior water-resources coordinator. "Down just below one of our wells near the river, right by the old Buckman townsite A townsite is a legal subdivision of land that is platted for the development of a town or community. In the historical development of the United States, Canada, and other former British colonial nations, the filing of a townsite plat was often the first legal act in the , there's an arroyo and you can see the old piling for a railroad trestle that used to cross that arroyo," he said.

There was a mention, earlier in this account, of a D&RG shipment of wool from the Bond Brothers in Estancia. The Bonds are also well-known in Espanola, where they once had a thriving mercantile -- that town's historical museum is located in the beautiful Bond House.

The Bonds raised sheep and cattle on several ranches in New Mexico, Zannie Garcia said in a 1998 interview with the Real Estate Guide. "They were the ones who owned the Valle Grande then, and they'd drive their sheep and cattle up there in the summertime, fording the river down at Buckman, then bring them down here in the winter."

Back in 1960 Garcia used an inheritance to buy a 31,000-acre ranch west of Santa Fe from the Frank Bond family. A 4,700-acre chunk of that land was acquired during the 1980s by the Lyle Anderson Company for the upscale Las Campanas subdivision.

In preparing the property, Anderson spent more than $150 million building roads, putting in utilities, developing water agreements, and preparing the amenities, which today include two 18-hole golf courses, a lavish clubhouse, a state-of-the-art equestrian center, and a spa and tennis center. When sales in the retirement and second-home community began in January 1992, the first 298 lots sold in eight days. Most of the 1,717 lots have been purchased at this point, although many of those have been for investment; fewer than 700 homes have been built in Las Campanas.

Craig Huitfeldt, who heads the Las Campanas broker team, said four builders -- Sivage Homes, Senterra, Barranca bar·ran·ca   also bar·ran·co
n. pl. bar·ran·cas also bar·ran·cos Southwestern U.S.
1. A deep ravine or gorge.

2. A bluff.
 Builders, and Westman Browning -- are at work now, or soon will be, on several dozen new homes. Prices will range from the $700,000s to more than $1.7 million.

Huitfeldt is planning a new commercial development on land across from the Las Campanas sales office. "We filed for final plat A map of a town or a section of land that has been subdivided into lots showing the location and boundaries of individual parcels with the streets, alleys, easements, and rights of use over the land of another.  approval on Nov. 16 and we could technically have approval by Dec. 15, but we anticipate there will be appeals," Huitfeld said. The Placitas de la Tierra project involves nine buildings around a plaza.

"In the largest building we want to do something modeled on a European market, with a lot of separate kiosks inside for uses like a butcher, flower shop, a cafe, and a newsstand," he said. Other ideas for the development are an ice cream store, a dry cleaners, a bank, an antiques store, and an art gallery, plus the Las Campanas sales center will move to the 12-acre parcel.

The city of Santa Fe also is poised to don its contractor hat. A proposal discussed in the last year would result in more than 700 homes on 540 acres near Las Campanas in the Northwest Quadrant. The bulk of them would be developed for low- and medium-income buyers.

"We're in the process of doing a detailed traffic study, because that's the issue: how much traffic there will be and what will be the best ingress An entrance. Contrast with "egress," which means exit. See ingress traffic. See also Ingres 2006.  and egress See ingress. ," said Ron Pacheco, a senior housing planner in the city's Office of Affordable Housing. "Ridgetop Road has been the primary entrance and it has been thought that it would handle everything but we're also looking more to the southwest. Also, if the city does a Siler Road crossing of the Santa Fe River, it could alleviate some of the traffic pressure up there."

A city initiative with a much longer history is the Buckman direct-diversion project. Besides its wells inside the city limits, the city of Santa Fe has 13 wells in the Buckman area, most dating to the 1970s. As more wells are drilled -- four of the Buckman wells were added since 2000 -- and as wells are used more frequently (especially during drought years), concerns about sinking groundwater levels increase.

"We have just agreed to do a well-monitoring program and we will be looking at people's water levels in that whole area because there are concerns about drawdown Drawdown

The peak to trough decline during a specific record period of an investment or fund. It is usually quoted as the percentage between the peak to the trough.

 effects from the Buckman wells," said Claudia Borchert, water resources coordinator for the city water division's Public Utilities Department.

Borchert and her cohorts hope to ease fears of aquifer drawdowns by building a facility to divert water directly off the Rio Grande. Santa Fe has rights to an allocation of 5,230 acre-feet of water from the Colorado River system. The San Juan-Chama Project, which diverts contracted water for Santa Fe, Albuquerque, the Jicarilla Apaches, and other entities, is conveyed across the Continental Divide through the 26-mile Azotea Tunnel. The water is stored in Heron Lake and enters the Rio Grande via the Chama River.

For the BDD project, which will allow the city to tap its share of San Juan-Chama water, Santa Fe will build a structure to divert water from the Rio Grande as well as an 11-mile, raw-water pipeline; a new water-treatment plant; and nearly 20 miles of pipes (some along the old Denver & Rio Grande Railroad alignment) to bring the treated water to Santa Fe.

Rick Carpenter said the city is aiming to have the BDD operational in June 2010.

"Once that's in place we'll be using the wells much less," he said. "One of the project purposes and needs is to drastically reduce pumping in the Buckman wellfield. We might use the wells a little bit just to exercise the pumps but only in times of severe drought would we use them to maximum capacity, so we expect to see the aquifer recover and for the drawdown to subside or even reverse itself."

The BDD project area today is part of grazing allotments of the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, and residents of Santa Fe use it for recreational purposes including camping, shooting, hiking, and climbing.

The book Day Hikes in the Santa Fe Area by the Northern New Mexico Northern New Mexico may simply mean the northern part of New Mexico, but in cultural terms it usually means the area of heavy Spanish settlement in the north-central part.  Group of the Sierra Club Sierra Club, national organization in the United States dedicated to the preservation and expansion of the world's parks, wildlife, and wilderness areas. Founded (1892) in California by a group led by the Scottish-American conservationist John Muir, the Sierra Club  has a chapter on Diablo Canyon, a "short but spectacular hike, beginning in a canyon with vertical walls of basalt basalt (bəsôlt`, băs`ôlt), fine-grained rock of volcanic origin, dark gray, dark green, brown, reddish, or black in color. Basalt is an igneous rock, i.e., one that has congealed from a molten state.  and continuing along a sandy arroyo to the Rio Grande."

Then there's Buckman Mesa, with its small peak that resembles a crocodile head. "Most of the mesa top is flat except for its western corner, where Otowi Peak, the remnant of a volcano, rises 1,100 feet above the Rio Grande," the book says.

In Los Alamos Place Names, Craig Martin, the open-space specialist for the Los Alamos County Parks Division, writes that Buckman Mesa is a local name for a piece of the Caja del Rio Plateau just north of the old Buckman Station. The official name is La Mesita, and the volcanic plug at the top -- Martin said the plug resulted when lava came up and hardened there instead of flowing down -- is named Otowi Peak.

This is such a gorgeous part of New Mexico. Now if we can just do something about the littering...
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Title Annotation:Real Estate Guide
Publication:The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM)
Date:Dec 2, 2007

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