This was a tough week with the cancellations of the Santa Fe Opera, the Chamber Music Festival and the Bandstand—this, after all the major summer markets had already announced closures.  It really hit home this week that the City is going to be hammered financially, forcing it to make some hard decisions that are going to affect us all.

While most of our arts and entertainment options are being curtailed by the pandemic, we can take solace that there is one enjoyment that will never be cancelled:  nature!  As we enter this next phase and rebuild our economy – hopefully in more equitable and green ways – nature, and access to it, must be a priority.  I’ve been reading “The Nature Fix,” by Florence Williams, which is a wonderful and scholarly mediation on why nature is good for us.  As our world shrinks, the pandemic is showing us what Williams’s research suggests in her book:  “The more nature, the better you feel.”  One of you using our local trails right now who answered our survey says it better than I can:  “Without [the trails] I would be a cooped up OCD mess. I recently lost a loved one so having access to open space saved me. My ability to hike daily sustains me in all ways. I process feelings, recharge and heal. So for me access to open space, is essential for my mental, physical and spiritual health. Outdoor space has been my saving grace.”

When thinking of what comes next, push nature up toward the top.  The virus has laid bare the fact that even our most august institutions cannot easily function during a pandemic, but here is nature, doing her thing, as Wordsworth said, being “the nurse,/ The guide, the guardian of my heart.”  We need more of it, not less, because nature calms us, lowers our blood pressure, makes us happier, healthier and more creative.

Nature can also give us more economic stability.  New Mexico’s outdoor recreational economy creates $9.9 billion in consumer spending and contributes $623 million in state and local tax revenue, according to the Outdoor Recreation Association.  So not only is nature” one of the few places where we can engage all five senses, and thus by definition {be} fully, physically alive,” says Williams, the outdoor recreation it affords can be a dependable, green cornerstone of rebuilding our economy.  SFCT is proud of its trails legacy in and around Santa Fe and its programs to create equitable access to nature.  As a 26-year-old land trust, we are also proud of our work to protect more than 40,000 acres of scenic open space in northern New Mexico.  Join us, and let’s work together going forward to be sure nature plays a big role in the rebuilding our local economy.


Sarah Noss
Executive Director



Does the thought of traveling to a place far away right now seem daunting?  You can do it with a Banff film, no problem!  The Pehuenche people of present-day Chile speak Mapudungun: “the language of the land.’” This land, their universe, is known as Wallmapu. Two skiers enter, into a breathtaking creation of ancient Araucaria trees, looming volcanoes, and windblown snow.

Hold on to your tickets from March.  We’ve reserved the Lensic for September 16 and 17 in the hopes that we can show the Banff Mountain Film Festival then.  Stay tuned!

Thanks to our Banff sponsors!


SFCT is proud to play a part in the extension of Santa Fe Bike Week to Bike Month.  Today would have been Bike to Work Day, but since so many of us are not at work right now, check out two nice cruises that SFCT mapped out as part of the month-long celebration.

Help us answer the question, “Can we ride separately but still come together as community?”  Send us your pics! For more information on Bike Month, go to


Get ready for a six night camping trip with four days of hikes and explorations at Cedar Mesa, part of Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah!

Sunday, October 4 to Friday, October 9, 2020
Price:  $960         Deposit:  $200
($460 tax-deductible)

Led by our experienced guide, Linda Siegle, you’ll be amazed at the prolific rock art that scales the canyon walls. We’ll hike through the Southwest’s most colorful canyons to find hidden ruins. During the evenings, see the Milky Way blazing a trail across a night sky that the ancestors of this ancient place revered.

  • It’s a wonderful opportunity to take pictures, explore a magnificent setting and learn the stories told by the land.
  • Delicious meals are provided by the leaders and prepared by all.
  • Depending on the pandemic, drive yourself or if we can, van transportation from Santa Fe will be included and also provided from the campground to all the trail heads.

Limited to ten people.  Get all the details here:

From our Land Program Manager, Melissa Houser


The Noctuidae, commonly known as owlet moths, Miller Moths or Cutworm Moths, is the largest species of moth in North America, with over 2,500 species.  Peak miller moth flights typically last five to six weeks, starting the last week of May or early June.

Miller moths avoid daylight and seek shelter before daybreak. Small cracks in the doorways of homes, garages, and cars make perfect hiding spots.  At night, the moths emerge to resume their migratory flights and to feed. Since cracks often continue into the living space of a home (or a garage, car, etc.) a ‘wrong’ turn may lead them indoors, instead of outside.

It’s not easy being a miller moth.  People don’t particularly like them.  The caterpillar stage of the miller moth is the cutworm that has many natural enemies including predatory ground beetles, hunting wasps and many birds.  The larvae of tachinid flies and parasitic wasps develop within and kill caterpillars.  Adult millers may be eaten by bats at night.

Swallows love them and often can be seen at intersections where they feed on miller moths.  (House sparrows and other birds also are found at these sites, feeding on wounded moths.)  This likely occurs because many miller moths that had sought shelter in an automobile chassis emerge while the cars are idling.  In addition to drivers opening windows at intersections to get them out of the car, cars at intersections provide a continuous source of new moths, which the swallows soon recognize as a site of reliable food.

Bears coming out of hibernation also love miller moths, which cluster under loose rocks in the mountains.  Bears can feast on up to 40,000 moths a day because they are rich in fat and a good source of calories for the hungry bears.  Yes, they are a nuisance, but also an important part of the food chain!


This is your last chance to take our survey and let us know how you are doing during the pandemic.  We’ve gotten about a hundred replies, and, maybe because you’re our crowd, a whopping 82% of you said you are using open spaces and trails on a daily basis!

Here’s what you said you are using them for:

Mental health
Stress release
Working out
The ability to see other people from a distance, yet practice social distancing
Dog walking

We need nature now more than ever!  Take the survey here:

SFCT depends on the generosity of the community to fund our work.  SFCT partners with our community to keep northern New Mexico’s living lands and people flourishing together.  We protect environmentally significant landscapes, ignite people’s passion for nature and enable the continual regeneration of our healthy place.  If you believe in our mission, please make a donation today!