July 5, 2002
Dear Subscriber:

So, some among you doubted my veracity concerning the
appearance of Yogi, the Bear. Shame be upon you.

Behold, here are pictures.


Alan, my neighbor, says some people will think I stole the
pictures out of National Geographic.

As the CEO of Enron said...trust me. Thanks to Cheryl and
Carla for the pix.

Since our last newsletter, Yogi has paid us another visit. I
wasn't at home, but he tried to open the freezer again. He has
probably been dreaming about that freezer since early last
week. Peg stuck her head out the window and asked Yogi, "What
are you doing?!" Yogi took off, empty-pawed, since I had put
locks on the freezer.

I received several emails concerning Yogi this past week,
including one from an advocacy group (see letters).

It's a tough call. Sure, the beasts ruled the mountains long
before us humans arrived...but times change and situations
evolve. Yogi will appreciate the fact that while he has a
territory, so do I. I will do what I can to protect mine, as
he will his. Sometimes those values clash. Such is life. I
wish we could shake hands and call it a draw, but I don't think
that's gonna happen.

Maybe there's nothing to worry about. It seems the spans of
time between Yogi visits get longer and longer.

Maybe he'll find a mate, build a house in the suburbs and
become a Republican.

More on Yogi as it occurs.


Other housekeeping. Readers will recall our story of the stray
dog near the Cloudcroft dump. See our special section for a
letter about Muffin and pix.

Don Vanlandingham

The rainy season is getting a sputtering start. Showers just
about every afternoon this past week, but no significant
rainfall. Highs in the low-80s on sunny days...the low-70s on
cloudy days. Over night lows in the mid-50s. Forest
restrictions are still in place.
In the June 7 issue of The Newsletter, we reported the rescue
and subsequent adoption of a little dog in Cloudcroft.


Muffin is doing fine. Here's a letter about her and some

Dear Don and Peggy:

Thank you for the nice little article you posted about our
little furry friend. Beth printed it out for me and I got it at
work. I apologize for taking so long to get the pictures to you,
but I wanted them on a CD and that takes a little longer.

You are not even going to recognize this dog.

I thought you might be interested to know that Muffin is
earning her keep. She turned out to be a little blessing in
disguise. You see, for the last few years, my Grandmother's
hearing has gotten worse and worse. 

Recently, many of her friends had expressed concern about the
fact that they would have to come into her house and track her
down since she didn't hear the door. They were especially
concerned about the fact that she didn't seem to hear them
walking around her house until they were actually in the same
room as she.

I had noticed the same thing...often I would wander her house
hollering, "Gama? Gama? Where are you?" and would find her
sleeping in front of the TV. She never heard me yelling her
name. Since she lives on a very busy corner, prone to wandering
people, we were very concerned about her poor hearing.

Little Muffin didn't waste any time taking on her responsibility
as Security Dog Extraordinaire! She may be little, but if a
stranger enters her house, she is 10 pounds of terror! She
usually even barks to announce the arrival of my Mom or myself
until she realizes who is coming in...then she tries to lick us
to death in apology for barking at us. We are so grateful for
that little hairball.

Thanks again for helping bring her into our lives. I hope you
enjoy the pictures of her transformation.


It was a test run to see if villagers would self-regulate their
water usage, but after water restrictions were lifted last
month, water usage spiked considerably. Water restrictions in
the village were re-instated.

Mayor Venable told The Newsletter the village's largest water
users have submitted water conservation plans that he considers
reasonable and, to date, have been complying with the plans.
If your account is big or small, you're special with us! A
full-service community bank. We serve families and businesses
throughout Otero County, New Mexico, Holloman Air Force Base,
and beyond.

Six locations to serve you--10th Street, 1st Street, 9th Street,
and White Sands Mall in Alamogordo, 300 Central Street in
Tularosa, and Burro Street in Cloudcroft.

approval for all loans!
Its home base is Timberon, but The Mountain Times is for all
Sacramento Mountains residents.


Q - Is the Forest Service offering wood fuel?

A - They will be as soon as fire restrictions are lifted. Call
the Sacramento office (505-682-2551) for details.
July 6 -- July 4th weekend celebration. Zenith Park

July 7 -- Crystal River at Cloudcroft United Methodist Church.
One service only on that day which will begin promptly at
10:30am. This will be a patriotic service with the Holloman
Honor Guard participating by posting the colors.

July 7 - Crystal River Return Engagement. Pavilion in Zenith
Park, 2pm.

July 12-13 -- Melodrama. Covered Pavilion.

July 13 -- Founder's Park memorial dedication. Alamogordo.

July 13-14 -- July Jamboree.

July 14 -- Sacramento Mountains Historical Society annual
meeting. Middle School. 2pm.

July 13 -- Flower Show at the Community Center, l-5pm.

July 13 -- Street Dance. Burro Avenue.

July 19-21 -- Weed Blue Grass Festival

July 27 -- Train Load of Talent. Covered Pavilion.

July 27 -- Chili Cook-off. Ski Cloudcroft.

August 16, 17, 18 -- Singing in the Clouds.

August 25 -- Music Night, Ice Cream Social, and Silent Auction.
Cloudcroft Methodist Church, 5pm. BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

August 31-Sept. 2 -- Labor Day Fiesta.

August 31 -- Street Dance. Burro Avenue.

September 7 -- Methodist Men's Auction, 9am-5pm at the Covered
Pavilion in Zenith Park.

September 21 -- Lumberjack Day

October 5, 6 -- Oktoberfest. Zenith Park

October 5, 6 -- Aspencade tours

October 19, 20 -- High Rolls Apple Festival

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, in the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-2494
for more information.

Mountain Garden Club meets every third Monday of each month.
Call (505) 682-2910 for more information.

Senior Van from Timberon to Alamogordo leaves the Timberon
Lodge promptly at 8:30am every Tuesday morning.

Free Vitals Clinic. Third Tuesday of each month starting at 6pm
and last Thursday of each month starting at 12pm. James Canyon
Fire Department, 2346 Highway 82.

If you have news of public events in the Cloudcroft area, email

For an online calendar of area events, click the Events Calendar
link in the left column of our home page:


Dear Newsletter:

A reader wrote: "Has Blue Bell ice cream made it to Cloudcroft?
It has arrived in Jacksonville, FL."

My only regret in leaving Austin, TX was leaving access to
Bluebell ice cream behind. Later, to my chagrin, I discovered
Bluebell opened a dairy in Oklahoma. Oklahoma? Where they have
Braums already? Get real!

But this is the greatest insult of all - Bluebell in Florida.
You can't even buy Bluebell in El Paso!

I'd walk a mile, cry or smile, for a half-gallon of their 
Homemade Vanilla. But Okla and Fla are just a bit too far, even
for Bluebell. So, I settle nowadays for the Blue Bunny wannabe
ice cream sold in these parts. T'aint the same McGee....

Jack Schuller

Dear Newsletter:

TO: Betty and Allen of Jacksonville, FL

Have you tried Blue Bell's Moo-llennium Crunch?

Vanilla ice cream with a chockfull of chocolate and caramel
chunks, pecans, almonds and walnuts.

Even better with butterscotch topping and cool whip. This will
definitely put your cholesterol over the legal limit.

TO: John of Kermit, TX

We have an 11-year-old adopted greyhound, one eye and barely
any teeth left, but what a good girl she is. Too bad she's been
banned from doggy day care because she cries her eyes out the
whole time we're gone. We have to bring her with us when we
come to Cloudcroft. Wonderful dogs though, but watch out for
your bed or sofa, you won't have any place to sleep or sit.

Gay Lynn
Cedar Hill Guest Quarters
Wimberley, TX

Dear Newsletter:

I was most interested in reading your story about Yogi, the

We frequent rent a cabin in Sixteen Springs Canyon and I have
been amazed at how few "critters" we see up there, even though
it is away from town. Occasionally we have seen a few deer, but
nothing else.

The last time we were there in April, I noticed that the earth
was scored in a bunch of places like I had not seen before. At
first I was confused, but then ventured to guess that the
critters are pawing the ground to see if there was anything to
eat underneath the pine needles. I felt for the wildlife in 
the forest which is suffering during this drought, too. My girls
will be excited to hear that there really are bears in
Cloudcroft! My wife and I will be happy to just read about them!

Your Newsletter is the highlight of my week. I can't get away
to Cloudcroft as much as I would like, so the Newsletter lets
me feel for a few minutes like I am back "home" in the
mountains. Keep up the good work!

Lee Phillips

Dear Newsletter:

Loved the story about Yogi, once again you’ve made me feel a
part of the Cloudcroft community. Thanks for the great story

Kevin Haley
Abilene, TX 

Dear Newsletter:

Your story about Yogi reminded me of one of my experiences when
camping in the Cloudcroft area.

I used to be part of a group that would rent the entire
Sleepygrass camping area every year about mid-July. One year,
we had a bear make a major raid on the campsites.

I did my best to keep a clean, bear proof campsite. All food
was cleaned up, put up, or thrown when I was done. However, I
was also letting some other people use some of my stuff. 

The bear started at a campsite about midway in campgrounds, and
stole a carton of cigarettes. He then started making his way to
my campsite, gathering bread, butter, and cheese along the way.
When he arrived at my campsite, he found a newly opened can of
Crisco that someone had borrowed and left on the picnic table
there. I happened to be returning to my campsite when he was
dining. Seeing him there, I decided to leave and come back when
he was done.

I happened to run across a member of our group from Germany,
Gunther, and told him what was happening. Now, he was perfectly
sober at the time, and I didn't know he was crazy. Gunther then
takes it into his head to chase the bear out of my camp. He
runs into the campsite yelling in German, which actually causes
the bear to leave. Gunther then decides he wants a picture of
the bear, runs up into the woods and proceeds to take his

Gunther then yells he is going to pet the bear, and starts
running after the bear yelling, "Halt!" Luckily, for Gunther,
he didn't catch the bear.

I still occasionally think about, and feel sorry for, that poor

Thanks for the great newsletters,
Tim Covington.
Carrollton, TX.

Dear Newsletter:

You are toooooooo funny! I'm still giggling at my desk after
reading your Yogi story. I actually laughed out loud a couple
of times.

I miss Cloudcroft. I'm hoping to visit soon. I have fond
memories of camping in the parks near Cloudcroft when I was
younger. We only had a pop-up camper in those days and the
bears would pay us a visit every evening. It was quite
unnerving for my sister and I. We slept on beds that folded
out from the camper as did my Mom and Dad, but at the other

I can remember the bears walking under us, bumping the camper,
huffing and puffy as they sniffed and turned over everything
in sight. I loved it! It was exciting, to say the least.

Anyway, just wanted to tell you that I really enjoy your
Newsletter. Take care!

Connie Jackson
San Angelo, TX

Dear Newsletter:

How exciting to see a bear that close up. You guys had an
exciting few days there. Sometimes it take that certain kind
of a voice to show someone that you mean well. That is so
funny though, but freighting.

Hope you guys don't have any more trouble out of Yogi bear.

Thanks for the Newsletter.

Shirley Myers
Amarillo, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

I seems to me that if everyone is not careful, Yogi is going to
going to injure someone. It is apparent that he has no fear of
humans and that makes for a bad situation.

I was raised a short distance from Yellowstone Nation Park and
if you have been there you know that the place is loaded with
bears. We learned to respect them, but keep a watchful eye for
those that had no fear of man as they are the dangerous ones. 

Good luck and Yogi should learn the old saying about women: 
"hell has no fury like the wrath of a woman" 

Anyway I enjoy your Newsletters and come to Cloudcroft often.

Mack Dalton 
Odessa, TX

Dear Newsletter:

That was the funniest story you have written in a long time.

Being new to the area, friends up there said, "Linda, when you
hear the dumpsters clanging around, it's a bear!" Last time I
was up there, I heard more clanging around before sunup than
a flatlander could imagine!

I threw a T-shirt over my PJ's, grabbed my camera and drove
all over Cloudcroft looking in every dumpster I could find for
a bear- by the dump, on Wren, downtown, etc.

Of course I didn't see any. Unimpressed, I went back home and
went back to bed. Later I was telling my story to my friend up
there and she said, "Oh, I forgot to tell you, they empty the
trash from the dumpters on Monday."

Hope to meet ya'll someday.

Hope to see a bear, too. We are coming up for the month of July.

Linda Vos
San Antonio, Tx

Dear Newsletter:

I loved it! Your Newsletter about Yogi. 'Tis frustrating, more
than a bit frightening and fun to talk about - later!

I live in Alto, NM and I, too, have had a few bears visit!

First time was 2am one Saturday. Awakened us by thumping around
with its paw in my kitchen sink...it'd managed to get "arm" and
head through the kitchen window! When I screeched, "My God...
it's a BEAR!", it scared the bear more than it scared us and i
t split. (I no longer leave low windows open!)

Only one this year, so far, made its presence known by ripping
down a hummingbird feeder. (I know, I know, I was pushing my
luck! They recognize a hummingbird feeder.)

Last year was more "entertaining". A youngster showed up. After
tearing down my bird seed-feeder, it flipped over the bird bath
(breaking same), tore down a windsock, then played like a
circus seal flipping the windsock around while sprawling in the
birdseed/bird bath water! Tiring of that, it came into my
"courtyard", chewed holes in a water hose, ate all the parsley
I was growing in a pot, and stared at me through a window while
I was busily taking pictures for the flatland friends! ("You had
a WHAT?")

Yogi then ventured around back of my house, tearing down a porch
light on the way, making a few claw holes in a screen door,
chewing ANOTHER garden hose, and demolishing several gallons of
water I'd stashed for potted plants. Actually, I was disturbed
by the little guy...he was hungry and thirsty as well as young
and mischievous...BUT, when he muddied up the ONLY CLEAN WINDOWS
that I can reach...THAT DID IT! I phoned Smokey Bear Ranger
Station and screamed for "assistance" to get Yogi outa' here!
By the time my heroes had arrived, Young Yogi was long gone!

Some bear stories are funny and some are just plain frightening!
I really hope visitors to our "back to nature" area use common
sense and act sensibly! Bears are wild animals....amazingly
strong and very smart! Survival is their "nature", we humans
need to make it part of ours by playing it cool and smart...
don't feed them and keep your distance!

Now, about coyote serenades, raccoon tracks on my skylights and
deer taste-testing my plants.....

Well, what can I say, I wanted to live in the mountains.....

Keep up the great writing!

Barbara Karcher
Alto, NM

Dear Newsletter:

I don't know much about mountain life, but if you'll indulge
me, I do have some well intended advice.

I'd rather Cloudcroft be minus one of its bears than lose our
Cloudcroft Newsletter editor or his better half. As for the
prospect of a relocated Yogi, he's smart enough to get by.
After all, he backed down from Peg didn't he...?

Perhaps I might also share a point of interest. I am writing
you from Colorado Springs. I am here Sunday to Sunday with
three of my children, two of which are playing in a Pikes Peak
Invitational Soccer Tournament.

One of the soccer complexes we have been directed to, for
practicing prior to games, had an interesting sign posted at
its entrance. The sign offered a silhouette of a mountain lion
designed to get your attention. It stated that mountain lion
activity was prevalent in this area. It went on to offer tips
for what to do if confronted by a lion.

It was actually entertaining to overhear the conversation and
observe the watchful eyes of soccer moms as they tried to
lightly discuss their babies running about the perimeter of
these fields near rock formations and the timberline. Of course,
it all went without incident. The drought that seems to be in
large areas through out the southern reaches of the Rockies and
other mountain ranges is in some places devastating. It could
even be described as sad. Lets hope and pray for wetter days. 

Joe Wells

Dear Newsletter:

Well it is me from Sweetwater, Texas, again. The story about
you and Yogi and your dear wife is better than watching TV. I
am already anxious to hear chapter of the BEAR story. Makes me
want to just run up there and see all this for myself and we
probably will sometime this summer.

Thanks again for sharing the stories.

Dusty and Pat

Dear Newsletter:

Howdy! Enjoyed your newsletter about yogi, big time! I laughed
so hard when Yogi got into your freezer and became "the chicken
wing bandit"; but when Peg yelled at him and he took off running
(after your 22 shots did nothing), I was in tears I was laughing
so hard.

I'm with you on letting him be and not relocating him as long
as he (she?) doesn't attack a human. Who knows; there may be a
booboo around soon, ha.


Tim Ryan,
Cibolo, Tx 

Dear Newsletter:

While we were stationed in El Paso we would visit Cloudcroft
whenever possible. Especially on those unbearably hot days!

We are living in Florida now and oh how I miss Cloudcroft. I
was thrilled when I found the Newsletter. It is my job to read
the Newsletter aloud for everyone to hear. You sure keep us
laughing, thank you.

Sandi Perdun
Brandon, Florida 

Dear Newsletter:

I'm glad you shared your story about "Yogi", but not just
because it was told in lighthearted, entertaining fashion. Your
story raised important points about the challenges of people
living alongside wild creatures in what is known as the 
"urban-wildland" interface. The game and fish officer was right.
Bears that are relocated after run-ins with people -- these are
primarily repeat offender bears or maybe ones that make humans
nervous that never had a chance to re-offend -- do not usually
survive the relocation.

I don't know if Cloudcroft area readers know it, but this past
year has been particularly devastating for New Mexico's bear
population. The drought has been a weather factor on and off,
but mostly on, since 1996, and the forage situation has gotten
cumulatively drastic. Too many bear were taken in hunts this
past hunting season -- the existing natural stresses on the
bears made them more vulnerable. When hungry, they must range
ever-farther for food (witness your account), and their
progressively weaker conditions make them easier to kill.

Many more bear were killed by - or on behalf of - frightened
homeowners, mostly in Northern NM. Remember the large numbers
of bear sightings last summer and fall - when we were STILL in
the grip of this drought? Others died in car accidents and
after they were moved to another area in the state. The reason
bears are killed three times out of four after re-location is
their very strong territorial nature. The new invader is killed
off by the resident bear(s).

Another factor in the size of the population is that bears are
ordinarily slow to reproduce and their litters are small,
compared to most animals. They are more like humans in this
respect. When weakened by droughts, bears don't reproduce well
at all. And too many sows (female bears) were killed in this
past year's hunt.

Studies have taught us that bear populations can be sustained
under conditions of 5-7% annual harvesting; bear conservation
can even be maintained with an occasional year of 10% harvest.
But in several parts of NM this past year, a third of the bear
population was lost. Where we live in the "east mountains" east
of Albuquerque and the Sandia Mountains, it looks like up to
HALF the bear population died or was killed. It isn't hard to
see that the numbers of this magnificent animal can be greatly
diminished by multiple years of over-harvesting and excessive
kills due to skirmishes with their new human neighbors. The bear
just can't recover quickly. By the way, I am not at all against
hunting; I just believe hunting harvest allotments should be
adjusted annually to current realities (or at least best
estimates). Our avid bear hunters will have nothing to hunt in
a few short years if we remain shortsighted and greedy. If you
care about this issue, contact the NM Game and Fish Director
and Commission members with your concerns!

It is important for Cloudcroft fulltime and part-time (summer)
residents to be aware of these facts, so they can do their
small parts to help conserve these wonderful animals. As your
account showed, we must recognize the great resourcefulness
and drive of the bear under harsh conditions such as we are
currently enduring. We moved into the bears' ancient natural
forested habitat, and if we don't want close encounters with
them at our homes, we need to make a few changes in the way we
go about our daily lives. It is true what they say: "a fed bear
is a dead bear." If bears find food sources, especially reliable
ones, they will be repeat offenders, and they will be shot by
a game officer or homeowner, or re-located (and you now know
what that means). Trash and garbage must ALWAYS be bear-proofed.
If bears can get right up to your house, then experts will tell
you that even birdseed and hummingbird food should be removed
from outdoors at night - maybe kept overnight in a secure
garage. Likewise, food for pets must be secured indoors, at
least overnight. Folks that keep bees or have orchards may need
to install electric fences or some other preventive measure. If
we care to continue sharing this part of the planet with the
mighty, wondrous bear, we need to wake up and try to live with
the animals that inhabit the forests we now live next to.

Thanks for letting me provide this 'public service' information.

Lyn Canham
Sandia Mountain BearWatch Member
Sandia Park, NM

To unsubscribe, email: unsubscribe@cloudcroft.com
To subscribe, go to
If email to an address bounces (returns to us), that email
address is automatically deleted from our mailing list. If you
cease getting this newsletter suddenly, probably your provider
bounced your newsletter. This can happen when a provider is too
busy or is shutdown for some reason. If this happens to you, 
just revisit our site and re-add your email address to our list.
If you have comments or suggestions for this newsletter, please 
direct them to: newsletter@cloudcroft.com
Please feel free to pass this newsletter along to your friends.
However, we ask that you keep it intact and forward it in
its entirety.

Copyright © 2002 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
Previous Newsletter Next Newsletter