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Fundraiser for Philmont Scout Ranch aims to repair trails, roads and buildings lost in the Ute Park Fire


The Ute Park Fire, which burned nearly 27,000 acres on Philmont Scout Ranch, started on May 31 destroyed many buildings on the property. A fundraiser is Saturday. Karl Moffatt/For the Journal

Supporters of scouting and New Mexico’s fire-ravaged Philmont Scout Ranch can help in its recovery by attending Dallas Safari Club New Mexico’s fundraising event Saturday at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

The hunting advocacy organization is dedicating 20 percent of all its proceeds from its fundraiser and gala event to the ranch, says Robert Espinoza of Dallas Safari Club New Mexico.

“We hope to raise $20,000 or more,” he said.

The Philmont Scout Ranch, near Cimarron in northern New Mexico, was heavily damaged this summer by the 38,000-acre Ute Park Fire.

The fire blackened about 27,000 acres of the 140,000-acre ranch and destroyed many storage buildings, outhouses and campsites. Backcountry hiking and camping excursions had to be canceled for the season.

Trails, roads and outbuildings will have to be rebuilt and native trees and grasses replanted as part of the recovery.

“We’re still assessing all the damage,” said Dollie O’Neill of the Philmont Staff and Alumni Association.

Dallas Safari Club New Mexico’s fundraiser will feature an all-day deer mount display at the convention center where visitors can buy raffle tickets and make silent bids on gifts such as a cow elk hunt at Vermejo Park, sporting goods, art and firearms. Admission is free, Espinoza said.

Those wishing to attend the evening event including a steak dinner, cash bar and auction can purchase tickets on the club’s website at

A three-night, two-day fishing expedition at Vermejo Park for up to four people will be awarded during the evening event, Espinoza said.

“We’d love it if folks would help support this effort,” Espinoza said.

Dallas Safari Club New Mexico is a nonprofit organization dedicated to hunting and wildlife conservation and education.

Those wishing to donate to the recovery also can do so by visiting the Philmont association’s website at

Philmont each year hosts thousands of Scouts from around the country who visit northern New Mexico to hike and camp.

For more information about the Philmont, go to

Karl Moffatt is a longtime New Mexico journalist and avid outdoorsman. His blog is at