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Hidden Lake

Hidden LakeThe subdivision of Hidden Lake (HL) is located on the northern end of Ocate Mesa, about 13 miles southeast of the Village of Angel Fire off of State Road 120 and 4.2 miles east of State Road 434/120 Junction. Elevation ranges from 9,300 feet to over 10, 000 feet. The northeastern New Mexico subdivision is about twelve years old and encompasses nearly 1,500 acres. Ownership and management responsibilities were transferred from the developer to a property owners association in August 2001.

Hidden LakeCommon areas include a 35-acre lake and a wildlife corridor consisting of about seven acres. A nine-mile road system connects the 99 individually owned lots plus one association owned lot in the subdivision. The majority of the property contains the Engelmann spruce-corkbark fir habitat type. The characteristic tree species found in this habitat type are Englemann spruce (Picea engelmannii), corkbark fir (Abies lasiocarpa) (var. arizonica (Merriam) Lemm.), bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), limber pine (Pinus flexilis), quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) and white fir (Abies concolor).

The Slope ranges from 0 to 60 degrees. Most lots have moderate to large amounts of heavy dead and down woody material. Typical basal area is greater than 190 sq. ft. per acre with a large amount of undergrowth creating ladder fuels. The estimated average number of trees per acre is 631 with an average diameter at breast height of 7.5 inches. Mixed conifer is a forest type with a high fuel loading and long fire return intervals. Large areas of the forests in this area have not had a fire in over 100 years

Lots in the 99 Hidden Lake subdivision range in size from about 10 acres to 20 acres. Currently, 14 lots have structures that include single-family dwellings, unattached garages and various out buildings. Two houses are currently under construction. Structures are predominately log construction with a few constructed of cedar and stucco. All houses have metal roofing. The community is a mixture of full time and seasonal residents, with three property owner families residing all year in 2006. A seven-person association called the Hidden Lake Property Owner's Association governs the community. A full-time in-resident property manager maintains the road system, keeps the roads plowed during the winter (annual snowfall averages over 200 inches), provides fire safety and security patrols and supports property owners in a variety of ways.

Hidden LakeElectrical and telephone utilities are below ground except at the entrance easement road. Under dry windy conditions, branches, wind downed trees, or other debris can break the line or cause an arc with some lines and be a source for ignition. Vegetation maintenance along power line rights of way is essential. In the event of a wildfire, service may be shut off if power and telephone lines are threatened. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) Chapter 17 guidelines have been passed by the county commission and are being reviewed for discussion with Kit Carson Electric on clear space around power easements.

Colfax County Moreno Valley Fire Department supplies water and equipment for firefighting with mutual aid from the Village of Angel Fire.

Hidden LakeThere is only one point of access or convenient, vehicular egress from and to Highway 120, at mile marker 4.2. Subdivision roads are not surfaced and vary from 16-24 feet in width. Some interior roads are steeper than a 15 percent grade with one sharp curve. The roads are fairly well crowned so erosion is not a significant problem. Most of the driveways are wide enough for most emergency equipment, and a few have turn-around potential.

Hidden LakeThinning has begun on several properties in the development. To date eleven lots have done considerable thinning. Several other lots have begun fuel reduction. Our education of property owners started three years ago. We provided to property owners brochures and videotapes on FireWise principles. Since January 2005, over $204,500 has been invested in Firewise activities. This amounts to approximately $1,200 per capita.