About the Forest

Rotating photo of a Red Leaf, Horses at the Sandia Mountains, Ruins at Mills Canyon, a Deer, and the East Sandia Mountains

Like most of the National Forests located in the western states, the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands grew out of lands that originally were known as Forest Reserves. These reserves were first established in the late 1800s and early 1900s to protect natural resources, such as watersheds, trees, and soils. Cibola, pronounced SEE-bo-lah, is thought to be the original Zuni Indian name for their pueblos or tribal lands. Later, the Spanish interpreted the word to mean, "buffalo." Valued for its recreation opportunities, natural beauty, timber, watersheds, water, forage, and wilderness resources, the forest is managed to provide the greatest benefits that can be produced on a permanent basis.

For more history and information about the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands, its climate, size, and recreational opportunities please visit our extended information page. more


Southwest Region Forest Map



There are six national forests in Arizona, five national forests and a national grassland in New Mexico, and one national grassland each in Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle.

Young Smokey

Link to the Southwest Region's Historic Photos



History of the Forest Service in the Southwest, creation of Forest Reserves and National Forests, Smokey Bear, and more.

Key Contacts

Black Kettle/McClellan Creek 
Tom Smeltzer, District Ranger
e-mail:  tsmeltzer@fs.fed.us
Phone: 580.497.2143
Fax: 580.497.2379

Kiowa/Rita Blanca 
Mike Atkinson, District Ranger
e-mail:  matkinson@fs.fed.us
Phone: 575.374.9652
Fax: 575.374.9664

Magdalena Ranger District
Kim A. Obele, District Ranger
e-mail: kobele@fs.fed.us
Phone: 575.854.2281
Fax: 575.854.2332

Mountainair Ranger District
Jay Turner, District Ranger
e-mail:  jayturner@fs.fed.us
Phone: 505.847.2990
Fax: 505.847.2238

Mt. Taylor Ranger District
Alvin Whitehair, District Ranger
e-mail: awhitehair@fs.fed.us
Phone: 505.287.8833
Fax: 505.287.4924

Sandia Ranger District
Crystal Powell, District Ranger
e-mail:  clpowell@fs.fed.us
Phone: 505.281.3304
Fax: 505.281.1176