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Road Apple Rally has been bringing mountain bicyclists to Farmington’s trail system since 1981.

Wochit

AZTEC — Outdoor recreation is taking on a more important role in New Mexico as communities view it as a key to economic diversification amid the changing energy landscape, but the COVID-19 pandemic put some of those efforts on hold.

As he welcomed hundreds of attendees to the New Mexico Outdoor Economics Conference this week, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said the virus has led the tribe to shut down tourism on its lands.

Organizers discuss pandemic’s impact on outdoor recreation in online call

The pandemic’s impacts took a central focus in the conference discussions.

Originally set to occur in Farmington and showcase some of the unique outdoor recreation assets in the community, the