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Old 12-11-2014, 12:03 AM   #1
VxZeroKnots OP
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Comments Needed on Rico/West Dolores Travel Management Plan

I just got an email from the one and only Enduro-ince today containing information regarding the much dreaded Rico/West Dolores Travel Management Plan.

This is the area of recent Monkey Butt 500 fame

Some folks would be very happy to see motorized recreation removed from this world class public resource. If you haven't ridden here you should do so, as there is nothing else like it.

The Proposed Action document outlines the decisions to be addressed during the scoping period to occur over the summer. After the initial scoping period a formal presentation and comparison of Alternatives will commence followed by another comment period. We need to hit this hard and not let up!

The initial comment period lasts until JAN-30 2015

There is also a meeting in Dolores at the community center Jan-15 from 4-7pm.

The Proposed action document is here:

http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558...T3_2395784.pdf

The comment form is here:

https://cara.ecosystem-management.or...?Project=44918

Here are my bullet points on the document's identified issues and proposed resolutions. I'll make edits as voices more authoritative than my own speak up.

Trails Proposed for Closure:
  • Bear Creek
    • Great connector from Grindstone/Gold Run/Little Bear
    • Provides best emergency out, all other options are very difficult or add a lot of distance
    • There are more alternative non-motorized hiking and fishing trails in the area already.
  • Winter Trail
    • Proposed to be rerouted around quiet area, PAPA and other motorized volunteers keep trail clear for other users (lots of deadfall)
  • Horse Creek
    • Accesses close to town of Rico, provides an emergency out to Calico System
  • Burnett
    • Accesses town of Rico directly, provides an emergency out to Calico System. The road is to remain open and there are no easement issues on the trail noise will be essentially the same from traffic on the road.
  • Ryman Creek
    • Removes all motorized access from Dolores River Area to Corral Draw portion of Hermosa Creek System
  • Wildcat
    • Not really useful in its current configuration for motorized use

Trails Proposed for Opening:
  • Morrison Trail
    • Short, no connector to Gold Run would need to cross a “quiet area” easement.
  • Spring Creek
    • Yes! This trail is awesome open er up!

Trails Proposed for realignment:
  • Grindstone
    • The proposed realignment would make for a better experience for non-motorized Colorado Trail users and a better experience for Motorized users connection to other trails

Proposed Seasonal Restrictions:
  • July-1 to Sept-8
    • Not enough time to clear trails in spring, or at all really, not all trails in system affect big game calving and should not be subject to the same seasonal closures. Currently there are no seasonal closures in the system
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Old 12-11-2014, 08:14 AM   #2
enduro-ince
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Thanks Drew! I'll be working on my letter for the next couple days and will post here when its ready. The seasonal closure is a real shame. Typically we start clearing around June 1st so that by July stuff is ready to go. This means that the non motorized users will walk, ride or horseback around all the deadfall for the entire of month of June and at least half of July. I doubt the locals are going to be too motivated to clear trail for a month and then only have a month to ride them. The seasonal closure effectively turns a 4 month riding season into a one month riding season. Closing Winter means everyone who rides Calico will be forced to go across the exposed scary part of that trail TWICE! A lot of folks bypass that section by dropping down to Winter, Safety issue.

What a mess...
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:11 PM   #3
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Wow. Many of those proposed moto closures make no F'n sense.

So, from what I am seeing, if they close Burnett and Horse Cr, there will be no way to get to Calico from Rico at all besides going all the way up to or down to either end of Calico. So much for lunch/gas stops on Calico.

And Ryman - what a great challenging trail! And the lower part of Bear? Why?

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Old 12-11-2014, 04:15 PM   #4
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BTW - I would expect everyone that was on the Monkey-Butt ride this year to be involved in this process. No excuses.
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:52 PM   #5
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One of the areas I still haven't ridden. . . .

Thanks, Drew. I'll send in my 2 bits.
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Old 12-11-2014, 05:46 PM   #6
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I missed this last monkeybutt and didn't get a chance to ride any of those trails.

Hopefully they wont close em. I never understood the FS thought process for trail closures?

Comments sent.

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Old 12-11-2014, 06:09 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone!

Remember, this is the first of at least two commenting periods. Thom and I are going to get some letters together this week that will outline what we feel is the best alternative for this region that will benefit all user groups while not total sticking it to motos like the above proposal does. We gotta fight this thing tooth and nail.

Ryan and or Trevor, is there anyway you could send emails to folks who were on the mokeybutt but may not frequent the forum that much? I know there were at least a couple.
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:20 PM   #8
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Okay. Let's figure how best to go about this. Not just simply writing letters, but something with more teeth. Speak to the businesses in Rico. Are they really against riders leaving town and going up Burnett? I think not. A connector that drops people into town, which could use all the $$$ help it can get, is probably something they still want. I can see giving up Wildcat, but giving up Winter Trail so a commercial entity can have a better horse experience over public use? Fuck that! Reroute it a little in the fens is all it needs.
I understand the need to address the braiding that occurs on the upper fens on East Fork. At least the trail crosses the area, so it is not a diversionary trail for water flow. It is just so wet that you lose the trail and braiding continues. I could see moving it more to the east to follow the edge of trees better, then reconnect at the top, out of the wetness.
Definitely give us Corral Draw. Stupid not to have a trail fall 500 feet short of a good connector.
Drew and Tom, what else could be opened up to help connect off Bear Creek going south to the Mancos stuff? I am not saying give up Bear Creek, but worst case allow some section in trade. Worst case. IF we have to lose the section to the road, open up something a little higher up that allows legal connection to more trails south.
Keep this discussion going. Locals let's meet in the next few weeks. I will give this more thought as to a good approach.

If anyone is writing letters, let them know that seasonal closures is completely ignorant/reverse thinking because of the go arounds that will occur. All users seem to know who opens that shit up and they aren't hiking or horseback riding!
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:58 PM   #9
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Hope you guys have better luck than we do down here, the public comments seems like a formality the FS does before doing exactly what they want
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Old 12-11-2014, 07:16 PM   #10
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Raul, I sent PMs to Bobby and Tim. Do you by chance have Chuck's # (or Cort may).
I am going to do my best to hit up any rider I know to start getting more involved, myself included! This was one of the reasons why I wanted to do the MB500 over here this year, so more people could see what a great area it is and why we need to keep it! Look at the pics, see the epicness, see why we can't lose it!
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Old 12-11-2014, 07:31 PM   #11
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Bear, Horse, and Ryman! Ouch!

If I had any faith in the way these decisions are made I would have some hope.

I'll sent in my comments and wish for the best.

Good luck down there guys, it is a true treasure of the state for singletrack riding.

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Old 12-11-2014, 08:31 PM   #12
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What can I do to help?
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Old 12-11-2014, 08:55 PM   #13
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Tomas-get everyone you know who has rode here or wants to, to write a good letter in support of keeping as much motorized trails open here.
Let them know how often you have been, how far you have come, that you are not just a motorcyclist, but a mtn biker and are in favor of shared trails.
How are you doing, BTW?
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:09 PM   #14
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What are people's thoughts on shared use but alternating days? I saw this when I was riding some singletrack north of Bozeman this year. It was something like 2 weekdays and one weekend day for motos, the rest was hiking/biking. It was just for the high traffic times, and was regular multi use in the off season, no restricted days. It seemed like a decent compromise than totally using everything.

Also, I am not a hunter, but to restrict the trails to seasonally so the elk can calve in peace in the spring, then be also be hunted in the peace and quiet in the fall just seems kind of messed up from a philosophical standpoint...

I have notified 15 other riders so far to start taking action. More to go tomorrow. Maybe we can actually make them realize we can have a big voice.
Make points that their trail maintenance costs will undoubtedly increase since they are trying to eliminate the one group that actually works to keep things open!
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:43 PM   #15
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I sent in my concerns.

What business in the area would be affected? Example; Fuel, Restaurants..etc etc

Contact those business with the link to comment if possible and get them to voice their concerns hopefully for the trails to stay open. Explain how people will no longer do business with them as they won't be able to access the town easily. I just spread the link around to all the places I know of with high traffic in the dirt bike arena...I hope they get a FLOOD of support.
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