|Before we go into specific details about the work the TPA did this year, we need to present some background information on events and issues that are being faced by the entire Colorado motorized recreation community. This included all of 2009 and throughout the next four years. The radical, liberal, National administration and liberal legislature in Colorado have created an environment that is trying to totally eliminate motorized recreation on public lands.
In the past 30 years of trying to preserve motorized recreation we have never faced a situation like we have today. To make it simple, we are in the worst situation possible.
Examples of these issues are the Travel Management Plans (TMP) of the Gunnison National Forest and the White River National Forest.
Both of these issues have been worked extensively in 2009 and are expected to be published as final plans in 2010. The Colorado Roadless issue was reopened by our Governor (to be reevaluated by a more radical environmental group) even though the State has spent significant time and money developing a Roadless plan that was approved by a bipartisan group. Now that plan is being scrapped in favor of a more radical rule, eliminating more public lands from use for public recreation. Perhaps even more dangerous, the rule changes make fire in roadless areas much harder to prevent and stop. At the same time all of this is being brought forward, we have four new Colorado Wilderness proposals that could remove as much as 2.6 million acres of public land from motorized recreation availability. The existing premise of public access to public lands has been totally eliminated.
The latest major issue that has developed against Colorado motorized recreation is the Responsible Trails America (RTA) attempt to take over the Colorado State Parks, OHV registration grant program. The RTA, using false accusations and local “environmental” surrogates, is attempting to mandate that OHV registration funds be used to “mitigate undocumented damage” by legal motorized recreation and spend 40% of the fund on law enforcement!
We have included a list of the major actions that the TPA took on behalf of all its members and supporters. To gauge work and success on each of the below issues is difficult. Many issues are a long way from being resolved. Other issues will end up in the administrative process of protest and appeal, while others may end up in some form of legal actions.
The TPA intends to continue work in support of our sport.
| Major tasks accomplished in 2009 include:
1. Gunnison NF and White River TMPs. These actions consumed most of the TPA’s time in 2009. Both initial TMP’s were extremely unfavorable to motorized recreation. The TPA took the lead working with assistance from the Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition and the Rocky Mountain Enduro Circuit. We have met extensively with both NF staffs to present our input on the “preferred alternative plan”. It is too early to predict what success we will have on each TMP. However, significant work has been accomplished in our efforts to present the motorized concept of what the TMP should be to all users of public lands.
2. Worked with the San Juan Trail Riders in their effort to preserve trail riding in the Pagosa and San Juan areas.
3. Working with motorized clubs in the Moab area, (Ride with Respect, and USA-ALL) and Grand Junction (MTRA), in an effort to help preserve access to public lands in their respective areas.
4. Donated significant funds to organized motorized groups in Utah and Colorado in support of their effort to educate public officials about motorized recreation on public lands.
5. Coordinated a plan with the AMA to add an additional subject matter expert to our combined efforts in responding to all of these various projects.
6. Joined the AMA, COHVCO, and other groups in an organized effort to eliminate and or reduce
7. Worked with COHVCO and other Colorado organizations in an attempt to mitigate and curtail all actions associated by the RTA as it attempted to take over the management of the OHV funds
8. Managed a Colorado OHV grant that will build trail barriers and signs on multi use trails.
9. Continuing to work with the Grand Junction BLM and local clubs in the area to help develop a motorized recreation area on BLM managed lands in the Gateway area.
10. Provided “start up funding” for several motorized organizations in Colorado, as an attempt to build a bigger, more active, more educated motorized community around the state
11. Participated in several organized events as fund raisers for the TPA, COHVCO and Blue Ribbon Coalition.
12. Provided operational planning and support to the 34th Colorado 500 Charity Trail ride as a fund raiser for TPA.
13. Worked with Parts Unlimited in preparation of the 16th Rocky Mountain 400, a major fund raiser for COHVCO.
14. The TPA Trail Crew conducted significant tail maintenance during 2009, in the Gunnison NF, White River NF, Pike Peak/San Isabelle NF, and the Rio Grande NF.
The TPA Board of Directors thanks all donors for their support during 2009. The next four years are going to be more critical as we continue to focus on our goal to protect public access to public lands and to maintain our single track trail systems throughout the area. Your help is making it possible!