Archive | January, 2020

2019 End of Year Report – Trails Preservation Alliance

This End of Year Report provides an overview of the TPA’s 2019 activities, significant accomplishments, and events. For more detailed information, please visit the “News” tab on the TPA website (https://www.coloradotpa.org). 2019 has been an effective year for the TPA and its partners in keeping access to public lands open and available for multiple-use recreation, especially for off-road motorcycles and OHVs. 2019 has also been a rewarding year with the TPA’s Colorado 600 moving to a new venue along with several accomplishments that we know will help maintain our freedom to access and recreate on public lands.

Message from the Chairman of the Board

The TPA has had a big year in 2019 and we couldn’t have done it without your support, both financially and emotionally.

The big event, The Trails Symposium/Colorado 600, held at the Monarch Lodge near Salida was a great event with some spectacular riding. We had tremendous support from both the local riders and the Texas Sidewinders to make it another awesome year! There were some drawbacks to the venue, but the riding and the weather made up for it. Next year, we are on to Crested Butte for more epic riding (they have cell service too)!

I want to thank each of my fellow Directors for volunteering all the time they do to make this a better organization. While volunteering takes away some riding time for us, we believe it has big gains for all riders. Each of our Directors has fantastic ideas and is doing great work. TPA is moving forward with hiring an Executive Director to lead this important organization. This might take a while, but we want to make sure we hire the right person. This was a tough decision to make, but we feel to move the TPA into the future we need to appropriately fund this position to generate more money down the road. The TPA would not be in a position to hire this leader without all of your generous support.

The Board was also very active assisting the San Juan Trail Riders with the lawsuit in the Rico Dolores and the Pike/San Isabel where we are awaiting decisions from the USFS and courts to move forward. There were several lower-profile issues around the state that the TPA was able to assist and aid local clubs along with providing advice and technical resources.

Lastly, I want to encourage local clubs to apply for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, OHV program grants (https://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/TrailsGrantsOHV.aspx) to help out and direct change within their respective riding areas of the state. TPA Director Scott Bright and I are both currently serving on the State OHV sub-committee. Each year I see more and more Forest Service and BLM sponsored grants than applications from local clubs. The grant program is for all OHV uses. If you want a new trail or have one you want to make better – apply for a grant. If you have questions, please email us and we will answer questions for you.

We are looking forward to another great year in 2020.

Jason Elliott
TPA Chairman

2019 Success Stories

TPA Financial Summary

Income
2019 EOY income graphThe TPA continues to be well managed financially. As a 100 percent volunteer organization, $0.00 goes to pay administrative staff. Approximately 90 percent of our income comes from direct public donations, from generous riders with a passion to keep trails open, as well as our corporate sponsors. Our investment income accounts for the remaining 10 percent.

Distribution
As you look at the attached chart, we have spent only 8.4 percent of our total expenses on G&A and our website. Everything else is mission support. By far the two largest categories are “Consultants” and “Legal Fees”, both of which are totally a ‘pay as you go’ approach.

2019 EOY distribution graph

In addition to our regular operating income, we have also begun to secure a limited number of commitments from donors in their estate plans. Please contact Dennis or Don if you would consider adding yourself to this list. Income significantly exceeds expenses, so that the TPA is in a financial position to pay an Executive Director, as soon as we find the right person. It will be tight at our current income level, which is why we are working hard to secure monthly/annual commitments from our supporters, to ensure a stable and sustainable future for the TPA. Can YOU commit to a regular donation?

2019 Colorado 600 (https://www.colorado600.org) – This year’s Colorado 600 was moved from South Fork, CO to Monarch Lodge west of Salida, CO. The new location and venue provided participants with new riding areas and new routes to explore and experience a different area of the Colorado Rockies. Opportunities for riding included epic high country single-track and dual-sport adventures through historic mining areas. The 2020 edition of the Colorado 600 will be held 13-18 September in Crested Butte, CO.

First Annual TPA sponsored Winter Meeting – In February, The TPA hosted what is intended to be an annual event gathering Colorado off-road motorcycle clubs together with the TPA Board of Directors, consultants and other friends of the TPA in order to share information and strategize for the coming year. The 2020 Annual Meeting is scheduled for April 2020.

Legal Issues

TPA & Partners File Lawsuit – The Rico West Dolores (RWD) lawsuit has been fully briefed, with the Petitioners (TPA, SJTR, and PAPA) as well as the Wild Earth Guardians group filing reply briefs on November 1, 2019. (https://www.coloradotpa.org/2019/11/01/tpa-files-final-brief-in-rico-west-dolores-lawsuit/) The case was originally filed on September 14, 2018. The TPA Petitioners have raised various claims under the Administrative Procedure Act, NEPA and the Travel Management Rule seeking to have the RWD Travel Plan declared unlawful and set aside. If the TPA Petitioners succeed, it could result in the Plan being remanded to the Forest Service for further analysis, including to consider and/or adopt a plan that will modify or reduce the roughly one-third reduction of motorcycle trails in the challenged decision.

The joint case management plan, which was approved by the Court, states “[a]ll parties agree that this case would be aided by oral argument.” The Court has not yet indicated whether it will hear argument. A decision on the merits in a case of this nature typically issues about 3-6 months from final submission of the briefs, or, if argument occurs, the end of argument. So a decision from the district court seems likely sometime during the spring-summer of 2020.

Federal Legislative Issues

TPA representatives conducted two trips to Washington DC to meet with elected officials and agency leaders on a wide range of issues including travel management, the OHV program benefits, electric bicycles and testifying at a Western Congressional Caucus on Endangered Species Act reform.

Our efforts repeatedly blocked passage of Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet’s CORE wilderness proposal that would have closed large tracts of public land to motorized usage and put extensive areas at risk of loss or closure in the future. CORE Wilderness is a combination of the old San Juan Wilderness legislation and Hidden Gems and despite claims of being a widely supported recreation bill, it simply did nothing to protect or improve most types of recreation. For specific TPA comments visit: https://www.coloradotpa.org/2019/03/06/summary-of-core-wilderness-opposition/ and https://www.coloradotpa.org/ 2019/02/17/core-wilderness-proposal-curecanti-nra/

The TPA worked closely with Colorado Rep. Scott Tipton and Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner in the development of the REC Act, which would protect large tracts of public lands for motorize usage, provide additional protection for significant areas such as the Calico Trail area and release several Wilderness Study Areas for motorized usage, such as the North Sand Hills area.

Efforts to revise regulations implementing the Endangered Species Act were completed with the adoption of new rules and regulations by the US Fish and Wildlife Service that made listing more difficult and delisting of a species easier. The action taken in El Paso County relative to the Captain Jacks/Bear Creek trail system is simply not acceptable to anyone and these regulations would be a major step in avoiding another Captain Jack’s situation.

The TPA remains optimistic that many of the regulatory changes adopted by the USFWS are going to be permanently included in the Endangered Species act through the revisions of the ESA that are proposed.

Significant Activities

US Forest Service Projects and Actions

Pike and San Isabel National Forest Public Motor Vehicle Use Environmental Impact Study (EIS) – The TPA has been working as the lead with many of its partners to monitor the progress of and participate in the Pike and San Isabel National Forest Public Motor Vehicle Use Environmental Impact Study (EIS). The USFS’ Draft EIS (DEIS) was released in October 2019 at which time the TPA began its comprehensive, detailed review of the DEIS documents. The TPA prepared extensive review comments and has submitted those comments to the Forest Supervisor and the PSI Project Team for inclusion in the Public Record. A copy of the TPA’s comments can be found at: https://www.coloradotpa.org/2019/11/01/pike-san-isabel-national-forests-public-motor-vehicle-use-draft-environmental-impact-statement- deis-comments/

Forest Plan Revisions – The TPA has prepared and submitted comprehensive comments on each of the revisions for both the GMUG and RGNF Forest Plans to ensure that existing recreational opportunities are not lost and future trail systems are provided for the next 30 years on these lands. The TPA filed an objection to the Rio Grande Forest plan when exclusionary corridors were inserted in the Forest Plan proposal at the “last minute” despite these concepts being previously removed. We are optimistic this objection will be successful and we hope drive reform of CDNST. The TPA’s multiple submissions of comments for both GMUG and RGNF Forest Plan revisions can be found at:https://www.coloradotpa.org/news/

Continental Divide Trail – The TPA provided comments throughout planning efforts across the entire Continental Divide Trail on the extensive Congressional protections of multiple uses on the Continental Divide Trail in response to the widespread proposal of exclusive use of the CDT for horses and hiking only within ½ mile wide prohibitions of motorized usage around the trail. These comments addressed the CDT on the Santa Fe, Cibola, Gila, Carson and other National Forests. Unfortunately these corridor concepts have been identified in many locations around the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in California and the TPA has been working with local partners throughout the PCT route to ensure closure corridors are not implemented around this trail either. For additional reading visit: https://www.coloradotpa.org/2019/02/05/continental-divide-recreation-wilderness-and-camp-hale-act-2/

Rocky Mountain Region Trails Strategy – The TPA was influential in the development of the Rocky Mountain Regional Trails strategy by the USFS to ensure the winning concepts of the national trails strategy, such as the need to expand access for all uses and that ALL activity has impacts that should be managed were not diluted in the regional planning documents.

NEPA – The TPA and partners actively participated in USFS efforts to streamline NEPA planning requirements and were able to obtain clear rules that you can build up to five miles of road or trail without extensive NEPA documentation and that the only time Wilderness designations should be relied on to increase NEPA requirements is in Congressionally designated Wilderness areas. This is a small win, but it has major implications for motorized users. For more information visit: https:// www.coloradotpa.org/2019/09/05/comments-from-the-tpa-for-the-nepa-streamlining/

BLM Projects and Actions

Statewide Motorized Action Plan – The TPA has partnered with COHVCO and NOHVCC to develop a motorized action plan for Colorado BLM lands. This plan will result in a report created to identify the needs of the motorized community in Colorado that BLM National headquarters will include as an order to the state to include in future land use planning. These plans have been highly successful in the other states that have developed similar plans. For details on the BLM’s plans and process for Colorado please visit: https://www.nohvcc.org/state-ohv-action-plan-process-to-move-forward-in-colorado/

Royal Gorge Field Office – The TPA submitted extensive comments on the revision of the Royal Gorge BLM Field Office plan to ensure that motorized opportunities are protected and expanded on lands managed by the Royal Gorge Field Office. We continued our collaborative efforts with land managers to expand motorized access in this part of the state. To view the TPA’s comments visit https://www.coloradotpa.org/2019/09/19/draft-resource-management-plan-comments-for-royal-gorge-field-office/

Uncompahgre Field Office – The TPA reviewed the final Uncompahgre BLM Field Office plan and were pleased to see that much of the requests from the motorized community were included in the plan!

TPA supports local riders to re-establish motorized single-track near Silverton, CO – The TPA in cooperation with the San Juan Trail Riders initiated discussions with the BLM and Rio Grand National Forest (RGNF) to re-establish motorized trail access from the Silverton area up Minnie Gulch, over the Continental Divide into the RGNF. The project proposed by the TPA partnership would reopen the trail to motorcycles and help pay to improve the trail corridor. The TPA believes a favorable decision by the BLM and USFS is in the near future. For additional information visit the TPA’s website at: https://www.coloradotpa.org/2019/03/14/minnie-gulch-connectivity-restoration/

Other Activities

TPA representatives continued to advocate motorized recreational interests in a wide range of efforts including the CPW OHV program, CPW CO-OP roundtable discussions, and State Forest Health advisory committees. These efforts ensure that our OHV registration money is benefitting the OHV community and that additional barriers are not imposed to deal with issues like cutting trees blocking trails.

The Colorado motorized community was the only motorized group to become actively involved in discussions around the registration of electric bicycles and possible registration of mountain bikes on public lands. The motorized community may have been the first to adopt the “pay to play” model but we never agreed to be the sole group to adopt this model.

SUMMIT COUNTY OFF-ROAD RIDERS BUILDING TRAILS

SUMMIT COUNTY OFF-ROAD RIDERS BUILDING TRAILS

 

The TPA in collaboration with local clubs has continued to drive numerous site-specific projects including the Lefthand Canyon area reopening in Boulder County by partnering with the USFS to obtain OHV funding for public meetings.

TPA Participation in State/Local Organizations

TPA teamed with Great Outdoors Consultants to lead a session at Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s annual Partners in the Outdoors Conference – The Partners in the Outdoors Conference is Colorado’s foremost opportunity hosted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife cultivating common ground, exploring best practices for partnering, and designing collaborative solutions with stakeholders to conserve Colorado’s outdoors. The TPA teamed with Great Outdoors Consultants (http://www.greatoutdoorsconsultants.com) to lead a breakout session describing innovative concepts and ideas to foster and enhance the providing of multiple-use recreational and expanding motorized recreational opportunities.

TPA continues to support the Colorado Governor’s Outdoor Recreation Council and The Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance (PPORA) – The TPA has continued its participation in statewide and local councils and partnerships focused on outdoor recreation. Three years ago, the TPA was selected to be one of the founding members of the Governor’s Outdoor Recreation Council. The PPORA is a collaboration of businesses, nonprofits, land management entities, and individuals who recognize the value of the Pikes Peak region’s outdoor recreation assets. The TPA is the recognized leader and advocate for motorized, multiple-use recreation.

TPA and local club participates in Community Vision project for Waldo Canyon – In 2012, the Waldo Canyon Fire burned over 18,000 acres west of Colorado Springs. The fire damaged the once-beloved Waldo Canyon Trail system, which has remained closed to the public since the fire was contained.

The TPA along with the Colorado Motorcycle Trail Riders Association (CMTRA) have engaged in this project to advocate for the inclusion of motorized single-track trails into the Vision for the Waldo Canyon area.

TPA supports CPW OHV Grant applications – The TPA is routinely asked to provide Letters of Support for Colorado Parks and Wildlife OHV Grant applications. This highly competitive program awards over $4 million in grants each year for trails and projects that support motorized recreation. Each year the TPA prepares several Letters of Support for projects that it believes are beneficial and valuable to motorized single-track riding and generally support motorized recreation in Colorado. The TPA has staff with substantial experience with the CPW trails and grant program. The TPA can provide OHV grant application review services, technical assistance, and consultation for those clubs/organizations seeking and preparing CPW OHV grants. The TPA cannot prepare the actual grant application but will provide advice and expertise with the intent to improve a club/ organization’s competitiveness for an individual grant application. The TPA can also help mentor and coach spokesmen preparing to make presentations to the CPW OHV Subcommittee. For more information visit the TPA website at: https://www.coloradotpa.org/2018/07/23/ohv-grant-writing-assistance/

OHV Workshops – TPA and partners helped facilitate several meetings of the OHV community as a whole including OHV Workshops and annual meeting for TPA and meetings seeking to organize the side-by-side community. In 2020, the TPA will again support two Workshops, location and dates TBD. TPA also made several presentations to a wide range of users at events such as CPW Partners in the Outdoors meetings.

Major Projects for 2020

Following is a list of projects that will be the focus of the TPA, the Board of Directors and the TPA’s team of consultants in 2020. The list is not all-inclusive but represents the majority of effort that will be funded and pursued by the TPA. As new challenges emerge and develop, the TPA will mobilize and advise our local affiliated clubs and organizations to engage with their local land managers and task our consultants to research and prepare relevant documentation as directed by the Board of Directors.

Search for an Executive Director – The TPA Board of Directors is currently searching for an Executive Director to lead the TPA into the future. The desired responsibilities, education, experience and qualifications for the Executive Director can be found on the TPA’s website at: (https:// www.coloradotpa.org/2019/10/22/executivedirectorsearch/). The Board of Directors desires to hire the right person and get them working for the TPA as soon as possible. If you are interested, meet most of the qualifications, or know of someone who does, please consider talking directly to the Board of Directors about the position.

Development of a State Motorized Action Plan – This project is in its infancy but seeks to provide a roadmap of the desires of the Colorado motorized community for opportunities on BLM and USFS lands moving forward. This process has been highly successful in other states that have pursued these plans. Given the vigor of the Colorado OHV grant program, we expect returns at least as well as the deliverables developed in other states. This process starts with a series of meetings throughout the state to identify the needs and desires of the motorized community that would result in a final order from the BLM National Office to implement the report. These goals and objectives would then be implemented is subsequent planning efforts or simply completed based on the specific goals.

Colorado 600 logo

Colorado 600 in a new location, Crested Butte – The 2020 edition of the TPA’s Trail Awareness Symposium/Colorado 600 will be held in Crested Butte, 13-18 September 2020. The area is renowned for it’s exceptional riding and destinations. Registration opens on 1 February.

Expanding donations to the TPA to grow funds for operations –Virtually every non-profit organization struggles to obtain and maintain consistent donation cash flow, and the TPA is no different. The Colorado 600 is a proven source of funds, as are our friends at Klim and Rocky Mountain AVT/MC. For the TPA to be sustainable long into the future, we will need additional firm and certain financial commitments. We have been working to establish regular (monthly/annual) commitments from folks, but have only gained a few. We would appreciate hearing from each of you regarding what we need to do in order to get YOUR commitment. If you would like additional information or would like to discuss in more detail, contact Dennis directly at: dennis.larratt1@gmail.com or 720-530-9974.

Rico/West Dolores Travel Management Decision – Continue the litigation for the Rico/West Dolores Travel Management Project Decision on the Dolores District of the San Juan National Forest until an amicable solution has been developed and agreed upon.

Pike and San Isabel National Forest, Public Motor Vehicle Use EIS – Continue to monitor and participate in the Pike and San Isabel National Forest Public Motor Vehicle Use Environmental Impact Study (EIS) (aka PSI) to ensure that off-road motorcycle and OHV recreational opportunities are preserved, protected and expanded to meet the public’s needs for access and recreation.

Relationships with Land Managers – Continue to foster, develop and build enhanced relationships with Federal and State land managers throughout the State.

1 Percent Program – The TPA is starting a pilot program for power sports stores to ask customers to add 1percent to customers’ credit card receipts to aid motorized recreation. More details will follow in the future for this promising program.

Donations and Support

The TPA Board of Directors continues to support various organizations throughout Colorado and in adjoining states with issues to protect motorized access to public lands and support OHV recreation. In 2019 this support included financial assistance to the following organizations:

  • Colorado Motorcycle Trail Riders Association (CMTRA)
  • Colorado Water Council
  • Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO)
  • Summit County Colorado Off-Road Riders (SCORR)
  • Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance (PPORA)
  • New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance (NMOHVA)
  • Utah’s Ride with Respect (RWR)

Summary

The annual Colorado 600 Trails Awareness Symposium remains the TPA’s most significant fundraising event. Please join us this September in Crested Butte for the 2020 event.

The TPA is also very grateful for the sustained generous support provided by KLIM and Rocky Mountain ATV/MC. Both of these industry leaders continue to be major financial supporters of our work. We are also extremely grateful to our corporate sponsors: KTM USA, Motion Pro, Dunlop Motorcycle Tires and our newest partner, Elite Motorsports in Loveland, CO. (The TPA encourages all of our friends and followers to support these businesses and manufacturers who help the TPA fight for your rights and work diligently to keep your motorized trails open and accessible.)

The TPA could not survive without the generous donations provided by individuals, estates, riders and other off-road businesses that have supported the TPA for the past 11 years!

The TPA continues to be a volunteer-led organization, placing the majority of our annual donations directly to saving our sport and motorized recreational activities. The TPA Board of Directors thanks all of our supporters: individuals, corporations and clubs. The future will undoubtedly continue to demand our collective teamwork, vigilance, resolve and dedication, and donations.

Please feel free to contact us for suggestions concerning how you can help with the ongoing work the TPA is pursuing on your behalf to save our sport in the Rocky Mountain Region.

Thank you,
Trails Preservation Alliance
Board of Directors

 

Download the report:

2019 End of Year cover

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