October 16 2008
Tammy Randel Parker
Dear Mr. Richmond, Ms Parker,
The Colorado 500 (C500) and the Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA) would like to thank you and your trail crews for the work they have done on the Alpine, Lou Creek and Nate Creek trails. These trails are used extensively by the annual C500 and many other motorized trail users. The work your trail crew does each year, combined with the volunteer trail work of many Colorado motorcycle riders, helps keep this trail is usable condition for all user groups.
I would like to give you some historical background on these trails from the view point of the C500. In the early 1980’s the C500 under took the task to re claim the Alpine trail. It was over grown, significant amount of down fall, and not in a usable condition for recreation. It took the C500 trail crew 3 summers to cut all the down fall, repair switch backs, etc to get it open. In the early 1990, the FS trail crews along with Colorado OHV grants (submitted by the C500), started providing professional trail maintenance, with hired help and the FS trail repair crews. The C500 trail crew and other local user groups do annual maintenance on the entire trail system. This is where we are today.
The C500 and the TPA then undertook the task to reclaim the Lou Creek and Nate Creek Trails. This was done in conjunction with an Ouray District FS employee, marking the old trail, and the C500 trail crew building and cutting the down fall. The trail system was completed by a Colorado OHV grant, submitted by the C500. And what you have today is a very good, but limited trail system that all user groups can enjoy.
I am giving you this information to lead into a request from the C500 and TPA. There is a significant amount of unused (or very light usage) trails in the area described above. You combine this with the lack of designated motorized trails in the NW RGNF, SW GNF, and the Ouray district, this makes the areas that are open for motorized use, get over used. The C500 and TPA would like to ask that your recreation planners consider more motorized trails in the area. These could be the Deer Creek area (which was motorized), but now over grown, and not used by any one other that the private land owners that are adjacent to the FS area. Or the Fails creek area and other old user trail on top of both Alpine Plateaus. Another major trail that is not used, and should be considered for motorized designation is the Dallas Trail. This was motorized, but the designation was changed in the early 2000, but the trail is now used by almost no one. It is over grown, down fall, etc.
The goal of the C500/TPA is to develop a motorized trail system (multi-use) that connects the Alpine Guard Station in the GNF to the Dallas Divide road, to the last Silver Dollar road in the Ouray District.
The increase in motorized recreation in your area is extensive (and will continue to grow). From our view point we see a decline in foot traffic use on all of these trails. We request that your recreation planners take this into consideration, when reviewing trail recreation use, and take whatever steps necessary to open more trails for multi use designation.
The C500 and the TPA are prepared to work with you and your staff towards this goal. There is OHV recreation funds that are available to help with multi use trail projects. Please let me know if this is a project that the motorized users can work on with the FS.