Desired Future Condition of the Grand Junction Field Office Motorized Recreation Program

August 3, 2009

Subject: Letter to the BLM GJFO

  Ms M Bailey


2815 H Road

Grand Junction CO 81506

Subject: Desired Future Condition of the Grand Junction Field Office Motorized Recreation Program


Ms Bailey,
This is a consolidated response from the Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA) and the Colorado off Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO).

As a general statement TPA and COHVCO would hope to see the sport of off road motorcycling, specifically single track, recognized and managed similarly to other trail related activities in the field office.  For example: The field office (including the NCA) has designated and maintains over 300 miles of single track trails for the primary use of mountain bicyclists.  All of the three primary mountain bike trail systems have developed trailheads, sanitation with well maintained trails and signing.

We would like to point out and request that certain mountain bikes trails be made open for motorized use (multi use concept), until the BLM is able to give motorized recreation the same emphasis as non motorized recreation.

We hope to see similar efforts, priorities and dedication of staff and resources directed toward motorized recreation in the future.  Single track motorcycling is a recognized and site specific high value sports activity.  Single track is a major attraction for local and regional motorcycle sport enthusiasts.

In the last 10 years the FO has designated and constructed less than 10 miles of single track motorized opportunity.  Motorized trails that have been designed into compressive plans. The motorized portions of these plans have not been constructed.  We want to see the trails that are already planned, constructed and additional motorized single track constructed to meet the growing demand over the life of the plan.

The BLM planning regime insists on segregating motorized recreation from the non motorized.  If this policy continues it seems only fair that the motorized opportunities have similar infrastructure and amenities as the non motorized locations. In a truly desirable future condition the zoning scheme would be abandoned.  Zone planning encourages clashes between user group representatives competing for the most desirable location for the constituents they represent over 300,000 people a year visit the Grand Valley Open Area.  No sanitation facilities, trailheads, or maps are available.  Uniformed presence, except in response to emergencies, is rare.  We would like to see the Grand Valley Open Area considered for SRMA designation with appropriate resources dedicated to this popular area.

As the travel management portion of the plan is developed by alternative we hope the staff will keep in mind the need for looped trails with scenic qualities for all visitors.

The desired future condition would see the SRMAs managed as designated trail systems (except the Grand Valley Open Area) with all of the necessary infrastructure and staff dedicated to a well managed recreation/transportation opportunity.  Those areas outside SRMAs would see cross country travel restricted in most areas and have a custodial level of management presence.

To date, the North Fruita Desert project (NFD) is the example of the designated trail system in the FO.  None of the motorized trails called for in the 5 year old plan have been constructed.  All of the trail closures have been implemented.  The proliferation of non motorized trails continues unabated.  Signing and visitor maps in the motorized portion of the project are in such bad repair that a thoughtful visitor could not determine if he was on a designated trail or not.  The bicycle emphasis area is well signed. The trailhead has shade and sanitation facilities.  A campground (with 6 toilets) catering to mountain bicyclist has been constructed and a second phase has been funded for future construction.  No facilities have been provided for any other visitors.

The North Fruita Desert project is 70,000 acres  If GJFO does not have the resources to manage a designated trail system in the NFD, it is unreasonable for the RMP to recommend designated trail systems in the entire 1.2 million acre FO.

Professional help in the field of motorized recreation planning is available from several non profit and commercial sources.  We hope the planning team will consult with knowledgeable experts in the field while developing the alternatives.

In summation, the off road visitors to the GJFO want to be treated in the same fashion as the non motorized visitors.  We hope to have well designed and maintained trail opportunities and infrastructure for our sport.

The TPA and COHVCO are ready and willing to work with you and your staff on the issues of motorized recreation in the GJ BLM area.

Thank you for your consideration of our requests.


Don Riggle