September 22, 2011
Dolores Public Lands Office
Dear Mr. Lambert;
The Colorado Off-highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVC) and the Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA) were recently made aware of the office’s request for scoping comments on a CATEX regarding the Calico Trail. We fully support your proposed purpose and that it is well within your authority under 36 CRF 220 to correct existing problems with the trail.
We agree with your assessment that this project is excluded from further study.
We fully support the project and the resource issue that we believe will be completely resolved as a result of its completion. This project will take care of the issue once and for all and will benefit all those that use and enjoy the Calico Trail while eliminating any environmental concerns.
The OHV subcommittee and State Parks staff were fully briefed by USFS personnel about the Calico Grant at the Grant presentation meeting. Questions raised at that time resulted in the Calico Grant being amended to exclude some elements of the original Grant. Any talk of ambiguity in support of the grant is, at best, wrong.
In reviewing comments made by other parties related to this action, we find flaws and a lack of understanding of trails and those that use them. We believe that comments made as to whether motorized trail users contribute to trail braiding, rutting, and any other trail damage more than other trail users to be pure conjecture when trails are properly designed and maintained; precisely the purpose of your proposal. Furthermore we suggest that it is pure speculation to claim that other trail users have been displaced by motorized trail users (we are discussing remediation of a multiple use trail, not philosophical preferences nor quotas).
Your plan for remediation uses tried and true methods that have been in use for decades; eliminating a viable tool for resource protection based upon conjecture and bias is irrelevant to your mission. In fact, we applaud you for your strong grasp of the balance and fairness required in the execution of the agency’s mission.
Your actions are being taken to provide for both the needs of the public under the existing and applicable Travel Management Plan and the protection of the resource. The final revision of the current Travel Management Plan that will determine the status of the Calico as a motorized route may be quite a ways away. This action is needed now.
I must add, that forcing the current status of the Calico to be maintained, not only shows a lack of concern for the environment, but certainly displays a Machiavellian sense of attempting to influence the outcome of future travel management planning before it takes place.