Archive | January, 2012

Yet Another Lawsuit Threatens Colorado Trail Access


January 19, 2011


Contact: Paul Turcke    (208) 331-1800
Date: January 19, 2012

Yet Another Lawsuit Threatens Colorado Trail Access – Recreation Groups Respond

DENVER, CO (January 19)–Recreation advocates today filed papers to join a lawsuit about motorized vehicle access to the Rico-West Dolores area in southwest Colorado managed by the San Juan National Forest.  The lawsuit, filed in December 2011 by the Colorado Chapter of the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, seeks to have specific trails declared off limits to motorized use.  The Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO), Trails Preservation Alliance, San Juan Trail Riders, Public Access Preservation Association and BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) today filed a motion to intervene and attain formal party status in the case.  The Colorado groups and the BlueRibbon Coalition have previously worked together in responding to similar threats in Colorado and Utah.  Collectively, the Recreation Groups have defended recreational access in dozens of lawsuits filed by preservationists across the country.

“We have attempted to form meaningful partnerships with diverse interests, including the hunting and angling community.  Active, effective management should be our common goal, not courtroom posturing,” said John Bongiovanni, a COHVCO Director. 

The lawsuit is in its initial stages.  The Forest Service’s answer is due on February 7, 2012.  The schedule for presenting the merits of the case has not yet been established.

# # #

PAPA is a regional recreation group that supports and champions access and responsible use of public lands, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. PAPA’s Mission is to promote balanced, unbiased, responsible use of public lands in collaboration with recreational users of all interests, advocating respect, education and conservation of the environment. Learn more on the web:

The mission of the SJTR is to improve opportunities for off-highway vehicles and assure the best care of the land. SJTR promotes active participation in OHV trail management and other civic activities and maintains a focused and ongoing dialogue with the San Juan National Forest and other public land planners. SJTR educates OHV users about “Tread Lightly” conservation practices and other trail use issues. Learn more on the web:

The Trails Preservation Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the sport of motorized trail riding, educating all user groups and the public on the value of sharing public lands for multiuse recreation, while protecting public lands for future generations. Learn more on the web:

COHVCO is a nonprofit organization whose member enthusiasts, organizations and businesses collectively comprise over 200,000 Coloradoans and regular visitors to Colorado and other western states who contribute millions of dollars and thousands of hours annually to off-highway vehicle recreation through registration fees, retail expenditure, project participation and related support. Learn more on the web:

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. Learn more on the web:



Continue Reading

Ned Suesse Finishes Dakar

January 16, 2012

Ned Suesse, a long time supporter of the TPA has just finished the 2012 DAKAR.  Ned was the only American to finish the event. This was his first attempt at the DAKAR, and was also doing this a privateer entry.  Ned finished 51, out of 178 motorcycle entries.

Congratulations Ned, on a great finish!

You can meet Ned and his DAKAR motorcycle at the
TPA 2012 Colorado 600.

Continue Reading

Comments on the DPW Draft Merger Plan


January 15, 2012

Comments of the Colorado OHV Coalition and the Trails Preservation Alliance on the DPW Draft Merger Plan


To: Department of Natural Resources DPW Transition Team
From: The Colorado Off-highway Vehicle Coalition and Trails Preservation Alliance
RE: Comments of the Colorado OHV Coalition and the Trails Preservation Alliance on the DPW Draft Merger Plan

To whom it may concern:

The Colorado OHV Coalition represents motorized recreationists in Colorado and the TPA is a non-profit organization that funds and supports motorized trails. COHVCO was the prime mover behind the legislation that created the OHV Registration Program in 1989 and the over $24 million in funding for maintenance of trails including non-motorized trails additionally involving, signage, education, and safety information. We have prided ourselves as good partners of State Parks until it became obvious the years of neglect by Park’s Boards and particularly Park’s leadership lead to litigation against the Board.

We congratulate DNR and staff for the great deal of work done and recognize the scope and of the task ahead. Most of what has been developed appears to be headed in a positive direction. Efforts to do public outreach greatly improved over the past months. We still support the merger in concept and for the opportunity it can provide. But we have serious concerns; fortunately they are limited in nature

After many attempts to seek information regarding the changes to be made to the Trails Program, we had been assured that it would see no substantial changes. Yet, a close reading of the Draft Plan indicates the program will change dramatically in that it is being regionalized. We do not and cannot support this approach. After reviewing the Transition team membership, it is apparent that not a single member of the Trails Program was allowed to participate. Do not tell me gary Thorson represented trails, that is barley in his purview. I am sure a few architects, accountants, biologists, Regional mangers, marketing staff etc. participated. Where was Morrissey?

Parks has made the mistake twice of taking a program whose nature is statewide and primarily off state lands and squeezed it into a local control situation with poor results and above our objections. We assure you three is not a charm. The program has been treated with little oversight, no genuine interest and, at times, petty bickering among regions. While this may be the DPW formula for success it is the public’s worst nightmare.

No sense in sugar coating what the thought of four regions with other priorities, guaranteed not to be trails on federal or local government land means to us; a slap in the face.

Do you know who cares about the Trails Program? The trails staff we work with. Not biologists, not Parks managers not Wildlife managers, not the Commission and not law enforcement. We are little but a blip on their radar. Your efforts are merely to compartmentalize everything into a regional scheme. And we, who pay into it, monitor it, volunteer thousands of hours toward it will be left out in the cold.

Trying to play catch up with four regions with four different perspectives on trails will result in constant conflict as it has twice in the past. Trails is neither Parks nor Wildlife oriented in any direct sense, save the relative few miles occurring on Parks and the State Forest. It is a unique program with a unique constituency and unique service requirements.

A strong dialogue is essential between the Trails program and the regions due to the fact there are varying impacts of trails both motorized and non-motorized on wildlife. We recognize this. It is not, however, the principle statutory charge. Serving trail users is, and input from Regions is certainly reasonable but not dispositive.

In fact, the other point to be made is that Wildlife has provided input on federal Resource and Travel management Plans in a total vacuum with no input from the Trails Program. With the merger, we expect that the needs of the trails public will best be represented in future discussions directly by program staff, not more local biologists with little experience in multiple use nor reason to champion it. When the International Mountain Biking Association, equestrian clubs and others find out they are being shuffled off to staff with no knowledge of their recreational needs, they will no doubt be delighted. They may not have put two and two together yet.

The DPW as a consulting agency includes trails and the interests of trails users. We have an equal right to have our views and needs presented by state employees to the federal government. The same applies to local government. We seek a strong process and not specific outcomes. Right now the dice are loaded against us as players and the game would be busted if not for the constant protection given the old DOW in the past.

We expect this voice to be heard, we have asked for it in the past and with the merger, we demand it. It is our right. Often, the federal government and the Trails program agree; by what divine right is Wildlife allowed to blow off constitutes paying for trails because they aren’t “their” constituents. We ARE their constituents it is simply that we suffer either benign neglect or biased attitudes against the use. That has to change and only the Trails program and DPW leadership can affect that change.

While you are at it, in making changes to the implementation plan consider that a transparent process developing a joint Strategic Plan over the next five years will allow public comment as you move forward. While much of the public understands little of policy implementation and directives, many of us know it is at the heart of you attitude toward your constituents and employees. Yet, it receives none of the scrutiny required of Rulemaking. The public demands transparency and perhaps a Strategic Plan and much better public outreach on policy and directives will satisfy the General Assembly, also. We know this is of concern to them.

All in all we feel passionately about the issues raised above. Please treat them as more than mere suggestions as right now we feel absolutely betrayed by the Transition Team and leadership. How much clearer these points about the Trails program could have been made is beyond us.

Nevertheless, these are simple matters that jeopardize our support for the merger and our input to the General Assembly. We understand the agency’s need for discretion, just not always at our expense. We have been positive and supported this merger in good faith. Do not, yet again drive a good partner away.

Jerry Abboud
Executive Director


Continue Reading

BLM Proposes Cutting Jobs


January 10, 2012

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) within the Salazar Department of Interior has proposed dramatic reductions in access to public lands within the State of Colorado through actions taken in the Western Slope offices. The Colorado River Valley Office located in Glenwood Springs and the Kremmling Field office in Kremmling want to decrease cross-country travel currently allowed by about 430,000 acres.

Travel by full size vehicles would be reduced by 1157 miles. If a tourist would take I-70 across the state the total mileage would be about 450 road miles.

Designated route mileage for All Terrain Vehicles (ATV) will be reduced by 79 miles. The trails managed for single track vehicles such as motorcycles and mopeds would be reduced 51 miles. Trails managed for mechanized non-motorized vehicles such as bicycles would be reduced by 27 miles. The proposals decrease foot and horse traffic by 27 miles. The acres available for snowmobile recreation travel would be reduced by 47,900 acres. In addition, the combined proposals would also close 14,800 acres for snowmobile usage other than a trail.

When you consider that Colorado is trying to promote winter recreation and summer recreation activities these proposals run contrary to job creation. Skiing, snowmobiling, hiking, bicycling, hunting, fishing, and four wheeling are all activities that help create jobs for western Colorado. These are activities that help sustain the small community economies throughout the state. Proposals such as these will reduce jobs.

Continue Reading

Executive Summary to the BLM DRMP


January 10, 2011

Executive Summary of BLM’s Colorado River Valley Office Proposed Resource Management Plan.

Executive Summary of BLM’s Kremmling Office Proposed Resource Management Plan.

The TPA/COHVCO/CSA are providing these executive summary to the BLM DRMP for the Kremmling and Colorado River Basin area.  Our comments are provided for information to assist individuals in their response to the BLM planning effort.


Continue Reading