TPA and COHVO Comment on Norwood Burn Canyon Rec Trails Project


September 13, 2012

Uncompahgre Field Office – Burn Canyon Trail Project
Att: Julie Jackson
2465 South Townsend Ave
Montrose, CO 81401

RE: Norwood Burn Canyon Rec Trails Project
Dear Ms. Jackson:
Please accept this correspondence as the comments of the above noted Organizations vigorously supporting the opening of 34 miles of new multiple use single track trails in the proposal area. COHVCO is a grassroots advocacy organization of approximately 2,500 members seeking to represent, assist, educate, and empower all OHV recreationists in the protection and promotion of off-highway motorized recreation throughout Colorado. COHVCO is an environmental organization that advocates and promotes the responsible use and conservation of our public lands and natural resources to preserve their aesthetic and recreational qualities for future generations.

TPA is a 100 percent volunteer organization whose intention is to be a viable partner, working with the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to preserve the sport of trail riding. The TPA acts as an advocate of the sport and takes the necessary action to insure that the USFS and BLM allocate to trail riding a fair and equitable percentage of access to public lands. For the purposes of these comments, COHVCO and TPA will be referred to as the Organizations.

Per scoping the scoping letter, the project seeks to develop a new single track trail network described as follows:

“The area currently serves as an undeveloped multiple-use trail system with connectivity to roads leading to Norwood. This trail system will fill the need for additional recreational activities, such as mountain biking, hiking, motorcycle riding and equestrian use….. BLM is preparing an environmental assessment to analyze construction of approximately 34 miles of multiple-use single track trail(maximum width
of 36″), one small trailhead (approximately one acre in size), and two small parking areas (approximately 1/2 acre in size). The purpose of this project is to analyze a system of new single track trails and support facilities.” 1

While the Organizations vigorously support the proposal, the Organizations are not able to provide substantive route specific concerns as the specific location of these routes is unclear on the map provided with the proposal. The Organizations are more than willing to provide additional comments and/or assist with resolution of any site specific issues that may arise in development of these trails.

The Organizations believe there is a critical shortage of single track multiple use trails in the state of Colorado and while all single track recreational opportunities are limited, motorized opportunities are the hardest hit usage. The San Juan National Forest provides a stark example of this issue as the San Juan National Forest contains approximately 1,250 miles of system trails. Roughly 1,000 miles are designated as closed to motorized recreation (including 400 miles in wilderness or special management areas); while 250 miles (20% of system trails) are designated as open to motorized recreation. 2 These opportunities are even further limited as single track trails represent only a small portion of the 20% of system trails that are available.

The Organizations vigorously support the development of 34 miles of additional multiple use single track trails in the planning area. These trails would help address the void of motorized single track riding opportunities that currently exists in the State of Colorado and more specifically in the areas surrounding the proposal. The Organizations believe that this proposal would provide a significant resources for all users of trail network as multiple use trail opportunities are very limited in the proposal area.

If you have questions please feel free to contact:

Scott Jones
508 Ashford Drive
Longmont CO 80504

John Bonngiovanni

D.E. Riggle
Chairman and President Director of Operations
Colorado OHV Coalition Trails Preservation Alliance

Scott Jones, Esq.
COHVCO BOD/ CSA Vice President