Archive | November, 2014

TPA in NOHVCC Newsletter


 November 28, 2014

  TPA highlighted in the November issue of NOHVCC (National Off-highway Vehicle Conservation Council) newsletter. This article is reprinted with permission. Read the rest of their newsletter at

Colorado Trails Alliance “Pays It Forward” To Help Preserve OHV Recreation

by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer

The Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA) has helped start many motorcycle clubs in Colorado, but has no members itself.
It donates many thousands of dollars to help off-highway vehicle (OHV) organizations preserve and protect their trail systems, yet it collects no dues.

How does it do it? Each September, TPA hosts the Colorado 600, a 5-day, rider-paid event that’s part trail symposium and part motorcycle trail ride. Riders are able to bring two or three bikes, giving them the option of riding single track, dual-sport or adventure trails.
“We’re a non-profit, advocacy corporation. We have one focus, and that’s to save the sport for future generations,” said Don Riggle, TPA Director. “The 600 is our biggest fund-raiser. In the morning, we have a meeting where we discuss issues specific to saving the sport in Colorado. Then we break into small groups and go for a trail ride. In the evening we have a nice dinner and discuss issues some more.”
“They get people from all over the country to come to the Colorado 600,” said Russ Ehnes, executive director of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC). “These are riders who are interested in funding legal defense in states other than Colorado. It’s a unique model, the only one of its kind that I’m aware of.”
Over the course of 5 days, Riggle brings in a variety of people to talk with the serious trail riders who attend the 600. Discussing issues faced by riders in Colorado and surrounding states, they often include representatives of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), and senior-level people with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Past speakers have also included legendary motorcycle racer Malcolm Smith and Dirt Rider magazine editor Chris Denison.
Riggle limits the number of riders to 75. Each rider pays $1,500 to attend, which covers the cost of the motel, breakfasts, a banquet and a $1,000 donation to TPA. “It’s better to have a small group of selected people. It’s men and women riders who enjoy the sport and are serious about trying to save it,” he said. Then, on behalf of those riders, TPA takes a large amount of the registration fees and “pays it forward” to other OHV organizations. “We know where the money is needed. The majority is going to New Mexico, Utah and Colorado,” Riggle said.
In Colorado, the primary recipient of TPA assistance is the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition. “COHVCO represents everybody, all the riding groups,” said Riggle. “TPA responds to OHV-related issues, projects and travel management plans in Colorado, in lock-step with COHVCO. We do this in conjunction with local area clubs. And we use our in-house expertise to be a working partner with the federal land managers.”
The New Mexico OHV Alliance (NMOHVA) is another recipient of TPA’s generosity. For the past two years, TPA has sent NMOHVA the registration money from New Mexico riders who rode the 600. This year’s donation was $5,000, directed to its Access Defense Fund. “We thank TPA for their continued  and generous support!” reads a post on the NMOHVA website. “I have a direct interest down there,” said Riggle. “I grew up in New Mexico. Everything they’re fighting to help keep open, I rode there back in the ‘60s and ‘70s.”
TPA also donates to Ride With Respect, a non-profit organization that maintains trails and educates OHV riders in Moab, Utah. “I do that because they are a great bunch of guys, hardworking guys that do all the trail work,” said Riggle. “Half of Colorado goes there in the winter, they ride and then leave. Ride With Respect is using the money for the maintenance of its trails. For most of the donations, it’s their call where to put the money.”
Riggle is proud of the fact that TPA also helps start new motorcycle clubs, providing seed money and legal assistance to become a state non-profit. Attracting the next generation of trail riders is an on-going challenge, but it’s critical for them to get involved, he adds. “I have to remind people that we’re all in this together and we have to work together. That includes motorcycles, ATVs, 4-wheel drive trucks and snowmobiles.
“I’d say 95% of our donors are over 60. They’re trying to save the sport for the future.”
In addition to the serious trail riders who participate each year, Riggle gives credit for the success of the Colorado 600 and the ability of TPA to pay its donations forward, to its board of directors, the Sidewinders Motorcycle Club out of Cibola, Texas, that serves as the 600’s administrative arm, and corporate sponsors including Tucker Rocky, KTM, Motion Pro, Spider Grips and Dunlop. For more information and to donate to TPA, go to



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Burn Canyon Win


 November 17, 2014

  Another win for the motorized community.

BLM recently issued a record of decision regarding trail development in the Burn Canyon area of the Uncompahgre Field Office, that was a major win for the motorized community in an area where significant opportunities were going to be lost. Your comments and input have been heard on this issue!

This record of decision designates 17.2 miles of motorized trails (8.4 miles of existing and 8.8 miles of proposed routes.) These routes consist of:

9.3 miles of motorized single track;
2.9 miles of ATV 2 Track; and
5.0 miles of 4wd roads.

By comparison, the preferred Alternative of the draft EA provided for closure of 25.9 miles motorized routes in the planning area and no new motorized trails.
Additionally the BLM has determined that recreational usage of the area must be supported with new parking lots and commits to building 5 new parking lots in the burn canyon area.

For more information please follow this link and click the Burn Canyon link



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Hermosa Alert


 November 13, 2014

  Major win for the Colorado motorized recreational community as the Hermosa Watershed Legislation passes both House and Senate Committee Hearings

The Hermosa Watershed legislation has now gained approval of both House and Senate Natural Resource Committees. This is a major win for all motorized recreational users in Colorado.  This legislation will release the West Needles Wilderness Study area located between Durango and Silverton Colorado.  This is an area with a long history of highly valued snowmobile usage, that would have been lost for future motorized recreational usage due to permanent closure by land managers.  These closures were taking place over vigorous public objection. This legislation also Congressionally mandates that both grooming and open snowmobile riding must continue in the Molas Pass area that was released from its Wilderness Study Area classification.  This protection is a major benefit to the winter economy of Silverton Colorado and surrounding communities as snowmobile recreation is now very close to being legally required in the area.

The Hermosa Watershed Legislation also designates an additional 70,000 acre Special Management Area (SMA) where motorized recreation must occur, also been Durango and Silverton CO.  The creation of the SMA protects  an important riding area for the OHV community in an area that has been proposed to be managed as Recommended Wilderness, identified in recent forest plans as possibly unsuitable for motorized usage and explored for possible designation as Wilderness in Legislation.  The SMA protects an area where the single track motorcycle opportunities are frequently identified as world class.  The scope of the SMA usage was also amended after last second boundary changes might have impacted 4×4 trails to be created. These trails are also within the scope of the SMA usage.

Final passage of the bill into law has not occurred but passing both committees is a major step towards its passage this session, and is the result of years of collaborative efforts. We thank both Senator Bennett and Representative Tipton’s Offices, whose tireless efforts on these efforts have made these successes possible. 



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Colorado Leadership Statements


 November 12, 2014


Gov. Hickenlooper, Senators Bennet and Udall and Congressman Tipton issue statements on Gunnison sage grouse listing decision

Gov. John Hickenlooper, Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall and Congressman Scott Tipton today issued the following statements regarding the  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to list the Gunnison sage grouse as threatened under the Endangered Species Act:

Governor John Hickenlooper:
“We are deeply disappointed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service chose to ignore the extraordinary efforts over the last two decades by the state, local governments, business leaders and environmentalists to protect the Gunnison sage grouse and its habitat. This sends a discouraging message to communities willing to take significant actions to protect species and complicates our good faith efforts to work with local stakeholders on locally driven approaches. In short, this is a major blow to voluntary conservation efforts and we will do everything we can, including taking the agency to court, to fight this listing and support impacted local governments, landowners and other stakeholders.”
Senator Mark Udall:
“I am deeply disappointed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision. Colorado’s ranchers, conservationists, and state and local leaders have worked tirelessly together for more than 20 years to protect the Gunnison sage grouse, support local jobs and strengthen our special way of life. I have been proud to support this collaborative work, including the recent effort to request a delay of this decision so that additional conservation measures could be enacted. I will continue to champion this collaborative effort. Today’s decision, however, threatens to unravel much of the grassroots and science-based progress Colorado has made preserving the Gunnison sage grouse.”

Senator Michael Bennet:
“This decision is terribly disappointing.  Despite a broad coalition of local governments, ranchers, farmers, environmentalists and the state of Colorado pleading for more time and more engagement from the federal government on the ground, the Fish and Wildlife Service has pulled the rug out from under them. These Colorado communities did everything right to conserve the species and have shown a willingness to do more. With that commitment, the Service should have exercised all of its flexibility to allow these efforts to succeed. Colorado has proven that it can come together on tough issues to find solutions that work for everyone affected. We’ve implemented industry-supported rules regarding fugitive methane from oil and gas drilling, and are working toward compromise on the local control issue. Washington should learn from Colorado’s model, not upend it. Today’s decision only leaves Southwest Colorado with more uncertainty and conflict as this issue is re-litigated in the courts.”
Congressman Scott Tipton:
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service disregarded science and the wellbeing of the Gunnison Sage Grouse today. They decided to ignore the scientific experts, and in true Washington-knows-best fashion, listen to the bureaucracy instead, jeopardizing locally-tailored species preservation efforts already successfully underway in Colorado. This is not a political issue, but an occasion where people from diverse backgrounds and all sides of the political spectrum have worked together to put into place local plans of action to preserve the species based on extensive scientific data-and they’re working. In addition to implementing a wide range of voluntary conservation efforts, these stakeholders have done everything the federal government has asked to ensure the recovery of this species.”



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