Wildcat Canyon Reopening


 December 3, 2014

  Park County Board of County Commissioners
P.O. Box 1373
Fairplay, CO 80440

Re: Reopening of routes in Wildcat Canyon area

Dear Sirs:
Please accept this correspondence as the statement of the Trail Preservation Alliance (“TPA”) vigorously supporting efforts to reopen routes in the Wildcat Canyon area that were impacted by the Hayman Fire. Prior to addressing this issue, the TPA believes a brief history of the Organization is necessary to give context to these comments. 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.

TPA is pleased to hear that Park County and the USFS are considering reopening the Wildcat Canyon roads (Hackett, Longwater, Metberry and Coral Creek) that were closed following the Hayman fire. TPA has been involved with efforts in Teller county to reopen portions of these routes in Teller County and is aware of the benefits that the recreational community may again obtain with these routes being reopened and connecting through Park County. TPA has already been able to support USFS grant proposals to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife OHV program to obtain funding to repair, maintain and patrol routes in the Wildcat Canyon area that have been reopened in Teller County.

TPA would note that part of the findings of the Hayman Fire Roads Analysis Report left open the reopening of these roads with an easement and maintenance agreement between the USFS and Park County. TPA knows that these efforts will take strong, long term partnerships, and would like to be a part of those partnerships moving. TPA has a long history of partnering with public land managers on issues such as this and believes that utilizing these types of partnerships are the primary method of reopening these highly valued routes for multiple use recreation.

The Hayman fire resulted in the closure of approximately 200 miles of roads, and it is quite rare for motorized routes to be reopened after closure, and this is a good opportunity to do so. While these routes are primarily motorized, it should be remembered that they will provide legal access for non-motorized enthusiasts for hunting, fishing and camping. We also believe that there will be a positive economic impact to the Park County communities nearby.

The following are things that TPA and our partners can bring to the table:

  • Being a partner in acquiring grants through the Colorado OHV Registration program, similar to those already obtained relative to Wildcat Canyon routes in Teller County;
  • Bringing volunteer effort to reopening and maintaining the routes;
  • Providing input on routes and camping areas in the Wildcat canyon area; and
  • Providing peer to peer guidance on responsible use of the area, such as those provided by the Stay the Trail Program.

TPA vigorously supports proposals to reopen routes in Park County in the Wildcat Canyon Area and heartily encourage you to pursue the opening of these routes, and hope you will keep us engaged in the process going forward. If you have questions please feel free to contact Scott Jones at 508 Ashford Drive, Longmont, CO 80504. His phone is (518)281-5810.

Scott Jones, Esq.
Authorized TPA Representative

CC: Mr. Randy Hickenbottom, USFS DR and Mr. Josh Voorhis, USFS DR via email only