Archive | February, 2015

GAINING GROUND Success Stories from The Colorado 600



Dirtrider Magazine, April 2015
Reprinted with permission
Download the PDF of the article to see images
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Success Stories from The Colorado 600

Story By Chris Denison
Photos By Chris Denison and Dave Martin

The above question is simple enough, but it’s also tougher than an adamantium skid plate. Sure, most riders can put a price on the various elements of a riding program—$100 for a tire, $8,000 for a bike, $25,000 for a pickup truck—but ask them to quantify the value of land access and the most you’ll get is a blank stare. The sad fact is that public riding areas—both tracks and trails—are rapidly being taken away from responsible OHV users by highly funded, blindly supported environmental extremists, and yet the average off-road motorcycle rider is content to make a small annual donation and then leave the heavy lifting to the “hard-core trail guys.” This is a model that is doomed for failure, as there is a lot of work to do to protect the sport but not nearly enough people or resources to get it all done.

Fortunately, there are signs—faint signs but signs nonetheless—that the tide may be turning in our favor. An increased number of riders are waking up to the fact that if they don’t take action now, there won’t be any public riding areas left for them, their children, or their grandchildren to enjoy. Local communities and land managers are beginning to embrace off-road recreation for its economic value, and the general public is starting to see that we aren’t just a bunch of lawless hooligans. Riders everywhere are mobilizing and fighting back against rampant land closures. Many of those closures are politically or financially motivated and are borderline unlawful. Positive changes are being made, and the bulk of the progress can be credited to the actions of our sport’s most vehement supporters.

The sport’s top advocates have long believed in an age-old conviction that what happens to the trails in the Rocky Mountains is what eventually happens in the rest of the country. Following this belief, one can regard Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico as the front lines of the war for the future of our sport, with Colorado’s trail-rich outdoor areas as some of the most critical ground to keep. It is here, in the hottest part of the action, that we find the Trails Preservation Alliance, a highly focused, nonprofit organization that works to educate riders, protect off-road areas, and support clubs and trail systems that are in need, as well as to fight off the attacks of the environmentalist groups who want to shut our sport down.

Those of you who have been reading Dirt Rider for a while have likely heard of the Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA) before; its leaders, Don Riggle and Stan Simpson, are well known for standing up to bullying environmental groups and rallying, educating, and empowering off-road riders. One of their most valuable means of accomplishing this is the Colorado 600, a weeklong trail symposium during which the sport’s best and brightest advocates gather to work through current issues, share successful strategies, and enjoy some prime single-track riding before taking all this newfound information back to their respective local areas.

At the most recent running of this annual event much of the focus was on the numerous successes the off-road community has achieved as of late. This was evident before the event even began, as the mandatory tech inspection revealed some interesting results. “Several years ago, we were sound testing our riders’ bikes at 102 dBA, and we had a failure rate of over 40 percent,” explains Riggle, who limits the number of participants on the ride and personally reviews each application. “But thanks to consistently educating riders as to the benefits of the ‘less sound, more ground’ mantra, we’ve seen some major improvements. For example, at the most recent CO 600, we tested more than 120 bikes and only had one machine that required modifications to meet our current limit. And the current sound limit is 95 dBA, which is a lot quieter than what it was a few years back when everyone was failing the same test!” Not only is this proof that many off-road riders have been able to achieve a noticeable decrease in bike sound, but it also provides a glimpse at the kind of thinking that has helped to make loud bikes on trails a rare occurrence.

A veteran of the AMA, Simpson knows all too well how difficult it can be to reach and retain new members. But due to the consistent efforts of the TPA to sup-port OHV organizations—in 2014, the TPA donated tens of thousands of dollars to various groups—interest in trails preservation is on the rise. “In a time when several off-road membership organizations are finding it difficult to gain financial support, the TPA is actually gaining in the number of supporters of the mission we have focused upon,” Simpson says. “Additionally, the involvement of the TPA has become a recognized factor in the legal proceedings related to use and retention of trails in the Colorado region. The growing number of volunteers who step up to assist the TPA is a great trend that tells us to stay the course we started down several years ago. In addition, we have found it necessary to turn down a large number of applicants each year for the CO 600 event, which shows us there are a greater number of eager trail ambassadors out there than ever before. We see this as a real indicator that we are doing things the right way and are making a difference in the future of off-road riding in the Rockies!” There are many who wish that the Colorado 600 would be opened to more participants, but by keeping the event small and personal, Riggle and Simpson have found that they are best able to reach the core participants who come to the ride to learn how best to save the sport.

Another individual who is doing the work of many in keeping public lands open for motorized access is John Bongiovanni, a former Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO). Bongiovanni is a regular at the Colorado 600, and he recently gave a talk to all in attendance regarding some positive developments in OHV tourism. The main goal here is to get economically challenged rural communities to realize that OHV enthusiasts can provide a critical source of revenue. Once they get a taste of this, they fight harder than ever to help keep our public lands open to motorized use. “Rio Blanco County has been my favorite success story,” Bongiovanni recalls of the Meeker, Colorado, group. “They were the first to step forward and take me up on my offer to build an OHV tourism strategy, and they have been doing great with over 250 miles of OHV trails called the Wagon Wheel Trail System. Go check them out! I believe that spreading the word about the positive impact of OHV tourism is a key part of keeping our public lands open. We need more than just enthusiasts fighting for access. We need the communities across the country to stand up and fight to keep our public lands open!”

Bongiovanni’s message to these communities is one of increased prosperity and quality tourism, but it’s also heavily reliant on off-road riders to spread the message. “When you are out enjoying our public lands, go into OHV-friendly towns to buy gas, groceries, motel rooms, etc. Also, be sure to tell the community who you are and that you are a responsible citizen who has chosen to spend hard-earned money in their community. It really does make a difference.” Of course, one of the most important aspects of OHV tourism is respect to the local riders in an area. Anytime you travel to a new trail system to ride, it’s critical to keep in mind that every local trail system has a local club that is responsible for keeping that area open. Not only do you need to be a good steward and treat these trails like they were your own, but it’s also important to support the fund-raising efforts of these local organizations, many of which are operating on shoestring budgets.

One of the members of the symposium’s audience, Bill Hearne, realizes just how much of an impact these local organizations can make. Hearne will take what he’s learned at the CO 600 back home with him to South Dakota, where he will share his newfound info with riders from his local club. As one of just a handful of attendees who has been to every Colorado 600, Hearne enjoys catching up with old friends at the event but says that its distinguishing feature is the educational value. “I don’t have near as much anti-OHV pushback in my state as the folks in Colorado have,” Hearne says. “However, I feel a personal commitment to do my part in the Black Hills. My main challenge is developing new and positive relationships with new or recently promoted Forest Service managers, as this is a constantly changing pool of people. But I’ve learned that a single person can achieve results with consistent and forceful action. Since starting the process, we have made great strides in developing more single-track (about a 300-percent increase), fully developing the Dakota Adventure Loop (, and creating another high-dollar fund-raising event: The Dakota 600. Come ride with me!”

While the Colorado 600 might seem like a war room full of generals, not everyone at the event is an old hand. Colorado 600 rookie Richard Crouse made the long trek from New Jersey to the event, and the experience had a profound impact on him. “The OHV knowledge I gained from the 600 is truly priceless,” Crouse says. “After experiencing the CO 600 I am eyes wide open to the present-day issues in the OHV world. I was amazed by the amount of knowledge shared by the members and participants. I would encourage startup OHV clubs and new riders to contact the leaders of the CO 600, who set the standard for OHV activism and have a wealth of knowledge that spans 30-plus years. Also, it’s important that we all stay in close contact with those who manage the lands we ride on. They are mandatory to keep on the OHV team.”

It goes without saying that the riding conditions at the Colorado 600 are absolutely epic, with several days of enjoying the local trail system while also learning from the most passionate OHV supporters in the country. Each morning, the group enjoys a big breakfast together while being addressed by a guest speaker, after which the mass of bikers splits into several different guided rides, ranging from long-distance adventure journeys to full on AA-level enduro loops.

During my adventures at this year’s 600, I spent considerable time both on and off the trail with Scott Bright, who is chairman of the Rocky Mountain Enduro Circuit, and Jim Rios, owner of Billet Racing Products (BRP). Both are Colorado-based business owners who are actively involved in the preservation of the sport,
and each one had good things to say about the current direction of our efforts. “I have seen some amazing things happening, especially in the way people and communities look at OHVs and the riders,” Rios notes. “We were once looked at as reckless motorcycle riders, glared at, and even given the evil eye, but that seems to be changing. More and more people are seeing the caliber and quality of people that ride off-road motorcycles, not to mention the enormous economic impact we provide when we bring our families, motorcycles, and RVs to a small town and fill their restaurants and buy their fuel, food, and drinks. These towns are now welcoming us with open arms and smiles of appreciation, and I couldn’t be happier with that.”

Bright, who was instrumental in opening up and maintaining the area of Colorado where the 600 takes place, agrees with Rios’ outlook. “I am hopeful for the future of motorized single-track in Colorado because of organizations like the TPA,” Scott says. “With a little bit of money and some very coordinated efforts, we have been able to fight back the monstrous Wilderness Societies that would like the motorcycle industry to go away forever. It is a lot like the original Americans that used very focused guerilla-warfare maneuvers against the vastly superior British armies; rather than constantly fighting to keep from losing trails, we are to a point where we can gain some trails back that have been closed for some time. Yes, we do have the occasional losses, and those don’t go down without a major fight. We are gaining ground, and I am grateful for that, and I see hope for my kids and their riding opportunities.”

Despite his optimism, Bright is firm about maintaining our commitment to fighting for OHV access. “We are just now starting to gain some momentum, and now is not the time to sit back and watch this movement idle along in first gear!” Bright cautions. “We need people to pull out checkbooks and pile on the donations then get active about voting, working on trails, and being proactive in terms of protecting our sport. Keep in mind that the TPA is looking to expand into other states; imagine starting your own local club in California, Oregon, or Washington, and getting funded by the TPA to start engaging the local Forest Service about opening up some trails. Think of what could be done if riders from
every state stepped up to do this! There are a lot of victories right around the corner, but we have to stay on the gas and work together in order to achieve them. Letting up now is not an option!”

In the end, the Colorado 600 is a success because it provides a powerful catalyst for positive change in our sport while also maintaining a clear and defined mission: to preserve motorized recreation for future generations. In a time when some OHV users have written off their individual efforts as, “just a drop in the bucket,” the Trails Preservation Alliance is doing an incredible job of educating the leaders of our sport and arming them with new knowledge to bestow upon other OHV activists. This ripple effect is leading to trails being opened— and, in many cases, closed trails being reopened—as well as improved relations with forest service managers, increased opportunities for young enthusiasts, and more support than ever for local clubs.

Naturally, though, every participant leaves the Colorado 600 wondering what can be done to mobilize OHV enthusiasts on a national scale. There are currently dozens of national organizations, yet the off-road community needs just one gigantic group to carry the ball for us. Will the AMA reorganize so as to merge with other national organizations, increase membership, and be the single unifying representative of OHV enthusiasts? Or will the OEMs and dealers be the ones to join forces, rally the troops, and take a collective stand against the onslaught of threats to the way we enjoy the outdoors? The way that things will unfold is not yet clear, though it’s extremely evident that groups like the Trails Preservation Alliance—and the highly successful Colorado 600 event—are making positive forward progress toward advancing our access and sticking up for off-road riders. One thing is definitely certain: Now is the time for every single man, woman, and child to get and remain active in the fight to protect the future of our sport. And if you think the environmentalists are going to give you a fair shake, then I’ve got a nice lightweight adamantium skid plate I’d like to sell you.

WANT MORE? To see what the Trails Preservation Alliance is doing (in great detail), look over the 2014 End of year report in the news section at and check out to learn more about the event. You can also catch the complete video at

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TPA 2014 End of Year Report


Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA) 2014 End of Year Report

This report provides an overview of 2014 activities and events. For a more detailed review, please see the individual project/issue in the news section on the TPA web page. Is there light at the end of the tunnel for OHV recreation in Colorado? Well…. maybe…

In 2014 we have seen several major success issues related to saving our sport. Combining this with several changes in Forest Services (FS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) management actions, provides hope that OHV recreation is finally being given recognition as it relates to legitimate recreation on public property.


The Tenderfoot Trail Project was approved in the White River NF and created twenty two miles of new single track motorized trails outside Dillon, Colorado.

The Hermosa Watershed Legislation was approved which creates a 70,000 acre special management area for motorized recreation, protecting riding areas that had long been within recommended Wilderness areas and released a Wilderness Study Area for motorized usage.

The Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District of the White River NF reopened almost 150 miles of motorized routes to OHV usage.

The Uncompahgre BLM Field Office determined that motorized and non-motorized usage should be balanced in a trail project in the Burn Canyon area that was originally to be exclusively non-motorized trails.

New management documents were issued for wolverine and lynx clearly stating that motorized recreation is not an issue on millions of acres of habitat. Previously this issue was classified as unresolved and resulted in overly cautious management decisions.

A more noticeable proactive involvement style by Federal Land Managers is apparent as it relates to a wide range of OHV issues impacting recreation on public lands continues to yield some positive results.



In 2014, TPA addressed four key legislation initiatives:

We are building on the successful release of the West Needles Wilderness Study area in 2014 and are working to gain release of the North Sand Hills Wilderness Study area outside Walden Colorado due to the long history of motorized usage in the area

We are exploring landscape level tools for the release of Wilderness Study areas that have never been found suitable for designation.

TPA has strategically positioned itself to work more closely and effectively with Colorado’s elected officials in the US Senate and House.

TPA and our partners published a consolidated research paper noting a wide range of impacts for expanded Wilderness designations, including negative economic impacts to communities, low levels of utilizations of current opportunities and negative impacts to the overall health of public lands from wilderness management restrictions. This paper was written to give everyone in Colorado a better understanding of what the announcement of a wilderness designation does to a local area.



Bear Creek/Green Back Trout (PPSI. Pikes Peak District). Motorcycle use in this area continues to be denied. Land ownership is still in question. (City of Colorado Springs) The FS is in the process of completing a NEPA of the entire area. The follow-on TMP is said to include a motorized bypass route of the endangered trout area. Until ownership of the land is settled and an agreement is in-place between the FS and landowner, motorized recreation in the area is on hold.

Pike San Isabel Filed in January 2011 this case challenges Forest Service management of vehicle access to six Ranger Districts in the Pike and San Isabel National Forest. Plaintiffs filed an opening brief on the merits in August 2013. The Forest Service and Plaintiffs began settlement discussions, which continue. TPA-lead interveners are allowed to participate indirectly in this effort, and to mitigate adverse impacts on historical access. No restrictions have been imposed as a result of this lawsuit.

Rico West Dolores. This case was brought by the Colorado Chapter, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, and seeks to close fourteen prime motorcycle trails in the Rico West Dolores area of the San Juan National Forest. TPA and COHVCO, San Juan Trail Riders, Public Access Preservation Association and Blue-ribbon Coalition intervened as co-defendants alongside the Forest Service. The district court denied CBHA’s motion for a preliminary injunction, and ruled in favor of the Forest Service and pro- access interveners on the merits. CBHA appealed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which heard oral argument on November 21, 2014. The appeal remains under advisement.

The TPA stays actively involved in all ongoing legal issues.



The TPA has accepted responsibility for an OHV tourism awareness project. This special project was developed to show the positive aspects of OHV tourism for towns and counties in western Colorado. The Economic Contribution study (funded by the TPA in 2009) was a first step in this initiative. A special TPA staff person is assigned to work with local communities in Colorado. This work is funded by TPA donations and a special Polaris grant. OHV tourism has proved to create a positive economic impact for our State and communities. A recent study showed that over $100.00 per day is spent per OHV use in local towns.

A new extensive economic study is approved for funding by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife OHV grants. This study will be much more in-depth than the 2009 study and is scheduled for completion in late 2015.

TPA works closely with the town of Meeker and the Rio Blanco County to promote OHV tourism. Today the Wagon Wheel Trail System is fully operational and providing an outstanding network of trails, right out of the town of Meeker. The TPA is also working with the following towns and counties helping them establish their own OHV tourism plans:

Clear Creek County
Hinsdale County
Lake County
San Juan County
Teller County

These counties understand the positive impact of OHV recreation. TPA is rallying rural Colorado as a ‘force multiplier” in the battle to keep public lands open for OHV recreation. To see the exact action on going in each of the above areas, please see the news section of the TPA web page.



With TPA assistance, two new motorcycle clubs were started this year in Colorado: The San Carlos MC Club, Pueblo, and Grace Tours of Colorado Springs.

The TPA responded/provided comments on the following land use issues.

Bear Creek
Rollin Pass
Colorado River Valley BLM Protest
Domingez-Escalante NCA RMP
Grand Junction BLM D/RMP’s
Kremmling FO BLM Protest
Left Hand Canyon
San Juan NF TMP protest
Tenderfoot trail
Tres Rios BLM RMP protest
VURB issue

Wildcat canyon area discussions about possible opening of many OHV routes closed by the Haymen fire.

Multiple meetings with selected FS and BLM Land Managers

Significant involvement with the listing of the Greater and Gunnison Sage Grouse – both of which could impact millions of acres of riding areas

BLM Planning Rule Version 2.0 proposal

Arizona, Tonto NF EA



TPA is involved in several significant land usage issues originating from the FS and the BLM. These issues are critical to the future of OHV recreation in Colorado.

The final version of the GJ/BLM Resource Master Plan is expected for the entire Grand Junction area. Draft versions of this document proposed high levels of closures of motorized routes. TPA is optimistic that efforts, since the release of the draft, have resulted in a far more balanced plan for the usage of the area and far lower levels of closures than originally proposed.

The San Juan NF is commencing a travel management plan for the Rico area and TPA is working hard to avoid any unnecessary closures in this area as the area has a long history of motorized usage.

The Rio Grande NF Forest Master Plan, and follow on TMP will be actively worked in conjunction with the local OHV clubs in the RGNF.

TPA will undergo some slight reorganization and our web page will be updated to reflect the current operational position as it relates to saving our sport in Colorado.

TPA continues to work closely with all OHV clubs and organizations in clubs in Colorado.


TPA supported the following organizations in 2014:

Ride with Respect. Moab Utah
Grace Tours MC, Colorado Springs
RMSR, Eagle
Gunnison/Crested Butte MC club (Goats)
San Carlos MC, Pueblo
MTRA of Grand Junction
San Juan Trail Riders
Volunteers of Colorado
PAPA, Telluride Colorado
Wyoming Trail Riders


2014 was a very important year for the TPA as it marked our fourth year of operations. TPA has impacted many OHV issues and 2015 appears to be the most critical year for OHV planning in Colorado. Planned BLM and FS projects will impact future OHV recreation for the next 10-20 years.

The Colorado 600 Trails Awareness Symposium continues to be our primary TPA fund raising operation and your active support of this is event is appreciated.

TPA continues as a volunteer organization, putting a very high percentage of all donations to direct use for SAVING OUR SPORT.

The TPA Board of Directors thanks all of our supporters, individuals, corporate and clubs. Be assured that TPA is constantly striving to promote and preserve OHV recreation on public property.

Please contact us with any suggestions concerning on-going work or to recommend future work in which the TPA can be influential.
Thank you,

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Rocky Mountain ATV MC article – Colorado 600

Rocky Mountain ATV MC article: The Trail Preservation Alliance Colorado 600: Protecting our Right to Ride


(Reprinted with permission, be sure to check out the article to see all the photos.)

In our line of work, we are lucky to get to be involved in some pretty cool events from time to time. Rocky Mountain ATV/MC was invited again this year to attend the 2014 Trail Preservation Alliance Colorado 600 trail symposium and ride – a five day event to raise awareness for and help preserve motorized, single-track trails open to riders in Colorado and Utah. The event takes place every year in South Fork, Colorado and is headed up by Don Riggle of the TPA, AMA board member Stan Simpson and the organizational efforts of the Texas Sidewinders MC. Important organizations such as the AMA and the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition (COVHCO) are represented during the symposium as well.

Motivation from the Masters
Each day of the symposium started off with a delicious breakfast while we listened to a speaker who presented information focused on land use. We learned about local success stories and ways that we could each make a difference. Don Riggle is an impressive speaker – his presence commands your attention, but we are always a captive and eager audience as Don and Stan speak to us. It is always nice to have a group of like-minded individuals capable of incremental changes within their own circles of influence all together in one room.
After the morning symposium each day we’d get to go on epic rides. We’d all separate into groups and happily head off for an opportunity to enjoy the very thing we work so hard to preserve.

Time to Ride!
The first day on the trails we rode Miner’s Creek, just outside of Creede. It was a beautiful and challenging ride. We got the chance to finally ride with a couple that we’d met before and heard a lot about, Greg and Sue. I’d never had a chance to hit the trails with them before, but I’d heard a lot about Sue’s abilities on a bike. From the perspective of a father of three girls that ride, I was very curious to witness her skills myself. I wasn’t disappointed – as the day progressed I learned that Sue is an animal! I went from hoping that someday my girls could ride a trail as gnarly as this to hoping I could keep up with a mid-sixties grandma!

After a great first day of riding, we met back up at the motel for dinner. This year we were staying at the South Fork Lodge and it was an awesome experience. The owners of the property were great and took good care of us. After dinner we went out and relaxed around the fire or soaked in the hot tub to unwind.

Crossing Engineer Pass
Day two started out with a sketchy forecast and a good chance of rain, especially in the high country. But we are always up for adventure! Plus, there were three of us, which is the magic number of course, or so I’m told – one to crash, one to stay with the one that crashed, and one to go for help…

The dark clouds made for some stunning backdrops. The vistas were amazing in every direction. We made the trek from South Fork to Lake City figuring we might get a little wet on our way over the nearly 12,800 ft Engineer Pass. Well, we got way beyond a little wet – we were soaked to the bone.

Although it doesn’t look like it, we had the chance to see some amazing waterfalls. We could see all the way to the top of the mountain peak where the water turned in to a small rivulet. Then we could see it progressively turn in to a roaring river only feet away. Gnarly! I wish we took more pictures but it really was survival mode at that point to get two BMW GS 1200 Adventures and a KTM 950 Adventure up and over the pass. The temp dropped to the mid 30’s and visibility was awful. But the weather improved and the temps rose as we worked our way down towards Animas Forks and Silverton.

After finishing a quick lunch in Silverton, we headed towards Durango. The clouds cleared off the peaks enough to reveal snow on them! We narrowly missed a full on rodeo trying to herd those enormous bikes down a snowy, slick and scary pass! Yikes!

After that, we decided we’d had enough off road for the day and took the pavement around to Pagosa Springs, Wolf Creek Pass and on in to South Fork. Awesome day!

A Tribute in the Forest
Day three turned out to be one filled with a lot of emotion. Riggle is a retired Colonel and many at the event were Veterans of our military. We were led to a Vietnam memorial that is accessed at the end of a dirt road in the middle of the forest. The site was absolutely amazing. The reverence I felt at that remote memorial is a feeling I will always remember. I felt truly honored to be able to go with those men and experience that place. The ride was fun as well but everything was overshadowed by the overall gratitude and respect I was feeling for our Veterans. The memorial honors not only our American Soldiers, but our allies as well. As I sat down to write this article and did some research on the Internet, I discovered that this monument was built in a faraway place to be kept somewhat secret and sacred. Because this is a special monument in a special place, I don’t want to show any disrespect. If you have a desire to go and see this monument, find a Vietnam Veteran and ask him to show it to you.

Trials or Trails?
Day four had us back on the little bikes. We went on a ride with Jason Elliot and a local who showed up on a CRF230 with a trials tire, mentioning that his background was trials. I have been on rides with guys like this before and it usually means gnarly, tight trails…I was correct.

We spent most of the time in Alder Creek. I didn’t notice many alder trees – switch backs and boulders were all I could see. I finally noticed one tree when the remains of a stump somehow lodged between my forks and front tire and stopped me in my tracks.

Concluding Another Great Symposium
That final day of riding ended with a big banquet at the local country club. It was topped off by Chris Denison from Dirt Rider magazine as our final guest speaker. His speech was focused on success stories and it was a refreshing way to finish up a great symposium.

This year’s Colorado 600 trail symposium and ride ended up being like the rest: enlightening and a lot of fun! We can’t wait for next year!

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FS proposes new multi use trail from Basalt to Gypsum Colorado

Message from USDA Forest Service regarding update to Basalt to Gypsum Singletrack:

Dear Interested Participant:

A Draft Decision Notice/Finding of No Significant Impact (DN/FONSI) regarding the projects analyzed in the Basalt to Gypsum Motorized Singletrack Environmental Assessment (EA) are complete and are available for your review. Project Design Criteria (PDC) are included with the DN/FONSI. There will be no further comment period on this project, but individuals who submitted timely and specific written comments during the prior scoping period will have eligibility to file an objection under 36 CFR §218.8. Objections to the documents must be received within 45 days of the legal notice published today in the Glenwood Post Independent newspaper.

The EA analyzed the establishment of motorized singletrack trails and a parking area, wetland restoration and rehabilitation of non-system routes on approximately 9 acres. These actions are proposed to be implemented on the Aspen-Sopris and Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger Districts of the White River National Forest (WRNF). The selected alternative (Alternative 2) includes the following activities:

  • Construction of an approximately 80’ x 200’ parking area, near the beginning of the Red Table Road, National Forest System Road (NFSR) 514 on the north side of County Road 10 near Cottonwood Pass;
  • Reconstruction of a total of 8.2 miles of motorized trail at the “Green Gate Trail”, and the “Milepost 1 Trail”, to create a more logical and sustainable trail system;
  • Restoration of a wetland impacted by the existing parking area at the junction of NFSR 514 and County Road 10 and;
  • Rehabilitation of approximately 27 miles of trail.

All elements of the proposed action would be implemented by the WRNF, and their partners, beginning in 2015. The responsible official with approval authority for these activities is Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor on the WRNF.

Objections, including attachments, must be filed via mail, fax, email, hand-delivery, express delivery, or messenger service (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays) to: Reviewing Officer, Dan Jirón, Regional Forester, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region, 740 Simms, Golden, CO 80401; FAX: (303) 275-5134, or email

Thank you for your interest and participation in this project. Hard copies of the EA can be reviewed upon request at the Sopris Ranger Station, the Forest Supervisor’s office, and Eagle Ranger stations. The EA is also available online at: If you have any questions or comments, please contact Jon Thompson at or (970)404-3172.

Forest Supervisor

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A Trail Reopened

Congratulations to the Kara Riders in Wyoming!

The Colorado TPA and Wyoming trail riders have been jointly associated for years, trying to save our sport.

Article republished with permission from Blue Ribbon Coalition (

BOISE, ID — When the snow clears in the coming spring, Wyoming riders will again enjoy the opportunity to traverse Trail 38 on the Bighorn National Forest, thanks to the Inyan Kara Riders-BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) legal effort. Trail 38, a 4.5 mile section of rare Wyoming single-track, was closed in the Spring of 2012 through a Tongue District Ranger letter purporting to change the Trail’s designation to non-motorized. Following unsuccessful outreach and correspondence to the Forest Service, local riders contacted the BRC to evaluate their options. On August 6, 2014, the BRC Legal Team filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District of Wyoming, alleging that the non-motorized designation of Trail 38 violated federal laws and regulations. Rather than answer the complaint, the Forest Service withdrew its designation, and Trail 38 reverted to its earlier motorized status.

“We are pleasantly surprised by the Forest Service’s quick and decisive choice to avoid protracted litigation,” said J.R. Riggins, a named plaintiff in the suit and leader of the Wyoming rider’s effort. “Cynics sometimes think that litigation is an expensive exercise in symbolic futility, but our ability to resume summer trips on Trail 38 serves as a tangible reminder that a well-designed courtroom effort can make a difference on the ground,” Riggins observed.

Since 1997, the BRC Legal Program has appeared across the nation to fight recreation closures and defend pro-trail agency decisions. Many cases involve defense against attacks from anti-access groups. Some, like Trail 38, are efforts to go “on offense” and establish or restore access opportunities which has occurred at least 14 times. The BRC Legal Program total investment in access is at 1.7 million dollars spent and counting.

The plaintiffs in the Trail 38 effort were represented by Paul Turcke of Boise, Idaho, who has been lead counsel for BRC since the Legal Program’s inception, and local counsel Harriet Hageman and Stacia Berry of Hageman Law in Cheyenne. These lawyers previously joined forces to represent recreation interests in support of the State of Wyoming’s challenge to the 2001 Clinton-Gore Roadless Rule. The parties to the suit have reached an initial agreement on a settlement, which is undergoing final approval by federal government officials.


The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages a strong conservation ethic and individual stewardship, while providing leadership in efforts to keep outdoor recreation alive and well — all sports; all trails.  With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BLUERIB –  www.BlueRibbonCoalition.Org.

Paul Turcke, Esq.

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