This report provides an overview of the TPA’s 2016 activities, accomplishments and events. For a more detailed review, please see projects/issues in the news section of the TPA website. 2016 has been another very busy and productive year for the TPA and a year that we feel some positive progress has been made in working to keep our access open and available for multiple use recreation.
2016 SUCCESS STORIES
OHV use on Colorado County roads – TPA partnered with COHVCO to obtain passage of Colorado Legislation that clarified and expanded the legal usage of all OHVs on County Roads.
- County roads often provide important connectivity for trail networks and allow riders to travel into towns and communities for fuel, supplies and lodging.
- For a list of Colorado Cities & Counties that have already taken steps to allow OHV use on County roads – click here
Construction of new motorized trail in Bear Creek – Since 2013, motorcyclist have been closed out of the historic Cap’n Jacks single-track trail in the Bear Creek Watershed outside Colorado Springs, and the TPA has been instrumental in restoring motorcycle access to this area. The Cap’n Jacks trail system has been in use and ridden by Colorado Springs area riders for decades! The trail was closed to motorized use by the United States Forest Service as part of a lawsuit settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity. The TPA, in cooperation with Colorado Motorcycle Trail Riders Association (CMTRA) has been heavily involved in the process to reopen the area, has represented motorized recreation at countless meetings and has prepared extensive written comments arguing for reopening of the area to motorcycles. We are glad to report that as a result of our collective efforts and partnerships, construction of a new trail began in 2016.
- The United States Forest Service along with El Paso County have partnered to construct a new trail that will restore access for motorcycles.
- The new trail will restore connectivity to historical destinations and will be constructed outside of the Bear Creek watershed in order to meet requirements to help preserve the endangered Greenback Cutthroat Trout.
- The new trail was originally to be completed by Fall 2016, but due to planning issues with the original, new trail alignment, a modified trail alignment has now been worked out and construction will re-start in the spring of 2017.
- The TPA has worked diligently and tirelessly to restore motorcycle access to the area and again provide a first class riding experience in the foothills of Pikes Peak.
Formation of a new advocacy club in Salida – The TPA has provided logistical and organizational support for the development of a new motorcycle and land use advocacy club in Salida Colorado.
- The Central Colorado Mountain Riders (CCMR) club is ramping up operations and is actively involved with the United States Forest Service, Salida Ranger District.
- The initiative and willingness of these individuals to get involved is very much appreciated and needed in this area of Colorado.
Distribution of NOHVCC’s Great Trails Handbook – The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC – One of the TPA’s national partners) has developed an exceptional new resource for land managers, which is a 300-page color manual for the development and maintenance of motorized routes and trails.
- The TPA has purchased 60 copies of this book and is currently circulating them to public land managers throughout the State of Colorado.
- Copies of the handbook were distributed at the 2016 COHVCO OHV Workshop and will again be provided at the 2017 Workshop.
- The new handbook is rapidly becoming the definitive guide for the planning, designed, constructing, managing and maintaining OHV routes and trails.
There are several new single track projects completed or in the process of being completed including:
- The Tenderfoot Trail in Summit County
- Basalt to Gypsum single track
- Eagle County Motocross Park
- Expansion of Lake County motorcycle track
All of these single-track projects are good examples of the local motorcycle clubs working with their local Federal Land managers to make this happen!
Colorado 600 is featured in Dirt Rider magazine – Dirt Rider magazine wrote a feature article about the TPA’s annual Colorado 600, Trails Symposium Workshop. To see the entire article go to: http://www.dirtrider.com/2016-colorado-600
Historic Agreement with the Bureau of Land Management – The TPA along with the Blue Ribbon Coalition and COHVCO joined into an agreement settling decades long lawsuits over management of public lands in Utah. The agreement provides and outlines an acceptable planning solutions and alternatives and should help prevent years of further litigation. The proposed settlement agreement was filed in U.S. District Court in Utah, and governs Bureau of Land Management ‘s oversight of lands in six Utah field offices. The other parties entering the settlement include Bureau of Land Management and numerous preservationist plaintiffs led by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. A few key elements of the settlement include:
- The settlement does not require “temporary” closure of any route or area.
- It specifies where and when Bureau of Land Management will perform travel planning.
- The identified procedures improve opportunities for public engagement and are justifiably designed to produce more defensible decisions.
- All parties and the public retain full rights to participate in, and challenge the final outcome of the new travel plans.
For more information: https://sharetrails.org/media/recreation-groups-sign-historic-blm-agreement/
- TPA supported passage of Federal Legislation requiring that recreational activity actually be meaningfully reflected in both the Gross National Product (GNP) and federal lands planning efforts.
- TPA partnered with COHVCO to defeat state level legislation that would have subsidized expanded use of E15 motor fuels in the state.
- TPA submitted extensive comments regarding Endangered Species Act reform to the Western Governors Association (WGA) and was pleased to see that almost all issues were supported in the WGA resolution on the issue.
- A new and updated TPA website was launched.
All of the issues discussed in the 2015 end of year report are still valid, and TPA is still pursuing them to help protect our sport. In 2016, TPA took on additional legislation issues:
- Partnering with Congressman Scott Tipton’s Office to obtain legislation seeking the release of the North Sand Hills area from its Wilderness Study Area (WSA) designation.
- TPA reviewed and commented on a wide range of federal legislative proposals regarding recreation and trails maintenance.
- TPA is also partnering with COHVCO in an effort to insure that the insurance requirements for OHV grants are not an insurmountable barrier to motorized trail development and that these grants continue to be provided in a timely manner.
- The TPA has been working with the Colorado Federal Congressional delegation seeking the release of several Wilderness Study Areas important to multiple use and permanent protection of motorized access to several areas slated for closure in the near future.
- Bear Creek/Greenback Cutthroat (Pike/San Isabel Forest /Pikes Peak Ranger District). The TPA has submitted extensive comments subject to the settlement of the litigation to insure that actual threats to the cutthroat trout are addressed in planning and alternative development. The United States Forest Service is now moving forward with construction of a rerouted trail funded with OHV grant money. The new trail will be re-establish access to motorcycles later this summer.
- Pike San Isabel National Forest Travel Management Plan EIS (AKA Pike/San Isabel MVUM challenge) – The TPA is leading the effort for the entire Colorado OHV community’s response to the United States Forest Service on this very important issue. In 2017, the TPA hired a consultant/program manager to represent the TPA as a United States Forest Service plan is developed and implemented. This case was originally filed in 2011 and challenged the United States Forest Service’s management of vehicle access in all six of the Ranger Districts within the Pike/San Isabel National Forest. This case had sought to remove any routes/trails that were “grandfathered” in during the creation of Pike/San Isabel National Forest’s Motor Vehicle Use Maps (aka MVUMs). The defense expenses are being born solely by the Colorado OHV advocacy groups, namely the TPA. The United States Forest Service is in the process of developing a plan to meet the court’s settlement agreement and address the 500 miles of routes targeted by the lawsuit.
- Rico/West Dolores Ranger District Travel Management Challenge. This case was filed by the Colorado Chapter, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (CBHA) and sought to close 14 prime motorcycle trails in the Rico/West Dolores area of the San Juan National Forest. Along with COHVCO, San Juan Trail Riders, Public Access Preservation Association, and the Blue Ribbon Coalition, the TPA intervened as co-defendants in concert with 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 substantive claims of the case. CBHA appealed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which has now confirmed the lower court’s dismissal.
The TPA stays actively involved in all ongoing legal issues.
The TPA has been actively engaged in a number of activities supporting our OHV goals:
The Colorado 600 (Trails Awareness Symposium) is our major fund raising activity. KLIM, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, KTM, Motion Pro and others continue to support this important event. In 2017 the Colorado 600 will once again be held in South Fork, CO on 10-15 September. This year’s CO 600 has been scheduled so riders can also attend the KTM’s Adventure Rally the following week in Crested Butte, CO.
Badger Flats Management Project – The TPA took the lead in 2016 to review and prepare public comments regarding the Badger Flats Management Project. The Badger Flats riding area is located just northwest of Lake George, CO in the South Park Ranger District.
- UPDATE: (as of December 13, 2016) Due to pressure from the anti-access groups, the United States Forest Service is revising the DRAFT EA for this project. The TPA will provide updates as more information becomes available.
Sheep Mountain Management Project – The Sheep Mountain area is located southwest of Fairplay, CO and has some of the only motorized single-track trails in the South Park Ranger District.
- Once again, the TPA took the lead on this project to prepare public comments supporting the history and need for trails in the Sheep Mountain area.
- This project continues to move through the analysis process.
Rio Grande National Forest, Forest Plan Revision – The Rio Grande National Forest has begun collaborative efforts moving towards the development of a new resource management plan for the forest. This project is expected take at least 3-5 years. The TPA has been involved in all of the public meetings to insure that the high quality motorized recreational opportunities in the area are maintained. The TPA was the lead partner with COHVCO in preparing comments for both the Forest Inventory phase and for the Proposed Action. The TPA was optimistic to see that the purpose and need for the new Forest Plan does not seek to limit or reduce motorized access to the Rio Grande planning area since this area has exceptional motorcycle, especially single-track riding opportunities.
TPA also continues to work with the Rio Grande National Forest in the ongoing effort to protect the Vietnam War Memorial on the top of Sargent’s Mesa.
Governor’s Colorado Outdoor Recreation Council – The TPA was asked in 2015 to serve as the representative for OHV recreation on Governor Hickenlooper’s Outdoor Recreation Council.
- This working group council seeks to leverage the value of the outdoor recreational community within the state of Colorado.
- TPA is the primary OHV rep for the entire state on this council.
COHCVO OHV Recreation Workshop – COHVCO, in conjunction with the TPA, Colorado State Parks and Wildlife (CPW), the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) sponsored the 2016 Colorado OHV Recreation Workshop in Colorado Springs on 23-25 July 2016.
- Focus of the 2016 workshop was on sustainable OHV route design.
- Two separate OHV workshops are scheduled for 2017.
Tenderfoot Mountain Single-Track Trail Construction – The Tenderfoot Mountain Trail Construction Project is a long-term single-track trail construction project (approx. 25 mi) just outside Silverthorne, CO (near Breckenridge, CO).
- This project has been the recipient of several Colorado State OHV grants and is the result of an enduring partnership between the Summit County Off-Road Riders (SCORR http://scorr.org) and the Dillon Ranger District, White River National Forest.
- The TPA along with COHVCO and the local motorcycle club, SCORR were very involved in the process and helped enable moving this project forward to the trail construction phase.
West Magnolia Trails: Phase 1 Implementation Project – The TPA in cooperation with COHVCO prepared and submitted comments voicing our concerns regarding this non-motorized trail construction project. The TPA and COHVCO had previously submitted formal, written objection and protest comments to the United States Forest Service regarding this project in the Boulder Ranger District.
- The TPA specifically objected to the proposal as it seeks to convert a historic multiple-use area to an area for the exclusive use of a small and limited user group under the excuse that the area suffered from a lack of maintenance.
- The proposal/project would add more mileage for bicycle recreation than currently exists for all other forms of multiple-use recreation on the Boulder Ranger District.
- The West Magnolia area is just one of 3 major/critical OHV action areas in Boulder Ranger District (i.e. Left Hand Canyon, the Wagon Road area and West Magnolia).
- The TPA continues to work diligently to restore OHV access to the Left Hand Canyon area. This area of the Boulder Ranger District represents an important recreational opportunity along the Front Range of Colorado, and the TPA continues to push for reopening access to this area.
Support for motorized recreation in Wyoming – The TPA in support of fellow motorcycle riders in Wyoming.
- The TPA prepared and submitted comments to the Tongue Ranger District within the Big Horn National Forest to keep Trail #038 open and accessible to motorcycles in the Bighorn National Forest.
- The TPA partnered with the Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC) to support work by the BRC to keep this trail open.
Various Other Activities and Projects
- TPA actively supported many OHV organizations in their requests for Colorado Parks & Wildlife OHV grants and other funding.
- TPA submitted extensive comments on Bureau of Land Management’s 2.0 Planning Proposal.
- TPA representatives continue to attend many United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and State Parks meetings concerning issues related to travel management, endangered species issues, the OHV grant programs and Colorado Parks & Wildlife strategic planning.
- TPA partnered with COHVCO to undertake a complete redevelopment of the 2012 economic contribution study. This study has proven to be a very important tool in preserving OHV recreation. A copy of the study is now available on the TPA website.
- TPA remains committed to efforts addressing routes in the Wildcat Canyon/Hayman fire area. Reopening of routes in this area has been deferred by the Pike San Isabel National Forest Travel Management Plan EIS. Completion of the EIS may allow reopening these important routes to move forward.
- TPA and partners vigorously opposed closure of dispersed camping opportunities in the Taylor Park area.
- TPA provided extensive comments on the proposed revisions of the White River Bureau of Land Management and Uncompahgre Bureau of Land Management Field Office plans.
- Bureau of Land Management efforts in the 4-Mile area of the Royal Gorge Field Office has caused the TPA to become very concerned about the flurry of proposals seeking to open extensive trail networks for the exclusive benefit of some small non-motorized user groups. The TPA is continuing to monitor this issue and area.
- The Bureau of Land Management’s Gunnison Field Office has now taken over responsibility of the “Silver Thread” area around Silverton, Eureka, Animas Forks along with the associated high elevation passes. The TPA is in discussion with the Field Office to explore re-opening access of 2 historic single-track trails that were closed to motorized recreation during the late 1980’s. The two routes are Minnie and Maggie Gulches, which are both 4wd roads that turn into single-track trails and could provide access into the Rio Grande National Forest’s Pole Creek area. The proposed plan being discussed is to re-open these trails for a single-track route out of the Animas Forks area back into the Pole Creek area.
- The TPA has been engaged in with the Bureau of Land Management’s Grand Junction Field Office for over 18 months during the development of the Field Office’s Resource Management Plan (RMP). This plan will have long term affects on the routes available for OHV recreation and the access to public lands in this area.
- Support to the San Juan Trail Riders (SJTR) throughout the development of the Rico/West Dolores Ranger District’s Environmental Assessment (EA).
MAJOR PROJECTS FOR 2017
The following list of projects will be the emphasis and focus for the TPA in 2017. Projects marked with the * are ones that the TPA considers to be extremely critical for the future and sport of off-road motorcycle riding and OHV recreation is Colorado:
- *Pike San Isabel National Forest*
- Implementation plan for the Pike San Isabel National Forest Travel Management Plan Environmental Impact Study (EIS)
- Development of the subsequent Travel Management Plan (TMP)
- Rio Grande National Forest, Forest Plan Revision
- Forest Plan Revision
- Development of the subsequent Travel Management Plan (TMP)
- *Completion of the Bear Creek/Cap’n Jacks re-routed trail and restored access for motorcycles*
- *Continued support to the San Juan Trail Riders (SJTR) for the Rico/West Dolores Ranger District’s Travel Management Challenge and the development of the Environmental Assessment (EA)*
- *Continued work with the Bureau of Land Management‘s Grand Junction Field Office during the development of the final Resource Management Plan (RMP) and the impact to over 500 miles of routes*
- Restoration of OHV opportunities within the Boulder Ranger District
- Colorado 600 Trails Awareness Symposium.(See the TPA website for additional information)
- Participation in Governors Office, Outdoor Recreation Council
- Support to the South Fork Enduro
- Support to the KTM Adventure Rally in Crested Butte
The TPA has continued to make donations to organizations working towards the same goals as the TPA. These organizations include:
- The San Carlos Motorized Trail Alliance (SCMTA), Pueblo
- Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO)
- Meeker Rendezvous OHV event
- Rocky Mountain Sport Riders (RMSR)
- Book Cliff Rattlers Motorcycle Club (Grand Junction area)
- United States Forest Service Divide District, Rio Grande National Forest
- The Gunnison Valley O.H.V Alliance of Trailriders (The GOATs)
- United States Forest Service Mount Taylor District
- Ride With Respect (Moab, UT)
- Utah Trail Machine Association
- City of South Fork, CO
- New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance (NMOHVA)
- The Central Colorado Mountain Riders (CCMR), Salida
2016 was another very significant year for TPA operations and we have built upon our past successes. 2016 was our 12th year as an Organization and our 10th year as an IRS-approved 501c3 Organization. The TPA took on several very important projects this year and is continuing to provide leadership for the OHV community in ensuring our access to public lands and the availability of recreational opportunities for off-highway motorcycles and vehicles. The importance of this effort cannot be overstated, as the results of our work will affect our access to public lands for decades into the future.
The Colorado 600 Trails Awareness Symposium (http://www.colorado600.org/Colorado_600_2017/Home.html) has been our major fund raising activity for the last few years and will continue in the same format and structure for 2017.
The TPA appreciates our ongoing 5-year support agreement with KLIM (http://www.klim.com). Gaining the support of the#1 Off-Road apparel manufacturer has been a major endorsement of the TPA mission!
The TPA is very grateful for the generous support provided by Rocky Mountain ATV/MC (https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com) who continues to be a major financial supporter of our work.
We are also extremely thankful to our corporate sponsors, KTM USA, Motion Pro and Dunlop Motorcycle Tires along with for all the TPA donations provided by individuals, riders and other off-road businesses that have been on-board for several years!
The TPA continues to be a 100% volunteer organization, putting a high percentage of all of our annual donations to direct use for saving our sport. The TPA Board of Directors thanks all of our supporters: individual, corporate and the clubs. Without their support we could not have accomplished the things we have so far. The future appears to be even more demanding and will require even more financial support to continue our successful efforts in the future.
Please contact us for suggestions concerning how you can help with the ongoing work TPA is pursuing on your behalf to save our sport in the Rocky Mountain Region.
Thank you for your continued participation,
There are some significant United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management Land use access for recreation issues that will be addressed in 2017
- Grand Junction Bureau of Land Management Field Office Resource Management Plan (RMP)
- Implementation plan for the Pike San Isabel National Forest Travel Management Plan Environmental Impact Study (EIS)
- Rio Grande Forest Plan Revisions and subsequent Travel Management Plan (TMP)
- United States Forest Service Rico/West Dolores, Environmental Assessment (EA) and Travel Management Plan (TMP)
The TPA Board of Directors