TPA Mid-Season Report – Spring 2020

Rider on trail

Photo: Don Nickels

Message from the TPA Board of Directors

The Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA) Board of Directors sincerely hopes that this newsletter finds you safe and doing well. The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging our society in a multitude of ways and we want to sincerely thank the men and women who are serving on the front lines of this epidemic and making personal sacrifices to provide care to those in need.

The TPA’s work to preserve the sport of motorized trail riding and keeping our access to public lands open has continued unfettered during these challenging times for our nation. Your TPA staff and consultants have continued to monitor the many ongoing projects and representing our interests in new or emerging projects.

TPA Ongoing Projects

Due to the current national situation to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the TPA expects that most ongoing projects and actions with the USFS, BLM, CPW, etc. will experience some sort of delay in the weeks and months ahead with decision making or execution of actions. Below is a summary of current projects based upon what we knew prior to the COVID-19 response and restrictions.

Executive Director Search
The formal search for an Executive Director to lead the TPA into the future is continuing. There has been some interest, and a few folks have submitted their qualifications for consideration. The TPA recognizes that the right person is more important than having all of the experience and skills coming into this position. The TPA Board of Directors are willing to participate in the development of the right candidate to start work as an advocate and then develop various areas of expertise, culminating in the ability to be an effective Executive Director. Read more…

Pike & San Isabel National Forests (PSI), Public Motor Vehicle Use Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)
Recent conversations with the PSI staff and District Rangers has indicated that the Final EIS is expected to be released sometime in July 2020. Note that Final EIS does not typically have a public comment period, but will have an opportunity for formal “Objections” for those that have “standing”. Currently, there is a court specified project completion date set by the litigation agreement that requires the Decision to be made by the end of 2020. If the EIS and associated Decision are not completed on time, the USFS will be required to go back to the court and ask for an extension.

Rio Grande National Forest, Forest Plan Revision
The draft Forest Plan Revision has been completed and presented to the Chief of the USFS and staff. The release of the Final Plan could come at any time.

Multiple-use access to Continental Divide Trail has been protected, WE WON!
A broad coalition of motorized trail users, including TPA, COHVCO, and Colorado Snowmobile Association are celebrating a successful objection of the Rio Grande Forest Plan management of the Continental Divide Trail (“CDNST”).

The Forest had proposed to restrict usage to horseback and hiking only despite a long history of multiple-use of the CDNST. In the Objection decision, the Forest was instructed to correct their decision to reflect the multiple-use nature of the trail as specified in the National Trails System Act.

This is a HUGE deal on the Rio Grande National Forest as the CDNST is the entire western boundary of the Rio Grande National Forest. With the restriction of horse and hike only that was proposed in the Resource Management Plan (RMP), motorized usage could not approach or cross the CDNST within 1 mile of the CDNST. This would have closed Stony Pass, Wolf Creek Pass and numerous other passes to all motorized usage, despite the hugely important nature of the routes in those areas to all users and the irreplaceable nature of these areas to connect longer distance trails that cross these areas. There would have been a myriad of trails within the 1-mile corridor and three important snowmobile grooming programs at risk of loss as well.

The precedent set with this decision will impact many other areas as we see similar attempts to restrict access to the CDNST on the GMUG and numerous other forests in New Mexico.

GMUG National Forest, Forest Plan Revision
To the TPA’s knowledge, this plan revision has yet to be presented and reviewed by the Chief of the USFS and staff. The TPA expects that the GMUG Draft Forest Plan Revision will be briefed to the Chief of the USFS sometime this summer and subsequently should be available for additional public review and comment during the fall of 2020.

Rico West Dolores litigation
The Federal Court’s decision on this action could be made and posted at any time. The TPA has been told that most pending court cases will likely be delayed due to the COVID-19 response. The TPA has asked for the opportunity to provide an oral argument in the case. However, we do not believe we will receive a favorable decision on this request and suspect that an oral argument will not be allowed. Read more…

New Legal Firm selected to represent the TPA
The TPA has selected a Denver based law firm, Holsinger Law (, to represent the TPA on the Rico West Dolores litigation and be the TPA’s legal counsel on future actions and projects.

Silverton Area, Reestablish the Minnie Trail Project
This a new project in development with the BLM Field Office in Gunnison. The TPA initiated this project in partnership with the San Juan Trail Riders club, the Public Access Preservation Association (PAPA) and the Colorado 500 Organization. A Decision on the project is expected this spring. Read more…


2020 Colorado 600
Trails Awareness Symposium

motorcycle in woods + Colorado 600 logo

The TPA’s signature annual event is still on! Join us 13-18 September 2020 in Crested Butte Colorado. Crested Butte was selected for this year’s event because of the terrific and wonderful diversity of riding in the area (both single-track and dual-sport), a First Class hotel and venue and close proximity to the town of Crested Butte and it’s adjacent historic mining area.

A reminder that the Colorado 600 is the TPA’s primary fundraiser and provides funding for all of our ongoing actions and projects. Like most everyone else, the COVID-19 situation has adversely affected the TPA’s strategic investments (i.e. Stock Market) for operating funds. Continued donations will be even more critical to help ensure continued TPA operations and actions.

Special features planned for this year’s Colorado 600 include attendance by racing legend Destry Abbott, a long time friend and supporter of the 600. A special speaker for this year will be the District Ranger for the Gunnison National Forest and an added feature will include “An Evening with Andrew Short”. Shorty will discuss and take questions about his participation in the recent 2020 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. This will be a special opportunity for the Colorado 600 riders to get a first-hand account of what it is like to compete as a Factory Rider in the Dakar Rally.

Visit the Colorado 600 website for additional info.
NOTE: Registration will close soon – we are almost at the rider limit!

Register for the Colorado 600 Now!



The Changing Landscape of Local Involvement for Clubs Associated with Motorized Recreation

By Scott Jones
Scott is a legal and land-use consultant that supports the TPA, COHVCO and the Colorado Snowmobile Association.

3 motorcycles on trail, forest in background

Photo: Sean Klinger


Our local clubs are the backbone of the motorized community here in Colorado. They are at the forefront in dealing with many local issues and relationships with local officials.
Read more…


Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) OHV Grant Program

By Jason Elliott and Scott Bright
Both Jason and Scott work with the TPA and serve on CPW’s State Trails and OHV Subcommittee.

trail, mountains, blue sky

Photo: Don Riggle


Being able to ride on public land is a constant fight – we need to continue to work together to preserve our sport!

Each and every year, CPW’s OHV Grant program is assembled to review grant applications and how your OHV sticker funds will be best used in the State of Colorado.

The grants come in different forms, as they can be for a new trail, equipment, supplies, or all of the above. Currently, the Forest Service and BLM have direction to put more emphasis on recreation opportunities within their designated area, both motorized and non-motorized.

Read more…



Trail sign - closed to motorcycles

Photo: Tim Nixon

Being able to ride on public land is a constant fight – we need to continue to work together to preserve our sport!

The TPA, each of the Board of Directors, and our dedicated consultants are all available to assist our local clubs and supporters by helping each of you preserve and expand the sport of motorcycle trail riding and motorized recreation on public lands. If you or your club want additional information on any of the topics presented in this newsletter, please feel free to contact Don Riggle ( We will put you in direct contact with the appropriate subject matter expert or staff member best able to assist.

The coming months will undoubtedly be challenging for all of us in many different and new ways. We are all in this together, and each of us has a role to play, even if it is simply staying home and staying healthy to protect others. The TPA sincerely hopes that we will are all back out riding our motorcycles and returning to normal life soon.


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