THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO SPEAK UP (AGAIN) FOR PENROSE COMMONS RIDING OPPORTUNITIES!
Your Comments are Needed – Due Friday July 7th, 2023.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Royal Gorge Field Office (RGFO) is seeking public comment for the Penrose Commons Recreation Area Management Plan Environmental Assessment.
The BLM wants to hear from you on how you think they should plan to manage the area into the future. This is our second opportunity for public comment, the Environmental Assessment, in a series of steps that the BLM will do.
Penrose Commons is a 3100-acre designated OHV area near Penrose, Colorado, which currently has no designated motorcycle trails. This area is very popular, especially to Front Range users in the winter months, due to its mild temperatures and proximity to major population areas of Colorado. Under its current management, Penrose Commons lacks the adequate infrastructure to provide users with their desired experiences and therefore, numerous user-created trails have been established.
Please take this opportunity to submit a personal message to the BLM!
How to make comments
Tell them about yourself or your organization:
Who you are, where you’re from, what activities you already enjoy or would like to do in the Penrose Commons area, and how much money you spend locally when visiting (dining, recreational equipment, hotels, fuel, etc).
The variety of benefits that the area’s motorized routes provide to you. (exercise, thrill-seeking, skill building, family time, connection with nature, etc.)
Key Talking Points
- Purpose and Need for Action:
We recognize and support the need identified for adding motorcycle-specific recreational opportunities at Penrose Commons that are not currently available, or severely limited, in other lands managed by the BLM RGFO. Especially the need for motorized singletrack, a beginner skill development area and an area where trials motorcyclists can recreate, practice and develop rider skills. We agree that OHV use at Penrose Commons has steadily increased, and the area is experiencing high levels of use by OHVs coupled with a shift in OHV types and uses at Penrose Commons. Two major reasons for this purpose and need for action are:
- Limitations to motorized single track experiences – Currently there is approximately ~10 miles of motorized single track versus 297 miles of non motorized singletrack in the 600,000 acres of land managed by the Royal Gorge Field Office. Motorized single track opportunities are less than 3.5% of the total trails system in the RGFO. (DudBob 6 miles. Bull Gulch in Texas Creek 2 miles. Rainbow Trail Reroute 3 miles Sundgren Sunset Loop in Big Bend 1.1 miles.)
- 2003 Gold Belt EA – The Gold Belt EA written in 2003 had an alternative that recommended the addition of motorized singletrack trails in Penrose Commons. While this alternative was not selected it was clearly a (known need) consideration at that time. Coupled with the BLM’s knowledge of the drastic increases in use, especially by off-highway motorcycles, we have to question why this EA doesn’t include a similar recommendation.
- “Friends Group” is prejudicial to motorcyclists:
Singletrack opportunities should be pursued immediately and not be conditionally contingent upon the suggested “Friends Group” being successfully established. This is unfair and prejudicial to motorcyclists.
- Trials and skill development areas should be developed in step with singletrack trails:
The development of a motorcycle skill development and rider progression area along with trials opportunities (i.e. trials riding area) should begin immediately and not be contingent on a vague and arbitrary condition that future “designated singletrack proves successful” or based upon the actions or behaviors of other users.
- Suggested funding is problematic:
- Consistency and any predictability of recurring funding cannot be assured and it is improper to assume or infer that an OHV group might be able to influence the process and scoring outcomes of the OHV grant selection process.
- Restrictive conditions that single out motorcycle use are discriminatory, unjust and counter-productive in supporting partnerships and the pursuit of competitive OHV funding sources and opportunities.
- Trail conversions raise safety concerns:
The conversion of 50” trail to full-size trails to support SxS vehicles will increase the traffic on these trails and thus the risk of motorcycle, ATV, or SxS collision. Conversions must only happen in unison with the creation of singletrack trails to help disperse users.
This is your chance to make Penrose Commons a more valuable asset to the OHV community and enable the BLM to manage it more efficiently and effectively – It’s very important your voice be heard to help guide the direction through the entire process!
Comments are due Friday, July 7th, so speak up for motorized opportunities today!
Trails Preservation Alliance