We have mostly wrapped up another riding season in Colorado! The Holiday season is upon us, and 2024 is around the corner. It’s no wonder that we are left wondering what happened to an entire year because, as always, we have been very busy here at the Trails Preservation Alliance. We hosted the 4th Annual TPA Partner Club Meeting, unveiled Phase 1 of our Colorado Off-Highway Motorcycle Strategic Plan, wrapped up our third TPA Bike Sweepstakes, and held our 12th Colorado 600 Trails Awareness Symposium. We attended Club gatherings, conferences, workshops, and other meetings.
All of this, and of course, we are still finding time to ride!
See you on the trail!
Trails Preservation Alliance
2023 Colorado 600
The 2023 Colorado 600 Trails Awareness Symposium (our annual fundraising and educational event) was hugely successful! Despite the rainy and cool weather, we got some great rides in, and many attendees said it was the best one ever!
If you’ve never been to a Colorado 600 check out the article (written and photos by Chad de Alva) about this year’s Colorado 600 in Upshift Magazine October, Issue 86 – see page 52! Also, have a look at this year’s photos! https://tpa.smugmug.com/2023-Colorado-600/
SAVE THE DATE!
2024 Colorado 600 – September 11th – 15th, South Fork, Colorado.
The Colorado 600 is an excellent opportunity to support the TPA and the mission and meet more like-minded individuals passionate about riding off-highway motorcycles. We are already in the beginning stages of planning for the 2024 event, so stay tuned for details!
TPA Partner Club Meeting
The 4th Annual TPA Partner Club Meeting was held in early April in Grand Junction, CO. We hosted 22 different organizations with 42 representatives from clubs around Colorado and Utah, as well as CPW State Trails OHV sub-committee members, BLM Grand Junction Field Office, USFS Salida Ranger District, and Utah’s Ride with Respect. It was a successful meeting, and great to have so many motorcycle advocacy groups in the region gather, network, and discuss topics to preserve our sport!
SAVE THE DATE!
2024 Partner Club meeting – April 6th-7th, Grand Junction, CO
Club Spotlight: Rocky Mountain Sport Riders
Rocky Mountain Sport Riders (RMSR) is a family-oriented motorcycle club dedicated to preserving and expanding riding opportunities for its members and others who enjoy riding dirt bikes in Colorado. With its roots dating back to 1996 it wasn’t until 2013 that RMSR became a non-profit, 501(c)3. RMSR supports the balanced and responsible use of public lands while promoting respect, education, and stewardship of the environment. RMSR is recognized as the only entity representing and protecting the rights of off-road motorcycle users in the Vail Valley by the US Forest Service, the BLM, Eagle County, and most local governments in the Valley. With over 440 members and counting they have a well-established constituency in the Vail Valley.
One great example of the partnerships RMSR has developed with local governments is creating Dry Lake MX park. Purchased in 2017 by Eagle County Open Space and the Town of Gypsum, this 160-acre facility is leased and managed by RMSR. Not only does the facility have a motocross track with various options for varying skill levels, but it also has an Enduro Cross track and a perimeter single track where riders can practice more technical riding skills.
This Summer, the TPA teamed up with RMSR providing additional funding for two surveys required as an initial step to create the first ~6 miles of the proposed fifteen miles of new single track in the Hardscrabble Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) near Eagle, CO. Both a Botanical and Archaeological survey were needed and RMSR exhausted a considerable amount of their financial resources with the Botanical study. Before the project could proceed, an Archaeological survey was needed, and the TPA was able to contribute the money to keep this project on track. RMSR plans to apply for OHV grant funding to keep the “Reunion Trail” moving forward – way to go RMSR!
The TPA encourages everyone to become a member. Annual dues are only $20, and members 18 and under are free. Members receive a club logo sticker, discounts at local shops, and more importantly, help provide financial support for activities, including trail building and maintenance and managing the Dry Lake MX Park. Every dollar they receive goes right back into maintaining your off-road motorcycle privileges!
Changes to the TPA Board of Directors
Ned Suesse Steps Down as Board President
Ned Suesse stepped down in the Spring of 2023 to focus on personal business endeavors.
Since 2017, Ned has been a part of the TPA Board of Directors and served as President from 2021 to April 2023. Prior to being involved with the TPA, Ned was an active member of the Colorado Springs based motorcycle club, Colorado Mountain Trail Riders Association, and a founding member of the Salida, Colorado based motorcycle club, the Central Colorado Mountain Riders.
Ned’s involvement doesn’t stop with advocacy; he has been an innovator in the motorcycle industry as the founder and owner of Doubletake Mirrors. In addition, Ned’s resume also includes being a finisher in renowned off-highway motorcycle races such as the Baja 1000 and Dakar and writing for numerous motorcycle magazines and online publications on subjects ranging from bike reviews to advocacy issues.
Ned continues his support of the TPA by spearheading projects, offering advice on TPA business, and assisting with events as needed. Thank you, Ned, for all that you have brought to the off-highway motorcycle industry and the work you have done to preserve the sport of off-highway motorcycling in Colorado!
Scott Bright Named New Board President
Ned is succeeded as President by existing BOD member, Scott Bright, who has also been a part of the TPA BOD since 2017. Scott brings years of motorcycle industry and racing experience to the TPA. In addition, Scott is involved with numerous non-profit organizations, some of which he is the Chair.
“My lifelong pursuit is to help those who can’t help themselves and preserve the opportunities to explore God’s country on two wheels. I started riding in the Colorado mountains as a child with my family. Experiencing the Great Outdoors on 2 wheels is foundational to our family’s existence.”
Congratulations, Scott – thank you for stepping up to lead the TPA!
Clive Heller New Board Member
Clive moved to Del Norte, CO. in 1976 and became involved in off-road riding soon thereafter. After competing on the Rocky Mountain Enduro Circuit (RMEC) for a couple of years a group of like-minded riders in the San Luis Valley decided to form a club and sponsor a motorcycle event. They formed the Boot Hill Enduro Club (now known as Boot Hill Motorcycle Club) and soon after, held their first RMEC Enduro in 1981. The BHMC held ten annual events including one National Enduro in the Southwestern San Luis Valley.
One of Clive’s primary roles with BHMC was engaging with the Forest Service and other government agencies. His responsibilities also included reaching agreements with other special use permittees such as ranchers with grazing permits, logging contractors and private property owners. To paint a picture of the experience Clive brings to the TPA, he was engaged as a BHMC member when the Rio Grande National Forest (RGNF) did their last Travel Management Plan (TMP) in 1986 and now he will actively participate as a TPA Board member as the RGNF begins a new TMP almost four decades later.
In addition, Clive has served on the BLM Resource Advisory Committee, Rotary Club President, and currently also holds a position with the Advisory Board of the San Juan Trail riders in Durango, CO. Most of Clive’s professional career was spent as General Manager for a Ford Dealership in the San Luis Valley. Clive and his wife live in Littleton, CO., and have two children and three grandchildren.
“I consider it a privilege to serve on the TPA Board. I feel it is the best advocate for our sport in this part of the Country. The TPA has accomplished a lot, but there will be serious challenges ahead”
Welcome Clive – we’re so excited to have you on the board!
LOGE Camps, the new management group for the Wolf Creek LOGE in South Fork, CO, home of many Colorado 600 events, has made the Trails Preservation Alliance one of its 1% partner nonprofit partners. This means that the TPA is one of five nonprofits nationwide that LOGE will donate 1% of their annual revenue to!
“When you stay at LOGE, you play a major part in helping us protect, preserve, and enlighten in each of our locations. Thanks to our guests, we’re able to give 1% of our total revenue annually to local nonprofits that are focused on supporting the community and enriching the outdoors. We’re proud of each of our long-lasting partnerships with these meaningful groups.”
With LOGE Camps in 17 locations around the country, all of which contribute to the 1% partnership, it doesn’t matter which location you choose, when you stay at a LOGE Camp, you support the TPA!
Gold Rush Ride
The Gold Rush Ride continues to see more participation! This year about 30 participants enjoyed four days of riding in some of the most beautiful mountains in Ouray and Crested Butte, Colorado.
The Colorado Gold Rush is a FREE, family-oriented, group motorcycle ride that happens annually in August and has 27 years of history in Colorado. Not only is this event a fun ride, but it also raises money for selected nonprofits each year, and we are honored that they chose the Trails Preservation Alliance again this year – they raised nearly $5K!
Photos: Zach Stubbs
For more information, or if you are interested in attending the 2024 ride, please contact Mervyn Davies at firstname.lastname@example.org / 970-396-4146
You can also find out more about the Gold Rush through their Facebook group Colorado Gold Rush Ride where you will find pictures, stories, and comments from past events. Join the group, connect with other riders and come to the 2024 event!
COHVCO OHV State Park Survey
COHVCO has been exploring the development of an OHV-based state park in Colorado similar to OHV parks in other states such as California and Utah. This would be a park-based experience with higher levels of services available compared to public lands. Ideally the park would offer a wide variety of OHV experiences (single track, motocross tracks, UTV/ATV trails, rock crawling, camping etc.), close to major population centers and have an extended riding season. Please take a few minutes to fill out this OHV State Park Survey to help COHVCO get a better understanding of OHV enthusiasts’ desired experiences.
Land Use and Legal Responses
We have had a very busy few months keeping up with land planning processes, below are some highlights for 2023.
- Rio Grande National Forest – It was nice to start the year with some good news with a win in the RGNF. The lawsuit brought on by various environmental groups against the recent forest plan revision was settled with the understanding the RGNF would expedite and prioritize getting Travel Management Planning in progress. The TPA would like to thank the Mountain States Legal Foundation for successfully representing us and other motorized organizations. Read more here!
- Moab Labyrinth Rims Gemini Bridges Travel Management Plan (TMP) – Arguably the biggest OHV related news of 2023 was the BLM Moab Field Office’s recent TMP decision which closes 317 miles of roads and trails in the area directly Northwest of Moab referred to Labyrinth Rims Gemini Bridges. This TMP is part of a much larger process which COHVCO, Ride with Respect and the TPA have been involved in since 2017. In response to the BLM’s decision, the TPA, COHVCO, CORE and RwR have partnered and filed a Notice of Appeal and Petition for Stay in opposition to the BLM decision. Many other national, state and local motorized off-highway organizations and the State of Utah did the same. Unfortunately as of yesterday we learned that ALL our Petitions for Stay were denied by the Internal Board of Land Appeals. While not the decision we were hoping for, this is the beginning of a long process and we will do everything we can, including moving forward our Appeal to challenge this decision. Read more here!
- BLM Conservation and Landscape Health Proposal – This National proposal seeks to create conservation leases for large portions of BLM lands across the West. We are concerned that the Proposal appears to benefit conservation interests more than planning that aligns with multiple uses. We are opposed to any trail loss resulting from conservation leases, ACEC expansions or other efforts that do not recognize the decades of analysis already in place. Read more here!
- Penrose Recreation Area Management Plan – The TPA, along with local clubs, Central Colorado Mountain Riders, Colorado Motorcycle Trail Riders Association (CMTRA), Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Association, Colorado Off Road Enterprise and the Rampart Range Motorized Management Committee have been working with the BLM Royal Gorge Field Office to develop a plan for Penrose Commons riding area. This effort is ongoing, but we are happy with the communication and cooperation between the clubs and the BLM over the past few months. We will continue to support this process led by local club CMTRA over the coming months. Read more here!
- Grand Mesa Uncompahgre Gunnison (GMUG) Resource Management Plan – The long-awaited GMUG Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Draft Record of Decision (DROD) was released in late August. We have been heavily engaged in the process of this Forest Plan Revision over the past few years, arguably submitting some of the most extensive comments ever! We are very pleased to say that our work paid off with a FEIS/DROD that…
- Closes nothing
- Added 60k acres as currently suitable for summer motorized and 90k acres as suitable for winter motorized.
- Added 40k acres of recommended wilderness (adjacent to existing areas) which is very minimal to the over 1 million that was proposed.
- Grandfathered all existing routes and will allow for re-routes of those routes within designated wildlife areas.
- While pleased with the overall outcome, we did file objections to certain elements of the decision in hopes of making the final plan even a little better! Read objections here!
- Manti – LaSal National Forest (MLNF) Resource Management Plan (RMP) Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) – The current MLNF plan has been in place since 1986 and the original Scoping for this RMP was in 2004 – nearly two decades ago! Recently we partnered with Ride with Respect to submit extensive comments in support of Alternative A, the no-action alternative. Read more about here!
Please remember that for a full list of land planning responses (over 25 this year) the TPA has been involved with (and more) you can check out our News Page on our website.
Stay on the Trail
As responsible riders, staying on the trail is one of the most important things we can do. Going over, under, or through obstacles has been the message we’ve shared over the past two riding seasons (see our recent Upshift ad below), and we ask that you help us spread the word!
Thank you to our sponsors!
We couldn’t do it without these folks. Their donations to the TPA of time, money, and goods keep us all on the trails.