NEW TRAILS IN THE FINAL STAGE
The U.S. Forest Service’s Sulphur Ranger District has released its final decision for the Sulphur Ranger District Trails Smart Sizing Project. The decision approves up to 18 miles of new trail construction in the Winter Park and Fraser area, in addition to improved signage and enhanced trailheads.
The project decision includes:
• Adding approximately 8 miles of non-motorized trail;
• A portion of trail will be converted to an administrative use road which will be gated and not open for public use;
• A portion of the trail that is now closed to motorized use, will be opened to allow motorbike use;
• 9.5 miles of trail opening for bicycle use between May 15 and December 15, then closed for bicycle use for the remainder of the year;
• Opening up approximately 2.5 miles of additional single track trail for motorbike use to expand the District’s single track motorized system to 13 miles, in addition to 65 miles of motorized trail wide enough to accommodate ATV use;
• Deferring construction of P-N93.1 (Rogers Pass Loop) until further analysis can be done.
The Sulphur Trails project is the result of years of collaboration and discussion with a variety of user groups, including Headwaters Trails Alliance (HTA), which is a group that represents local trail users, communities and interested parties. This project is the culmination of the first phase of HTA’s master trails planning effort. The Forest Service has taken concepts and ideas identified in the HTA Master Trails Plan and refined these to address concerns for wildlife, watersheds and other National Forest resources.
“The goal of this project is to improve the trail system, not only for the public that uses the trail system but also for the Forest wildlife,” said Sulphur District Ranger Jon Morrissey. “The decision improves and modernizes the trail system on National Forest near the towns of Winter Park and Fraser while minimizing impacts to streams and wildlife by choosing more appropriate trail locations.”
The decision not only improves trail-to-trail connectivity and creates loop opportunities, but also designs trails to create a range of difficulty levels from easy to difficult.
“This project is not just about where a trail is located and what type of use is allowed on that trail but it’s also about identifying what type of experience users can expect on a particular trail through trail design standards,” Morrissey said.
The project will be completed in phases over the next 5 to 10 years by working with partners on both implementation and project funding. To view the complete decision, maps, and the final environmental analysis, visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/SulphurTrails
General Advocacy Training
You are invited to attend a Policy Advocacy Training Tuesday Sept 12th at Granby Library either from 3-5 pm or 6-8 pm. The purpose of this training is to understand how to craft language to build a successful advocacy campaign at the local, state or federal level. This is sponsored by The Colorado Trust.
Past attendee, Carol Hedges (second home owner in Fraser and Executive Director of the Colorado Fiscal Institute) has stated: “The general advocacy training lays the foundation for being an effective public policy advocate. Learning from the pros will help your organization and community learn how to best accomplish your advocacy goals.”
This is open to the public, your boards, etc. Please RSVP to Jen Fanning at (970) 725-3477.
Wildfires are burning across the west so much so that the smoke can be seen from space. The fires have destroyed livelihoods and displaced residents, and, with a forecast of very little moisture, a timeline for containment is uncertain.
Hurricane Harvey has moved on, but not before leaving an unfathomable path of devastation behind. On the heels of Harvey, Hurricane Irma is currently eyeing the southeast, and, Jose and Katia are also threatening parts of the Caribbean.
There are many ways that you can help victims of these tragic events, but it’s difficult to know where your efforts are best placed. The site: https://www.charitynavigator.org/ may be a helpful place to start. It allows you to search for a specific event, and, it gives you a list of charities associated with relief efforts, along with a rating and report. This could help you determine what makes the best sense for you.
With so many lives changed forever by these catastrophic events, please give generously in whatever way you can. We have been lucky here in Grand County, but we also know that, at any time, it could very well be us.
Smoke from Wildfires
The hays from wildfires are burning across the west is socking in over the mountains. Nearly 60 wildfires are burning in the west. Including the Big Red Fire NW of Steamboat as of 7pm the fire was a little over 800 acres. Fire Officials are concerned as the Big Red Fire is showing extreme behaviors right now. In fact, a large part of the country is experiencing hazy skies due to out of control fires in states such as California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.
Time outside should be limited and it’s a good idea to keep doors and windows closed until the thick smoke retreats. Headache, scratchy eyes and burning throat will be common symptoms during this period. If you experience any of the symptoms, avoid outdoor activities and limit your time outside. An air quality advisory will be with us for a couple of days. A cold front that moved through Monday night brought winds out of the north and should help improve air quality.