An idea popped into my head. Thought I'd share and see if anyone had any insight.
So there are most definitely several key pieces of private property in Boulder (and I'm sure the Front Range, CO, country, etc) that stand in the way of linking some pretty epic rides. Many of you have stood there staring at the threatening No Trespassing signs and wondered "what if." Now I respect private property and I'm sure that there's no way to get through to the folks who have signs up saying their dogs will attack yadda yadda yadda. But here is one crazy idea that may have some legs...
One particular linkage that I will not reveal has some most excellent USFS singletrack that then bumps into an angry property owner (judging by his/her signs) that stands directly in the way of linking together a great loop. Now I haven't done any real research on this, but from a distant look, the property doesn't look too big and the house isn't anything special at all, but the location is easily accessible and quite beautiful. With all the giant mountain homes being built around these parts, wouldn't it be nice if this particular property was purchased by a bike-friendly owner? That would be great, but unlikely. But could a group somehow encourage that situation to happen? I know a large group of mtbers bought the Vietnam trails outside of Boston out from under a developer, but that drew on a whole city and a national grassroots campaign - again, unlikely in our case here. Unless the plan also played on natural capitalism - and capitalism is alive and well with Boulder real estate and builders, developers, etc. So an mtb group goes in with a developer, offers to buy the land, the builder gets some preferential economics from some money kicked in by the mtb group and then builds a nice mountain home with either language in the deed allowing trail access or providing an easement for such access.
Now I don't know real estate or have any expertise at all in this field, but wondered either this or some other way to monetarily incentivize either existing or future landowners to allow trail access through some crucial log jams. Liability could be a concern, but I thought passed or is passing a law to protect private landowners against this. From a permitting or environmental standpoint, it would need approvals, but the plan would be to simply replace an older home with a newer one, not build a neighborhood and sewer lines.
If you look at the amount of money just spent on outdoor (cycling, hiking, camping, xc skiing, snowshoeing, etc) apparel and equipment in this town plus the number of outdoor companies and advocacy org's (plus the city/county and its massive land acquisition budget), I could envision a not-so-insignificant amount of money being raised. I wonder how much more $ could be raised by the org's with a tangible goal at hand vs just supporting the more abstract general cause of trail advocacy?
Anway, probably a crazy idea. But thought I'd share in order to get some thoughts from anyone who knows more than I or may know of any successes or failures of any such plan. Well, like I said, food for thought. I've got other ideas, but I'll now shut up for a bit. Thanks, S
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Thread: Trail access - food for thought