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  1. #1
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    Upset USFS Bear Creek Watershed Assessment - Colorado Springs

    Doug Bursnall posted this on the Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates Facebook page:

    The U.S. Forest Service is holding an open house on their proposal for trails and access in the Bear Creek watershed. The open house is Thursday, April 4, 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, at the Leon Young Service Center for CS Utilities, Pikes Peak Room, 1521 Hancock Expressway.

    The proposal would affect all user groups, hikers, bikers, equestrians, and motorized users. The Forest Service is seeking comments from all users.

    The proposed changes are in response to the issues surrounding the greenback cutthroat trout in Bear Creek. Under the proposal, the Forest Service would close a total of 6.4 miles of trails and re-route some of these by constructing 2.9 miles of new trails. Trails affected by closures include trails 666, 667, 668, 701, 720A and 622A. Theses closures would be to all users. The proposal also converts 0.6 miles of non-motorized trail on Seven Bridges, 622, to motorized use.

    The current ban prohibiting camping and campfires in the watershed would become long-term, and access would be restricted to on-route only.

    As you can see, these changes would affect all trail users. The Forest Service wants your comments. Please try to attend the open house, 4 to 9 pm, Thurs, April 4.
    It's an open house, so you can stop by, learn more, and provide your thoughts anytime in the 5 hours, and stay as short or as long as you want.

    You can find the assessment, maps of current trails and the proposed system, and other information on the USFS web site at:
    Pike and San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands - Home
    Links for the documents and maps are at the bottom of that page.

    You can also go to the USFS web page for the Pike and San Isabel Forests, scroll to the bottom, and find the link for the Bear Creek Watershed Assessment

    My note: I have attached two maps - one is the current setup, and the other is the proposed one, which is pretty darn drastic (Jones Park would be gone for all users)

    USFS Bear Creek Watershed Assessment - Colorado Springs-current-_map.jpgUSFS Bear Creek Watershed Assessment - Colorado Springs-proposed_map.jpg

  2. #2
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    Here it comes...
    all single...all the time

  3. #3
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    All I can say is what a shame, all for a fish that's as suspect as man caused global warming

    Dam,
    Bikes are FUN

  4. #4
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    For continuity - already 2 existing threads on the subject:

    Bear Creek Cutthroat Trout - Trail Changes might be coming

    Jones Park/Bear Creek, trout and the lawsuit - PLEASE READ -

    And I seem to recall some debate about how a "moto lawsuit" doesn't impact MTB.. just sayin'

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOEMTBR COLORADO View Post
    All I can say is what a shame, all for a fish that's as suspect as man caused global warming
    Damn fish, getting in the way of fun. Don't those jack booted thugs know what's important?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    And I seem to recall some debate about how a "moto lawsuit" doesn't impact MTB.. just sayin'
    "They can't parlay that into anything affecting non motorized use even if they wanted too. "

    Bingo!!!!!

    all single...all the time

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  8. #8
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    Mind blowing....if the USFS is so concerned about erosion and fabricated wild life and their Eco systems they probably should focus their attention to the Waldo Canyon area....??
    FLAME KOOL-AID BOYS, FLAME

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waafoo View Post
    Mind blowing....if the USFS is so concerned about erosion and fabricated wild life and their Eco systems they probably should focus their attention to the Waldo Canyon area....??
    It's sequestration. The USFS can't afford to fight the litigation from the CBD. Just wait... it's coming. Salazar will let us know. lol

    Seriously. Damn shame. That's the South Slope watershed, Ring the Peak, Waldo/Rampart, Cheyenne Mtn top and now Jones Park. All closed indefinitely.

    Imagine how crowded Buckhorn/Captain Jacks/Section 16 will be this summer.
    Time to put the house up for sale...
    Last edited by UncleTrail; 03-19-2013 at 09:20 PM.

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    I've known those fish were there for a long time now. Each time I passed them there was no shortage of MTB tracks and moto tracks as well. They are pretty hearty. Having said that, I am an avid fly fisherman too and they are very rare (particularly on this side of the Divide and so close to the big city). I would support finding a way to keep them safe if the USFS accommodated the trails as I ride RTP multiple times each year. Tough call.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet View Post
    My note: I have attached two maps - one is the current setup, and the other is the proposed one, which is pretty darn drastic (Jones Park would be gone for all users)

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	current _map.jpg 
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ID:	782412Click image for larger version. 

Name:	proposed_map.jpg 
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ID:	782413
    I notice that on the original map key it describes the trails as being open year round vs. the new map shows the trails as being open seasonally to multi-use... WTH, is this correct?
    Last edited by Short Bus; 03-20-2013 at 08:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 32x18 View Post
    "They can't parlay that into anything affecting non motorized use even if they wanted too. "

    Bingo!!!!!

    They just did!!??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Short Bus View Post
    I notice that on the original map key it describes the trails as being open year round vs. the new map shows the trails as being open seasonally to multi-use... WTH, is this correct?
    Now that I'm looking at it a little closer. That's Captain Jacks shown as a seasonal also? LOL It's a City trail though?

    But at least High Drive is still open for non-motorized year-round use....

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    Funny, the bottom of Bear Creek would remain open from the bridge to Captian Jacks down to the exit on high drive. Aren't there fish in that part of the creek? I seen 'em. Above that, however, on 666 would close to all use. If just the next section could remain open, at least we could preserve the Pipeline route pretty much intact. Otherwise, we lose two ecellent, long downhill routes.

    I'm also not sure why the proposal to close the area to dispersed camping. If I'm adequate distance away from any water source, am I still a sediment-in-the-creek threat?

    I'll be at the open house.
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fischman View Post
    Funny, the bottom of Bear Creek would remain open from the bridge to Captian Jacks down to the exit on high drive. Aren't there fish in that part of the creek? I seen 'em. Above that, however, on 666 would close to all use. If just the next section could remain open, at least we could preserve the Pipeline route pretty much intact. Otherwise, we lose two ecellent, long downhill routes.

    I'm also not sure why the proposal to close the area to dispersed camping. If I'm adequate distance away from any water source, am I still a sediment-in-the-creek threat?

    I'll be at the open house.
    Actually, they're making a re-route to 666, the new open section of 666 starts about a 1/3 of the way down past the existing bridge at the intersection of 666/667.

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    So it looks like that reroute picks up about where the Buckhorn climb ends and the Jack's descent begins, but routes down from the saddle rather than up the rest of Upper Jack's--am I reading that right?

    Of course the remaining concern is that they don't close the existing routes before the new routes are in place. New routes cost money which the USFS is short on right now and closures can to into place without additional expenditure. I can see the closure going into effect in the name of the fish, but the new route being delayed, if built at all.
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet View Post
    Doug Bursnall posted this on the Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates Facebook page
    I may be nit-picking, but it would have been nice if Doug would have credited the original author...

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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Seriously. Damn shame. That's the South Slope watershed, Ring the Peak, Waldo/Rampart, Cheyenne Mtn top and now Jones Park. All closed indefinitely.
    Getting a bit more paranoid than usual, Brian.

    The only thing keeping the South Slope closed is CSU. The initial trails are almost finished -- just a bit more work needed by the contractor. McReynolds parking lot and toilets are installed and ready. CSU needs to complete the access road to the parking area and its done. The only major thing preventing access is CSU keeps moving the goal posts. Now they are saying the city has to have a park ranger on site whenever it is open to the public. Hell, the city doesn't even have the staff to empty the trash cans at the major parks in town, much less pay somebody to sit on the other side of the mountain all day. Sigh...

    Last I talked to the USFS they are about ready to re-open the Waldo trail. Most of the flood mitigation work in that area is done and they just want to do a bit more cleanup. Rampart is pretty close, too. I seem to recall that there was something else that needs to be done to get Rampart open again but I don't remember what it is now (had that conversation in early January).

    IMO, the battle for Cheyenne top-of-the-mountain isn't over yet. I think the biggest problem is Medicine Wheel told them that if bikers were allowed half-way up then that would be good enough. Park management ran with that statement and have been clinging to it ever since. It's going to be hard to claw past that agreed upon termination point.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BonkedAgain View Post
    Getting a bit more paranoid than usual, Brian.
    Paranoid? me

    (It's pessimism actually.)

    Where I'm coming from. The South Slope was planned to include a wagon wheel of multiple trails that ascended Pikes Peak, with the peak being the hub and Ring The Peak being the perimeter. It was studied/agreed to by all parties, including CSU, in the Pikes Peak Multi-use Plan. It's been scrubbed from the Internet, but I have a copy somewhere around if you want to see it?

    I just find it interesting that studies were done in 1999 that said "let's open the South Slope to recreation", and then by 2005, an executive decision within CSU is made to close it to everyone.

    As far as Waldo, you have to remember that the entrance to Waldo is CSU managed City property (Trailhead). Not all of it is Pike NF. The trailhead is in Hwy 24 ROW and the land is CSU. I would gladly eat my words, but I am doubtful it will reopen within the next 5 years because of liability concerns.

    I don't know much about the Top of Cheyenne Mtn except what I read nowadays. State Parks has a plan they have published. They have said "no" to bikes. This is a complete reversal of what we (I) heard in planning meetings before the property was purchased and when the pols were looking for support.

    And if you recall, I recieved a smack down for my assertions that Bear Creek would be closed to MTB's. Didn't take them long did it?
    The CBD is predictable. We all should have been able read through the BS PR and seen what was coming.

    So you may call my rants paranoia (jokingly I hope), I call it keeping the pressure on. I'll gladly wear the tin foil hat if it means keeping public lands open to public access, because if anyone is paranoid, it's the government.

    The gov is scared of you and me. You can use that to your advantage, or disadvantage, depending upon how you play the game. The enviro's have figured that out... when will we?

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    I can't fault you for being pessimistic -- getting any trail done around here on CSU or federal land seems almost sisyphean.

    I don't expect to see anything new on Pikes Peak in the near future, if ever. Right now the USFS doesn't want any new human disturbance anywhere. Read this for their justification http://video.onset.freedom.com/colga...trailissue.doc

    As you well know, CSU doesn't want anybody on any of their property and they only allow access after getting constant political pressure. Even when they relent they find ways to delay and prevent access.

    In any case, hopefully people will show up at the Bear Creek meeting and make it known that recreational access is important.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BonkedAgain View Post
    As you well know, CSU doesn't want anybody on any of their property and they only allow access after getting constant political pressure. Even when they relent they find ways to delay and prevent access.
    You're exactly right.
    CSU's influence over our local governments decisions is quite concerning. CSU is a public agency only when it's convenient to them. The rest of the time the are elbows and assh@les.

    And then, as I've been told... the Broadmoor influences CSU.

    The Cog RR is owned by the Broadmoor and they don't want tourists riding the train to see people hiking/camping/fishing/riding/etc... on the South Slope. That was part of the reason for the closure.

    Then you have the Broadmoor Stables on the backside of Cheyenne Mtn. They may not like MTB's/Motos sharing the same trails with their customers.

    As a large property owner on the South Slope and Cheyenne Mtn, the Broadmoor has senior water rights and sells water from the South Slope to CSU. That's why the Broadmoor can water their golf courses so heavily, they own the water they use, and sell the excess to the City.

    I'm not saying the above is true... but I have been told that this is how the Broadmoor influences CSU's decisions on public access to Pikes Peak. I really have nothing to back it up except hearsay though. Maybe someone else knows better?

    EDIT: Don't forget the fish in Bear Creek were stocked by a Broadmoor caretaker who wanted to increase fishing opportunities in that area.

    EDIT 2: It all starts to make sense.

    Broadmoor plans rustic retreat atop Cheyenne Mountain | broadmoor, retreat, rustic - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO

    "The Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs is adding a second rustic retreat — planning to build an 8,000-square-foot lodge and up to 20 cabins on top of Cheyenne Mountain where hotel founder Spencer Penrose’s historic lodge once stood."
    "Getting to Cloud Camp could be an adventure by itself. Hotel employees will drive guests by jeep or other vehicle up the Cheyenne Mountain Highway, which was built by Penrose and leads to the summit. It’s a 25-minute ride — a circuitous route in which the road zig-zags about 20 times before reaching the top.
    Guests also can hike to the top along the road or even ride mules that will be guided by Broadmoor employees. A dozen picnic areas are being established along the road for guests who aren’t traveling by car."
    Last edited by UncleTrail; 03-22-2013 at 12:50 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    You're exactly right.
    CSU's influence over our local governments decisions is quite concerning. CSU is a public agency only when it's convenient to them. The rest of the time the are elbows and assh@les.

    And then, as I've been told... the Broadmoor influences CSU.

    The Cog RR is owned by the Broadmoor and they don't want tourists riding the train to see people hiking/camping/fishing/riding/etc... on the South Slope. That was part of the reason for the closure.

    Then you have the Broadmoor Stables on the backside of Cheyenne Mtn. They may not like MTB's/Motos sharing the same trails with their customers.

    As a large property owner on the South Slope and Cheyenne Mtn, the Broadmoor has senior water rights and sells water from the South Slope to CSU. That's why the Broadmoor can water their golf courses so heavily, they own the water they use, and sell the excess to the City.

    I'm not saying the above is true... but I have been told that this is how the Broadmoor influences CSU's decisions on public access to Pikes Peak. I really have nothing to back it up except hearsay though. Maybe someone else knows better?

    EDIT: Don't forget the fish in Bear Creek were stocked by a Broadmoor caretaker who wanted to increase fishing opportunities in that area.

    EDIT 2: It all starts to make sense.

    Broadmoor plans rustic retreat atop Cheyenne Mountain | broadmoor, retreat, rustic - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO

    "The Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs is adding a second rustic retreat — planning to build an 8,000-square-foot lodge and up to 20 cabins on top of Cheyenne Mountain where hotel founder Spencer Penrose’s historic lodge once stood."
    "Getting to Cloud Camp could be an adventure by itself. Hotel employees will drive guests by jeep or other vehicle up the Cheyenne Mountain Highway, which was built by Penrose and leads to the summit. It’s a 25-minute ride — a circuitous route in which the road zig-zags about 20 times before reaching the top.
    Guests also can hike to the top along the road or even ride mules that will be guided by Broadmoor employees. A dozen picnic areas are being established along the road for guests who aren’t traveling by car."
    I can see it now in about two years: 2015
    Welcome to the Broadmoor hotel anglers! Come pay out the nose for a once in a life time chance to go on guided fly fishing trip in the rustic hill of Colorado Springs and get a chance to catch one of the rarest fish in the world!!!!!! The highly coveted and illusive yellow fin green back cutthroat trout!!!! (We put it there for you a 100 years ago) but now you get a chance to catch one again all for the small fee of $15,000 per person.....But wait! If you book now we will allow you to bring a second rod for free! But you got to call now, cause I cant do this all day!!!

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    So, what would happen if you got caught riding a closed section? On the other hand, who would enforce the closure???? The fish?

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    Found this while I was poking around: Severy Creek Trail, closed to protect fish in '99, may re-open

    Yea, they reopened that one!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by coxroach View Post
    So, what would happen if you got caught riding a closed section? On the other hand, who would enforce the closure???? The fish?
    Typical poaching ticket I've heard of is $275, but the max is something like $2500 and up to 6 months of jail.

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