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  1. #1
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    GJ/Frutia Trails and the BLM

    Could I get a brief history of the trail development on the BLM land in the Frutia/GJ area?

    Up in Steamboat Springs,CO, the BLM has recently taken over management of 4000 acres of prime open space, directly south of town, Emerald Mountain. This could be a prime mountain bike area, and already has an extensive ranch road, and cow trail network. Prior to the BLM's possession, some members of the MTB community rode in this area, illegally. The land was owned by the state land board and leased to cattle ranchers. It was public land, but not open to the public, as no "official" network of transportation corridors are present. The BLM now has posession, and is SLOWLY opening the area to use by bikes. The entire parcel was opened to hikers, hunters, cattle and horsemen once the BLM took posession, but they have not released any maps of the area showing the roads, and trails that are present. I'd like to see more riding oppurtunites open to bikers, but don't know how to get in good with the BLM, and would like to use the trail development of the trail networks in the GJ area as a model.

    web info about emerald mt at:
    http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/lsfo/...erald_mtn.html

    A good map showing the management plan's two zones is here, MTB are only allowed in Zone 1, and only as the BLM builds suitable trails for our use. It also shows the proximity to downtown steamboat.
    http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medial...gmt_area_t.pdf


    What I'm afraid of is the BLM does not have the ability to enforce their management plan, and mountain bikers will eventually go into areas where we are not allowed and undermine any attempts for further legal access. The area is not well signed, and it's existing roads will give easy access to illegal riding, and it's right next to a well known, and well used trail system. For example, from downtown Steamboat, you can ride up legal trails, and at the top of Emerald access existing roads, and trails that are well established, and pass onto the illegal areas of the BLM's parcel without any noticeable change in the ride.

    What do you think about this, and what advise can you offer to us up here for the ongoing development of this public land based on your experences with the BLM down there, or anywhere else for that matter?

  2. #2
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    pm sent...I have some info that will be useful after we talk.

  3. #3
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    179 views, and noone has anything??

  4. #4
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    At least they are opening it up to mtb use. Molasses in January moves faster than the BLM. Also, mountainbikers in the Grand Valley have fought tooth and nail to get more trails, it's not a dreamy relationship with the BLM. After a trail is proposed it will take years for them to actually approve and allow work to be done.

    The one thing I can say is that you should make sure that the established and used trails get into their trail inventory, make sure to fight for that. Right now, the BLM in Moab wants to go with the inventory from the 1980's for the Rabbit Valley/Westwater Area, effectively closing many "new" trails (some of them well over a decade old). However, they are happy to accomodate the natural gas companies in building new roads to gas wells.

  5. #5
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    The history of our trails changes dramatically depending on who you talk to.

  6. #6
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    pint, when you say tooth and nail, could you give examples of your actions, and what tactics were useful in bringing the blm to the table, for action. I've seen their ability to get things done for comercial interests, and wonder how we could get that type of action for recreational intrests.

  7. #7
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    Lots of meetings and letter writing that were documented and copied to local county commisioners, chamber of commerce, and any other municipal authorities. If other entities know the interest of the people and the benefits (are there touristic opportunities for the local businesses? what are the positive impacts of the quality of life for area locals?), then they can apply pressure as well. If it is a seen as a good thing for the community instead of just a few local guys that like to ride bikes, then you will carry more weight.

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