Steamboat Trails under attack- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Steamboat Trails under attack

    The Steamboat trails program that has been building trails for the last 6 years is under attack and needs support.

    A local group that's "Pro-elk" (hunters) has successfully derailed the process and is about to ask Steamboat City council to remove funding for the NEPA study that's set for this spring for new trails to be build next summer/fall. This group contends that the new trails that have already been built on Buffalo Pass have fractured habitat for the local elk herd and pushed them out of these areas. They are using a well funded campaign of exaggerated "science" to scare the public that elk are at risk, when in fact, the elk herd here is substantial, and the only real problem has been hunter pressure harming other hunters success. The herd continues to grow in the GMU even as hunters harvest more every year.

    The local cycling club, backed by $1M in accommodations tax funding has been building trails using the USFS due process for new trails for the last 6 years, and this new group is looking to "slow growth" until such time that the USFS completes a 6 year study of trail impacts on our elk herd. In 6 years, the accommodations tax funding will be passed onto another tourism drawing project. It previously built an 18 hole golf course.

    The pro-elk group is going in front of city council this week to ask for all funding for the NEPA study for future trails be revoked. If this happens the trail building will end. We are currently just fighting to fund the study that may lead to new system trails. The proposed trail in this study would include a xc trail from the West summit of Rabbit Ears to the top of Mt Werner (Walton Rim), a group of DH/freeride trails right next to US-40 off the west summit of Rabbit Ears Pass (Ferndale), and a connector trail from Buffalo Pass, Dumont Lake area to Lower Bear, and the mad creek/ hot springs area. If completed we would gain a downhill area easily shuttle-able on US-40, and links that would allow a rider to cross the entire outer rim of the Yampa Valley from Rabbit Ears, to Mad Creek. Although it seems expansive it's only about 12-18 miles of trail.
    currently the city has hired a moderator to run the process from the Keystone Policy Center.

    If you can take time to contact our local leaders to express your support for funding the NEPA study for new trails we can keep this effort on track. Let them know you understand there is a due process for any new trail and everyone's voice is heard during the process, and no one voice should derail the process.

    Thanks for your support and post up any questions you might have about what's going on, and share this post with anyone that can help

    Names and Contact:


    YOUR VOICE MATTERS - CONTACT LIST FOR PUBLIC INPUT

    Mad-Rabbit Moderator: Keystone Policy Center

    Matthew Mulica - mmulica@keystone.org

    Routt County Commissioners:

    tcorrigan@co.routt.co.us | dmonger@co.routt.co.us | bmelton@co.routt.co.us

    USFS:

    kfoster@fs.fed.us | tumphries@fs.fed.us

    CPW:

    kris.middledorf@state.co.us | dnr_cpwcommission@state.co.us

    City Council & City 2A Committee

    wdelliquadri@steamboatsprings.net | gsuiter@steamboatsprings.net | citycouncil@steamboatsprings.net

    Trail Land Managers

    kfoster@fs.fed.us | bsetter@steamboatsprings.net

  2. #2
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    I live in Steamboat and have been witnessing this garbage propaganda campaign by KRW go down. Theyíre trying to undermine the voice of the people without any legitimate science so they can kill elk easier. I will definitely be getting in touch with all those contacts.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbersk View Post
    I live in Steamboat and have been witnessing this garbage propaganda campaign by KRW go down. Theyíre trying to undermine the voice of the people without any legitimate science so they can kill elk easier. I will definitely be getting in touch with all those contacts.
    Come to city council Tuesday and tell council directly!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    Come to city council Tuesday and tell council directly!
    If I didnít have to work I would! Be extra vigilant for me and call them out on their misleading intentions and lack of legitimate science!

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    Wait, aren't they supposed to be Bike Town USA (c)?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Rock View Post
    Wait, aren't they supposed to be Bike Town USA (c)?
    Many of us are conflicted about the marketing term our city is using to draw tourists

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    Sure, I was just saying that sounds like a leg to stand on in regards to the conflict at hand.

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    I'm just guessing here but I'd bet the hunter population brings a decent amount of income to the area during the shoulder season(s) so they'd probably have a reasonable amount of weight. Good luck!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    A local group that's "Pro-elk" (hunters) has successfully derailed the process and is about to ask Steamboat City council to remove funding for the NEPA study
    What is this groups name and do they have a website?

    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    for new trails to be build next summer/fall.
    Where is the trail plan?


    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    They are using a well funded campaign of exaggerated "science" to scare the public that elk are at risk
    Where is the bad science so we can decide for ourselves?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    What is this groups name and do they have a website?



    Where is the trail plan?




    Where is the bad science so we can decide for ourselves?
    Recent history:
    https://www.steamboatpilot.com/news/...tional-forest/

    trail plan:
    The History - Steamboat Springs Trails

    https://steamboatsprings.net/598/2A-Trails-Committee

    Pro-Elk group:

    https://www.keeprouttwild.com/

    You can review the KRW website and see their message.
    On the Steamboat Pilots website, there are plenty of stories concerning this issue.
    The latest is this:
    https://www.steamboatpilot.com/news/...ls-concerning/

    Read the comments!

    Note when reading this letter, the seated members of the round table, including the bike club RCR,the BTUSA reps, the RCR trail building org, and KRW were asked to not debate this in the press or social media during the process.

    But just search trails on the Pilots site and read up, KRW are protesting trail development thatís just happens to be adjacent to their ranch lands, but inside our USNF. Our current herd numbers into the 40,000ís, and itís range is from the divide to north of Craig, some 800,000 acres, including wilderness areas.The trails would disturb less than 4% of elk habitat, and that % does not count any area on the east side of Rabbit Ears, cause elk donít cross the divide. CPW GMU-14. In the last 10 years, the herd has grown by 6% while hunting has increased by 34%. Nothing is threatening their numbers.

    As of now the only trails up for consideration are the Ferndale loops, 100yards from US-40, west summit of Rabbit Ears, the Walton Rim, from Rabbit Ears to MtWerner, and Gunn Creek, from buff pass to Lower Bear. Ferndale would be flow type shuttle trails using US-40 for shuttle. This new network on Rabbit Ears would allow riders to camp and ride loops on Rabbit Ears to lift pressure on Buffalo pass where campers, and shuttles have become a problem.

    City Council has funded the NEPA study it will happen this summer. If it approves trails to be built, KRW has threatened to sue to stop it. SB City council controls if any money will be spent on a trail by trail process. If the NEPA process gives the go ahead, CC can still not fund the buildout if KRW has their way.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    Thanks.
    That's quite a who's who of politically connected people, some of which I would never have thought they would be teaming up together.

    As I read through their website and begin looking at Mr. Will's letter the first thing that jumped out was the questionable mapping he is using to justify his position.

    I'll try to put something together in the next day or two and you'll see what I mean.

    I don't really disagree with anything Mr Will says, but what he says is being interpreted incorrectly. All those homes and roads are invisible on the map he provides and then no buffer surrounds them for impact. It's ridiculous.

    When you actually look at the data and the number of roads and houses in the migration corridor, well it's hard to believe a new trail will have more of an impact than the combined effects of roads and homes.

    I don't want to discount their concerns at all, because it is in the corridor, but come on. Makes me think this is more nimby than anything else.

    I'll try to get all this data uploaded somewhere where you can zoom in and look at it and make your own maps. But here is what I have for the elk. Sorry to hear you guys are having so much trouble.

    Steamboat Trails under attack-steamboat_springs.jpg

  12. #12
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    I agree that the human impact has already been done by homes and fences.

    This is classic nimby, and many of the starters of KRW live in Strawberry Park, the residential area just below buffalo pass, Iíve heard that one of the KRW board was cited for illegally entering the forest from his property by 4wheeler during hunting season, obviously off trail as no trail exist here.

    Itís an ongoing process, and Iím hopeful the scientific truth can be determined and the right course of action taken. At this time we just need to show city council that we want the project to continue, and allow the process to find answers.

  13. #13
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    One of the most frustrating things with the KRW group is that they will not even touch on any other impacts on elk. The fact we have had some of the warmest falls the last few years doesnít come into play. 10 years ago in the fall riding trails above the second gate of buff pass was impossible due to 2 ft of snow, the years since Flash of Gold was built the snow has held off till well into second or third hunting season, mid-November. If you ask about the changes these hunters have seen in the snow levels, or weather, you get no response. If you ask about the homes and real estate developments, even ones we all know have impacted elk winter range, nothing. Itís only trails, and subsequent users that have pushed elk out of these hunter favorite areas. It shows the hypocrisy of their position that their only focus is trails.

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