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Some of colorado's last remaining high mountain trails at risk

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BLUERIBBON COALITION ACTION ALERT!

SOME OF COLORADO'S LAST REMAINING HIGH MOUNTAIN TRAILS AT RISK

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED.

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

The comment deadline is approaching on a draft Travel Plan for a very popular OHV area in Colorado. The Taylor Park / Gunnison Basin Travel Plan is out for public review and comment, and the deadline is next week, JUNE 3, 2009.

We are sending this Colorado-based action alert to our national alert list because the area involved, commonly known as Taylor Park, is popular with BRC members from California to Florida.

This is some of Colorado's last remaining high-mountain OHV trail opportunity left. The area contains miles of some of the best world-class single-track motorcycle, ATV and 4x4 trails in the nation.

Each mile is precious and several popular trails are proposed for closure. Will you help keep the trails open by sending a quick comment letter via email?

In order to save you time away from work and family, we've included one of BRC's INSANELY easy 3-Step Action Items to help you send your email.

Remember, the deadline is next week (June 3), so please do it today!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Thanks in advance for your support,

Brian Hawthorne Ric Foster

Public Lands Policy Director Public Lands Department Manager

208-237-1008 ext 102 208-237-1008 ext 107

PS: State, local and national OHV and mountain bike groups are really working hard to keep these world-class trails open. But resources are always meager in comparison to the Wilderness lobby, and unlike what you are about to read in the Denver Post, we are not funded by the OHV manufacturers. Groups like BRC and COHVCO depend on memberships and donations from individual OHV enthusiasts to fund the work we do. To us, membership is our lifeblood. THANK YOU FOR YOUR MEMBERSHIP!

BLUERIBBON COALITION ACTION ALERT!

LAST CHANCE FOR COMMENTS ON THE TAYLOR PARK / GUNNISON BASIN TRAVEL PLAN

SITUATION:

For over 30 years now, Taylor Park, and trails across Colorado's upper Gunnison Basin and North Fork Valley region, has been a world-class recreation destination for OHV users. In relatively recent years, ever since the modern mountain bike was developed, the area has been a treasured destination by mountain bike enthusiasts.

This plan will decide which roads and trails will be open for use by motorized vehicles and mountain bikes, which uses will be allowed on each route and whether there are any restrictions on the seasons of use for each route.

To the Forest Service's credit, the draft travel plan proposes leaving many of the epic mountain bike and motorized trails open. However, they are missing a few of the more special routes.

Several OHV groups in Colorado have dug into the details in this plan, and we are all working hard to defend our trails. Among the groups BRC is working with are the Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO) Colorado OHV Coalition, Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA) Colorado Trails Preservation Alliance - Home, Thunder Mountain Wheelers index.html and Western Slope 4-Wheelers Western Slope 4-Wheeler Home.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

We are asking our members to send an emails to the Forest Service. Simple instructions are below. We've tried to make it as easy as possible.

IMPORTANT: If you have had the pleasure to visit this spectacular area, and have the time to write a bit about how valuable these trails are, please do so!

Comments must be in writing (paper or electronic) and must be received by June 3, 2009. Mail written comments to: Gunnison Basin Travel Management DEIS, 2250 Hwy 50, Delta, Co 81416. E-mail Comments To: [email protected].

MORE INFO ON THE WEB:

BRC encourages OHV and mountain bike enthusiasts to carefully view the maps on the web and check to see if the trails you use and enjoy are on any of the Alternatives. Gunnison National Forest Travel Management

The Forest Service (FS) has formulated a "Proposed Action" Alternative (Alternative 2). Simply stated, this Alternative is what the agency wants to do. If your favorite roads and trails are not on this map, then it is extremely important that they hear from you!!

Contact and other info, including copies of the DEIS and associated maps, are posted on the web at GMUG National Forest - Travel Management. They has also posted a helpful "how to comment" link on their website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/gmug/policy/travel_mgmt/gun/deis/How_to_comment.pdf

For more information, please contact: Anne Janik at (970) 874-6637 or email to [email protected] or Gary Shellhorn at (970) 874-6666 or email to [email protected]

BRC'S THREE-STEP ACTION ITEM

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO EMAIL YOUR COMMENTS:

NOTE: Please be polite and, if possible, make your comment letter as personal as you can.

STEP 1: Open your email program and start a draft email. Address the email to

[email protected]. Put "Comments on Gunnison Travel Plan"

in the Subject Line.

STEP 2: Use the comments below as a guideline for comments in your email.

Cut and paste is okay, but try to make your comment letter as personal as possible.

STEP 3: Take just a minute to add a bit about where you live, where you like to ride

and how much trail-based recreation means to you. Be certain to include your

name and address. A return email address is NOT sufficient! ("anonymous" emails

are often discarded).

EXTRA CREDIT: If you can add any trail-specific information or personal testimony about your experiences enjoying this spectacular area, please take a minute to add that to your email (see links above for maps and other info).

Then click "send" and you're done!

Sample comment letter:

Gunnison Basin Travel Management DEIS

2250 Hwy 50

Delta, Co 81416

The Gunnison Basin has had a motorized and mountain bike recreational niche for many decades. Because of the growth in popularity of OHV and mountain bike use, and because of closures in other areas of Colorado, there is a need to enhance motorized and mountain bike trail based recreation on the Gunnison NF. Therefore, it incumbent on the decision maker to choose a travel plan that enhances the motorized and mountain bike trail experience.

I would like emphasize this comment with a rhetorical question. Given the fact that other national forests in Colorado have designated vast areas for the exclusive use of non-motorized recreation, and subsequently closed many thousands of miles of motorized routes, does the Gunnison NF have a motorized niche because of the opportunities existing on the forest, or has the U.S. Forest Service created the motorized niche because the agency has displaced so much OHV use from other Forests?

The answer is obvious: Both. The Gunnison has a motorized niche both because of the decades of use, but also because closures in other areas of Colorado are displacing more OHV people. Therefore, your preferred alternative, "Alternative 2 - The Proposed Action", which proposes yet more closures, is simply not logical. It also runs the risk of creating an unmanageable situation on the ground.

It is essential that all efforts to "mitigate first - close last" be made in formulating your Final Plan. I strongly support the specific trail recommendations made by the Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO), the Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA), the Thunder Mountain Wheelers and the Western Slope 4-Wheelers.

The Thunder Mountain Wheelers make some excellent recommendations, especially regarding FS Road # 701 (Stevens Gulch) and FS Road # 265 (Buzzard Divide Road) on the Paonia Ranger District.

I support the Thunder Mountain Wheeler's suggestions on the Oil Well Mt. Trail, Buck Mesa / Thousand Acre Flats Trail, FS Road # 783 (Coal Gulch), trail # 804 (Buck Mesa), FS Road # 704.4D (Spring House Park) FS Road # 704.4D1 (Spring House Park) and trail # 806 (Thousand Acre Flats). I also support their recommendations regarding the Overland Park Loop, Raggeds Trail, Minnesota Creek, Deer Creek and the proposed Sheep Mountain and Dyer Creek loops.

I strongly support the Trail Preservation Alliance's recommendations regarding the Crest Trail, Agate Creek, North Bank (lower Dr Park area), Roaring Judy, and Eyre Basin. Also, please adopt their recommendations for the Teocalli Ridge, Ferris Creek and Double Top Trail Systems.

Sincerely.

YOUR NAME

YOUR ADDRESS

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That is a shame that they would want to close that area. i sent one.

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