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Uncompahgre Chapter Comments on BLM Uncompahgre Field Office Draft RMP

October 30, 2016
BLM Uncompahgre Field Office Draft Resource Managment Plan Comments from the Uncompahger Chapter - COPMOBA
 
I am writing on behalf of the Uncompahgre Chapter of the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association to comment on the proposed Uncompahgre Field Office Resource Management Plan. Non-motorized recreation is currently underrepresented in the BLM lands surrounding Montrose, and we support the designation of more non-motorized SRMAs to prioritize the development of more non-motorized trail systems.
 
  1. Kinikin Hills ERMA: we would prefer that the Kinikin Hills parcel be designated an Special Recration Management Area (SRMA) and RMZ2 be designated for non-motorized trail development.It has terrain that is suitable for mountain bike trails and a multi-loop system here would provide trails for all levels of riders. It is particularly valuable given its quick access from the town of Montrose as well as from Highway 550. Ideally, a non-motorized trail system here could be accessed from a trailhead off of Uncompahgre Road. With a long riding season, easy access from town and a major highway, a non-motorized trail system here would serve Montrose residents and visitors alike.
  2. In the proposed Dry Creek SRMA we support the preferred alternative D for RMZ4 (Linscott Canyon/Hwy 90), which designates it as an area for priority development of non-motorized singletrack. A trailhead with substantial parking, restrooms and camping is currently being proposed by Montrose County as part of the Rim Rocker Trail project. In addition to serving OHVs setting out on the Rim Rocker trail, the trailhead facilities will provide a staging area for mountain bike races and events. A ~10 mile trail system with a long loop suitable for racing will provide a unique venue for mountain bike events that currently does not exist in Montrose, Delta or Ouray County. Mountain bike races and events held at this site would provide an economic benefit to Montrose County and bring visitors from Colorado and surrounding states. A race venue here would also benefit the local high school mountain bike race team and could host state-wide high school races that would bring racers and their families to Montrose for several days.
  3. In the Spring Creek SRMA we would prefer that RMZ3 include non-motorized singletrack as an additional focus. Non-motorized trail development in this parcel could connect the Buzzard Gulch trail system with the newly constructed Spring Canyon Connectors and Spring Canyon trail. This would create a challenging, completely non-motorized, loop ride for more adventurous riders. Currently, mountain bikers most frequently access the trails in Spring Canyon by driving or riding on Dave Wood Road; replacing road use with a singletrack trail would greatly enhance the experience for non-motorized users.
  4. Also in the Spring Creek SRMA, we support the designation of the Buzzard Gulch trail system as a non-motorized RMZ (RMZ1 Alternative D). The current Buzzard Gulch provides beginner and intermediate mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians with a quality singletrack experience close to town. Further development of the trail system with a small loop suitable for young children with parents and a more challenging trail for advanced riders would provide riding for all ability levels and families.
  5. Finally, we are concerned that the Lands with Wilderness Characteristics designation in Dry Creek includes the Coyote Ridge and Coyote Cutoff trails. In the preferred Alternative D, these trails would no longer be open to mountain bikes. These trails are valuable to the mountain bike community and should stay open to mechanized use. They are two of the trails in the Dry Creek area that are most enjoyable for mountain bikers due to their grades and trail design. They provide a challenge to intermediate and advanced riders and allow them to create longer rides in the Dry Creek area.
 
Despite a plethora of public land, favorable terrain and mild climate, Montrose has so far been unable to reap the economic rewards of non-motorized recreation. An historic focus on primarily motorized trails has left Montrose off the map as a destination for quiet trail users, and has left its citizens with few options for peaceful human-powered recreation. Designation of the above SRMAs by the BLM would prioritize non-motorized trail development and greatly benefit the Montrose area.
 
Sincerely,
Renata Raziano
COPMOBA Board Member
Uncompahgre Chapter Chair  
 
 
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