DAMB/COPMOBA Quarterly Report
October 17, 2016
The Delta Chapter has continued its preliminary work toward new mountain bike trails on both the Gunnison Gorge NCA and the Dominguez-Escalante NCA. In addition, the chapter continues its efforts to bring the North Fork area into its orbit, by working on existing MTB areas and advocating for additional trails in the North Fork. Work also continues on the County Line trails on Grand Mesa.
-Smith Mtn: This continues to be the main focus of the chapter, with members near completion of mapping out potential trails, to be submitted to BLM by the end of the year as a proposal. Unfortunately, the BLM has again hit a roadblock to its previously announced hiring of a planner for this NCA. This has been put on hold, and a new round of interviews for the planning position is now being held. We are told the new planner will be on board by December.
Escalante Triangle: The GJ office of BLM has been encouraging in its efforts to help DAMB create new trails in what they are referring to as the Escalante Triangle, which is what had been previously proposed as an SRMA, but Quick read more or view full article
has now been designated as an ERMA. This is the area east of Delta, north of the Escalante Rim Road, and west of Escalante Canyon. Our BLM Rep, Colin Ewing, has informed us now is a good time to start seeking funds for the preliminary assessments for trails in this area, and has been encouraging in this respect. Both the City of Delta and the County of Delta have voiced support for the development of new trails in this area, but have not committed financial support at this time.
North Fork Trail Advocacy Group (NFTAG) and other: There has been success creating a core group of concerned citizens in Paonia area to start NFTAG, a sub-chapter of DAMB. COPMOBA membership grew by 18 members after Sven and Tim had multiple out-reach meetings in Paonia, spreading the good word of trail advocacy. There was a general discussion that if members from this group still show strength in a general time frame of 6-9 months, there could be a proposal from them to the COPMOBA board to create their own chapter if deemed necessary in the coming year.
Comments are being collected now from the BLM UFO pertaining to its Resource Management Plan (RMP) for Delta County and beyond. This includes Jumbo Mountain, and several other areas that have been used by MTB bikers in the North Fork. Comments are being composed to support SRMA designation of the Jumbo Mtn Area, as well as the legitimization of the Jumbo Mtn trails. Since the region encompassed by the RMP also includes North Delta, comments are being developed to encourage future development in this area as well. There are also trail proposals in the works for new areas in the North Fork.
County Line: The main loop on County Line is now complete. Although a connector to the Mesa Top trail head is still in the works, and some additional rerouting is also planned. However, work for the year has been completed.
Other Developments: A small group of DAMB/NFTAG members have been working closely with the Nature Connection (NC) of the North Fork to develop a pump track and singletrack trails at Crossroads Park south of Hotchkiss. This is in its preliminary stages, but NC has made contact with the BLM and they appear to be on board with long term development in this area. More to come on this topic.
Also, this same group is working with the Crested Butte MBA and Gunnison Trails to clarify existing and potential future mountain biking routes located near or around the West Elk and Raggeds Wilderness. This group has also been working with the local Forest Service and CPW Representatives to see what is possible for re-routes of existing Trail 820 (Raggeds) and other trails bordering the Raggeds Mtns and Paonia Reservoir.
Lastly, there is work being done to potentially create snow bike routes on Grand Mesa, in association with the Grand Mesa Nordic Council. Again, this is in its preliminary stages, but hopefully there will be progress made in the near future.
DAMB continues to engage its members by encouraging group activities and group rides, including the Kokopelli Trail Ride, the Chile and Beer Festival in Crested Butte, and the Beers and Gears Festival coming up in Paonia this coming weekend, which will include group rides on Jumbo Mountain, to introduce folks who are not acquainted with Jumbo and the surrounding area.
In addition, many members continue trail maintenance activities in the county, and in other areas.
The DAMB-COPMOBA committee elected Marty Kauzlarich to be a new chapter committee member. Marty is a long-time DAMB member, and is a very active road rider. He is an active advocate for biking activities as an economic development tool, and will be a welcome new committee member. In addition, the chapter is continuing to evaluate potential committee additions from the North Fork area, to help solidify its efforts in that part of the County.