RAT News

Ridgway Area Trails

RAT Chapter Meeting to Elect RAT Committee Members 1/18/2017

January 3, 2017
RAT MEETS ON JANUARY 18, 2017 to elect RAT Committee Members and to nominate local representatives to the COPMOBA Board of Directors. The RAT committee members are responsible for all RAT authorized action and planning.  Although RAT welcomes and seeks participation and support from the entire community, only committee members can vote on official RAT business and actions. 

Location: 188 Marie Street, Ridgway
Time: 7:00pm

All COPMOBA members and RAT supporters are welcome. Please be aware that only COPMOBA/RAT members can vote for RAT Committee persons or for Board of Directors nominations. Anyone can join COPMOBA at any time by visiting copmoba.org and clicking the JOIN button at the upper, right corner of the page. when completing the membership application form, make sure you include your correct address and also indicate that you want to join as a member of the RAT chapter of COPMOBA. If you wish to vote at this meeting, please try to join before January 16th, because at the January 18 meeting we may not be able to confirm membership of persons who join after January 15th. 

Other meeting business will include discussion of the 2017 Ridgway Fat Tire Festival and Rat Race, Quick read more or view full article as well as pending proposals to construct trails on McKenzie Butte south of Colona and on Mt. Baldy south of Ridgway. 

Look forward to seeing you at the meeting. 

Happy New Year! 

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RAT Chapter 2016 Annual Report

December 19, 2016
Can you say miles of new singletrack smiles? RAT has been at it again this year building more trails and they are already planning the next big projects. Click on the image below to read the full report. 

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December 1, 2016

Dear Friends of Ridgway Area Trails,

It is that time of year when we recount what we are grateful for. As those of you who use the Ridgway Area Trails (RAT) know, several new trails have opened this year with another trail (North Mesa) poised to open in May, 2017. These trails have helped to round out the trail network and have made the RAT experience much more enjoyable. Many, very favorable reports from first time users who rave about the fantastic trails give us a lot of encouragement and indicate that we are on the correct (single) track with the objective of creating a very fun trail experience!

The BLM Travel Management Plan for the RAT System requires Seasonal Closure of the System from December 1 through April 30. The closure applies to all users (including foot travel) to preserve winter wildlife habitat. Because this area is critical to Colorado Parks and Wildlife for management of winter big game habitat, RAT urges all users to adhere strictly to the closure. Failure of users to respect the closure could degrade the habitat and adversely impact RAT’s continuing efforts to open other nearby public lands for single track development. Trails get approved for development Quick read more or view full article on public lands only if all users cooperate with the managing agencies. 

Local MTB user alternatives to the main RAT trails are primarily the Dennis Weaver Trails. Other nearby opportunities include:
1) Local dirt roads (low traffic, lovely views, etc.)
2) Buzzard Gulch - Montrose
3) Sidewinder - Delta/Montrose
4) Paradox Valley
5) Phil's World and Sand Canyon - Cortez
6) Grand Junction and Fruita
7) Moab

To leave you with some encouraging news... RAT met with the USFS on 11/15/16 about the possibility of building additional trails in the Ridgway vicinity. The request was met with a great deal of enthusiasm for the concept. USFS asked RAT to bring the Forest Service a conceptual map of the trail layout. RAT also requested permission to assume some responsibility for the maintenance of the Dallas Trail and and to design and implement reroutes of several, fall-line sections of the trail. USFS also received this proposal enthusiastically. USFS asked that RAT prepare an inventory of trail maintenance issues and needed re-routes be made such that they can review and approve for implementation when the trail clears in 2017. A group of volunteers hope to start this inventory this Wednesday. (If you would like to volunteer to assist with this inventory, please contact Bill Lindler at bill.lindler@msn.com)

The RAT committee plans a public event in early 2017 to report on 2016 progress, grant status and what to expect for 2017. Stay tuned here for more information on this topic.

Thank you for your support during 2016 and may you have a wonderful holiday season!

The RAT/COPMOBA Committee

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Successful Meeting with USFS!

November 16, 2016
RAT had a very encouraging and exciting meeting with USFS personnel in Ridgway on 11/15/16 to discuss RAT's proposal to develop 50 - 100 miles of multi-use, singletrack trail on and near Mt. Baldy, southwest of Ridgway.  The RAT crew was blown away by the alacrity with which USFS received the proposal.  It seems the USFS has had trouble engage other regional user groups to partner with USFS on scoping, funding and development of non-motorized recreational opportunities in Ouray County.

In the end, USFS made it clear they share our excitement for the prospects and suggested we expand our long-range vision to include USFS lands situated generally within a large quadrangle bounded roughly by Lake City, Silverton, Telluride and Ouray.  USFS asked us to prepare and submit a rough sketch map of our Mt. Baldy concept as soon as possible for their review. 

USFS also fully endorsed our request to assume maintenance chores for the Dallas Trail along its entire length from Box Factory Park to County Road 17.  USFS also indicated they would support our requests to re-route two badly eroded, fall-line sections of the Dallas trail, and to develop an alternate route to the current descent Quick read more or view full article from Moonshine Park to County Road 17.   

RAT will continue constructing new trail north of Ridgway on BLM lands, pursuant to our 2017 CPW Grant, until forced by winter closure rules or bad weather to cease.   Read Less
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RAT Chaapter Report 10/17/16

October 26, 2016
Rat Chapter Report
1.         Construction Progress
We’ve completed two new trails this fall: Exterminator and Lower Ratical.  Both are most excellent to ride.
We have two others currently in progress, yet to be named.  One of these will cross Alkali Creek North of the existing system and create a loop of some kind out toward County Road 8.  The exact route remains to be determined because BLM’s TMP map turned out be be inaccurate.  We may need to get further clearances from BLM to create the preferred route.  Scott, Amy, Bill and I are working with BLM on that. If we need additional clearances we will not finish it this year. We have another trail in progress through the basin between Double Crosser and State Park.  We have a couple other connectors planned for construction this year. Canyon Bridge in Ridgway has begun work on design of the bridge across Alkali Creek.  Chris Haaland and Canyob
Bridge can complete it this year, but whether we install it this year will depend on how much trail we get built north of the Creek this fall.
Based on SCC’s progress to date, we do not expect to Quick read more or view full article complete all the approved mileage within the 2016 CPW grant budget, so will likely need to seek additional funds for next year. 
2.         Trails Decommissioned
We’ve decommissioned 2 trails: Mickey’s Tears (located within County Pit leasehold), and a line that passed across private land from the Road 10 parking lot to Rattus Maximus.  Bill and Scott have walked and GPS’d an alternate line which we will try to build this year, but that too may need additional clearance from BLM. 
SCC has asked us to partner for a grant app they seek for next year.  SCC would have to use this grant mostly for rehabilitation, but could build some new trails as well. We’d need to put up matching funds equal to the total of the grant money, so we’d need $6500 for one week of SCC if we want them for two weeks.  This seems beyond our financial reach at the moment, because the application is due November 1.
3.         Finances
We’ve asked the town to budget funds for RAT in 2017, and expect to receive some, but don’t yet know the final answer to that question.  I have never reconciled my RAT fund balance with the numbers supplied by Clark at the last couple of board meetings.  I need some feedback from him on that. My records show a balance of $14,746.00, $8 ,000.00 of which is committed to match for this year’s CPW grant. I believe Clark Shows $17,929.46, but I’m not sure I know how to read his spread sheet.
4.         Local Committee
Several new members of the local committee have really stepped up to help, especially with RAT FEST 2017.  Ed and Sundra Hines in particular have taken the lead with BLM to obtain permitting to stage a full-blown race event next year. 
5.         McKenzie Butte
Gordon Reichard, Amy and I have submitted a plan to CPW for a new trail system on Mckenzie Butte northwest of the Ridgway Reservoir.  I met with CPW (along with the Unc chapter members) and found them extremely resistant to any new trails within the area bordered by Highway 550 on the east, the San Miguel River on the west, Highway 62 on the south and Solar Road on the north.  We submitted to CPW because we’d like to get a CPW planning grant in the hopper next year and use it to develop a detailed proposal for BLM.  We don’t expect any encouragement from CPW.  If they do not loosen up, we will try to raise enough cash to hire Amy and Scott to develop a detailed proposal for submission directly to BLM. We believe BLM is far more receptive to this concept than CPW.
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