Grand Valley Trails Alliance Board Forming

December 27, 2012
TO: All Grand Valley region COPMOBA Members
RE: Grand Valley Trails Alliance call for Board Members

Hello COPMOBA members. Some of you may be familiar with the relatively newly formed organization in the area - the Grand Valley Trails Alliance. This group was created at the behest of the BLM - Grand Junction Field Office, as an instrument to help organize, consolidate, and improve trail creation and maintenance activities among various user groups in the area. Federal dollars and manpower are already stretched thin, and the ability of the BLM to respond to requests and take action on projects is limited.

The goal was to create a structure to help user groups not only cooperate on planning and trail development, but also to gather and build broad support and consensus from the various user groups, municipalities, and other community stakeholders for proposed projects. With broader backing for projects, the BLM can more readily take action on requests.

The GVTA is also conceived of as a structure to aid user groups in understanding and following the various steps necessary for project creation, approval, securing financial resources, and eventual implementation. By bringing together the experience and skills from various groups, documenting and supporting best practices, and identifying a clear process through which an idea can be proposed and pursued to completion, the GVTA aims to streamline the process by which trail ideas move from concept to plan to implementation. The final output of the GVTA organization will be requests to the BLM, and perhaps other entities in the future, for specific projects. The projects and requests will have broad backing, will have already been reviewed and tuned to meet the needs of the implementation process. These are the type of requests that the BLM can more readily take action upon.

The BLM reached out to the mountain bike and the motorized communities over a year ago to help identify what the GVTA might be, and to get the process rolling. They reached out to these two groups because we are the most active, and because each group has an assistance agreement with the BLM which is a tool that the BLM uses to route money to partner organizations to help accomplish various goals. The concept is that the GVTA is inclusive of all user groups who wish to participate - it is fundamentally a support structure and a way to help organize the trail implementation process. This does not mean that all results from the organization will be multi-use trail proposals. It means that the BLM is attempting to get these two main groups to work together as best possible, early in the process.

I have served as one of three advisors for the organization in this first year plus, as we have worked to establish a presence. We began with much discussion about organizational concepts and goals, and moved forward by hiring a coordinator to begin the important footwork of reaching out to the various user groups and the community in general. The coordinator is Dave Grossman, and he has done an excellent job in getting things moving.

I encourage anyone who has interest in the trail and community planning process, and experience commensurate with that described in the statements below, to consider applying for the GVTA board. This organization will be a significant positive influence for our communities and our region, and I believe will be an important part of our future.

Contact information is provided below.

Scott Winans
Posted by Scott Winans
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