RAT News

Ridgway Area Trails


May 16, 2013
On May 10, 2013 COPMOBA/RAT (Ridgway Area Trails) received some long-awaited and welcome news from the BLM’s Uncompahgre Field Office.  Following 8 years of administrative review and consideration, the UFO at last issued its final Environmental Analysis, Finding of No Significant Impact and Decision Record concerning its Travel Management Plan for almost 20 miles of single-track trail to be constructed on a 1200 acre BLM parcel located within about 2 miles northeast of Ridgway. 
Not just RAT, but the entire Ridgway Community and Ouray County as well, experienced a rush of excitement with the announcement.  In issuing the DR and related material, BLM UFO manager Barb Sharrow indicated that, barring some unexpected appeal of the decision, BLM is prepared to begin implementation of the plan shortly after expiration of the 30 appeal window provided under federal law. Naturally, RAT will step up immediately with all available hands and other resources to put some new tread on this great piece of BLM real estate.
The news came as our RAT local steering committee had begun finalizing plans for our third annual RATFEST fundraiser on the weekend of June 8-10, and spread via social media through the community in a Quick read more or view full article flash, igniting a wave of excitement just ahead of the planned celebration.  RATFEST will kick off with a movie and beer party at Ridgway’s historic Sheribino Theatre on Friday evening, June 8.  Saturday morning will find the RAT crew in Ridgway’s Weaver Memorial Park performing spring maintenance on various sections of trail known to locals as the Town Loop.
Saturday afternoon will feature a celebration in Ridgway Town Park with food from the True Grit Café, live music by Joint Point on Ridgway’s brand new concert stage, a live auction, silent auction, and plenty of cold beer from our great friends at New Belgian Brewing and Colorado Boy Brewery.  Former World Cross Country Champion Sara Ballantyne and four-time Leadville Trail 100 champion Laurie Brandt will share their considerable talent and experience in a skills clinic as well.
We look forward to this special edition of RATFEST and invite all COPMOBA members, associates, friends and hangers-on to join us for what should be not just a fun celebration of the welcome news, but a great kickoff for a summer of major trail construction.  For more information, visit the RAT website at ridgwaytrails.com, or email fitzearl@me.com.  We hope to see you in Ridgway next month
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Posted by Rod Fitzhugh
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