Bill Harris & Ralph Files Receive "Key Citizens Award"!

January 26, 2016
Uncompahgre Chapter members, Bill Harris and Ralph Files, were presented with the “Key Citizen Award” at the January 19th Montrose City Council meeting in recognition of their outstanding contributions to making the Cerro Summit Recreation Area an all-season recreation facility by adding an extensive hiking and single-track mountain biking trail system. 

Mr. Harris and Mr. Files visited the Cerro Summit site with City staff in 2012 to evaluate its potential for trail development. Both individuals served a crucial role in the trail plan adoption, event organization, and volunteer coordination, and invested many hours of hard labor to make the vision for the site a reality. Last summer their dedication to the project paid off with the completion of a user-friendly trail system that features four miles of trails, orientation signs and a trailhead kiosk.

“The cornerstone to the nomination was in their overall project approach,” said Senior Planner Quick read more or view full article Garry Baker. “Bill and Ralph built a trail system not by asking the City to do the project, but by asking for a little assistance while they led the project themselves. Their significance to the Cerro project cannot be overstated. Without them, the Cerro Summit project would not have happened. Bill and Ralph have been trail builders and trial advocates for decades. They are true leaders and have made Montrose a better place.”

The Key Citizen Award recognizes individuals whose contributions to Montrose enhance the livability of the community in an extraordinary way, making Montrose a better place. Congratulations Bill and Ralph! Read Less
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Uncompahgre End-of-Year Report

January 18, 2016
Total Volunteer Hours:  412 
Unlike the past 3 years, all hours for 2015 were dedicated to trail projects on City of Montrose property (none on BLM or USFS land). The two major projects this year included Cerro Summit and Cerise Park. This is the 3rd year the chapter has had over 400 volunteer hours!
The focus of the Uncompahgre Chapter in 2015 was the development of a plan to build a system of non-motorized singletrack trails within a 20-minute drive of Montrose. In support of that effort, the chapter hosted IMBA’s Trail Care Crew (TCC) over Memorial Day weekend. The chapter hosted a showing of “Better Living through Trails” for community leaders at 2 Rascals Brew Pub to underscore the importance and benefits of singletrack trails in communities. The event was well attended with lots of networking with community leaders. On Saturday, the IMBA TCC, Jordan and Lani, held Quick read more or view full article their highly-respected Trail Building School. Over 40 participants of all ages attended. Following the classroom segment of the school, everyone gathered on Sunset Mesa to get some hands-on experience. However, a rain storm forced the cancellation of trail work. The next morning, over half of the class attendees returned to build trail. The new trail, named “The Cruz” upon completion, was built on Montrose Recreation District (MRD) property. MRD has become a valued trail partner. During the summer, the chapter held evening trail work sessions to complete “The Cruz”. Thanks to Laurie Brandt for her efforts to bring TCC to Montrose. 

The Cerro Summit trail system received continued attention this past summer and fall. The Western Colorado Conservation Corps (WCCC) spent two weeks building trail. On June 13th, COPMOBA and the City of Montrose dedicated the new trailhead complete with the placement of a metal sculpture of the Cerro Summit Trails logo donated by All Metals Welding of Grand Junction – thanks Chris Muhr. Volunteers spent the summer fine-tuning the trails. Over 4 miles of trails are now open for all to enjoy. Over the last 2+ years, COPMOBA volunteers have donated over 750 hours of sweat equity to Cerro trails. Thanks to Ralph Files, Bill Harris, Laurie Brandt and Rusty Wouters for their dirt time on Cerro.

COPMOBA continued its partnership with the city of Montrose by not only working on the Cerro Summit project, but supporting the construction of singletrack in Cerise Park. The city funded the construction of 5 miles of new trail in Cerise Park by Sweet and Sustainable Singletrack. The marking of an additional 4 miles of trail is ongoing.

Fundraising efforts in 2015 included a tap night at 2 Rascals Brew Pub and a Ride the Rockies beer garden. Chapter members helped organize Mission to Ride and COPMOBA netted $2500 from that event – thanks Renata Ranziano and Donnie Watson. The chapter received a $500 Clif Bar grant, but was unsuccessful in its attempt to receive a People for Bikes grant, which would have helped fund the initial construction phase of the Spring Creek connectors.

COPMOBA facilitated a cooperative effort between the BLM and Montrose County to build a parking facility at the Buzzard Gulch Spring Creek Canyon trailhead. 
2015 was a watershed year for the future of non-motorized trails in the Montrose area. Members lead by Garry Baker formulated a plan to construction 50 miles of singletrack within 20 minutes of Montrose. A planning grant written by grant guru, Amy Sharp of Sparrow Trails, has been submitted to CPW that, if awarded would set the wheels in motion to develop those trails. The plan has received broad support from the City of Montrose, Montrose County, Montrose Recreation District and the Office of Business and Tourism.

Trail efforts for 2016 include further work on Cerro Summit to buff out existing trails, construction of the Spring Creek Connectors, re-routes on Buzzard Gulch and new City Park trails. The chapter will concentrate its fundraising efforts on a fundraising and membership drive tap night at 2 Rascals, a beer fest, a Bicycle Tour of Colorado fundraiser and a locally organized mountain bike race.    Read Less
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