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Colorado: Rocky Mountain NP eyes multi-use trails

Park service taking comment to help shape plan

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Multi-use trails could help ease congestion in Rocky Mountain National Park.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Rocky Mountain National Park planners are taking comment on a plan for a multi-use trail system that would extend approximately 15.5 miles from the Fall River Entrance to Sprague Lake, with potential connections to three visitor centers, three campgrounds, and numerous hiker shuttle stops.

The trail update is based on a 2009 feasibility study that looked at the developed eastern portion of the park. The current study will examine the possible options for the multi-use trail alignments and analyze potential environmental impacts.

The new park trail system could connect with trails being developed in the Estes Valley, helping to reduce traffic congestion, and to evaluate multimodal options (including connections to the shuttle system) along the developed corridor of roads on the east side of the park. If constructed, the trail would be located outside designated wilderness.

Multiuse in a national park setting is defined as non-motorized, self-propelled transportation, which may include bicycle, foot, baby stroller, roller blade, snowshoe, and/or cross-country skiing.

A public scoping meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 19, 2013, from 4:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. at the Hondius Room of the Estes Valley Public Library, located at 335 East Elkhorn Avenue, in Estes Park. Information will be provided about the current status of this effort, and park staff will be available to answer questions. There will be a short presentation at 5 p.m.. The public is invited to join the meeting at any point during the scheduled time to review materials and provide comments.

The park is inviting public comments regarding potential issues and concerns that should be considered during the planning process. Comments must be in writing, and can be submitted at the meeting, by mail, or on-line. Comments are due by March 21, 2013.

Before including an address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment including your personal identifying information may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Comments may be made on-line at the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/romo; by mail to: Superintendent, Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, CO 80517; by fax: (970) 586-1397; by email: romo_superintendent@nps.gov, or hand-delivered to Rocky Mountain National Park Headquarters, 1000 Highway 36, Estes Park, Colorado.

Once the scoping period concludes, all comments submitted will be considered. Another public meeting will be held when additional information is available on the alternatives that will be analyzed in the plan/EA. The public, agencies, and other interested parties will also have an opportunity to review and comment on the plan/EA following its release to the public.

For further information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please call the park’s Information Office at (970)586-1206.

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