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Summit County: Forest Service releases revised plan for 21-mile motorized trail system on Tenderfoot Mountain

Community task force finds common ground on contentious proposal

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The Forest Service says there’s room for 13 miles of new motorized trails on Tenderfoot Mountain, despite the fact that the agency can’t adequately maintain existing trails.

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A family outing near the Dillon Cemetery.

By Bob Berwyn

*Previous Summit Voice stories on the Tenderfoot motorized trail proposal are online here.

FRISCO — Critics are likely to say it’s like putting lipstick on a pig, but the U.S. Forest Service claims its latest version of a plan for a motorized trail on Tenderfoot Mountain, near Dillon, will result in a managed, finite system of sustainable trails to replacing the existing spaghetti network of illegal trails in the area.

The agency this week released a revised environmental study for the controversial trail system, which has been hotly debated for the past several years. According to the Forest Service, the new proposed action represents numerous compromises that were made to mitigate environmental and social concerns. Continue reading

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Summit County: Stakeholder group to take another close look at proposal for motorized trails on Tenderfoot Mountain

Consensus sought on divisive plan to build new trails

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Local dirt bike riders hope to create a new system of challenging single-track trails.

Click here to read full Summit Voice coverage of the Tenderfoot issue.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — The White River National Forest has hit the pause button on its proposal to develop a new motorized trail system on Tenderfoot Mountain. Before issuing a final decision on the plan, forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams will consider the input of a stakeholder group that’s meeting in a process facilitated by the Keystone Center.

The stakeholder group includes Forest Service representatives, local government officials and planners, conservation advocates, motorized users and local homeowner groups. The hope is to find some sort of consensus on the contentious plan, said Peech Keller, who coordinates environmental reviews for the Forest Service’s Dillon Ranger District. The group will meet about every two weeks through mid-June, she added. All the Forest Service documents related to the proposal are online here. Continue reading

Summit County: 3 meetings on Tenderfoot trails plan this week

Forest Service denies request for comment period extension; locals scrambling to study proposal, formulate input

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The Forest Service wants to build 13 miles of new trails on Tenderfoot Mountain primarily for motorized use.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Summit County officials are scrambling to finalize comments on a Forest Service proposal to build 13 miles of new dirt bike trails on Tenderfoot Mountain after their request to extend the comment period was rejected.

At issue is a controversial plan to add a motorized trail system in the hills east of Highway 6 between Dillon and Keystone. County officials say a vast majority of residents in the area oppose the trail system. Forest Service planners say they are obligated to meet demand from all user groups.

Forest Service officials say new planning regulations adopted under the Bush administration prevent them from extending comment periods on environmental assessments. Conservation groups criticized the rules before they were adopted, saying they could inhibit public participation — and the Tenderfoot trail plan is a clear example of that. Continue reading

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