More snowmaking, bike trails to be studied by Forest Service
Citing a lack of recreational opportunities at Copper Mountain, the U.S. Forest Service has launched an early comment period for proposed new developments at the Summit County resort, including an alpine coaster ride on the front side of the mountain, increased snowmaking and new mountain bike trails.
“These projects will help connect people to their National Forest while at the same time improving the year-round guest experience at Copper Mountain Resort,” said U.S. Forest Service Dillon District Ranger Bill Jackson. “In particular, we are excited about the additional snowmaking coverage on the West Encore and Collage trails which will allow the U.S. Ski Team additional early-season training opportunities.” Continue reading “Copper Mountain eyes alpine coaster amusement ride”→
‘I want to hear what people in small communities are doing and carry those stories to the highest level …’
FRISCO — Colorado’s outdoor recreation industry — from skiing and snowmobiling, to birdwatching and hunting — has become a powerful economic force in the last few decades.
By some accounts, the industry generates as much as $13 billion per year in consumer spending and drives the economy of many communities outside the urban Front Range corridor. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, the industry contributes $4.2 billion in wages and salaries in Colorado.
Now, Gov. John Hickenlooper says he wants to boost the industry’s role to an even higher profile by establishing a new Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, housed in the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Last week, Hickenlooper announced that Eagle County resident Luis Guillermo Benitez will head the new office’s efforts build the state’s outdoor recreation brand. Continue reading “Colorado launches new outdoor recreation industry office”→
FRISCO — Public lands are vital to the growing economies of the American West, a coalition of business groups said in a recent letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to protect special areas through his authority under the Antiquities Act.
Update: The transportation spending bill was pulled July 31 by the GOP house leadership, possibly until September, when it could be voted on during renewed budget wrangling. Transportation watchdog groups are taking some credit, saying the GOP pulled the measure because they couldn’t get enough support. Many members of Congress heard from constituents that they want a robust, multimodal transportation future.
FRISCO — After taking aim at public lands and environmental agency budgets last week, GOP lawmakers are now swinging their budget-cutting axe at government investments in transportation. Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, wants to strip all funding for transportation alternatives from the 2014 budget.
The latest attack follows on the heels of last year’s drastic cuts that combined Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and Recreational Trails into one line item and slashed the funding by 30 percent.
The cycling group is asking its members to launch a social media blitz to let lawmakers know how they feel about any efforts to cut an already tiny budget. Follow the League of American Bicyclists on Twitter to get dialed in.
“We are asking you to be prepared on Tuesday evening to tweet your member of Congress asking them to vote NO on any amendment that will harm funding for biking and walking. We will send you the amendment number, the name of the sponsor and the content of the amendment, as soon as we hear an amendment has been introduced. Please retweet that message using your Representative’s handle – and send it through your networks.
“We want to make sure Congress knows we’re watching, and that any late night attempt to cut Transportation Alternatives or otherwise harm biking and walking, will be protested by their constituents. Both the House and Senate go on a month-long recess on Friday so they need to finish this week.
At issue are how the fee program for access to public lands is being implemented by federal agencies. The hearing is set to start at 10 a.m. EDT and should be available as webcast via the House Committee on Natural Resources website.
Travel management plan update results in some user-created trails becoming an official part of the trail network
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — If you’ve never heard of the Hippo Trail or the Bodhi Trail, don’t feel too bad. Both are newly named trail segments in Summit County that have just recently been formally added to the national forest trail system managed by the U.S. Forest Service’s Dillon Ranger District.
Many of the user-created have been popular with locals for years, but now they’re officially on the map, said Ken Waugh, recreation staff officer for the district.
“Many of these have never been maintained and have not been on District maps,” Waugh said, adding that the Forest Service is making an outreach effort to let hikers and cyclists know about the new trails.
Policy change enables agency to charge per-person fees
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The White River National Forest has revamped its fee structure for special events using local bike paths that cross national forest lands. Under the changes, organizers of cycling events like the Copper Triangle will pay a graduated per-person fee ranging from $1 per person, up to $2 per person for larger events.