Mountain Bike Advocacy: Part 3
Wildflowers, crystal waters flowing from the mountains, and world-class trails are some of the few things that characterize Crested Butte in Gunnison County, Colorado as a premiere mountain biking destination. And there’s more to look forward to!
New trails and facilities enhancements are underway in Crested Butte. IMBA Affiliate Partner Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association (CBMBA) has been the driving force behind these plans, and they need your input to get the North Valley Trails Project past the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process and make sure important aspects of the proposal are taken into consideration.
CBMBA began working on this project in 2009 when the organization developed a Riders Off the Road short term trails plan with the intention of providing a better and more diverse singletrack user experience in the greater Crested Butte area. With feedback from various stakeholders over several years, the plan evolved into the North Valley Trails Project, which is now in the NEPA scoping process and open for comments until March 31.
The project will connect existing trails, reroute and decommission non-sustainable routes, and designate proper trail access points and trailhead infrastructure. Its scope consists of eight new trails or trail segments, one trail reroute, and three trailhead parking or day use area expansions and enhancements in Crested Butte and northern Gunnison. Design features and other details of the proposal can be found on the project’s NEPA webpage.
It takes time to get projects of this size on the ground. Having the mountain bike community engaged and mobilized at various steps of the process is a big factor in creating better trail experiences. If you have ever enjoyed mountain biking in Crested Butte and Gunnison County, please consider submitting your feedback on the project. IMBA supports CBMBA’s official comments on the project, which you are welcome to use in your feedback.
Below are some CBMBA general comments. When drafting your comment, remember to personalize your text. This is very important for agencies to count every comment individually.
- Include the Upper Cement Creek to Crystal and Drive Park Reroute to allow for public comment. These two trails were vetted and approved by the Gunnison County Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee, which is composed of stakeholders across all disciplines.
- Include Snodgrass Public Trail and the Eccher Gulch/Granite Basin trails in the project. In CBMBA’s outreach to recreation stakeholders, moving Snodgrass onto public land is the top request from trail users. This current NEPA process would have been the ideal place to gather input regarding these two trails and removing them is a missed opportunity for public outreach.
Trail-specific comments can also be found on the CBMBA website.
Comments are due by March 31 and can be submitted through the Forest Service’s public comments portal. If you need more ideas on what to say, email firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of abridged, suggested comments.