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Support the Mad Rabbit Trails Project

Support the Mad Rabbit Trails Project

Uplift your voice for the Mad Rabbit Trails Project in Steamboat Springs

Mountain biker riding cross country through beautiful aspen grove
Photo courtesy of: Justin Reiter

Please show your support for the Mad Rabbit Trails Project in Steamboat Springs to the United States Forest Service (USFS) in Colorado. 

After an exhaustive NEPA planning process, the USFS issued their final Environmental Assessment and preferred alternative in August of 2023. Trail advocates, land managers, and mountain bike organizations including, Routt County Riders, Colorado Mountain Bike Coalition, and others supported this rigorous process and the final decision by the USFS.

The Mad Rabbit Trails Project has had diverse support for a decade, let’s continue this momentum with one last reminder of the broad based support. 

History of Voting for a Trails Tax and Community Funding: Understanding the positive economic impacts of trails and outdoor recreation, in 2013 almost three-quarters (70%) of Steamboat voters favored reallocating a 1 percent lodging tax toward trails and recreational amenities. Voters approved the 2013 “2A- Trails Tax Accommodation” included the projected expenses for the Mad Rabbit Trails project, a long held vision in the master plan process. The tax funding is both sustainable and without contention. Additionally, through grassroots community fundraising and an aggressive 10 year campaign with the goal of raising $100,000 per year, the Yampa Valley Community Foundation has established a nearly $1 million dollar endowment specifically for trail maintenance (Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund).

Rigorous Processes and Attention to Detail: Since 2013, outdoor recreation advocates have spent years building relationships with partners from the community at-large, diverse user-groups, land management agencies, and non-profits like the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). Trail champions and advocates from groups including the Routt County Riders, the City of Steamboat Springs, the USFS, and hundreds of engaged community members have spent years learning and navigating the official USFS processes.  Significantly, they have done so in a public and transparent manner, honoring procedure as well as the voices of community members and federal partners. 

Context in Colorado: USFS is mandated to provide multiple-use recreation on lands they manage, balancing all types of uses and users’ interests on our national forests. Over the years the Mad Rabbit Trails Project has changed and adapted to accommodate varied requests and address wildlife habitat areas, signifying the ongoing, collaborative successes that diverse outdoor recreation user groups have achieved through the duration of this process. 

Why We Need Your Help Now. After the USFS final objection process opened this fall, the community supporters stepped up to continue momentum and show ongoing support for the project. In September, Steamboat Springs community members initiated a petition in support of the Mad Rabbit Trail Project which gathered over 1500 signatures in just ten days. 

While the USFS is in the final stages of the objection appeal process, a reminder of the broad support for the Mad Rabbit Trails Project is now needed. Let’s take the opportunity to show how much the diverse, outdoor recreation communities in and around Colorado support this project. 

It is critical this support is voiced now because a final decision could be made before the holiday break. Our goal is for the USFS to stay the course on the recommended action rather than decide on a “No Action” alternative or further trail reductions. If a “No Action” alternative is decided, it will result in additional delays, and could even completely derail the Mad Rabbit Trails Project, resulting in a total loss of the momentum and public tax dollars spent on the NEPA to date and the thousands of hours of volunteer time that has gone into supporting this project.

Let's honor the process. 

Let's not lose this positive momentum for trails. 

Email USFS staff TODAY to show your support. 


Kate Noelke, IMBA's Communications & Advocacy Specialist

Kate grew up on the backwaters of the Mississippi River biking, paddling, and wandering through the beauty of the Driftless Region of SW Wisconsin. She loves to make and share food she's grown or foraged, and believes all bodies belong on bikes (and wandering trails via whichever mode of…

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