SJTR blog

This Blog is intended for use by all SJTR club members and visitors.

For now it'll be used for Club news and events but if you've got something to share please contact us and we'll post it!

Brrrrrrrap!

 

 

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  • November 18, 2017 9:04 AM | Anonymous

                      San Juan Trail Riders - Member ALERT! (update)

    From:  The SJTR Board of Directors

    The Rico/West Dolores issue has spiked again, with the November 14, 2017 release of two Draft Records of Decision.  We make this announcement to inform our members and supporters, to assure you of our plan for responding, and to seek consistency in how we respond to the agency and implement our plan of action. 

    The proposed decision(s) would impose drastic and unacceptable reductions in access.  They would reduce about 30 percent of existing motorcycle riding, on prime trails in Bear Creek and Little Bear Creek, would eliminate motorized trail access to the Town of Rico, would eliminate critical connectivity, and would impose seasonal restrictions.  These restrictions on motorcycle access appear to be justified, in part, by a contrived effort to “create” new opportunities for larger motorized vehicles, including 62” width class vehicle.

    San Juan Trail Riders has been working on this issue for years, particularly since the 2009 Backcountry Hunters & Anglers lawsuit, which we aided the Forest Service in successfully defending.  We have worked in concert with Trails Preservation Alliance, COHVCO, PAPA, and BRC/Sharetrails.org.  We continue to engage experienced legal professionals.  We will continue to vigorously participate and take aggressive legal action, as needed, to maintain historical riding opportunities in the Rico/West Dolores.

    These decisions are NOT yet final.  They cannot be implemented until the objections are ruled upon, and any instructions resolved by the Dolores Ranger District.  We appreciate the efforts and support of our members and partners.  This promises to be a long and difficult process.  The best way to fight for access and fight against these closures is to provide financial support for our efforts.  We recommend making donations to the Trails Preservation Alliance, which is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  The donation should include a note it is for the “RWD project” and can be made by visiting http://www.coloradotpa.org/how-to-help/donations/.    

    The next step in this process will be to file formal objections to the proposed decisions.  We do NOT recommend that you take individual action or file personal objections.  As indicated, we will proceed through legal counsel and will leave no stone unturned in that effort.  The objection process is NOT like commenting on an environmental impact statement – too many objections will cloud the issue, consume the agency’s attention/resources, and dampen any ability we might have to achieve change through the objection process.  We assure you that we will vigorously and with full transparency advance our community’s interests in this process, and any ensuing litigation.

    To provide additional background for those who are interested or may not be aware, your San Juan Trail Riders legal and government relations team has been working with the Dolores Ranger District in Dolores, CO since 2009 on the Travel Management Plan for the Rico / West Dolores landscape.  It has been an up and down exercise with the USFS and anti-access / anti-motorized activists to keep 14 significant and premier single-track motorized trails open for our type recreation even though these trails have over 50 years of historical motorcycle use.  And, just 3 years ago the 10th Circuit agreed with the USFS that these trails should remain open to the single-track motorized designation.  This was a true win for our recreation type that was supported monetarily by all of you through memberships and special donations.  We thank you again for helping to keep these world-class trails open to so many.

    Most recently SJTR has worked through 3 years of USFS meetings, planning sessions, compromise meetings, alternative recommendations meetings and supervisory sessions to try and work through a plan to preserve these critically important trails for our recreation.  Today the Draft Decision for the entire Rico / West Dolores landscape was released by District Ranger Derek Padilla.  With much dismay I must report to you that the USFS has neglected to accept any of our input to the plan and is recommending a plan to reduce the last of our high quality trail riding by over 30%.  In addition, the plan calls for a full seasonal closure that will also limit riding time on the few remaining trails for single-track use.  In his plan he gives preference to those who have moved into the existing trail areas who do not want motorcycle use to continue.  He also gives significant preference to a private resort area that has now wants the nearby trails for their personal use over the general public.  He gives grazing permit holders preference over the general public to close trails that may possibly disturb cattle in the area of current motorized trails.  He has also closed a key public easement to only motorcycles that has been used by our recreation type for more than 40 years.  The Plan completely prevents motorcycles from using existing trails into Rico, CO for fuel and food.  In his Draft Decision the District Ranger provides much less restriction to all other users, only motorcycles get the axe and he announces this proudly. 

    San Juan Trail Riders made it clear to the Dolores District going into this TMP / EIS Process that we would work hard with them to work out a plan and that we would accept no net loss of trail miles in the end.  We recommended multiple opportunities and options to replace the trail miles they wanted to designate as non-motorized.  They refused to consider even one option.

    The project file, Draft Records of Decision and Final EIS can be viewed online at  https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=44918.

    Rest assured that we will be reviewing the entire document very carefully over the next short period of time to assess potential objections that we will submit during this next step in the process.  Our submissions will be public record, and we will keep you posted and abreast of any additional actions to be taken as we fight to preserve this historic riding area. 

    Again, we want to let you know how serious we are taking this.  It should not be necessary at this time to submit a flood of written responses to the Dolores District.   We will advise you along the way as to what actions, when appropriate, will be needed to support the fight.  Right now, your donations in dollars is what will be most needed to take on this challenge.  Please consider anything you can contribute and rest assured it will be used wisely on your behalf.


  • November 17, 2017 8:19 AM | Anonymous

    From:  The SJTR Board of Directors

    For you members who may not be aware, your San Juan Trail Riders government relations team has been working with the Dolores Ranger District in Dolores, CO since 2009 on the Travel Management Plan for the Rico / West Dolores landscape.  It has been an up and down exercise with the USFS and anti-access / anti-motorized activists to keep 14 significant and premier single-track motorized trails open for our type recreation even though these trails have over 50 years of historical motorcycle use.  And, just 3 years ago the 10th Circuit agreed with the USFS that these trails should remain open to the single-track motorized designation.  This was a true win for our recreation type that was supported monetarily by all of you through memberships and special donations.  We thank you again for helping to keep these world-class trails open to so many.

    Most recently SJTR has worked through 3 years of USFS meetings, planning sessions, compromise meetings, alternative recommendations meetings and supervisory sessions to try and work through a plan to preserve these critically important trails for our recreation.  Today the Draft Decision for the entire Rico / West Dolores landscape was released by District Ranger Derek Padilla.  With much dismay I must report to you that the USFS has neglected to accept any of our input to the plan and is recommending a plan to reduce the last of our high quality trail riding by over 30%.  In addition, the plan calls for a full seasonal closure that will also limit riding time on the few remaining trails for single-track use.  In his plan he gives preference to those who have moved into the existing trail areas who do not want motorcycle use to continue.  He also gives significant preference to a private resort area that has now wants the nearby trails for their personal use over the general public.  He gives grazing permit holders preference over the general public to close trails that may possibly disturb cattle in the area of current motorized trails.  He has also closed a key public easement to only motorcycles that have been used by our recreation type for more than 40 years.  The Plan completely prevents motorcycles from using existing trails into Rico, CO for fuel and food.  In his Draft Decision the District Ranger provides much less restriction to all other users, only motorcycles get the axe and he announces this proudly. 

    San Juan Trail Riders made it clear to the Dolores District going into this TMP / EIS Process that we would work hard with them to work out a plan and that we would accept no net loss of trail miles in the end.  We recommended multiple opportunities and options to replace the trail miles they wanted to designate as non-motorized.  They refused to consider even one option.

    We recommend that each of you take the opportunity to log on to the USFS Dolores District site and read the EIS Draft Decision for Rico/West Dolores.

    Rest assured that we will be reviewing the entire document very carefully over the next short period of time to assess potential objections that we will submit during this next step in the process.  We will keep you posted and abreast of any additional actions to be taken to preserve this historic riding area.


  • October 20, 2017 5:53 AM | Anonymous

    Informational reading that the Board wants to share.


    Top 10 Dirtbike Enemies

  • August 09, 2017 5:38 AM | Anonymous

    News Release

    HERMOSA TRAILS TO BE IMPACTED BY BLASTING OPERATIONS THIS WEEK AND NEXT

     

     

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  DURANGO, Colorado – August 8, 2017 – Blasting operations will be taking place this week and next week in the Hermosa Creek Special Management Area as part of construction activities for the Hermosa Creek Confluence Fish Barrier. When blasting operations occur, the Hermosa Creek Trail and West Cross Trail will be closed for up to two-hour intervals. Exact timing will be dependent on weather and other factors.  U.S. Forest Service personnel will be onsite to discuss the project with trail users and to ensure the public remains a safe distance from blasting operations.   

     

    The fish-barrier construction project will continue through early October, with temporary closures on these trails, as needed. Public notices will be posted when trail closures are expected. The fish-migration barrier is being installed on the main stem of Hermosa Creek downstream of its confluence with the East Fork of Hermosa Creek.  It represents the final and most important phase of the Hermosa Creek Colorado River Cutthroat Trout Reintroduction Project, which began almost 30 years ago.  The goal is to protect native cutthroat trout above the barrier from non-native fish located downstream.

     

    For more information, please contact the Columbine Ranger District at 970 884-2512.

     

    -USDA-

    USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

     

    Forest Service Shield

    Ann Bond 
    Public Affairs Specialist

    Forest Service

    San Juan National Forest

    p: 970-385-1219 
    c: 970-799-1210 
    abond@fs.fed.us

    15 Burnett Court
    Durango, CO 81301
    www.fs.fed.us 
    USDA LogoForest Service TwitterUSDA Facebook

    Caring for the land and serving people



  • June 13, 2017 10:10 AM | Anonymous

    To Everyone:


    We know that everyone is very anxious to get to the high country trails and enjoy the cool and scenic atmosphere we find in the exciting and challenging single-track trail riding experience in and around the Rico/West Dolores Colorado trail system.

    Fortunately and unfortunately the area received higher than average snowfall this season and many of the trails above 10,500 ft. are still partially blocked by large snow drifts and un-cleared downfall.  The reports from the Forest Service trail crews are that a few riders (of which we believe are not associated with SJTR, PAPA or Timberline Trail-riders) are attempting to break through blocked trails by creating new routes around large downfall trees and blocking snowdrifts.  This is just not the kind of behavior that we want to support as it can potentially harm the resource and may even encourage further bad trail use behavior.  


    So, we are asking all of our members and other single-track motorized riders either in or out of our region to take very seriously any decision to plan rides on currently snow and downfall blocked high country trails for a few more weeks.  Yes, it often works out that small drifts can be ridden over or through without much difficulty.  However, not properly clearing trees and making new tracks around them is not the behavior any of us wants to see.  Riders of high country trails in the summer need to be fully prepared to clear downed logs or go directly over them until they can be properly cut out.  The best for everyone though is to properly saw them out when encountered.  If all of us dedicate ourselves and share with others the need to follow these behaviors, our trails can be properly preserved.  


    Thanks to everyone (and other riders you may coach) for making these trail riding considerations for the high country trails this season.  As it stands, there are many trails at lower elevations in the Dolores Ranger district that have been cleared and ready for your riding enjoyment.  Please contact the Dolores Ranger District in Dolores, CO. for more information.   Tom Rice is the recreation specialist there and a great guy to talk to.  He can be contacted at 970-882-6843 or cell at 970-749-6432 and thomasbrice@fs.fed.us., on changing trail conditions in areas you may want to go.   It is our hope that you have a great summer trail riding experience in the Dolores Ranger District should you plan to go there.  


    Respectfully,

    The San Juan Trail Riders Board of Directors


  • February 09, 2017 7:53 PM | Anonymous

    The TPA shared their Year End Report with us. It covers many of the success stories and one's ongoing.

    Take a look!

    TPA Report


  • October 25, 2016 6:23 AM | Anonymous

    From the Director’s Desk                                              October 24, 2016

    Allen Christy – Senior Director

    Re:  This season’s trail riding winds down.

    For the most of us it has been a great trail riding season.  Many, many days of great sun and good weather this year to enjoy the trail systems on the San Juan National Forest.  However, the leaves have all fallen, hunters are afield and the days are much cooler and shorter now.  Time to find good low altitude Fall and Winter recreation.  As many of you also know the BLM lands in and around the Four Corners Area can provide the cooler weather opportunities in a more desert-like environment.

    It is important I think to highlight some of the SJTR Organization activities that were on-going throughout the summer that many of our membership would not be aware of that continues to support continued trail riding opportunities on the San Juan National Forest going forward.  These activities/initiatives are as follows:

    • 1.       SJTR continues to draw names from our membership list and award monogrammed tie-down sets monthly.  A little perk for your membership.  To date 26 sets have been awarded.

    • 2.      Members have worked on rehabilitating the Box Canyon Trail this year on both the West and East sides.  It is now fully ride-able again.  It has not had any work for over 30 years. 

    • 3.      An over-grown section of the Morrison Trail had to have much of the overgrowth trimmed back before the forest took over the trail.  In early season a SJTR team cleared Morrison of heavy downfall. 

    • 4.      Most all trails in the system (Cortez/Mancos and Rico/West Dolores) were cleared early in the season by SJTR teams so that everyone could enjoy warm weather riding. 

    • 5.      One SJTR Club Ride was organized in Echo Basin in August.  14 riders participated.  Lots of doughnuts and orange juice got them going.

    • 6.      SJTR Staff officers continued staying involved in both the Forest Service Rico/West Dolores EIS and Hermosa Creek trail management processes which have strong potentials of impacting future single-track motorized recreation in these areas.

    • 7.      Several members continued the development of the Old Gold Run Trail connector that was promised by the Forest Service to be reviewed for opening to single-track recreation almost 6 years ago.  It is still under study.

    • 8.      Two of your SJTR staff members continue to hold seats on the State Trails Advisory groups and vote in your best interests

    These few activities underscore the amount of work and involvement that your SJTR Organization provides to help keep single-track motorized trail recreation “alive and well” in and around the San Juan National Forest system of trails.

    I personally observed much more activity on our local trails this year from out-of-state riders.  I met several groups of 7-9 riders from Utah, Wyoming, California and Arizona while I was out on trail work days.  They all raved about the quality of our trail systems vs. what they have in their own areas.  We are truly fortunate to have such recreation resources right here at home.  I expect the out-of-state rider interest to grow by word of mouth.

    I hope that this short review of some of the on-going work by your SJTR leadership team will encourage you to continue your membership and know that we are continually working on your behalf.  Yes, we would like to have more club activities that we know you much enjoy.  Yes, we are always thinking of more perks for members that we may be able to provide as an organization.  Yes, we wish more members were paid up on their dues (currently less than 20% of our members have paid-up dues).  All of these wishes take resources in both manpower and time to make it all happen.  Please don’t hesitate to make any recommendations that you think would enhance our organization.  We are always open to those ideas.  A simple e-mail back to Brad Carey, our IS manager, will get routed to the right person for a response. 

    The SJTR Board of Directors much appreciates your continued membership and on-going support to help keep our chosen recreation available for now and for those coming up in the sport in the future.

    Sincerely,

    Allen Christy – Senior Director

    For:  The SJTR Board of Directors

     

  • August 19, 2016 8:54 AM | Anonymous

    Hi members and friends!

    Here's an opportunity to join a well-organized event in the Buena Vista area. Though primarily an ATV event they do allow motorcycles too understanding the pace will be at the ATV level.


    We are having our annual ATV Historical Color Tour September 20-24th The website for our event is http://coloradoohvtour.org/ . 

    This tour takes riders around to old mining towns, ghost towns and showcases the best of Colorado’s fall colors and ends with a pig roast!


    Have fun!

  • July 07, 2016 8:10 AM | Anonymous

    Thanks to weather conditions which have contributed to the trails drying up we will be hosting a ride July 10. The ride will start at the Echo Basin parking lot at 10:00 A.M. sharp. Riders should pack food and water as we will have lunch on the trail.  Depending on who shows up and which trails we ride we would expect to be back to the trucks by 4:00 P.M.


    Directions - From Durango head west on Hwy 160 towards Mancos.

    Approximately 2 miles before Mancos turn right on CR44 / FS Road 566.

    Continue on 566 for approximately 5 miles past Weber Reservoir to the parking lot. 


    See you there!

  • June 16, 2016 10:50 AM | Anonymous

     

    Dear Participant,

    I am extending the public comment period for the Rico West Dolores Roads and Trails (Travel Management) Project.  A 45-day comment period that began on Friday, May 6, was originally scheduled to end on June 20, 2016.  This date has been extended to July 15, 2016 (an additional 25 days).  The Draft Environmental Impact Statement and the electronic comment form will remain available on the San Juan National Forest website at

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=44918 

    If you have questions feel free to call the office at 970-882-7296 and ask for Debbie Kill, Tom Rice or myself. 

    Comments received including names and addresses will become part of the public record. 

    Thank you for your participation thus far and your continued interest in this project.  

    Derek Padilla

    Dolores District Ranger

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