BMA Advocacy Mid Summer 2011 Update
BMA Advocacy team hardly had time to sit around and get down about the West TSA. A revisit to BCPOS' oldest management plan, the early beginning stages of redesigning one of our finest riding areas, figuring out how to plan and program Valmont Bike park and chasing the vision of an integrated system of trails to connect riding areas in the mountains has overwhelmed our team, but in a good way! There's plenty going on, and here is a synopsis...
City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks
Yes, the West TSA was a crushing disappointment. But it's too soon to really call it all a complete disappointment. There were promises made that, if they actually make it happen, could be looked upon quite positively in five to ten years from now. Eldo to Walker and Anenome Hill have a fighting chance of actually happening, and if they do, many of us on the Advocacy team will be eating crow and loving it. Anenome Hill goes to the Open Space Board of Trustees in August, so we'll have some answers quite soon.
Anenome Hill Goes to OSBT August 17
During the West TSA hearing, City Council directed OSBT staff to hire a 3rd party trail contractor to determine if a multiple use trail could be constructed in the Anenome Hill area. Contractors have been hired, and we believe they are good, reputable trail designers. Their findings and recommendations will be presented to OSBT during a study session August 9, and put to a vote on August 17. We have absolutely no idea what will be presented or recommended, although we do know that the one parcel that could link Anenome to Four Mile Canyon Drive is currently on the market. Unfortunately, this link was not specifically called out by Council to evaluate, and therefore could be ignored by OSMP and the scope of the work in the contract for the trail designer.
We will continue to monitor the situation and report our findings and assessment of the situation after the August 9 study session.
City of Boulder Parks and Recreation
BMA most recent agency partner is a joy to work with. The planning and construction of Valmont was a constant exercise in "how to find a way to get to 'yes'." We are still figuring out what "partnership" means in such a context. But Parks and Recreation got through a lot of issues with a positive attitude and the belief that we can and will work it out, so we can do the same. How many races in a month? Dual Slalom leagues? How does that work? We are taking the slow approach to programming and partnership as we burn in the trails at VBP. Positive attitudes are keeping us on track.
The pine beetle is decimating the forest above 7500 feet elevation. You've seen it yourself. West Mag is already showing signs of significant change: lodgepoles are dying, needles are falling off, the understory vegetation is getting thicker, meaning more fuel. What can we do to save one of the most loved trail areas in the county? Well, the USFS Boulder Ranger District, along with Wildland Restoration Volunteers and BMA have partnered to focus on the redesign, reconstruction and restoration of this popular riding area.
We have applied for and already won a $36,000 grant from the State Trails Committee for the redesign of the West Mag system. The USFS has brought together Boulder County's most effective Volunteer Land Stewardship organizations, BMA and WRV, to put together and execute a comprehensive plan to transform this area after logging into an even more popular recreation destination. Work has already begun to transform SugarMag into a more sustainable trail that will connect Nederland High School to the network higher on the hill. Expect to see more trails like ReRoot and crazier!
Walker Ranch Management Plan - 20 years ago Walker was THE premier mountain biking destination in Boulder County. Hey! It's a loop, and the only loop trail that was legal to ride. BMA, BOA back in the day, devoted thousands of volunteer hours working on the Loop or the Meyer's Homestead Trail.
Today, we see the possibility of leaving those old road beds behind and utilizing BCPOS crack Trail Crew to create a fun and sustainable trail system that makes sense for the park. We also see Walker Ranch as a critical piece of the puzzle in a county-wide trails system.... More on that later.