John Putnam's Motion to allow bikes on anenome Hill
John Putnam moved the Open Space Board of Trustee recommend that the City council amend the West Trail Study Area Plan to include a four to five mile multi-use loop for pedestrian, cycle, and equestrian uses based on the proposed main loop system with hiker connections as a starting point alternative (three votes) or the main loop shared use (one vote) subject to modification including significant modification as determined during the final design and construction process, particularly for habitat protection in general and especially in the northern section with the following conditions:
- The direct link to Boulder Canyon not be pursued at this time. Consideration of a possible connector to Four Mile Canyon should be deferred, pending the results of the possible acquisition of the land interests and completion of ecological and trail/recreational investigations.
- Staff shall work with consultants and stakeholders to refine the conceptual loop plan and reduce impacts to Abert's squirrel and other habitat. This should include avoidance of the drainage on the southwest portion of the proposed loop.
- OSMP will designate the natural area portions of the Anemone Hill sub-area as on-trail use only unless permits are obtained in light of the sensitive habitat resources and adjacent private property associated with this sub-area. This designation shall be based on the management area strategies identified on page 50 of the Visitor Master Plan, which allows targeted on-trail use requirements for specific natural areas with sensitive resources. The designation should not prejudge whether on-trail requirements are appropriate in any other natural area. Off-trail use can continue on the passive recreation area portions of the sub-area, including the eastern portion of the ridge on Anemone Hill, the Elephant Buttress area, and Red Rocks/Settlers Park. Further, this on-trail designation shall expire and be reconsidered by OSMP and OSBT two years after the opening of the trail.
- Staff should work to find researchers at Colorado University, Colorado State University, or elsewhere interested to develop independent research, based on this trail system, regarding the effects of Anemone construction and use on species of interest, possibly including the Abert's Squirrel, user interaction or other factors. The timing of the project should allow the development of adequate baseline information and, if possible, should coincide with the above two-year period.
- Staff should ensure that the trail use state-of-the-art and innovative construction, management and monitoring methodologies to monitor and manage resource impacts. This could include the innovative use of mobile phone and other technology to allow easier user communication regarding trail conditions, resource conditions (such as weeds, erosion or other issues), user conflicts, etc. Osmp should have the goal of this project being a model for sustainable trail construction and management.
- Prior to initiation of construction, OSMP shall work with stakeholders and the Board to develop and approve an adaptive management plan for the Anemone trail system, to include baseline condition data and measures regarding resource protection and user interaction. The plan should address the initial or potential future use of management tools such as limits of acceptable change, directional requirements and nighttime use.
- OSMP staff shall work with other city departments and other entities to encourage use of bike lanes, bike paths and other means of access to Anemone and discourage automobile access for cycling use. The department should also evaluate designating more spaces within the existing Settlers Park and Centennial Trailheads for handicapped or older users, along with families with small children. Able cyclists, hikers, and runners should be encouraged strongly to use bicycles, transit, or other parking.
The motion passed with a 4:1 vote. Allyn Feinberg dissented by a hand vote.
NOTE: After John Putnam offered the motion there was much discussion among the Board. Previous to the final outcome of the vote, Allyn Feinberg commented that she was more inclined to consider mountain biking opportunities further away from the proposed conceptual loops and therefore would not vote in favor of the proposed motion.