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Join us for some trail work April 26!

Trail Work Project at Heil Valley Ranch on April 26

The Boulder Area Trails Coalition is providing a great opportunity to help restore the trails in Boulder County Parks and Open Space in an area dramatically impacted by September’s flooding.  Volunteers will be reconstructing Heil Valley Ranch’s trails with handtools to faciliate the opening of trails in the southern end of the park.  There might be a significant amount of hiking along the Wapiti Trail, so please come ready to work outside and to be on the move.

This is a morning project that will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 26.  We will meet at the Geer Canyon parking lot that is still closed to the public, so it is very important that you arrive on time.  We will close the gate and no one will be allowed in after we begin.  Snacks will be provided, but please plan on bringing any other food you might need.  The minimum age is 12 years old with adult supervision.  To register or to acquire more information, please contact Fletcher Jacobs at 303-678-6344 or fjacobs@bouldercounty.org.  To ensure that you are a part of the Boulder Area Trails Coalition group at this project, mention that fact to Fletcher and be sure to copy Chris Morrison at chris-morrison@comcast.net when you register.

Eldora Mountain Resort Planning Process Needs YOU!

ARP LogoThe Draft EIS for the Eldora Mountain Resort (EMR) has just been released. You can look for it at www.eldoraeis.com under Project Library. There is a 45-day comment period, which ends around April 14.

There will be two open houses, one in Nederland on March 25 (Nederland Community Center, 5-8pm) and one in Boulder on March 26 (Boulder West Senior Center, 5-8pm).

We might have expected them to expound on the need to protect things like narrowleaf moonworts and lesser panicled sedges, and to opine extensively on the need for new ski terrain.

But their proposed actions will be detrimental to summer trail-based recreation.

BATCO has repeatedly asked for:

1) improved — not reduced — access to the existing Jenny Creek Trail system and parking for it near Peterson Lake

2) more — not fewer — parking spaces at Hessie to access the Indian Peaks Wilderness

3) a trailhead at the Eldora ski area to accommodate oversized vehicles (e.g. horse trailers) and a trail to the Lost Lake area which would enable equestrians to access the National Forest.

The proposed EIS will make things worse — not better — in every instance.  Requests from the public to “accommodate dispersed recreation with additional parking in the EMR base area and a summer/winter trail… with a trail from the EMR parking lot to the current Hessie/Fourth of July Road trailhead… [which] would ease some of the parking issues at the current Hessie trailhead” were summarily dismissed in the Draft EIS because, the authors claim, “the concept does not address the identified Purpose and Need, the EMR parking lots are located on private land, and the issue is beyond the scope of this EIS and better addressed through trailhead management.”

We disagree.  To be fair, they haven’t (yet) chosen a Preferred Alternative. In fact, on page 2-79 they say “At this time, considering the environmental impacts to public lands and the opportunities for use of those lands that would benefit the most people over the longest term, the Responsible Official has not identified a preferred alternative. Following review of public and agency comments on this DEIS, the Responsible Official will make a final determination as to which alternative, in part or in whole, best serves the public interest on NFS lands. Based on public agency comments, modification of the preferred alternative may occur between Draft and Final EIS.”

Click here for maps with proposed trails

BATCO asks all trail advocates to write to the Forest Service (www.eldoraeis.com and/or eperault@fs.fed.us) and BCPOS (jatherton-wood@bouldercounty.org) supporting summer use of the Eldora Mountain Resort parking lot, a new trail to Lost Lake, and/or at least some trailer parking at Hessie, before it’s too late.

And please attend one of the open houses, and bring your friends. Remember, the world is run by those who show up!

Just Say NO to the Rights of Nature