Opening Park County Trails and Keeping Them Opened!


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Date Posted: September 5, 2017

Important information about the trails in Wildcat Canyon.

The trails in the Wildcat Canyon have continued to deteriorate at a disturbing rate. This is not good news for 4-wheel drive enthusiasts.

The Pike San Isabel lawsuit is still in progress. Even though there are organizations that support our concerns and are on top of the situation; the Forest Service has conducted closed-door meetings with anti-access groups. The Trail Preservation Alliance and COHVCO have notified the Forest Service that these exclusive closed-door meetings may be violating the law.

The Forest Service allowed motorists use of the trails but unfortunately motorists are also using the closed trails and the Forest Service does not have the resources to stop them.

Volunteers in the motorized community have offered to help with the trail maintenance but the Forest Service has declined their offers.

The Forest Service said there is too much sediment run off at the river. They haven't had the funding to find the true cause so they decided to close the trails to motorized vehicles, even though the actual cause could be attributed to bikers, hikers, environmental issues, animals and weather conditions.

Adding markers to help keep users on the trails and placing a sign at the river with guidelines on the proper use of the area could provide additional guidance for users who might be unaware of the concerns. The Forest Service acknowledges that educating users is the best answer to protecting public lands but they have dismissed requests to add these markers that would help make Wildcat Canyon a self-guided educational classroom.

Proper use of the trails
Over the years, 4-wheel drive groups adopted these trails, maintained them at their own expense and guided others in the proper use of the trails.

We can all help educate users why these areas are unique and how to properly use the trails in public lands so the trails can be opened and enjoyed by the motorized community.

Here are some suggestions on how you can help:
• Don't drive on the closed trails.
• Teller Country trails are open because Teller County adopted those trails and allowed motorized vehicles access to those trails.
• Support the businesses in Teller County which support motorized recreation.
• Contact Teller County commissioners and thank them for supporting motorized vehicles in public lands.

www.co.teller.co.us

Write to:
Teller County Commissioners Office
PO Box 959

Cripple Creek, CO 80813

Phone: 719.689.2988
Fax: 719.686.7900


• Contact the Park County commissioners office and request that they adopt the Park County trails so they can remain opened to motorized vehicles.

Write to:
Park County Commissioners Office
501 Main Street

Fairplay, CO 80440

Phone: 719-836-2771

Fax: 719-836-3273


• If you vote in Park County, contact the Park County commissioners to share your concerns about trail closures in the Wildcat Canyon and ask the commissioners for their support.
• If you see anyone not respecting public lands take a minute to educate them.
• Guide users to visit websites such as “Stay the trail in Colorado” to learn proper use of motorized vehicles on trails.
www.staythetrail.org
• Offer to take new users on a trail ride to show them proper respect and use of public lands.
• Support organizations such as the Trail Preservation Alliance www.coloradotpa.org and COHVCO www.cohvco.org. Both of these local organizations are supporting the use of motorized vehicle in public lands.
• Support organizations such as Blue Ribbon Coalition (Share Trails) www.sharetrails.org which is supporting the use of motorized vehicles in public lands on a national level.

Now is your chance to take action to do more. Support these organizations and contact the representatives to voice your concerns.



TRAIL STATUS
Teller County:


June 25, 2017
We received several calls from concerned users about the abandoned 2008 Chevrolet left on the trails. We contacted Park County and the Forest Service and were able to remove the abandoned vehicle with the help of volunteers.

Forest Service 540 is still closed. Longwater is still closed at the county line. The Forest Service opened Hackett Forest Service 220 to the river and currently has no plans to close it.

Be aware that burnt trees are rotting, falling and blocking the trails in certain areas. Be prepared and equipped to remove fallen trees from the trails. Please do not drive around them or create short cuts. The trails are open with the cooperation of Teller County. Staying on the trails is critical to keeping them open.


TRAIL STATUS
Teller County:


March 23, 2017
The trails remain closed at the Teller County line. The trails include: Longwater Gulch FS 221, Hackett Crossover FS 220A, Corral Creek FS 540 trails. Metberry FS 205 is open to the Platte River. Hackett FS 220 was opened by the Forest Service, but keep in mind there is not a maintenance agreement for Park County, so the trails may be more hazardous in Park County.

August 25, 2016
The Forest Service meeting was held on August 25, 2016. The purpose of the meeting was to speak out so the trails at Wildcat Canyon (the Gulches) could be fully opened to four wheel enthusiasts
We asked four wheel enthusiasts to get behind our effort to open the trails by spreading the word to friends, neighbors and colleagues to join us at the Forest Service meeting to show your support. A BIG turnout by local and vocal residents was vital to ensure the future of the Canyon. More than 100 people attended.

Why it mattered to attend:
1. Park County submitted an easement request twice because prior requests were lost.
2. The area has been maintained mostly by user groups for the past 25 years.
3. User groups have demonstrated how much they value this area by keeping it well maintained - often at their own expense!
4. Volunteer involvement in the area has been very high and will continue to be high if we care enough to voice our concerns.

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May 26, 2015
Over the last several weeks Colorado has experienced a large amount of rain; as a result, the trails can be unpredictable. Trees can often fall across the trials and washouts can occur. As always, be prepared to cut trees that may have fallen down and block the trail. Trail maintenance will be planned after the rains subside in the coming weeks.
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May 6, 2015 - Please stay on the trails and respect any side route closures. A number of the trails remain closed.
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June 2, 2014

The Forest Service has listed FS220 on the Federal Registry as open. So for now, Hackett Gulch is open all the way to the river. The Forest Service didn't intend to open this trail, they actually intended to open only the ATV trail. As a result, they must now go through normal channels to close it again. Closing the trail may happen at any time. We will post updates as soon as we receive news of the progress on these trails.
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February 6, 2014

Park County has decided to resubmit their application for the trails in Park County with the intent that doing so will speed up the process. They are resubmitting the application with a cover letter which explains the application was first submitted in 2010 and it was lost by the Forest Service. Their desire is that by taking additional action steps, it will give this project the priority it deserves.
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October 13, 2013

We wanted to keep you updated and informed on the status of the trail openings. The trails are there for all to enjoy. Through your continued support and interest, more trails are in the process of being opened.


TRAIL STATUS
Teller County:

- The trails in Teller County are now open for your enjoyment. Please stay on the trails and respect any side route closures.

Park County:
- Trails in Park County have been closed since the Haymen fire in 2002. They remain closed as of October 2013. We have had many meetings with various Park County Commissioners. Park County has agreed to adopt these trails from the Forest Service.

Park County's application had been lost by the Forest Service; however, progress is being made to find that application and move it forward. Once found and accepted, another meeting with Park County will take place to confirm adoption. Work will need to be done to bring these trails up to par before they are opened to the public. Please respect their closures while the process plays out. We will update the website as progress is made and we will let you know when volunteers are needed to do any work to open the remaining trails.


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August 1, 2013

Subject: Results of the meeting with Predator 4WD, Teller County and the Forest Service
that took place on July 15, 2013.

Predator 4WD is continuing to work with Teller County and the Forest Service to keep the trails open and we will keep you updated on the status of these trail openings.


TRAIL STATUS
Metberry Trail:

- Metberry remains open to the Platte River and the trail is in good condition.
- There is one unauthorized route that will be closed at the bottom of Chicken Scratch hill.

Hacket Trail:
- Hacket is closed at the Teller County Line.
- The gate has been taken down at the Hackett/Teller County line, but the trail below remains closed and tickets can be issued for violations.

Longwater Trail:
- Longwater is closed at the Teller County Line.
- Longwater's water bars are washed out because of the recent rains, which is making the trail a bit more challenging.

We encourage you to follow the forest service guidelines and stay on the trails. Teller County acknowledged that they are pleased with the respect that users show on the trail system. By observing their requests and staying on the trails, we can all look forward to enjoying our adventures and our time on these great trails.


Are You Interested in Helping to Keep the Trails Open?
Predator 4WD, LLC continues to work with Teller County and the Forest Service to open the Park County Trails. Those interested in helping can join and/or contribute to COHVCO under the S.O.S. program. Individuals can purchase a S.O.S sticker at Predator 4WD or on line at http://www.cohvco.org/

The funds will be used for opening the trails and keeping the trails opened. Even if you’re already a member of COHVCO, buying a sticker helps the legal defense funding.

To be added to a volunteer email list, please email jerry@predator4wd.com with the subject of "Volunteer" and we will add you to the volunteer email. Thank you for your continued support!
























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