Avon Town Council slated to review motorized access from Wildridge to National Forest on May 8 | VailDaily.com

Avon Town Council slated to review motorized access from Wildridge to National Forest on May 8

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Carolanne Powers rides a snowmobile near Red and White Mountain north of Avon in Eagle County. The Avon Town Council will hold a work session on Tuesday, May 8, to discuss winter motorized access options to U.S. Forest Service areas north of town.

AVON — The Avon Town Council will hold a work session on Tuesday, May 8, to discuss winter motorized access options to U.S. Forest Service areas north of town. The session is expected to begin at approximately 7 p.m.; however, the time is subject to change.

Currently, motorized access from the valley to areas of Red and White Mountain is limited to Muddy Pass, Berry Creek (U.S. Forest Service Road 774) or Red Sandstone Road. Winter access from the Wildridge Subdivision, including Metcalf Creek Road (USFS 779) at the top Wildridge, was closed in 2014 to implement the 2011 White River National Forest Travel Management Plan.

The town of Avon recently commented on the Berlaimont Estates Access Project, since that proposal includes the construction of a permanent year-round parking facility at Berry Creek (USFS 774). The town requested a delay in that final decision until all options have been exhausted for winter motorized access.

The comments were provided in response to a 2014 Memo of Understanding with the Forest Service that was negotiated when the town withdrew its successful appeal of the White River National Forest Travel Management Plan's stipulated closure of Metcalf Creek (USFS 779).

Also under consideration is the potential for expansion of the parking area accessed from June Creek Trail Road on the west side of Wildridge, via USFS 717.1B. Year-round motorized access at this location could result in several fewer miles of forest road leading to June Creek Road and a better overall winter recreation experience.

Public comments are welcome, and the Avon Town Council is expected to provide direction on a preferred winter motorized access alternative at the work session. Written public comments on the subject can be provided to Debbie Hoppe, town clerk, not later than noon on the meeting date, Tuesday, May 8.

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For more information, contact Matt Pielsticker, planning director, at 970-748-4413 or mpielsticker@avon.org. All Town Council meetings can be streamed live and are archived online at http://www.highfivemedia.org/series/avon-town-council.