Correcting the record on proposed change to Second Gulch Trail’s 50-inch access law
Previous reporting on Town Council meeting contained incorrect information
At the Feb. 27 Eagle Town Council Meeting, the town’s Open Space and Recreation Director Brian Lieberman presented a recommendation from the Open Space and Recreation Advisory Committee to increase the motorized width limit of the Second Gulch Trail to 72 inches. However, this potential access for wider off-highway vehicles to Second Gulch sparked concern among community members, especially those who live nearby the trail.
A Vail Daily article that was published in the Thursday, March 9, print edition covered the proposed 72-inch motor vehicle access to Second Gulch Trail in Eagle and stated that the town worked with the Bureau of Land Management to reduce the width of the Second Gulch Trail, which is incorrect. The town worked with the Bureau of Land Management to enforce the 50-inch motor vehicle access restrictions that had already been in place on the trail, per the town’s municipal code.
The 50-inch parameters had originally been established to limit access for game retrieval, not recreation. Last year, the town worked with the Bureau of Land Management to install 50-inch gates to enforce the pre-existing law after motorized users in vehicles wider than 50 inches had continually accessed Second Gulch, causing damage to the trail and infrastructure.
Within the 50-inch parameters that the trail currently has, popular off-highway vehicles that are around 72 inches in size don’t have access. Currently, off-road motor vehicles such as dirt bikes are permitted on the trail. However, the Open Space and Recreation Committee recommended the access be opened to side-by-side and other wide recreational motor vehicles so locals with these machines have somewhere to recreate near home.
Several residents nearby the Second Gulch Trail have expressed concerns regarding this proposed access change. Many said they were opposed to 72-inch motor vehicle access due to increased noise, traffic, erosion and concerns over safety and wildlife.
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Due to the concerns communicated by community members in the Feb. 27 Town Council Meeting, more input will be collected before Lieberman returns to the Town Council for a potential motion.