Gypsum trails session nets big response from rec groups
GYPSUM — When they announced plans for an open house to discuss future biking, hiking and motorized trails around the community, Gypsum officials urged residents to attend and offer their expertise regarding the topic.
More than 60 interested citizens took them up on that offer.
“We had representatives from everything from full-sized four-wheel-drive vehicles to ATVs and side-by-sides to mountain bikers and hikers and even the agricultural community,” said Gypsum Town Manager Jeff Shroll. “This meeting wasn’t just for mountain bikers, and the town wanted to create an experience for everybody. The goal was to get everyone in the same room.”
On that count, the session was a success, with residents sharing thoughts about everything from where trails can connect to existing networks to how recreational users impact agriculture.
“There are cattle leases up there right now and we need to educate people about closing gates,” Shroll said. “One of the key things we want to do next is get in touch with the agriculture people to find out where are the gates that are not being closed.”
As Gypsum contemplates how it can launch trail development on its lands, Shroll noted the town plans to work closely with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management as it implements the Hardscrabble Travel Management Plan. That plan includes up to 18 miles of new trails in the Hardscrabble area, and there is an opportunity to link many of those trails to the Buckhorn Valley, Saddleridge and Spring Creek areas in Gypsum.
“That (connections to the Hardscrabble trail network) is going to be part of our trail inventory,” Shroll said. “For all of the users, we need their help to identify a variety of trail opportunities.”
Shroll noted that information is also vital because it will help the town plan trailheads, parking areas and trail support services such as restrooms.
For more information
With the information from the open house now compiled, the town plans to launch a website where users can leave additional comments and feedback. The website address will be http://www.Explore Gypsum.com.
The town plans to send out a short trails survey to people who have provided their contact information and will be setting up meetings with representatives from various user groups to develop its trails plan. Additionally, Gypsum staff will be meeting with BLM personnel to learn about proper procedure as it begins its trail planning work.
As for funding, Shroll said the town anticipates spending its 2017 funds on studies and planning and will likely set aside construction money as early as 2018.
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