Letter: Red Cliff’s already got enough motorized backcountry travelers | VailDaily.com

Letter: Red Cliff’s already got enough motorized backcountry travelers

“Do no harm.” Seems like a worthy goal. Sometimes we fall short to varying degrees. Rocky Mountain Adventure Rental’s approved opportunity to install an outpost in downtown Red Cliff at the old Reno earlier this year so distraught an adjoining property owner and cherished neighbor that these locals are selling their home in search of a more nurturing community. Sad to see them go and we all wish them the best of luck (well, those of us who never wanted to see RMAR in town anyway).

There is something new in the works between the town council and RMAR, , an outfit that provides snowmobiles and ATVs for rent, and I wonder what unforeseen casualties, to what unwitting citizens, will be next as the assault unfolds.

With a new location planned for Red Cliff, increasing numbers of RMAR snowmobiles and other motorized rentals will degrade the serenity and beauty of our family town and put even more environmental pressure on our backcountry wilderness.

And, it’s not like they don’t understand the problem. Just read what RMAR said on its website about Red Cliff before they decided to push for a Red Cliff location.

“The access from Shrine Pass Road through the Vail Recreation District is what has made Red Cliff such a sought after location for snowmobile riders and other motorized backcountry travelers. Due to the increase in popularity through the years, Red Cliff has been in a constant struggle to keep noise pollution down while still accommodating the many motorized visitors. If you plan on using the recreation area for motorized backcountry use while visiting Red Cliff, we recommend that you use the nearby access points at Camp Hale for recreation and then visit Red Cliff to experience their unique artisan shops and have lunch or dinner at their famous Mango’s Restaurant. We only recommend this to help mitigate the noise that is already in town.”

We already have enough motorized backcountry travelers in Red Cliff and Shrine Pass. But the increased number of visitors encouraged and accommodated by RMAR’s new location in Red Cliff will be an order of magnitude worse. What will be the immediate consequences to Red Cliff? What will be the consequences 10 years from now on one of Colorado’s most unique wild areas as the environmental pressures continue to grow?

Dr. Lindsey Nelson and associates at RMAR are in it for the commercial business. Who is looking out for our community and future?

Jake Spears

Red Cliff