[Cdt-l] Lujan to La Garita CDNST Relocation

Steven Camp wingnut.hiker at gmail.com
Tue Dec 4 14:12:03 CST 2012

As a lifelong resident of Colorado, I have to say that comparing the
potential for this new piece of trail to get overused by bicyclists as in
the Monarch Crest is extremely misleading.  

The Monarch Crest bike ride is a travesty and a environmental disaster.  It
is a commercially supported downhill bike ride with 3800' feet of descent
and of moderate difficulty. (A somewhat effortless downhill thrill ride.) It
is easy to access, being within two hours driving time of 3 million people.
A commercial shuttle operation takes cyclists to the top and they come
screaming down, day after day. 

By contrast, the area where this 32 miles of trail is going to be built is
very remote, much further away, and much less accessible.  The nearest towns
are Saguache and Gunnison, which are tiny population centers.  The proposed
new trail is not a downhill ride, but typical up and down trail terrain.
There are numerous rides of the same caliber much closer to Denver.  There
is really no reason whatsoever to think people would travel 450 miles or
more for a day ride that can be found in one's backyard. 

It this is built it will be part of the Colorado Trail. CT people will build
it. They will adopt it. They will maintain it. It has always been the norm
for the CT and other trails in Colorado to be open to bicycles except in
wilderness areas. There are probably fewer than 100 or so people who ride
the CT end to end every year. That number is a realistic one for how much
use this new trail might get. A hiker might see a bicycle or two in this
area, but probably won't. The two times I have been through here I never saw
a cyclist other than myself. 

As someone who has both thru-hiked, thru-biked and been on trail crews
building and maintaining the CT, I can tell you emphatically that it is the
best built, best maintained trail in Colorado. The road walk that this new
trail will replace consists of some nasty jeep trails which are just as
unpleasant to mountain bikers as they are to hikers. 

Yours for non motorized multi-use, and sharing...

(PCT 2005  CT 2007, 2009  GET 2008, CDT 2010)  

-----Original Message-----
From: cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net [mailto:cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net]
On Behalf Of Jim Wolf
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2012 8:38 PM
To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
Subject: [Cdt-l] Lujan to La Garita CDNST Relocation

The Forest Service has proposed to relocate the CDT for 32 miles in southern
Colorado -- from Lujan Creek to the La Garita Wilderness. (This is in the
Cochetopa Hills, south of Monarch Pass.)

The new alignment would be a nonroaded route close to the Continental Divide
and off the roads that have been used to date. Under the preferred
alternative, travel would be restricted to foot and equestrian use, and
mountain biking would not be allowed.

Although we have some concerns about water access and details of the
location, we generally endorse the Forest Service's proposal.

Mountain biking organizations are urging the Forest Service to open the
trail to mechanized users. With the nearby example of the bike freeway
between Monarch Pass and Marshall Pass in mind, we are urging the Forest
Service to hold to its understanding that mountain biking in this unspoiled
and scenic setting would not be consistent with the nature and purposes of
the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.

We have submitted comments to the Forest Service.

Our comments, with links to related information, have been posted in the
What's New section of our website, www.cdtsociety.org .

Please take a look at the materials we have posted. You can submit comments
(address posted on our site) by December 17.

We would appreciate your sending us your submissions or other thoughts on
this matter.
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