Foundation awards grants to repair trails in Steamboat area
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Donations toward a trail maintenance fund are being put to work.
With the voter-approved initiative to build millions of dollars worth of new trails in the Steamboat Springs area using lodging tax dollars, the 2A trails group has been looking to the future and how to protect the investment.
The Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund was created and a goal of raising between $1 million and $1.5 million in eight years was set. So far, the endowment, which is managed by the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, has raised just over $203,000.
The interest generated from the fund is being used to issue grants yearly.
If the $1 million goal is reached, $60,000 in grants could be issued annually.
The money collected is already being put to use for the second year.
The Community Foundation recently announced about $4,300 will be distributed next year for two of the eight grant applications that were submitted.
The popular Uranium Trail near Fish Creek Falls has been awarded $2,000 by the grant committee, which is composed of four land managers, a representative from the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and two community members.
According to the Community Foundation, the U.S. Forest Service plans to add the trail as an official trail by addressing signage and overall maintenance.
The total cost to repair the Uranium Trail is estimated at $3,000, and the U.S. Forest Service plans to contribute funds to the project as well.
The other maintenance project the grant committee pledged funds toward is $2,300 for the Wyoming Trail near Summit Lake in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area.
Before the trail was designated a wilderness area, it was a jeep road. The money will be used to rework the trail so it is a single path.
Parts of the trail are designated as the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.
Several organizations are working to improve that trail, including the Forest Service, the Steamboat Chamber and Friends of Wilderness.
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