Mad Rabbit Trails environmental assessment to be released Monday
After a longer than anticipated wait, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service will release a draft environmental assessment for the Mad Rabbit Trails project on Monday, Oct. 24, according to a news release on Thursday, Oct. 20.
Following publication of a legal notice, there will be a 30-day public comment period on the draft assessment and subsequent proposed action.
The Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District believes the proposed action strikes a balance of managing a sustainable, diverse trail system while minimizing impacts to natural resources.
“Our established relationships within the community have allowed us to work alongside partners, cooperators, and stakeholders while honing this proposal,” said Hahns Peak/Bears Ears District Ranger Michael Woodbridge. “Trail-based recreation opportunities for a variety of forest visitors will be improved while balancing potential resource impacts in high priority areas.”
An informational public meeting will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27, at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs on the second floor of the Academic Center building. Forest Service staff will provide information and answer questions. The in-person event will also have a virtual option at the project website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50917&exp=overview.
“This proposed action includes approximately 52 miles of new trails, associated trailhead improvements, and additional management actions that would provide opportunities for a variety of users, both in terms of skill levels and types of use (hiking, cycling, adaptive users, motorized). Most of the proposed trails would occur along the Highway 40 corridor, creating both short and longer trail opportunities for varying abilities and uses, with connections to the Buffalo Pass and Steamboat ski area,” read the release.
Additionally, 36 miles of illegal routes in the Rocky Peak, Strawberry Park Hot Springs and Rabbit Ears Pass areas will be rehabilitated to a natural state.
The description sounds similar to the Mad Rabbit 3.0 proposal released in early 2019.
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