Off-road vehicle enthusiasts give another gift to land managers in Routt County | SteamboatToday.com
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Off-road vehicle enthusiasts give another gift to land managers in Routt County

Scott Franz
An ATV tour departs the Hahn's Peak Roadhouse Thursday afternoon on a trail system that goes around the iconic mountain in North Routt County.
Scott Franz

Endowment fund raising funds for trails

A new trail maintenance endowment fund has raised $66,000 for non-motorized, multi-use trail upkeep in Routt and Moffat counties.

A board consisting of land managers and citizens will eventually decide how to disperse the funds on maintenance projects.

The fund launched in November, 2015, after local land managers made it clear they didn't have enough funds in their own budgets to take on the responsibility of maintaining miles of new trails that were being created with the backing of millions of dollars in lodging tax funds.

The creators of the fund hope it will generate at least $1 million in contributions in the next eight to 10 years.

They also hope it will prevent the Forest Service and other land managers from having to impose new fees to cover the costs of maintenance.

To learn more or to donate, visit yvcf.org/trails or call 970-879-8632.

— A club of off-road vehicle enthusiasts who enjoy revving their engines in the Routt National Forest recently unveiled a shiny new toy that will help to build and maintain motorized trails in the Routt National Forest and beyond.

Timberline Trailriders last week presented the new mini-excavator to U.S. Forest Service officials here in Routt County.

The equipment will be loaned out to local land managers for trail maintenance on motorized vehicle routes. It could also be used to maintain trails near Grand Junction.

The Timberline Trailriders, a more than 40-year-old club made up mostly of motorcycle and dirtbike enthusiasts, secured the excavator with grant funding from the Colorado State Trails Committee.

To date, the club has obtained more than $1.4 million in grants for such things as trail maintenance in the Routt National Forest.

“We like to put our money where our mouth is, and we’re trying to expand our sport a little bit,” said Rene Waters, the club’s director of operations.

Waters, who lives in Greeley, enjoys riding his KTM 450 off-road motorcycle on the trails here in Routt County.

He said the club has also recently obtained planning grants that could soon help the Forest Service expand some motorized trails in North Routt County so that more loops are created.

And every June, dozens of club members armed with chainsaws gather in Little Red Park on motorcycles and then fan out to clear fallen timber from several miles of trail.

“These kinds of partnerships are super important to us and the public,” Hahn’s Peak Ranger District recreation program manager Kent Foster said Wednesday.

Foster said the Timberline Trailriders’ ability to secure grant funding generated by off-highway vehicle registrations are a big reason there are more than 100-miles of maintained motorized trails in the area.

The Trailriders are on a long list of partners the Forest Service relies on to support local recreation in the backcountry.

Other such organizations that help to maintain recreational opportunities on the National Forest include Friends of the Wilderness, Routt County Riders, a trio of snowmobile organizations and Friends of the Backcountry, among others.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10


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