Public feedback, questions encouraged during Steamboat trails open house |

Public feedback, questions encouraged during Steamboat trails open house

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Those wanting to know how tax dollars have been spent and are going to be spent in the future are encouraged to attend an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in Steamboat Springs. The public event will be hosted by the 2A Trails Committee, which decides what projects to fund and how $5.1 million in accommodations tax dollars are spent.

“The open house is not a presentation,” said Winnie DelliQuadri, assistant to the city manager. “It’s just a series of tables with different topics.”

Representatives from the 2A committee will be present at the open along with officials representing the U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, which is trying to raise $1.5 million to maintain the trails in perpetuity.

“The most challenging thing is getting people to get that the 2A committee makes funding recommendations,” DelliQuadri said. “It’s up to the land manager to carry out their regular processes to build a trail.”

Almost all the trail projects occurring this summer are on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

Kent Foster, who has been working on the trail projects for the Forest Service, said his agency’s goal is to finish work on Buffalo Pass this summer.

One of the biggest projects will be building a downhill directional trail to take some of the pressure off Spring Creek Trail.

Farther up Buff Pass, Flash of Gold, Panorama, Grouse and BTR trails have been completed, although seasonal elk closures still impact some trails until June 15.

Signage still needs to be installed, but the 1.3-mile Panorama Trail loop is open.

“It’s great for beginners and hikers early season,” Foster said.

Also this year, the Forest Service hopes to complete planning for the Mad Rabbit Trails Project, which addresses the areas of Mad Creek, Rocky Peak and Rabbit Ears Pass.

The Forest Service and Parks and Wildlife are in the process of collecting public input for an environmental impact study.

“We’ve got resource issues that we’re trying to balance with recreation issues,” Foster said.

At times, new trail proposals have pit cyclists against conservationists.

“We had 60 people come to the last 2A trail meeting,” DelliQuadri said. “The 2A committee wants people to know what’s going on so their public comments will have the impact they want it to have.”

The open house will be held at Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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