Letter: Recent Mad Rabbit trails project coverage
Recently, we at Routt County Riders have fielded multiple inquiries concerning recent articles in Steamboat Pilot & Today regarding the Mad Rabbit Trails Project, notably, “Forest Service delays start on Mad Rabbit trails project.” We hope to offer some context in the following letter.
The recently reported “delay” is simply administrative to allow for the placement of a new district ranger prior to instituting the next round of public comment and objection periods. The project is not on hold, and the process remains underway as planned.
The involvement of Colorado Parks and Wildlife with this project is not new. The U.S. Forest Service has been working with CPW since the inception of the project. In addition, the lengthy Forest Service NEPA process considers impact on all natural resources, including wildlife. Forest Service specialists have been working diligently to ensure the Mad Rabbit trails are placed appropriately in the natural landscape. In fact, wildlife and other concerns have already resulted in the elimination of a significant portion of the original trails proposal inventory.
When considering the published quote attributed to 2A Trails Committee member Jason Landers, “Maybe we can open up the book again and ask the city if there were more core trails that needed to be built or (if) Howelsen needed new trails,” please understand that Mr. Landers was a founding member of Keep Routt Wild, a group that formed specifically to oppose the Mad Rabbit trails project. His views are not representative of the 2A Trails Committee as a whole, which has consistently voted to continue funding the Mad Rabbit project.
If you agree with the over 71% of local voters who approved the allocation of lodging tax dollars to improving and expanding our local trail network, please look for the upcoming announcement requesting public comment on the Mad Rabbit trails project. At Routt County Riders, we believe the Mad Rabbit project is critical to improving our local trail network, and we have been working hard to advocate for the Mad Rabbit trails project in the face of significant opposition.
If you agree with us, we urge you to please join the effort to ensure the Mad Rabbit project continues to fruition. Your voice matters.
Routt County Riders board of directors vice president
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On Tuesday, Peak Health Alliance, a nonprofit, locally-led insurance purchasing alliance, gave a presentation to the Routt County commissioners. We attended the meeting (remotely), and this is what we learned: