Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

12 Mar 2014

Blogger asks City officials for permission to build freeride features, denied for a third time

Posted by Adam Howell


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This blogger asked City of Durango officials to revisit a previous request of Ben Bain and I to adopt existing trails on City open space lands and build optional freeride features there.

Part of our request to the City was also to encourage directional travel on Star Wars Trail in Test Tracks, aka Overend Mountain Park.

Star Wars Trail in Test Tracks was one trail where Ben Bain and I had requested permission to do maintenance and build freeride features. We also asked the City to encourage directional travel on the Trail.

Star Wars Trail in Test Tracks was one trail where Ben Bain and I had requested permission to do maintenance and build freeride features. We also asked the City to encourage directional travel on the Trail.

It was all turned down for a third time by Durango’s Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Metz and the Natural Lands Board at their meeting on Monday night.

Metz said that the issue would be discussed further with the City’s new Natural Surface Trails Committee before our request to build features and do maintenance is revisited.

“There needs to be public engagement, because there’s lots of people that are interested in this topic,” said Metz. “We sort of want to talk it through on the Committee level, and then bring it back and fill the community in on this so they can help us out with this conversation.”

Meanwhile, the City is destroying freeride features on City open space lands at an increasing rate, with Metz implementing this effort, citing the fact that the features were not approved of by the City in some official capacity.

La Plata Open Space Conservancy holds the conservation easements for most of the City’s open space lands where much of the City’s destruction is taking place.

Metz said that she had her staff destroy several freeride features in Horse Gulch at the request of La Plata Open Space Conservancy’s Executive Director Amy Schwarzbach. Schwarzbach later confirmed those requests to Metz, telling this blogger that the conservation easements for those lands barred the existence of structures there that were not approved of by City officials.

The request was made based on site monitoring data that was collected, said Schwarzbach and Metz.

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