Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

18 Apr 2015

Kitty Charmer, that new freeride trail on Raider Ridge that you love? City officials want it gone

Posted by Adam Howell


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About that new freeride trail on Raiders Ridge that you love for it’s drops, jumps, berms and tech–City officials know about it, and they already have it scheduled for closure.

Horse Gulch Special Emphasis Area-page-001Kitty Charmer Trail might be charming the kitties or freeriders, but it sure as hell isn’t charming officials with the City of Durango.

A draft Natural Surface Trails Analysis Report released by the City of Durango on Tuesday goes in the opposite direction recommended by most commenters on the initial Report released last October. It basically repeats the recommendations for closing most trails slated for closure recommended in the first draft with the exception of one: Hawks Nest Freeride Trail.

Why was Hawks Nest Freeride Trail not still color coded on the maps for closure? It’s most likely because that piece of land is NOT held under a conservation easement with La Plata Open Space Conservancy, a known opponent of all unsanctioned trails on City land that are primarily used by mountain bikers. Hawks Nest Freeride Trail also partially crosses over County land.

Among the higher profile trails slated for closure were the Dalla Mountain Freeride Trail aka the Phoenix Trail, as well as the new Kitty Charmer Trail on Raiders Ridge.

If the recommendations receive final approval by two City Boards at the next joint meeting, City officials will at some point send their rangers out to throw sticks, stones and duff all over these trails at the expense of taxpayers.

IMG_3429Some other obvious changes to City trails recommended in the Report: users will notice an inappropriate disruption of flow at the bottom of Brown’s Ridge in Overend Mountain Park, where multiple sections are planned for destruction, as well as some trail sabotage that the City is hoping to complete on the Grabens Loop in Overend Mountain Park.

Also of importance in the latest draft of this Report is the additional wording used to describe unapproved trails built for mountain bikers. At times, the Report reads like an editorial, using loaded subjective terminology like “damaged resources,” “habitat fragmentation,” “resource degradation,” and “soil erosion,” as were used without any real empirical scientific analysis to justify these claims.

Local haters of trails that are used mostly because of the aggressive terrain and features lauded by mountain bikers have long been known to use loaded words to describe the impacts that a trail has, or the behavior of those mountain bikers towards them during their encounters on the trails.

The problem is that with all of the words that this Report or other haters use to describe the impacts of these trails when compared with trails that they consider to be more  sustainable, none of them have been tested using replicable, unbiased, or objective scientific research.

In the City’s final draft Natural Surface Trails Analysis Report, you won’t find any real scientific analysis or data collected on the trails it recommends for closure, or even a control group, such as a model sustainable trail, to compare what they consider sustainable or environmentally friendly to that which it refers to as having “damaged resources” (page 3, Dalla Mountain Freeride Trail).

If City officials get their way in closing the trails that they mentioned in the Report, they’ve made a suggestion that they may be willing to work with Trails 2000 and advocates to find alternative locations adjacent to the existing official trail system to build new technical progressive trails. This a bit vague and possibly a temporary consolation for those reading in this report that their favorite trail is slated for closure.

Don’t expect any new construction projects off of Raider Ridge to gain City approval, though, as the Report says that any new progressive trail projects there may be difficult for the City to reach an approval stage on, given the ongoing illegal trail construction that’s been taking place there.

Sign this compiled-signature petition resisting closure of Kitty Charmer Trail and Dalla Mountain Freeride Trail, aka the Phoenix Trail, on City of Durango lands. http://wp.me/p2Darv-1KF

To submit a more detailed or specific comment to the City on these proposed trail closures email rec@durangogov.org by April 30, 2015.

Overend Mtn Park recommended closures-page-001 Dalla Mountain Park, NSTC analysis-page-001

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4 Responses to “Kitty Charmer, that new freeride trail on Raider Ridge that you love? City officials want it gone”

  1. where do I sign the petition to keep the trails open

     

    raymond j delio cpa

  2. Click on this link and fill in the information, then check your email inbox: http://wp.me/p2Darv-1KF

     

    Adam Howell

  3. Hey Adam,

    Kudos.

    Hey, I know a few people that have had a hard time signing the petition, and I actually tried to message you the other day but an error booted me and erased everything.

    At any rate, keep fighting the good fight. You’re efforst are appreciated far more than you may know.

    Brandon

     

    Brandon

  4. Hey Brandon,
    Thanks for the feedback! I’ll keep fighting!

    The signers of the petition need to check their email after they sign, and I have heard of the confirmation email not coming to their inbox for almost a day after they originally signed. DOH! Not sure where and what the problem is coming from there. Wish I knew how to fix it.

    Sorry about the message error.

    This technology is definitely not perfect, so hopefully it wasn’t a permanent bug. That’s the first that I’ve heard of the contact page bugging out like that.

    My test message to myself on the contact page just a minute ago went to my spam inbox of my email. DOH!

    Not sure why that’s happening, but I’ll try to fix it. I do get a lot of solicitors emailing me from my contact page, so that doesn’t help.

    I got your comment this time!

    Keep in touch!

    Adam

     

    Adam Howell

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