Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

25 Mar 2018

$5,000 approved for closure of trails & meadow restoration in Overend Mountain Park

Posted by Adam Howell


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A $5,000-dollar meadow restoration project that would also close trails at the top of Ned’s Hill in Overend Mountain Park was approved by the Natural Lands Preservation Advisory Board this month.

IMG_6780 resizeI was the only Board member to vote against it; I don’t vote for trail closures without more confidence-inspiring alternatives that are less impactful.

Impacts from this project would come in the form of trees, brush, and grass that would have to be removed to reroute the trail around the meadow.

A map of the area that was approved by the Board in 2015 had color coded most of the trails at the north end of the meadow for imminent closure.

Minimal discussion occurred regarding the building of an alternative route around the meadow before the closure happens.

“Because that is in an initial phase, the proposed alignment has not been fully ground-proofed flagged or walked with a vision of how that trail will be constructed,” said Amy Swarzbach, the City of Durango’s Natural Resource Manager.

The $5,000 dollars was an estimate that factored in the possible usage of mechanical equipment to help handle the erosion problem, said Schwarzbach.

Disturbed areas of the meadow will also be reseeded as necessary, said Kevin Hall, Durango’s Assistant City Manager.

The project expense was lumped together with other projects in the Open Space Maintenance and Stewardship Fund Balance.

The fund originates from the 2005 Open Space, Parks and Trails Fund. One project on this year’s approved list that was questioned by several Board members was $50,000-dollars worth of way-finding signage for Raider Ridge and Horse Gulch.

I questioned whether it’s necessary to have a trail sign at every intersection in Horse Gulch open space areas. The board seemed divided as to whether or not signs should be installed at every intersection.

Either way, the Board approved the staff’s proposed maintenance and stewardship projects.

Adam Howell is a writer who is on the City of Durango’s Natural Lands Preservation Advisory Board. He can be reached by clicking on this link to the contact page.

This map of upcoming trail closures was approved with the Natural Surface Trails Analysis Report in 2015.

This map of upcoming trail closures was approved with the Natural Surface Trails Analysis Report in 2015.

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The trail going to the right is supposed to remain open, while the trail going to the left at the fork is slated for closure.



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