Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

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Video: DFPD Chief Hal Doughty, wildfire mitigation proposals, Horse Gulch & Overend Mtn Park

12 Dec 2019 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  


Public comments, joint board meeting, for & against allowing e-bikes on dirt trails

5 Dec 2019 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Public comments were the most interesting part of the recent joint board meeting where the idea of allowing electric assisted bicycles on Durango’s natural-surface trails was discussed. The city’s Natural Lands Preservation Advisory Board, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and Multi-Modal Advisory Board met to talk about the idea of allowing e-bikes on trails in Durango for a trial period to see how there use is perceived by the public and what impacts they may have. Before the public comments were given, city staff provided…


Allowing E-Bikes on natural surface trails to be the subject of city meeting Wednesday

18 Nov 2019 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Whether e-bikes should be allowed on Durango’s natural surface trails will be the topic of discussion at a joint meeting of three city boards on Wednesday (11/20/19). Public comments will be taken later in the meeting. The Natural Lands Preservation Advisory Board, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the Multi-Modal Advisory Board will meet together at the Durango Community Recreation Center to have a study session from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Starting at 6:00 p.m., a regular joint advisory board meeting will begin and…


New BLM draft Environmental Assessment to make criminals out of mountain bikers

20 Oct 2019 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A new preliminary Environmental Assessment for transportation and access to BLM lands in southwest Colorado may criminalize mountain biking on parts of Hogsback Trail and Perins Gulch Trail where it was previously allowed for decades. This preliminary Environmental Assessment for Transportation and Access Planning in the Tres Rios Field Office will set the stage for the BLM to have more justification to enforce the bike ban based on their Resource Management Plan. In 2015, a Resource Management Plan prohibited mechanized travel on the trails, and…


Tons of trash from county homeless camp removed by volunteers

17 Oct 2019 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A group of about 50 people picked up enough trash to fill a 30-yard dumpster last Sunday. The effort was organized by Marsha Porter Norton, La Plata Sheriff’s Department and Trails 2000.


On Horse Gulch Road, is a ban on e-bikes grounded in law?

14 Oct 2019 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Don’t let the new “No E-bikes” sign at the gate to Horse Gulch Road mislead you. Electrical assisted bicycles are allowed on the road that’s in the county’s jurisdiction right behind that sign, according to Megan Graham, La Plata County’s Public Information Officer. Electric bikes are only allowed on the non-maintained road for a short distance, however. That’s because the road goes from the county to the city’s jurisdiction a couple hundred feet past the gate. In May of 2016, the city adopted Ordinance 2016-10…


Electric bikes no longer defined as motor vehicles by Department of Interior

12 Sep 2019 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

People may soon be allowed to ride their electric bikes on Animas Mountain or Grandview Ridge Bureau of Land Management trails following an Order issued by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior that excludes e-bikes from the definition of “motorized vehicles” and “off-road vehicles.” –issued by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on August 29, 2019–was intended to simplify and unify the regulation of e-bikes on Federal lands that are managed by the Department of the Interior. It was also intended to decrease regulatory burden, the Order…


The trail pooping hierarchy, as illustrated by Pedaluppartydown

30 Aug 2019 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  


GoPro video, splitboarding Wolf Creek Pass

20 Jun 2019 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  


GoPro Video: Riding Hogs Back Trail, Skid Ridge and Slime Gulch

11 Jun 2019 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  


Scenes of riding black dirt on Raider Ridge

19 May 2019 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Hope we get to ride together again soon.


BLM suggests criminalizing mountain biking on Hogs Back Trail, Skid Ridge+Slime Gulch

4 May 2019 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Bike travel would be allowed for retrieving dead animals during hunting seasons, but never for recreation or transportation on popular local BLM trails near Perins Peak under a Transportation and Access Plan that’s currently open to public comments. More specifically, mechanized travel would be prohibited on parts of Hogs Back Trail, Slime Gulch and all of Skid Ridge to comply with the Tres Rios Field Office (TRFO) Resource Management Plan (RMP), according to language in the Transportation and Access Plan. Also of concern for cyclists…


Sign petition to city to exclude $50 dollar sandwich board sign permitting fee

31 Mar 2019 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

The new regulations of sandwich board signs of businesses on Main Avenue goes too far with a $50 dollar Revocable Encroachment Permit. Fees that Main Avenue entrepreneurs already pay for business licenses should go towards the regulation and permitting of small portable signs. Please scroll down, read the petition, and consider signing it. After signing the petition and opening your confirmation email, your signature will be posted and a letter will be sent to Durango City Council and Colleen OBrien. If the confirmation email doesn’t…


Improved game trail targeted for closure with newly approved Sky Raider Trail

21 Jan 2019 | Posted by Adam Howell. 2 Comments  

An improved game trail is the target of closure following the approval of the new Sky Raider Trail that will connect the Powerline Trail to Raider Ridge at the top of Rocky Road. Named the Sky Raider Trail, this new connector trail will replace an improved game trail that City officials and residents have labeled as a social trail. City officials labeled this fall-line trail as a social trail because they believed it was created by people. Labeling the trail as “social” also provided the…


Boards defend parks, open space and trails taxes from reallocation to streets, police station

6 Jan 2019 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

The idea of reallocating taxes to a new police station and streets from sales tax funds that were previously dedicated by voters specifically for parks, open space lands and trails was chided by City board members Thursday night. At the meeting, City board members vocalized their disagreement after listening to a presentation by John Simpson, who gave three options on how to redirect sales tax revenues that were originally  designated by voters to go towards city recreational facilities, parks, open space lands and trails. “All…


Forest Service writes off over $500K in D&SNGR coal-train-caused wildfire costs since 1994

10 Dec 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. 2 Comments  

At least $572,186 dollars that was spent on fighting wildfires started by coal trains of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad was written off by the USDA Forest Service since 1994, records from the Forest Service show. What this means is that after Forest Service officials determined the cost of suppressing wildfires that were started by D&SNGR locomotives, the original bill was negotiated to a much lower figure by senior D&SNGR train officials. While the Forest Service billed the D&SNGR $1,195,265 dollars for putting…


USDA Forest Service delays another response to a FOIA public records request

25 Nov 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

The San Juan National Forest Freedom of Information Act “Coordinator” has failed to lawfully comply with a second FOIA records request submitted by this blogger. I submitted a public records request to San Juan National Forest FOIA Coordinator Jeremiah Hyslop on October 23, 2018 via email. It said: Hello Jeremiah, This is a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) records request for the Fire Investigation Report that was done for the 416 Fire on the San Juan National Forest. The 416 Fire started on June 1, 2018,…


City of Durango ordinance amended to allow Class 1 & 2 electric bikes on hard-surface trails

19 Nov 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A City of Durango ordinance was amended to allow Class 1 and 2 electric bikes on five prominent hard-surface trails at a City Council meeting Monday. Class 1 and 2 electric bikes with a top speed of 20 miles per hour are now allowed on Animas River Trail, Florida Road Trail, Goeglein Gulch Road Trail, Smart 160 Trail, and the Three Springs Trail. City officials decided to lift the ban on electric bikes for these trails following a year long trial period. In October, three…


Electric bicycles on hard-surface trails to be voted on following hearing with City Council

18 Nov 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A vote on whether to allow electric bicycles on hard-surface trails is expected to immediately follow a public hearing at a Durango City Council meeting on Monday. City Council might change an existing ordinance in such a way that would lift the current ban on motorized vehicles on specific hard-surface trails in the city. A staff proposal to allow Class 1 and Class 2 electric bicycles on the Animas River Trail, the Florida Road Trail, the Goeglein Gulch Trail, the Smart 160 Trail, and the…


Native grass finally takes root on reclaimed land aside Horse Gulch Road

17 Nov 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Native grass is taking root on a stretch of land aside Horse Gulch Road after a multi-phased reclamation project carried out by La Plata County officials. La Plata County began working on the road in January after requests were made by Trails 2000 and City of Durango officials to fix the mess of interwoven ruts that crossed the road. The previous condition of Horse Gulch Road was aesthetically chaotic, but had some erosion problems that people wanted to see mitigated. Emergency response officials had also…


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