Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

2 Mar 2015

Log Chutes Downhill Mountain Bike Zone EA project analysis postponed indefinitely

Posted by Adam Howell


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Following the recent completion of the draft environmental assessment of the Log Chutes Downhill Mountain Bike Zone by employees with the Columbine Ranger District, the project has been postponed indefinitely due to budgetary reasons, according to District Ranger Matt Janowiak.

Map Courtesy of Columbine Ranger District's Recreation Staff Officer, Jed Botsford.

Map Courtesy of Columbine Ranger District’s Recreation Staff Officer, Jed Botsford.

“It was never put out for public comment,” said Janowiak. “The document itself is finished, but we never did release it.”

“It’s a decision that was made by the Forest Supervisor to not move forward with the project,” said Janowiak.

“There may be some changed circumstances down the road that would allow us to revive it, but at this point you know our staffing levels and funding levels are so low that we just don’t feel comfortable moving forward with it,” he said.

Staffing levels will also be reduced in proportion to the recreation budget that’s expected to drop over the next three years, meaning that activities including downhill mountain biking will be looked at under a “Recreation Site Analysis” this spring to determine if they can be done sustainably and safely given what’s needed to help maintain their existence, said San Juan National Forest Supervisor Kara Chadwick.

Forest Service officials will begin taking public input on how to manage all recreational activities on the San Juan National Forest starting this May, said Chadwick.

“I felt that this proposal was a little premature to make a decision on it right now, and once we get through this Recreation Site Analysis, we’ll make a decision on whether to continue moving forward with the analysis (Log Chutes Downhill Mountain Bike Zone EA),” she said.

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