Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

19 Dec 2020

New travel management plan approves 2 bikes-only directional trails on Animas City Mountain

Posted by Adam Howell


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A new BLM travel management plan authorizes the construction of two bikes-only directional trails on Animas City Mountain.

travel management plan

At the same time, the travel management plan will now make criminals out of mountain bikers who have been accustomed to riding certain trails adjacent to Overend Mountain Park for more than 20 years.

Specifically, the plan prohibits bikes on Skid Ridge, parts of Hogsback Trail and Slime Gulch. In addition to e-bikes being banned there, the plan continues to ban e-bikes from Animas City Mountain, Grandview Ridge and Skyline Trail.

Of gain to electric mountain bike users is the new policy that will allow class 1 e-bikes on 24.8 miles of trails. Some 11.7 miles of trails where e-bikes are allowed have not been constructed yet.

  1. Chutes and Ladders Trail (4.3 miles)
  2. Aqueduct parcel Trail System (11.7 miles) once constructed, except the Overlook Trail (0.1 mile), which is designated as hiking only
  3. North Menefee Trail, (1.2 mile) located outside of and adjoining the north end of the Menefee Mountain WSA.
  4. Mud Springs (7.7 miles)

New travel management plan dishonors intent of Secretarial Order 3376

Unfortunately, the travel management plan does not seem to honor the full intent of Secretarial Order 3376. The Secretary of the Interior had ordered that Class 1 e-bikes be authorized on all mechanized, non-motorized trails.

Here’s how the new Decision Record does not abide by the Secretarial Order 3376:

Durango Area Trails: The TRFO RMP (2015) closed Grandview and Animas City
Mountain to motorized use. Additionally, trails in these two units are directly linked to trails
managed by the City of Durango, which does not currently authorize e-bikes on “soft surface
trails.” In addition, several City of Durango trails occur in their conservation easements
which restrict motorized use (including trails that access the BLM ‘Skyline’ parcel) by
language in those easements. As a result, the BLM will not authorize the use of any form of
e-bike within Grandview, Animas City Mountain, or Skyline due to the linkage of BLM trails
with these City-managed trails at this time.
Because no mechanized (bicycle) trails are located at East Animas or Turtle Lake climbing
areas, e-bike use is not authorized in these areas.

Also, the plan creates or improves parking areas (access points) and OHV “play areas.”

DR TRFO TAP1_508Compliant_DatedDec2020

Adam Howell is a writer who is on the city of Durango’s Natural Lands Preservation Advisory Board. His reporting and commentary does not reflect or represent the views of the Board or the municipal government. He can be reached by clicking on this link to the contact page.



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2 Responses to “New travel management plan approves 2 bikes-only directional trails on Animas City Mountain”

  1. Thanks for the information. BLM website doesn’t seem to be working. Can you provide me copy of the BLM documents?

     

    Sethv Furtney

  2. Hello Seth,
    Yeah I noticed that the link in the letter that they sent was not hot/clickable. And thank you for reminding me to put a link to the BLM website in my lead.
    Try this link for access to all of the documents: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/99180/570
    I will download a copy of the Decision Record, as well, to post into the story just in case they delete their web page at some point.
    Best,
    Adam

     

    Adam Howell

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