Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

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

19 Dec 2020 | Posted by Adam Howell. 2 Comments  

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


Freedom March video, 12/12/2020, in Pagosa Springs, CO, by Seva Cine

13 Dec 2020 | Posted by Adam Howell. 1 Comment  


Protesting the lockdown & closure of society due to medical tyranny

12 Dec 2020 | Posted by Adam Howell. 1 Comment  


CJ's Diner closed temporarily by judge's order

CJ’s Diner ordered to stop indoor dining by Judge following injunction request

10 Dec 2020 | Posted by Victoria Schmitt. No Comments  

Court action involving CJ’s Diner On Saturday Dec. 5, SJBPH filed in District court for an order to prevent CJ’s Diner from offering indoor dining. The court issued a temporary order to that effect.  The purpose of a temporary order is to stop an action (indoor dining) for a temporary period of time until the case is heard in court. The case was heard in court today, Weds. Dec. 9 and a Preliminary Injunction was issued.   A Preliminary Injunction means the court orders CJs to stop indoor…


Planned protest against lockdown to occur this Friday starting at Buckley Park

9 Dec 2020 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A protest against the lockdown and in support our local businesses and sporting events will occur this Friday, December 11, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. starting at Buckley Park.  


Transparency and sense of community lost in response to virus

19 Nov 2020 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

As a resident of Durango, I implore you to help end the economic and societal shutdown of Durango immediately. We haven’t had any La Plata County residents die due to CVOID-19, according to data from San Juan Basin Public Health. I am far more concerned with the societal detriment that will be caused by shutting everyone’s work lives and sports activities down that I am with the harm that the virus will cause itself. It is a shame that so many athletic activities in our…


Punched in face: crime motivated by fear, offensive speech, gender & party affiliation

19 Nov 2020 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A woman who punched an unmasked man at O’Reilly Auto Parts in Durango has identified her fear of him, as well as the victim’s gender and his party affiliation as possible motives for initiating violence. It started when Ryan Bartholomew, age 39, of Durango, was with a friend making a purchase at O’Reilly Auto Parts. In the next line over, getting ready to pay for items at a register, was Sadie Wendt, age 23, of Durango, and her girlfriend. While at the register, Wendt asked…


Discussions of naming or renaming of trails deferred to Community Relations Commission

21 Oct 2020 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A vote of the Natural Lands Board vote to defer all trail-naming discussions to the Community Relations Commission follows the renaming of multiple trails on the city’s online interactive map without public input or discussion. Specifically, the new names given to the following trails in the Horse Gulch trail system: Raider Ridge renamed to “Half Ridge” “Extended Ridge” or “Hyper Extended Ridge” Anasazi Descent renamed to “Sendit” Sky Raider renamed to “Ridgeview” Down N Out renamed to “Ben’s Down N Out” Shocker renamed to “Squawker”…


E-bike trial period at Twin Buttes approved by 2 boards and City Council–begins June 29, 2020

19 May 2020 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A sanctioned one-year trial period for class 1 e-bikes on trails at Twin Buttes Open Space has been approved by two City of Durango boards, as well as by City Council. It’ll start on June 29, 2020. First, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board approved the test. Shortly afterwards, most of the the Natural Lands Preservation Advisory Board changed their minds and then unanimously approved a trial at Twin Buttes. Originally, I was the only board member in favor of having a sanctioned trial for…


GoPro Video: vulnerable descent from Hogsback

21 Apr 2020 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  


The ADA protects those with a disability.

E-bikers: Got a mobility disability? ADA has a section you must read on mobility devices

20 Apr 2020 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

People with a mobility disability have a legal option for defending themselves when riding e-bikes on Durango’s existing natural surface trails. Specifically, disabled e-bikers on natural surface trails should familiarize themselves with a section of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Within the ADA is the Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices (OPDMDs) section. Particularly, the section permits you to use e-bikes in areas open to pedestrian use. This does not mean that local municipalities will honor your interpretation of this law, 28 CFR § 35.137(b)(2) of…


Support for electric bike access from previous owners of Overend Mountain Park

18 Apr 2020 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Two previous owners of the city of Durango’s Overend Mountain Park support allowing e-bikes on Durango’s natural surface trails. Before Ed Zink died, he voiced support for allowing a trial period for e-bikes on Durango’s soft-surface trails. Specifically, his comments at a joint advisory board meeting about e-bikes on 10/24/2018 supported a trial. “I’ve been selling bicycles on Main Street Durango for 50 years, and I’ve seen lots of changes. I can remember when mountain bikes first came out and the immediate reaction was, ‘we…


Conflicts between e-bikers & others nonexistent on dirt trails in counties where allowed

11 Apr 2020 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Conflicts between electrical-assisted bike riders and other trail users are non existent on natural surface trails in three counties in different states where they are legal, according to public officials there. Currently, e-bikes are allowed on some natural surface trails in Jefferson County and Boulder County in Colorado. They’re also allowed at McDowell Regional Mountain Park in Maricopa County, Arizona. For JeffCo and Boulder County, their policy changes followed one-year e-bike trial periods when user-intercept surveys were conducted. Subsequently, their experiences provide valuable insight for…


City of Durango staff misleading public on Overend Mtn Park Conservation Easements

27 Mar 2020 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

City of Durango staff are misinforming the public about the conservation easements for Overend Mountain Park by inaccurately saying that they prohibit motorized vehicles. Contradicting the city’s misinformation are the conservation easements for Overend Mountain Park itself, which lacks any language about motorized vehicles. Alarmingly, staff presents the misinformation at board meetings about how to manage electrical assisted bicycles on Durango’s natural surface trails. Overend Mountain Park conservation easements required by GOCO Over decades, most of Durango’s open space was acquired after the city applied…


Conservation easements held for City of Durango open space lands, view documents here

19 Mar 2020 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

This post contains as many of the conservation easements that are held for city of Durango lands as I could find. For now, the conservation easements in this post includes those for Horse Gulch, Dalla Mountain Park, Overend Mountain Park, Bread Express and Oxbow Park and Preserve. The attached Baseline Documentation for the Horse Gulch parcels does contain a conservation easement at the end of each one. Most noteworthy is the conservation easement for Overend Mountain Park, which does not appear to prohibit motorized vehicles.…


Discrimination against e-bikes called out by representative of disabled seniors

13 Mar 2020 | Posted by Adam Howell. 1 Comment  

“Discrimination comes to mind.” Those were the words of Ellen Stein, the Senior Disabled/Disadvantaged Community Representative on the City of Durango’s Multimodal Advisory Board. Stein was responding to the Natural Lands Board’s suggestion of banning electric-assisted bikes from all of Durango’s existing natural surface trails. In particular, Stein was expressing her concerns with the City’s Multimodal Board, the Parks and Recreation Board and the Natural Lands Board. City staff has tasked the three boards with helping to draft policy for electric bikes on Durango’s open…


More photos of arches that you’ve probably never seen before in Aztec, New Mexico

8 Mar 2020 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  


Iphone 7+ Video: backcountry tour, Cement Fill, Dec. 29, 2019

1 Jan 2020 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  


Video of recent downhilling on the splitboard

27 Dec 2019 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  


Dead upon arrival: directional up trail killed without due public process of city boards

25 Dec 2019 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Durango’s Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Metz killed Trails 2000’s proposal for a directional trail in Overend Mountain Park without letting the Natural Lands Preservation Advisory Board vote on it. It would have been a new uphill-directional trail for people that are heading to the top of Star Wars Trail. Star Wars Trail is not officially designated as directional, however, despite numerous letters and public comments that were made to the city in favor of encouraging downward directional traffic there. A few residents in the…


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