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Old 02-02-2012, 08:40 AM
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Exclamation Proposed closure to motorized use in Southern Colorado

Not sure if you all saw this but we need comments on this from riders.

This is a great riding area in SOCO and it would be a shame to lose more riding area. Even if you don't ride here, we could use comments. Please take 5 minutes to do this.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/riogra...TELPRDB5347038

Windy Point Winter Motorized Closure
Release Date: Jan 11, 2012
The Rio Grande National Forest is seeking public comment on a proposed closure order prohibiting motorized over the snow use at Windy Point. The proposed closure area that we are calling Windy Point is on the west side of Cumbres Pass, adjacent to and north/west of Highway 17. This area has been traditionally used for a cross-country ski and snowshoe race in January for over 20 years.
The legal description is NMPM T32N. R4E. Sec. 12 & 13.
The purpose would be to provide a motorized closure for over the snow travel on the area for up to 5 years. This would provide an area, currently not being utilized by motorized winter recreationists, for non-motorized recreation. There is a history of conflict between the winter recreationists who enjoy the Cumbres Pass Area. There is concern among the public regarding the safety of mixed motorized and non-motorized use. The Forest Service will be encouraging users to come together to propose a long-term solution for the larger scale recreation use issue.
A map and additional information on the project is available on the Rio Grande National Forest website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/riogrande/projects. MAP
Those wishing to comment are encouraged to submit their concerns in writing to:
Conejos Peak Ranger District
Attention: Windy Point Winter Motorized Closure
15571 County Road T.5
La Jara, CO 81140
E-mail comments may be sent to: comments-rocky-mountain-rio-grande-c...peak@fs.fed.us
It is requested that all comments be received by January 31, 2012 in order to be most effectively considered. For further information about this proposal, please contact Jeremiah Martinez at 719-274-6320.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:06 AM
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thanks for posting this up Tim , we need to voice our thoughts on this , if they close this area then next time it will be MORE and MORE , our area is small as it is , we have brought out more skiers than I care to mention , we are always respectful of giving them space and trying to avoid them when they are on the trails , when we are on the trail heading out or coming back , I as well as the rest of the group jump off and go around them , so there is NO NEED TO CLOSE THIS AREA OFF TO US , we can SHARE what we have been given by the GOOD LORD , its not ours OR thiers , lets share it and move on .............................
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:40 AM
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Here are my comments that were submitted to the Forest Service.

Dear Sir/Madam,

To close this area near Windy Point to motorized winter users is wholly unfair, without merit and appears to be a knee jerk reaction to the complaints of a very small number of non motorized users. In the past, snowmobilers and skiers shared use of the area with little or no conflict, and, within the past several years, I am unaware of any confrontations between skiers and snowmobilers. In fact, we have personally hauled out numerous lost, sick or injured skiers/hikers when on my snowmobile while snowmobiling near Windy Point. All were quite grateful that snowmobilers were there to help and we, as snowmobilers, were happy to be of service. Closing this area to snowmobile use for a race that occurs one weekend a year is patently unfair to snowmobilers. The race is 3 days out of the entire year when it has many other days of usefulness for motorized winter users beyond that weekend. In fact, did you know that many families with young snowmobilers use the area due to its stable and relatively good terrain for these new users? Instead of a drastic measure such as a land closure, race organizers and race coordinators should work with local persons influential in the snowmobile community to spread the word and ask them to observe the race course during that weekend if there is a growing concern about snowmobiles present during race weekend. I am unaware of any snowmobilers causing interference during that weekend and this proposed closure shocked and caught me by surprise. Of numerous people I've asked, no one was aware that snowmobiles were an issue during the race weekend. It is apparent that no one has made a concerted effort to reach out to the snowmobile community. Therefore, prior to taking such a drastic measure as closure, we should try to work together as a community, reach an amicable solution and continue to enjoy this beautiful area as we once did.

Accordingly, I am wholly opposed to land closure especially since this is a ripe issue to be dealt with through coordination with community leaders. I suggest that race coordinators contact the community leaders in Chama, NM. Since many snowmobilers and race goers use Chama as their home base for their recreation while up at Windy Point, enlisting the help of local community leaders to help promote coordination between motorized and non motorized users is the best method to accomplish the non motorized users goals - an enjoyable experience for their ski and snowshoe races. Land closure is not the answer.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:31 AM
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Done.

Quote:
I am a snowmobiler. There are a lot of others like myself.

Closing more areas to multiple forms of recreation (Motorized and non-motorized) hurts businesses and the local mountain economy.
Is this knee-jerk reaction to the complains of a few non-motorized users worth the loss of revenue snowmobilers bring in during the winter months?

Additionally, the fact that the area is relatively easy terrain and low avalanche danger brings in many inexperienced riders or families with children and allows them to safely enjoy the backcountry.

Simply closing down land to a specific group of recreationists is not a "management plan".
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:33 AM
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Thanks Mule!
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:42 PM
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Its really interesting that a single weekend use for years establishes a use
that requires full winter closure of an area. What documentation of
conflict supports this drastic action?

The reasonable way of dealing with the race weekend is coordinate the uses
for the weekend, not make the whole area permanently off limits.

The alert refers to no study, and refers to no alternatives. The provided
link does not lead to any additional information particular to the proposal.
The proposal itself appears to be a locally-generated "temporary" action.
I submit that the circumstances and documentation do not qualify the
proposed action as necessary or legal.
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