indian peaks traverse
OUR POSITION statement
Open Boulder has a renewed focus on our original mission to connect people to our community’s public lands in a sustainable manner that utilizes tenants of good governance in the decision making process. This endorsement stems from our belief that environmentalism and active outdoor recreation go hand in hand. We represent thousands of Boulderites who actively use our local public lands to hike, climb, run, bike, and walk our dogs. Because we so believe in this vision for our community, we fully endorse the Indian Peaks Traverse and the key Eldorado-to-Walker connection!
We are not immune from the controversies stemming from the unprecedented multi-agency recommendation for a northern alignment that has insignificant environmental impact. That 4+ mile segment of trail, key to creating a vital regional connection between trail systems in Boulder and Winter Park, is not merely a dirt path through mountains & forest, but provides access to public lands that our community has invested in and desires to enjoy.
How do we know this? Over the past 20 years, community leaders have supported the idea to connect the plains of Boulder with the Western mountain parks. Boulder County, City, State Park, Colorado Parks & Wildlife AND Colorado the Beautiful Initiative have included this alignment in planning documents since 1999 and reflect a long-time, community-wide desire for this concept to be brought to reality.
Public records show that time and time again, our elected officials have endorsed this concept. During the contentious West TSA plan process, City Councilor Morzel moved to amend the mountain biking section on page 47 [of the WTSA Plan] to work with Eldorado State Park, Boulder County and other groups to create a Walker connection as soon as a source of funding is identified--the motion carried 9:0.
In 2013, POSAC unanimously supported and recommended approval of the Walker Ranch Management Plan to the County Commissioners. Subsequently, the County Commissioner Jones moved to amend the Walker Ranch Management Plan to include the investigation by a consultant of additional trail alignment possibilities between Walker Ranch and Eldorado Canyon and the motion carried 3:0.
Open Boulder is aware that many respondents raised concerns about the new access increasing traffic congestion and compounding parking issues in the state park and greater Eldorado Springs community. In response, Colorado Parks and Wildlife agreed to this year initiate a visitor use management plan for Eldorado Canyon State Park and initial ideas are being discussed to mitigate these longstanding issues.
Open Boulder encourages Boulder County, OSMP, Artesian Company, the Town of Eldorado Springs, and our community at-large to continue to address the problems both in and outside the State Park. We are a wise community and together we can address and overcome these issues.
Finally, we cannot fail to mention this important idea—these issues shouldn’t be laid at the feet of all mountain bikers as their own doing. Boulder mountain bikers have shown time and time again not only the willingness to participate in stewardship activities for public lands, but have invested thousands of hours of trail maintenance, trail patrols and technical support for various Boulder land agencies, most recently with the BCPOS School House Loop at Heil and OSMP’s High Plains Trail remodel.