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Monday, June 11, 2007

Trailhead Improvement Input Sought

From: Lisa Nieman []
Sent: Mon 6/11/2007 4:29 PM

Public input sought on trailhead improvements

OSMP is seeking public input on the proposed designs of two trailheads Tuesday, June 19:

* Flatirons Vista trailhead: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.;
* Doudy Draw trailhead: 7 to 8:00 p.m.

OSMP will have an artist's rendering of the proposed trailhead changes and staff will be on hand to discuss the projects and answer questions. For more information please call (303) 441-3440.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Comments on Gosshawk Trail

Letter to OSMP Staff:

Here are my comments on the proposed Goshawk Ridge Trail. I will keep my comments short as on the Thursday, May 24 walk-through of the proposed trail alignment, I let Mike, Dave, Joe, Brad (?), and you know my strong support for the alignment proposed by OSMP (2C, 3B and 3C, 4B/C(?), and 5A). I feel that OSMP staff put considerable thought into the proposed Goshawk Ridge Trail and the result will be an excellent trail that I approve of.

Background Comments:

I have hiked on Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks for over 30 years and for over 12 years in the Eldorado Mountain Area. I have lead hikes for the Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) and Boulder Outdoor Group (BOG) in the Eldorado Mountain area for over 10 years. When leading hikes for these two groups on the old trail (2A, 3A), I have always ended the hike at the large flat rock on the S end of the meadow on the E side of 3A before the N'most drainage of Spring Brook.

When hiking on my own, I continue in between the two Spring Brook drainages out to the concrete structure on the Denver Water Board canal and then follow the exiting two-track roads/trails out to the bridge over the Denver Water Board (DWB) canal. Over the years, in the area of the proposed Goshawk Ridge Trail, I have seen considerable wildlife including bears, coyotes, deer, elk, rattle-snakes, and wild-turkey. On a CMC trips that I lead in June 2005, we saw 5 bears.

General Comments:

From my familiarity with the area and from the explanation of the proposed trail alignment sections by OSMP staff on the walk-through, I understand the rational for these alignments for both trail sustainability and environmental preservation and I support OSMP staff's proposed alignments. I understand that the crossing of the Spring Brook drainages is the most difficult section of the proposed trail alignments, but I feel that the trail should continue on to the DWB Road.

Trail Segment 2:

I support trail alignment 2C as done on the walk-through. This alignment will correct trail sustainability problems with the current trail 2A and the current Mickey Mouse access trail MM-1A. As I mentioned on the walk-through, the points of intersection with the old trails should be marked to keep traffic on the new trail alignment.

Trail Segment 3:

I support trail alignment 3B and 3C as done on the walk through. I would like to see the inclusion of a short spur trail to the big flat rock where I end my CMC and BOG hikes as this is a nice "contemplation location" as I mentioned on the field trip. Contemplation locations are important and this rock provides a ready-made flat surface for people to sit on.

Trail Segment 4:

I support either alignment 4B or 4C as done on the walk-through. I am still a little confused as which is the preferred alignment by OSMP staff, but I am comfortable with either one. As I mentioned on the walk-through, I understand that the crossing of the Spring Brook drainages is the most difficult/sensitive section of the proposed trail alignments, but I feel that it is being done very carefully and thoughtfully by OSMP staff.

Trail Segment 5:

I support alignment 5A as approximately done on the walk-through. This alignment should avoid the burn area W of the DWB canal and should come out by the exiting DWB bridge, provided that OSMP can reach an access agreement with the DWB.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed Goshawk Ridge Trail.


Steven Haymes

Bald Eagles, Thriving, Settle Into Suburban Life

OCALA, Fla., June 28 — Bald eagles, whose numbers dwindled to historic lows in the early 1960s, are again flourishing and no longer need the protections of the Endangered Species Act, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced Thursday.

For full article go to NYTimes

Monday, May 21, 2007

$50,000 Available for Trail Projects

Years ago, when faced with land management agencies who were less than enthusiastic about new trails and even about maps showing where the existing trails were, BATCO had the revolutionary idea of publishing a comprehensive map of Boulder County trails and using the proceeds to actually improve and expand the Boulder County trail system. The truly remarkable thing is that this bold idea is now becoming reality. BATCO now has almost $50,000 available for trail projects throughout Boulder County. Even more remarkable is the fact that a recent grant to produce a second edition of the map means that this revenue flow is likely to continue.

This success has left BATCO with a bit of a problem: what are the best ways to spend the money?

We need your help:
- first, to identify worthwhile projects
- next, to garner community enthusiasm
- and finally, to secure the approval of the relevant land management agencies.

This is a great opportunity. It gives trail advocates a unique chance to bring real money to the table when we start advocating for improvements to the system.

Given the significant amounts of money involved, BATCO has developed the attached "request for proposals." (Keep in mind that this is a new adventure and we welcome suggestions for improving the RFP and the entire project funding process.)

BATCO is willing to consider any project idea which is consistent with our overall goal of enhancing opportunities for non-motorized Boulder County Trail users. Preliminary ideas, wish lists, formal proposals, and offers to help are all welcome.

There is real money here. How do YOU think we can best use it???

Please circulate this announcement to the members of your respective groups, friends, fellow trail users and possible corporate-matching supporters.

And, if you have ideas, that you would you think might be worth pursuing contact Suzanne Webel at 303-485-2162 or . At this point we are asking people who might be interested in taking advantage of this opportunity to let us know by June 1. This will give us a chance to maximize our impact on 2007-2008 trail development projects.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

-- Guy

Boulder Area Trails Coalition (BATCO) Trail Fund
Call for Proposals

Unlike other Boulder area trail maps, revenues from the sale of the BATCO Comprehensive Trail Map of Boulder County are to be used exclusively for trail projects in Boulder County. With almost $50,000 already available in this fund as of April 1, 2007, BATCO is issuing a public Call for Proposals for Trail Projects in Boulder County. We are interested in funding the design and construction of new trails, the enhancement of existing trails, and other projects that will significantly improve the quality of the visitor experience on public lands.

BATCO hereby solicits short (approximately 2-3 pages plus a map) letters of interest from Boulder County land-management agencies, trail and outdoor recreation groups, corporations, and even individuals wishing to “champion” a trail project.
Following an evaluation of these letters of interest by the BATCO Board of Directors, BATCO will invite those with the best ideas to submit detailed proposals. We will ask that these full proposals include the following information:
  • Specific plans for the trail projects to be constructed
  • A work plan to be followed in constructing the project
  • Budget with a description of financial and in-kind contributions (including volunteer labor) to be applied to the project
  • Formal letters of support from appropriate land-use agencies whose approval and participation will be required for the project to proceed.

Letters of inquiry and formal proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Attractiveness of the proposed project to a broad range of trail users.
  • Value-added potential. Our highest funding priority involves projects, or significant
    project enhancements, that would otherwise not be possible
  • Matching Support for the project including direct financial support and in-kind, time and
    material contributions
  • Enthusiastic "project champion" support from people willing to do the leadership work
    required to make the project a success
  • Support from relevant land-use agencies
  • Ability to successfully address environmental or historical preservation concerns
  • Ability to successfully address the concerns of project neighbors.

This is a new program of the Boulder Area Trails Coalition, and we welcome suggestions for implementing it. We also urge those interested in applying for a grant to sign up for our e-mail update list. This will allow us to notify you if any improvements are made to the program. If you would like to contribute to the project by donating money or expertise, helping us distribute maps, or promoting trail projects but can’t be a “Trail Champion” right now, please contact Suzanne Webel at 303-485-2162.

Goshawk Ridge Trail alignment field trip

Spring moves on and summer is just around the corner. The staff effort to develop alignment options and an initial analysis of the alternatives for the new Goshawk Ridge Trail in the EM / DD Trail Study Area is nearly complete. We'd like to invite you to attend an open house and field trip on Thursday May 24th to review the options and the analysis and provide us your input. Staff will be available to discuss the alignment options, the analysis and area information from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM at OSMP administrative offices, 66 S. Cherryvale Road. A field trip to visit the area and look at trail options will follow from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM. We would like final written input on the alternatives and analysis by June 8th. I will email you the analysis and a map of the alternatives later this week when they are available. This information will also be available on our website and at our administrative office.

Individuals interested in attending the field trip are requested to RSVP by calling OSMP at 303-441-3440 by Monday May 21st. Transportation will be provided by OSMP from our administrative office leaving at 5:30 PM . Please keep in mind to bring food and water along, light refreshments will be available at the open house.

Thanks for your continued interest in the implementation of the EM / DD TSA and in the trail planning process. I look forward to a productive, fun and interesting field trip.

Steve Armstead
Visitor Master Plan Implementation Coordinator
Open Space and Mountain Parks

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Raptors: a love story

Seasonal closures give birds the space they need to mate and raise their young
By Pamela White (

We hear her before we see her — a high-pitched call emanating from the rock ahead of us. White splashes of guano mark the roosting sites she shares with her mate. Nearly the color of the rock herself and some 400 feet from the trail, she is almost impossible to see where she sits, watching over her brood of four-day-old chicks.

Go to Full Article

Monday, May 07, 2007

Dogs: Trail closure raises questions

Boulder Daily Camera Letter to the Editor May 6, 2007

Saturday, I was hiking with my dog in the Flatirons, as I have been for the last 10 years. I came across signs on the Saddle Rock trail that dogs were banned from trails leading to Green Mountain.

I understand that the city is supposed to make all of these decisions open for public discussion, but I have never seen these specific trail closures discussed, and I read the Camera regularly. I'm becoming concerned that the city is starting to make a lot of decisions without really telling the public.

Since dogs on trails issues seem to be such hot-button issues, if they really are, I think we need to start bringing these issues to the public ballot once and for all. Given what I know about most people in Boulder, I would guess that we would probably vote not to limit trail access for our pets. The same goes for bike access, horse access, and even people access, which all seem to be in jeopardy around Boulder lately.

I think it's time we start bringing Boulder back to being run by the people and not by a select vociferous few who don't represent our true population.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Dog conflict out in the open

Three-quarters surveyed report pooch problems on Boulder trails
By John Ingold Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 04/30/2007 08:49:17 AM MDT

Boulder - Here come Sophie and Kippah boinging down the Chautauqua trail, sniffing at dandelions and twirling circles around the woman on the other end of the leash.

They're impish little puppies, Irish Jack Russell terriers, and they're good dogs, says Maureen Dobson, who takes the pooches on a walk in Boulder open space a couple of times a week as a favor to a friend.

They mind their manners when they're off leash.

"They don't usually pay attention to other people," she said.

Off-leash dogs have been controversial on the trails around Boulder for several years now. In Boulder, people like dogs and they like open space - but some Boulderites aren't always very fond of the two together.

Read entire article