Can Conservationists, Bikers, and Vehicles Come Together in the Forests, or Voters on Their Parks?

May 5 2011, 8:49 AM

It once looked as though the management plan for Colorado's White River National Forest, which spans prime ski territory in Summit and Eagle counties, would focus on conservation and protecting endangered species (High Country News). But that was years ago, before the contentious issue of designating trails—particularly for motorized vehicles like ATVs—was swallowed into the U.S. Forest Service's Travel Management Plan, which was released yesterday.

In the case of White River, many trails such vehicles use will be closed, but previously illegal ones will be opened (SummitCountyVoice). Debate is sure to continue, and the Aspen Times predicts a mixed bag for area mountain bikers who will likely want to see more trails open to them.

Back on the Front Range, Great Parks-Great Communities wants to take its battle to the ballot box. In November, the group aims to ask El Paso County voters for a tax increase that would help maintain the county's languishing urban park system, a trouble spot its members have been discussing since 2009, when county commissioners chopped the parks budget from $19 million to $3 million (Colorado Springs Independent).