Community effort needed | AspenTimes.com

Community effort needed

Dear Editor:

The Colorado Backcountry Trail Riders Alliance would like to thank Scott Fitzwilliams, forest supervisor for the White River National Forest, for having the interest to take personal time from a busy schedule to ride with us by way of a dirt bike on Basalt Mountain Friday, Oct. 8.

This was in the interest of getting a sense of the trail conditions, network and maintenance that will need to be done once the travel management plan is implemented. Scott’s hands-on approach to identifying the trails, uses and conditions in relation to the needs of the motorized community is positive, refreshing and will only serve to get more of the motorized community on board in working together with the U.S. Forest Service in developing partnerships with other user groups to maintain these areas.

Recreating in our forests is a privilege that can no longer be taken for granted. With increased use, sustainability of these areas is in question. Agencies such as the Forest Service and BLM do not have the manpower or budget to keep these areas open and maintained without volunteers from the community. We who use these public lands need to take ownership and become stewards of these areas if we are to be able to continue to use them. This includes maintenance, self-policing within our own user groups, tolerance and consideration to other users and education. Without more effort from the community, we will see more areas closed off to most types of recreational use.

We encourage the members of this community to get involved with local clubs and organizations who serve not only their interests but consider other users as well. Umbrella organizations such as the White River Forest Alliance or the Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers are a great place to start – or join a club more specific to how you like to recreate.

We look forward to a positive working relationship with the Forest Service in maintaining recreational use on public lands.

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Traci Schalow and Mike Thuillier

Colorado Backcountry Trail Riders Alliance

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