Don’t fix what isn’t broken
October 25, 2011
This letter is in regards to last week’s article on the parking dispute in Lenado (“Settlement talks put Lenado snowmobile suit on hold,” Oct. 13, 2011, The Aspen Times).
This has gotten way out of hand. That area is access to some of the greatest snowmobiling in the valley, and two landowners are trying to take that use of public land away. I am up there every winter with many others. There is no blockage of roads, or theft, or vandalism or littering, for that matter. Snowmobilers don’t set foot on your property. We are not up there to destroy anything of any landowner.
All of us who use this area are very respectful. We slow down going through town, and we don’t ride into town. We get out of the road as best as we can. Yes, the road is narrow, but we don’t speed, and we drive with extreme caution.
I am 18 and have been riding up there for about five years. The people I go with (about 80 percent of the people up there) have been up there since before I was born. A parking lot is going to cause more damage than snowmobilers parking on the road, and more traffic. The Forest Service is going to be hauling tons of heavy machinery up that road just to make a parking lot. Not to mention there is no room for a parking lot.
This doesn’t just affect snowmobilers, it affects everyone interested in using the land. Plus, it puts stress on, if not ruins, Howard Vagneur’s business. The parking on the road is not in the town, it is above the town. The bottom line is nothing needs to happen. The parking in this area has been the same since before I was born, and it worked fine until a couple of years ago.
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Why don’t we worry about something that is going to affect us all, like Hidden Gems? These landowners are giving snowmobilers a bad reputation. We are there to snowmobile, that’s it.