Letter: Respect our trails | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Respect our trails

Respect our trails

Regarding the article this past weekend about conflicts between recreation and wildlife, we'd like to offer some thoughts ("As valley's population grows, so do conflicts between recreation and wildlife," Oct. 6, The Aspen Times).

The Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association supports planning efforts that balance the needs of wildlife and their habitats, with the value that high-quality recreation trails bring to our local communities. Seasonal closures are an important tool to help strike this balance, but we need your help.

We ask all trail users to respect existing seasonal closures, spread the closure date details to their friends and family, and understand that additional seasonal closures might be appropriate when seeking approval for new trails. You can find seasonal closures noted in our email newsletters, as well as our Facebook page at facebook.com/RFMBA, or check out mtbproject.com for more trail information.

Mountain bikers, runners and dog walkers captured by cameras hidden in closed areas will directly impact future trail approvals in a negative way. Seeing wildlife when you're on the trail is one of the great pleasures of outdoor recreation, but let's give them some space during their critical seasons!

Please support the current planning effort that proposes improved access to the public lands surrounding the town of Basalt by reviewing the Basalt Area, Parks, Open Space, and Trails Master Plan on basalt.net, and submitting your comments to susan.philp@basalt.net. We believe that intelligently planned connections to public lands are critical to the sustainability of Basalt's social, economic, and ecological vitality.

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The Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association is advocating for a number of the proposed improvements, including: access to the Crown BLM land from the Rio Grande trail through Red Ridge Ranch Open Space, direct bridge access to the Rio Grande trail from Crown Mountain Park, easement access from downtown Basalt to the BLM land just east of town, and a sustainable route from Basalt High School to the top of Light Hill BLM land.

There will be future planning efforts throughout the valley, and we urge you to stay involved!

Mike Pritchard

Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association

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