Gunnison Trails has been awarded a $20,400 grant from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Motorized Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Trails program to partner with the Gunnison Valley OHV Alliance of Trail Riders (the GOATS) to reroute unsustainable and unsafe sections of Water Treatment and Fenceline trails at Hartman Rocks Recreation Area. The Gunnison Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is also a primary partner in this project and is providing oversight. Actual construction is contingent upon the BLM finalizing the NEPA planning process as well as vetting the proposal through a public comment period. If all goes well, construction will begin and be completed in 2015.
BLM recreation planner Kristi Murphy said the agency has looked at possible alignments.
“It would be a total change of course,” she said of Water Treatment’s existing route on the west side. “It might even have a new name.”
Ultimately, the routes will be identified as part of a “proposed actions” within a draft environmental assessment – likely to be released by this coming fall. Public comment will then be taken on that document.
If all goes as planned, construction will begin and be completed in 2015.
The rerouted trails could add up to one mile of addition trail to the system at Hartman Rocks. The grant includes construction of the new trails as well as restoration of up to 1.3 miles of unsustainable trail.
“Water Treatment is one of the original and classic trails at Hartman Rocks,” said Gunnison Trails Executive Director, Dave Wiens. “It has really taken a beating the last several years and lots of mountain bikers and moto riders have quit riding it due to erosion and extreme whoops that have formed.
Wiens said Water Treatment is a typical example of a livestock trail that was adopted by users but never met modern specifications as far as water shedding characteristics and appropriate grades.
Water Treatment trail was identified as problematic in the BLM’s Hartman Rocks Recreation Area Management Plan of 2006 and significant work, including rerouted sections, took place several years ago on the eastern portion of the trail.
GOATs Vice President Seth Weiner described the envisioned reroute of Water Treatment as “blue” in terms of difficulty. “There’s nothing that stands out as nasty, but it’s not going to be a laid back ride for anybody either,” he said. “It’s a section of Hartman’s that people never see because there hasn’t been a trail there.”
This grant will finally allow the entire trail to once again rejoin the system of high-quality trails at Hartman Rocks.
For more information, or to become involved in this project, contact:
BLM Recreation Planner