SJTR blog

This Blog is intended for use by all SJTR club members and visitors.

For now it'll be used for Club news and events but if you've got something to share please contact us and we'll post it!

Brrrrrrrap!

 

 

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  • June 13, 2017 10:10 AM | Anonymous

    To Everyone:


    We know that everyone is very anxious to get to the high country trails and enjoy the cool and scenic atmosphere we find in the exciting and challenging single-track trail riding experience in and around the Rico/West Dolores Colorado trail system.

    Fortunately and unfortunately the area received higher than average snowfall this season and many of the trails above 10,500 ft. are still partially blocked by large snow drifts and un-cleared downfall.  The reports from the Forest Service trail crews are that a few riders (of which we believe are not associated with SJTR, PAPA or Timberline Trail-riders) are attempting to break through blocked trails by creating new routes around large downfall trees and blocking snowdrifts.  This is just not the kind of behavior that we want to support as it can potentially harm the resource and may even encourage further bad trail use behavior.  


    So, we are asking all of our members and other single-track motorized riders either in or out of our region to take very seriously any decision to plan rides on currently snow and downfall blocked high country trails for a few more weeks.  Yes, it often works out that small drifts can be ridden over or through without much difficulty.  However, not properly clearing trees and making new tracks around them is not the behavior any of us wants to see.  Riders of high country trails in the summer need to be fully prepared to clear downed logs or go directly over them until they can be properly cut out.  The best for everyone though is to properly saw them out when encountered.  If all of us dedicate ourselves and share with others the need to follow these behaviors, our trails can be properly preserved.  


    Thanks to everyone (and other riders you may coach) for making these trail riding considerations for the high country trails this season.  As it stands, there are many trails at lower elevations in the Dolores Ranger district that have been cleared and ready for your riding enjoyment.  Please contact the Dolores Ranger District in Dolores, CO. for more information.   Tom Rice is the recreation specialist there and a great guy to talk to.  He can be contacted at 970-882-6843 or cell at 970-749-6432 and thomasbrice@fs.fed.us., on changing trail conditions in areas you may want to go.   It is our hope that you have a great summer trail riding experience in the Dolores Ranger District should you plan to go there.  


    Respectfully,

    The San Juan Trail Riders Board of Directors


  • February 09, 2017 7:53 PM | Anonymous

    The TPA shared their Year End Report with us. It covers many of the success stories and one's ongoing.

    Take a look!

    TPA Report


  • October 25, 2016 6:23 AM | Anonymous

    From the Director’s Desk                                              October 24, 2016

    Allen Christy – Senior Director

    Re:  This season’s trail riding winds down.

    For the most of us it has been a great trail riding season.  Many, many days of great sun and good weather this year to enjoy the trail systems on the San Juan National Forest.  However, the leaves have all fallen, hunters are afield and the days are much cooler and shorter now.  Time to find good low altitude Fall and Winter recreation.  As many of you also know the BLM lands in and around the Four Corners Area can provide the cooler weather opportunities in a more desert-like environment.

    It is important I think to highlight some of the SJTR Organization activities that were on-going throughout the summer that many of our membership would not be aware of that continues to support continued trail riding opportunities on the San Juan National Forest going forward.  These activities/initiatives are as follows:

    • 1.       SJTR continues to draw names from our membership list and award monogrammed tie-down sets monthly.  A little perk for your membership.  To date 26 sets have been awarded.

    • 2.      Members have worked on rehabilitating the Box Canyon Trail this year on both the West and East sides.  It is now fully ride-able again.  It has not had any work for over 30 years. 

    • 3.      An over-grown section of the Morrison Trail had to have much of the overgrowth trimmed back before the forest took over the trail.  In early season a SJTR team cleared Morrison of heavy downfall. 

    • 4.      Most all trails in the system (Cortez/Mancos and Rico/West Dolores) were cleared early in the season by SJTR teams so that everyone could enjoy warm weather riding. 

    • 5.      One SJTR Club Ride was organized in Echo Basin in August.  14 riders participated.  Lots of doughnuts and orange juice got them going.

    • 6.      SJTR Staff officers continued staying involved in both the Forest Service Rico/West Dolores EIS and Hermosa Creek trail management processes which have strong potentials of impacting future single-track motorized recreation in these areas.

    • 7.      Several members continued the development of the Old Gold Run Trail connector that was promised by the Forest Service to be reviewed for opening to single-track recreation almost 6 years ago.  It is still under study.

    • 8.      Two of your SJTR staff members continue to hold seats on the State Trails Advisory groups and vote in your best interests

    These few activities underscore the amount of work and involvement that your SJTR Organization provides to help keep single-track motorized trail recreation “alive and well” in and around the San Juan National Forest system of trails.

    I personally observed much more activity on our local trails this year from out-of-state riders.  I met several groups of 7-9 riders from Utah, Wyoming, California and Arizona while I was out on trail work days.  They all raved about the quality of our trail systems vs. what they have in their own areas.  We are truly fortunate to have such recreation resources right here at home.  I expect the out-of-state rider interest to grow by word of mouth.

    I hope that this short review of some of the on-going work by your SJTR leadership team will encourage you to continue your membership and know that we are continually working on your behalf.  Yes, we would like to have more club activities that we know you much enjoy.  Yes, we are always thinking of more perks for members that we may be able to provide as an organization.  Yes, we wish more members were paid up on their dues (currently less than 20% of our members have paid-up dues).  All of these wishes take resources in both manpower and time to make it all happen.  Please don’t hesitate to make any recommendations that you think would enhance our organization.  We are always open to those ideas.  A simple e-mail back to Brad Carey, our IS manager, will get routed to the right person for a response. 

    The SJTR Board of Directors much appreciates your continued membership and on-going support to help keep our chosen recreation available for now and for those coming up in the sport in the future.

    Sincerely,

    Allen Christy – Senior Director

    For:  The SJTR Board of Directors

     

  • August 19, 2016 8:54 AM | Anonymous

    Hi members and friends!

    Here's an opportunity to join a well-organized event in the Buena Vista area. Though primarily an ATV event they do allow motorcycles too understanding the pace will be at the ATV level.


    We are having our annual ATV Historical Color Tour September 20-24th The website for our event is http://coloradoohvtour.org/ . 

    This tour takes riders around to old mining towns, ghost towns and showcases the best of Colorado’s fall colors and ends with a pig roast!


    Have fun!

  • July 07, 2016 8:10 AM | Anonymous

    Thanks to weather conditions which have contributed to the trails drying up we will be hosting a ride July 10. The ride will start at the Echo Basin parking lot at 10:00 A.M. sharp. Riders should pack food and water as we will have lunch on the trail.  Depending on who shows up and which trails we ride we would expect to be back to the trucks by 4:00 P.M.


    Directions - From Durango head west on Hwy 160 towards Mancos.

    Approximately 2 miles before Mancos turn right on CR44 / FS Road 566.

    Continue on 566 for approximately 5 miles past Weber Reservoir to the parking lot. 


    See you there!

  • June 16, 2016 10:50 AM | Anonymous

     

    Dear Participant,

    I am extending the public comment period for the Rico West Dolores Roads and Trails (Travel Management) Project.  A 45-day comment period that began on Friday, May 6, was originally scheduled to end on June 20, 2016.  This date has been extended to July 15, 2016 (an additional 25 days).  The Draft Environmental Impact Statement and the electronic comment form will remain available on the San Juan National Forest website at

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=44918 

    If you have questions feel free to call the office at 970-882-7296 and ask for Debbie Kill, Tom Rice or myself. 

    Comments received including names and addresses will become part of the public record. 

    Thank you for your participation thus far and your continued interest in this project.  

    Derek Padilla

    Dolores District Ranger

  • June 05, 2016 7:02 AM | Anonymous

    The below document was submitted on behalf of the Board and Membership. Please review this document as a tool to craft your own comments from.

     

    Dolores Ranger District, San Juan National Forest                                        June 2, 2016

    29211 Hwy. 184

    Dolores, CO    81323

    Attn:  Debbie Kill, Derek Padilla

    dkill@fs.fed.us dpadilla@fs.fed.us

    Re:  Rico-West Dolores Roads and Trails (Travel Management) Project

           Draft Environmental Impact Statement

    Ms. Kill and Mr. Padilla:

    San Juan Trail Riders (SJTR) of Durango, CO representing a single-track motorized membership of over 400, wishes to comment on the proposed Alternatives presented in the recently released Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)  for the Rico-West Dolores (RWD) Project Area. 

    The SJTR Organization has elected to comment briefly on each Alternative and more extensively on the one proposed Alternative (if modified slightly) that would best suit the long-term needs and expectations of our constituency. 

    Alternative A

    Even though this Alternative (the “as is” conditions) offers a good number of desirable existing and designated routes, it falls short of building on a key strategy needed to fully complete: “loop” opportunities, system access N. to S. and S. to N. across highway 145, access to Haycamp Mesa from Morrison 610, completed easement for the connection of Winter Trail to East and West Fall Creek Trails, the addition of Loading Pens Trail and completed connections of Spring Creek Trail and Wildcat Trails.  Additionally, the seasonal restrictions applied to this Alternative would need an adjustment of 1 June to 31 October.  SJTR believes that this Alternative, even though listed in the group, very rarely gets earmarked as a final selected Alternative.  However, if all of the above listed additions of trail segments/sections/restrictions adjustments, etc. were added to the current single-track motorized system, this Alternative could be considered supportable.

    Alternative B

    This Alternative would be considered totally unacceptable to the single-track motorized user group and appears to fall short of purpose and need of the project.

    Alternative C

    This Alternative, which offers new opportunities for increased OHV recreation by other than single-track motorized users, it falls extremely short in meeting needs and expectations of the single-track motorized user group.  There is an overall loss of single-track trail miles, it breaks connections N. to S. and S. to N. across the landscape, it places trail motorcyclists in a difficult position as to how to access trail connections other than by highway travel, it fails to provide much needed “loop” connections, it does not extend the Wildcat Trail to connect to Burnett Creek Trail, it eliminates the historically motorized designated Ryman Creek Trail, it takes a critical long- used section of Bear Creek out of the motorized system, it removes motorized access at Bear Creek trailhead, it breaks up the Winter Trail connections and it does not provide the needed access to Haycamp Mesa through the Morrison Trail 610 easement.  SJTR and the membership find themselves unable to support this Alternative in its current form.  Support of this Alternative shall be presented by SJTR and its membership as ALTERNATIVE C (modified)

    In the ALTERNATIVE C (modified) version it would include the following changes to gain consideration for support.

    • 1.       Ryman Creek Trail would remain a part of the single-track motorized system. (SJTR) could support replacement of Ryman with the SJTR proposed Salt Creek Trail. 

    • 2.      Extend Wildcat Trail from its currently designated amount of trail (to the alternate suggested trail head) on to the old Railroad Grade and connect to the old Rio Grande Southern grade towards Burnett Creek Trail.  SJTR has asked the FS to consider a designation of Tenderfoot Trail as non-motorized as a trade for the full motorized designation of Wildcat Trail. 

    • 3.      If the long designated Bear Creek Trail is considered for re-designation, the trail head at Bear Creek cannot be lost to single-track motorized users and an alternate route such as the proposed Little Bear Trail (which got no analysis after being proposed by SJTR) could be accepted as a commensurate replacement connecting back to Grindstone Trail. 

    • 4.      Because of the critical importance of connections back to Haycamp Mesa, SJTR would again ask the FS to revisit the Morrison 610 easement agreement back to 610 Trail and/or provide a re-route of Morrison Trail 610 around private property across Bear Creek to the Little Bear Trail.

    • 5.      SJTR and its membership find the seasonal travel limit of June 1 to October 31 a consideration for support.

    •  

    Alternative C (modified) Summary

    • ·         Ryman Creek has a very long history of motorized designation, has not required extra ordinary maintenance to keep it in reasonable condition and was not listed in any FS report or in the testimony given to the 10th Circuit that this trail should be removed from the current motorized system.

    • ·         Wildcat Trail is currently designated (by ½ the length) as motorized.  A complaint from a grazing permitee in the Wilcat Trail area hypothetically portrays motorcycle use of the lower half of this trail as devastating to the “scattering” of his herd of cattle.  SJTR contends that there has been no evidence documented anywhere across the San Juan National Forest that motorcycle use or any other motorized use “scatters” cattle unacceptably.  Additionally, this trail has been identified as having steep grades and it does.  However, other motorized trails across the SJNF exhibit very similar grades and soil conditions and have maintained their sustainability over many decades.  This trail is a critical “loop” connection for trail motorcyclists so that highway 145 travel is not required to keep trail travel by single-track motorized users within the system.

    • ·         Bear Creek Trail has been a motorized single-track route in the system for more than 5 decades.  This can be validated by existing FS maps used for many years.  SJTR, its membership and other constituents cannot accept removal of this trail from the motorized system along with the highway 145 trailhead without some commensurate replacement.  Little Bear Trail (although not nearly as challenging and enjoyable) seems to be the only reasonable replacement for the highly valued Bear Creek Trail.  We therefore submit a request that the FS revisit our recommendation of the Little Bear Trail replacement for the main section of Bear Creek Trail.

    • ·         SJTR has long requested the reinstallation of the Morrison Trail 610 easement to the main trail.  This trail has been used by motorcyclists for more than 3 decades before it was re-designated a few years ago because of a bullying effort by the landowner that the easement passes through to do so.  We believe, in a parallel analysis of the easement agreement, that the FS has every right to allow motorcycle travel through this easement.  There are no restrictions identified on the easement documents and the public has no restrictions on Stock Driveway use.  We also believe that the District Ranger has a right to decide in favor of the general public to maintain this easement as an important access to Haycamp Mesa for single-track motorized users and others.

    • ·          We believe that the District Ranger also has a second option to provide access for motorcyclists to the main Morrison Trail through a lower section of Morrison Trail re-route (very short section) around the private property across Bear Creek to Little Bear Trail.   We respectfully request that a new consideration be given to these options for Morrison Trail 610 access. 

    • ·         SJTR, its members and other constituents concede that an adjustment to a motorized access time period June 1 to October 31 would not seriously degrade the riding experience of the upper RWD motorized trails if it is imposed by this project.  However, it should be noted that nowhere in the ID Team Analysis does the use of motorized travel on these upper trails appear to negatively impact game in the area to any large degree.   Nor does the proposal to limit the use of single-track motorcycles on trails for specific times of the season yet at the same time extending ATV vehicle use for longer seasonal periods seems highly unjustifiable and somewhat discriminatory.   Therefore overall there really seems to be no justification for the seasonal travel restrictions.  Weather has historically provided restrictions of motorized travel and it has no history of not being respected.  Elk herds are maintaining and even increasing their levels and game harvest has not shown to be decreasing relative to licenses purchased.  No other resource issues were noted by early entrance into the area by motorized travel. 

    Alternative D and E

    These alternatives, if either would be selected, would so devastating to the future of single-track motorized recreation and the entire current single-track motorized system, that SJTR could not support either unless they were reconstructed in a highly modified form.

    Summary

    SJTR, its members, other constituents and support organizations applaud the work completed by the Interdisciplinary Team on this project.  Through their analysis of the resource and any associated social issues the conclusions are clear that there are few major concerns that should significantly alter the current use of the single-track motorized recreation system in the RWD Landscape other than to add a very few short trails and sections of trails to enhance the system.    The single-track motorized system use in the RWD Landscape has been rated by the FS as low to moderate, few resource issues have been identified and general cooperation by user groups of the trails prevails.  Increasing opportunity for other OHV users makes perfect sense in light of the increasing demand across the Southwest and the Nation as a whole for more motorized routes.

     However, many of the conclusions that the ID Team makes regarding “quality vs. quantity” of trails, how trail rides might be taken by riders to optimize their pleasure, etc. are a complete disconnect from what single-track motorized users actually prefer in their riding opportunities.  SJTR sees no evidence that the FS has the expertise nor have they enlisted trail riding motorcycle experts to help make any valid conclusions in some of their assessments included in the analysis.  

    SJTR has requested on multiple occasions any evidence that would document safety, social or individual conflict issues that might “red flag” problems throughout this current motorized system.  Nothing has been provided.  We profess that the District is being pressured (bullied) by a handful of individuals who in most cases have never been seen on these trails at any time by motorized user groups.  In addition some of the registered complaints regarding motorized trail use are being raised by those who do not even live in this area and/or those who expect to gain financially by restricting motorized trail use in, around or near their private holdings.  The presented Alternatives in the DEIS have created the appearance of a deliberate attempt to segregate and isolate the single-track motorized user group from non-motorized users where possible in the RWD trail system.  We respectfully request that the District Ranger reject this pressure and focus on the protection of the resource as a basis for all Travel Management decisions in the final project decisions.

    Respectfully,

    San Juan Trail Riders Board of Directors and Membership

      

     

     

  • June 05, 2016 6:53 AM | Anonymous

                ACTION ALERT

     

                                                                                                                      

    Fellow Trail Riders,  

    We find ourselves deeply involved in yet another travel management process, the decisions of which will determine the fate of single-track motorized trail users on the trails in the Rico West Dolores area of the San Juan National Forest for years to come.  The trails being analyzed have historical motorized use going back more than four decades and among them are the only above tree line motorized single- track trails in southwest Colorado. 

    Non- motorized users, including some hunters and anglers, are advocating for closing many of the single-track trails to motorized use that we have enjoyed and worked to protect for years.  The USFS is in some cases questioning the sustainability of our trail system even though volunteer efforts and funding from the OHV community have been responsible for the lion’s share of the maintenance efforts on the trails for years and their analysis shows the trails to be in good shape with only low to moderate use.

    If you think like us that we, as well as the generations that follow us, should continue to enjoy the single-track motorized recreation trail opportunities we have enjoyed for so many years please make it a priority to comment on this process (comments due before June 20th).  The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is the guiding document for the process.  You can view it at http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=44981.  The document is more than 250 pages long and is not an easy read.  San Juan Trail Riders has developed comments that we will be presenting to the USFS a copy of which is on our website at San Juan Trail Riders.org.  Feel free to look at our comments in an effort to develop yours.  Make sure your comments reflect your experiences on these trails (how much you, friends and/or family members have enjoyed the trails and why) if applicable and don’t just say your comments are in line with ours.  Be specific and be positive about how important it is to you to keep these trails open for single-track motorized use.  We believe that our overall campaign of comments in favor of keeping valuable single-track motorized trails open for our use will be critical to final decisions made by the Dolores Ranger District.  We ALL must take action and encourage others who may not receive this ACTION ALERT.

    Written comments should be sent to Dolores Public Lands Office at 29211 Hwy. 184, Dolores, CO 81323.  Comments may also be emailed to Debbie Kill, NEPA coordinator, at dkill@fs.fed.us. All comments have to be in the hands of the USFS by June 20, 2016.     

    Sincerely, Your SJTR Board of Directors

     

  • May 03, 2016 7:12 PM | Anonymous

    As we patiently await the upcoming delivery of the Dolores Ranger District Rico/West Dolores EIS Alternative Trail Designation Recommendations, we know we must be prepared to take whatever actions necessary to preserve this world-class single-track riding area. These recommended alternatives were to be published and presented to the public in April. We have seen nothing to date but do fully expect to see them soon. As you may already know, the last litigation we were involved in to preserve 14 of the most

    critical trails to single-track users in the Rico/West Dolores landscape cost almost $50,000 to win. But, we won, only to be faced with a newly created Environmental Impact Study (EIS) being created by the District to make additional Travel Management Decisions on those trails and others. We have been working diligently to this point with the Dolores District to provide multiple alternatives that they can incorporate into the EIS which would satisfy most all users that oppose motorized recreation in the Rico/West Dolores landscape yet preserve current single-track recreation trail mileage in the end. We remain optimistic that our work with them

    will result in preserved single-track recreation opportunities and provide no net loss of trail miles for our membership and others with the selected EIS Alternative. We must anticipate and be prepared to challenge large scale losses that the Dolores District may want to impose on single-track recreation in this area that we have all enjoyed for over 50 years should a decision go that way. Again, we hope not. However, your paid-up memberships and recruitment of new memberships will be critical to our litigation resources should they be needed. We ask you to please recall where your membership might be at this point and renew if it has lapsed. There is no penalty for overdue membership dues with this announcement. A one-time $25.00 renewal will put your membership right back on track and help the organization battle on, on your behalf. We desperately need you. A quick visit to the web page can get you to renewal and support San Juan Trail Riders ongoing efforts to keep wonderful riding areas open for our chosen recreation type. Thank you in advance for your continued support. Don’t hesitate to e-mail accuratebackhoe@msn.com (Jason Chapman) should you need help with your membership.

     

    Your San Juan Trail Riders Board of Directors 

  • May 03, 2016 7:06 PM | Anonymous

    March:

    1.  Ray Beck - La Mesa, CA

    2.  Malcom Hunter - Dallas, TX

     

    April:

    1.  Ross Moe - Grand Junction, CO

    2.  Matthew Snyder - Durango, CO

     

    May:

    1.  Julie Birkle - Cortez, CO

    2.  Alan Roche - Scottsdale, AZ

     

    Congratulations winners! 

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