Breckenridge race owner fined by Forest Service |

Breckenridge race owner fined by Forest Service

Janice Kurbjun
Summit Daily News

Following an early July violation of Forest Service rules to clear the way for the Independence Day Firecracker 50 mountain bike race in Breckenridge, event owner and promoter Jeff Westcott was issued notices and fines for his actions.

Part of the race’s route was still under snow in the week leading up to the race, so Westcott mechanically removed snow from Little French Trail off French Gulch Road without prior approval. He said previously that the snow was “5 feet deep in places for several hundred linear feet,” and “would have required (about) 160 person hours to shovel it.”

Westcott’s two violation notices were for using motorized equipment on a designated non-motorized Forest Service trail and conducting unauthorized trail maintenance, Dillon Ranger District recreation staff officer Ken Waugh said.

Westcott has also committed to an adopt-a-trail program through Friends of the Dillon Ranger District for next summer.

Waugh would not release the amounts of the fines.

“We felt it was something we had to do, needed to do,” Waugh said. “There has to be repercussions for communication breakdowns.”

He added that Westcott’s relationship with the Forest Service is still intact, and the event owner and promoter still holds valid permits for the Firecracker 50, the six races in the Summit Mountain Challenge, the Breck Crest Mountain Marathon and the Fall Classic.

“The Forest Service recognizes that events like the Firecracker 50 do support the local economy … these events are appropriate uses of national forest lands,” Forest Service spokesman Patrick Thrasher said previously, who added that Westcott has been a permit holder for years. “But, we have a responsibility to protect public safety and protect resources we’re managing.”

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