Dillon Ranger District gets approval for off-highway vehicle funding | SummitDaily.com

Dillon Ranger District gets approval for off-highway vehicle funding

Trail crews with Summit County Off-Road Riders work in the Golden Horseshoe area of Breckenridge. Funding for the U.S. Forest Service's Dillon Ranger District is receiving funding to maintain off-road vehicle trails.
Tim Nixon/Summit Daily News archive

The Dillon Ranger District received a grant approved by the Parks and Wildlife Commission to continue funding off-highway vehicles trails and maintenance. 

On Thursday, the commission met to discuss Off-Highway Vehicle grant applications for various departments, wildlife management groups and local governments across the state of Colorado. 

The Dillon Ranger District was approved by the commission to receive the full request of just over $111,000 for the Dillon Off-Highway Vehicle Trail Crew in 2023. Currently, 100 trees are estimated to be blocking the many miles of motorized multiuse trails in Summit County, and funds from the grant will go toward continuing funding for a motorized trail crew.

Across the state, Parks and Wildlife has distinguished 25 districts as “good management status,” including the Dillon Ranger District. If a U.S. Forest Service or other federal entity’s crew can show a track record of having excellent results of implementing plans for recreation management, they receive this status, which guarantees funding for those districts every year. Fletcher Jacobs, state trails program manager, said this allows for planning work years in advance knowing that this money is always going to be there, and it allows some security when it comes to hiring seasonal workers.

“Good management crew is something we always like to highlight. It’s become a shining example of collaboration here in the state when it comes to managing outdoor recreation,” Jacobs said. “So this program was started in 2001 and essentially allows our federal agencies to be able to proactively manage their highest-use areas.”

The program sells registration-use permits for use on all motorized trails in the state. The price of the permit is $25.25 for the use permit or for registration. Of these funds, 25 cents is put toward the search-and-rescue fund.

The commission also approved a round of competitive grants for groups that do not have good management status, and those grants are scored competitively. In total, the commission approved $2.46 million toward good management grants and $3.77 for competitive grants for a total of over $7.4 million going to off-highway vehicle management in Colorado.

“As we see an increase in recreation, we’ve seen an increase in requests for this program,” Jacobs said. 

Luke Schafer, secretary of the commission and member-at-large, said that the partnerships between agencies to provide the grant awards and the trail maintenance is something to be commended. Grant funding for all of the projects passed unanimously.

“This is where a lot of the work that is occurring at a regional level that we don’t see at the commission,” Schafer said. “Oftentimes, the public never sees it. It takes time in some capacity, but it’s invaluable work.”

On June 3, the Dillon Ranger District updated the current conditions overview for the trails it manages. Off-highway vehicles require state registration, and users can refer to the Summer Motor Vehicle Use Map for road access and designations.

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