Environmental news: Copper Mountain trail one of state’s highest priority projects | SummitDaily.com

Environmental news: Copper Mountain trail one of state’s highest priority projects

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

Copper Mountain trail one of state's highest priority trail projects

As part of Colorado the Beautiful's "16 in 2016" initiative highlighted during his State of the State address last week, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced on Wednesday, Jan. 20, the Freemont Pass Trail between Copper Mountain and the Mineral Belt Trail in Lake County as one of the state's highest priority trail projects.

The projects represent the state's 16 most important trail gaps, missing trail segments and unbuilt trails. Identifying these 16 trails is designed to build upon strong existing support and partnerships to push them to completion.

"We've identified projects that will help us fulfill the vision of Colorado the Beautiful, and create the kinds of connections that link us to the natural splendor that sets our state apart," Hickenlooper said in a news release. "We need the kind of outdoor access that more easily brings all of us — especially our young people — into the fresh air and away from indoor distractions.

"Getting more Coloradans outdoors more often is good for our health," continued the governor, "and a refreshing reminder of how fortunate we are to live in Colorado."

The "16 in '16" initiative was created to start a more focused, coordinated conversation to support trails and promote outdoor recreation across the state. Moving these projects forward means a better-connected network of trails statewide, improved links to expanded outdoor opportunities, safe alternative transportation routes and economic development for adjacent communities.

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The initiative is a main component of Colorado the Beautiful's broader goal to ensure that within a generation every Coloradan lives within 10 minutes of a park, trail or green space. Projects were selected based on several criteria, including, among others, their proximity to underserved communities, the need for new paved and natural surface multi-use trails, and the ability to support environmental stewardship.

In order to support the advancement of these 16 priority projects, Hickenlooper will create an interagency council comprised of relevant state agencies and offices. This council will ensure appropriate coordination occurs across state government to promote trail projects and outdoor recreation, and work closely with the newly formed Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry and the Colorado Pedals Project.

The initiative is just the first step in a public process to develop a statewide plan for trails. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is undertaking a strategic planning effort for their Trails Program that will set values and goals for expanding and maintaining recreational trails across Colorado.

A list of the 16 trail projects, including the nearby Freemont Pass Trail, is available on the Colorado the Beautiful page of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources website here: https://cdnr.us/#/cothebeautiful. The list includes a brief summary of each proposal and a map locating each project.

Breck recycling center moving

Summit County will permanently relocate its Breckenridge Recycling Drop-off Center on Tuesday, Jan. 26, from its current location on County Road 450 to a new space on Coyne Valley Road just north of Colorado Mountain College.

The move, long in the works, was made official by Summit County government on Monday, Jan. 18, with the final day for residents to drop off recyclable items such as mixed paper, glass and plastic bottles, batteries and more, at the current site Monday, Jan. 25, by 4 p.m., when its operations cease. The transition makes way for the Huron Landing affordable workforce housing development, which the county and Town of Breckenridge have partnered on with plans to break ground by June.

"This move is the last piece of the puzzle in creating space for the Huron Landing project," County Commissioner Thomas Davidson said in a news release. "Summit County and the town of Breckenridge have been working together for several years to make this much-needed workforce housing project a reality."

The recycling center is the last enterprise to relocate after previously moving some of the county's Road & Bridge and ambulance operations, as well as Sheriff's Office storage, to other locations. Officials see the relocation of all as a win-win after a 2010 update of the Upper Blue master plan identified the 1.7 acres of land at the Huron Landing site on CR 450 near Highway 9 as a potential workforce housing site, and transition the recycling operation to a brand-new space.

"The new site is going to be a big improvement for recycling center users," Aaron Byrne, county resource allocation park direction, said in the release. "We had a blank canvas, so we put a lot of thought into creating a site plan that organized and optimized traffic flow in a way that the old site just couldn't accommodate."

The county's recycling drop-off centers in Frisco and Breckenridge are the only locations that accept glass for residential recycling. Glass is not allowed in single-stream, curbside recycling, as it tends to break and contaminate other materials during processing. The two county centers also accept scrap metal.

As an added note, as of Jan. 1, the community drop-off sites stopped accepting used motor oil, oil filters and antifreeze because of water quality concerns. These materials are still accepted, free of charge, at the Summit County Resource Allocation Park, located on Landfill Road near Keystone.