Plenty of room in the sandbox
SUMMIT COUNTY – Breckenridge gets the space it needs to expand the Gold Run Nordic Center, snowmobile pilots have some room to roam, and snowshoe travelers and cross-country skiers looking to use the less-developed trails and backcountry in the Golden Horseshoe will also find plenty of places to play.Everybody is satisfied, it seems, with the compromises reached in the planning process for the open space and trail system in the valleys and hills between the Swan River and French Gulch. The Board of County Commissioners and the Breckenridge Town Council will hold a joint meeting next week to formalize their endorsement of the winter recreation plan, to be sent to the U.S. Forest Service as a formal recommendation for the area.”Don’t touch it. Don’t change a comma,” County Commissioner Bob French said Tuesday, after staff planners gave their latest update on the agreement. In the final phase of planning, a few new areas were designated for shared use, including Galena Gulch and Summit Gulch, as well as the Draw Trail (seasonally), satisfying Commissioner Tom Long’s concerns that there be no net loss of snowmobile terrain.”This is the last chapter in the recreational travel vision for he Golden Horseshoe,” said assistant county manager Sue Boyd, explaining that both town and county planners have found common ground, along with the many stakeholders involved in the long-running discussions.Boyd said there are still a few outstanding issues related to parcels of private property scattered in between national forest lands and the joint town and county open space holdings. In some cases, those access questions may require sections of trail to be re-routed.Forest Service road crews and volunteer groups will begin implementing the plan this summer by putting up signs and closing routes that aren’t designated for use. A Rocky Mountain Youth Corps crew has already been lined up to spend five weeks in the area.Educating users with signage and establishing an enforcement presence will be crucial to successfully implementing the winter use plan, open space managers said.Bob Berwyn can be reached at (970) 331-5996, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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