Public can shape Golden Horseshoe |

Public can shape Golden Horseshoe

BOB BERWYNsummit daily news

SUMMIT COUNTY – With the Golden Horseshoe firmly established as part of Summit County’s open space holdings, it’s time to step up and develop a comprehensive management plan for the area.While town and county staff and consultants have already done some lead-up work, an open house set for Thursday at the Breckenridge Rec Center is intended to spur public involvement in the process. The open house will launch a visible phase of the planning process, said county open space and trails director Todd Robertson.”We want to take an aggressive and prudent approach and make sure we do it right,” Robertson said, outlining an ambitious timeline. Robertson hopes to complete the travel management component by early September to mesh with the White River National Forest travel management planning process.The overall plan for the Golden Horseshoe should be done sometime later in the fall, and Robertson said he expects to take it to elected officials sometime between October and December.The Golden Horseshoe is located to the northeast of downtown Breckenridge in unincorporated Summit County. Since 1997, the county and town governments have jointly acquired over 2,500 acres of private inholdings in the Golden Horseshoe to protect the area’s open space character.Robertson said it’s important to remember that the Golden Horseshoe isn’t an isolated geographical island. The area is closely linked to the Three Forks of the Swan, with existing motorized use, as well as the Colorado Trail corridor, and the planning must take those factors into consideration.”Some of the key management issues the plan will address are which roads and trails will stay open to public use, how recreational uses will be managed and how natural and historic resources will be protected,” said Ken Waugh, recreation staff officer for the Dillon Ranger District.Robertson said a 20-member citizen advisory group will meet once a month, with sub-groups breaking out to address specific issues like travel management and the protection of natural and cultural resources. The open house is a chance for people to sign up for those groups, he said.The advisory group will also help determine how intensively the area will be developed for recreation Robertson said. That process will include discussions on how many – if any – new trails to build, how to manage trailhead parking and what level of signage is appropriate in the area. “It’s going to be a challenge for the community to balance this,” Robertson said.Help Shape the Shoe- What: Public Open House on Golden Horseshoe management plan – When: Thursday, 6-8 p.m., Breckenridge Recreation Center, 880 Airport Road. Presentation on Golden Horseshoe at 6:30 p.m.- For more information: Contact Todd Robertson, Summit County Open Space and Trails (970) 668-406; Heide Andersen, Town of Breckenridge Open Space and Trails Dept. (970) 547-3110; Ken Waugh, U.S. Forest Service Dillon Ranger District (970) 262-3446.Bob Berwyn can be reached at (970) 331-5996, or at

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