In a recent letter, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory wrote, “RMBL fully supports Share the Slate in their efforts to develop this winter recreation layer to the already existing CBG Trails app. This app will be a great educational tool that will help preserve existing RMBL research as well as our public lands!”
This winter recreation app will have many other benefits as well. First, it will educate locals and visitors alike about what trails and zones are designated for what use which will in turn help spread out usage. This will hopefully reduce some of our more crowded trailheads as users may opt to explore alternative areas on busy days. Additionally, winter recreationalists can identify where they want to go and whether they want a mixed-use experience or a more selective experience. And last, we hope that it will minimize conflicts among winter recreationalists and hopefully help people have an overall better experience.
Gunnison National Forest Revision The Gunnison National Forest, which comprises the area surrounding Crested Butte, is undergoing a forest-wide revision process. That process also includes the Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre national forests, and the three forests are collectively known as the “GMUG”. This is an ambitious and far-reaching process which will last years. Not only does the forest revision cover a large area, the revision also encompasses recreation aspects and tackles questions about mining, logging, and other activities. The revision process is just beginning, and you can learn more by visiting the USFS website here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/gmug/landmanagement/planning. The revision process will serve as the “guide” for future USFS decisions, and that is why it is important that winter recreationalists that care about access for all user groups, like Share The Slate, need to take note of the process and make sure that our comments and suggestions are heard. It is important to note that while the GMUG revision will not directly impact the upcoming winter travel management plan, the outcome of the revision will guide changes (if any) in winter travel management plan. The actual winter travel management plan will take place after the GMUG revision, and is what will directly
Our public lands seem to be a particularly hot debate as of late. Do we increase Wilderness? Where should mountain bikers be disallowed? What areas should we make non-motorized? What public lands are “for sale”?
Over the course of a few years, the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative has been working hard to develop a comprehensive land management plan for our Forest Service lands that takes into account recreation, resource management, conservation, and ecology. The GPLI constists of ten local organizations which represent users of various interests including ranching, water resources, motorized use, conservation, mountain biking, recreation, and hunting and angling. Over the course of years, this group has met to develop a balanced and insightful use plan for Gunnison Public Lands which satisfies the needs of all user groups. They have set a model for the nation in representing all users, promoting awareness of land use, and developing a culture of compromise. By coming together to develop an insightful well-balanced proposal for sustainable growth and use of our Gunnison National Forest, the GPLI is setting a positive example for promoting shared use of our public lands.
Ever since speculations began to surround the use of our backcountry in winter, the Crested Butte community has recognized the need to develop a survey which begins to collect information from the various voices in the valley. Thankfully, Western States MEMs (Master in Environmental Management) students, along with Brian Lieberman, have taken this on. The intent of this survey is to gain some baseline data about the use of our winter backcountry and our goal is to get as many people to take this survey as possible. In order for all voices of our community to be represented, it is important that all winter backcountry users participate.
It was mid-January and Crested Butte was in the midst of a dry spell. Snow had not fallen for at least a couple of weeks and although snow was bountiful, the quality of it was lacking. But, the skis were blue, the morning was crisp, and the snow sparkled invitingly. So, I headed out to Gothic Road to enjoy cross-country skiing with my family who was visiting from Ohio. We found the trail to be in very poor shape, with deep grooves from cross-country ski travel, crossed over by footprints from walkers, another track crossing over both of those from fat-bikers. This multi-use trail was beat up. And I wondered, why don’t we see grooming here? It would create a better user experience for everyone! Improvement of user experience in heavily traveled shared use areas such as the Gothic corridor is one of the main reasons why we support the recent winter grooming proposal of the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association (CBMBA). The proposal is aimed toward increasing trail access for fat bikers, but much of the proposal can improve experiences for all winter user groups.
It’s been nearly a week since the first public meeting for Share the Slate. We thank all those who were able to attend! If you were not able to attend, we have the two PowerPoint presentations that we presented under the Resources page on our site. We first introduced ourselves, explained our mission, and what we believe. Then, we explained why we formed, to counter the movements made by the Nordic Center and Silent Tracks, and our goals to try to promote multi-use trails. After, we explained the current winter travel management plan for our area, the Gang of Nine Decision. This was followed by an explanation of how you can help Share the Slate. Last, we went over our new data collection mapping program. Which brings us now to the point…. Have YOU taken action? To take action, we ask that you do some or all of these four things: 1) Sign up for our email updates 2) Donate 3) Write a letter to the town council 4) Sign our Petition During our meeting, we also explained that we would like people to submit their user data on our map. This is our attempt to gain knowledge for who