Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s 2021 – 2022 OHV Trail Grant funding award recommendations have been approved for $5.9 million to fund 70 trail projects across Colorado. The grant funding represents over 100,000 trail crew hours and comes from Colorado OHV registrations and the federal Recreational Trails Program.
“This is literally OHV dollars going right back into the trails,” said CPW State Trails Program Manager Fletcher Jacobs. “This year we funded 33 maintenance trail crews across the state, 24 of which are Good Management crews, which allow our federal partners at the United State Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to get much needed consistent funding for trail crews. We were also excited to fund 36 weeks of youth corps crews that helps us to not only protect resources, but also allow young adult corps members to be exposed to careers in natural resources.”
Some of the highlights from this year’s grant award winners include:
High Alpine Counties Partnership
Funding will allow Hinsdale, Ouray, San Juan, and San Miguel counties to partner with the BLM, the Forest Service, and volunteers from area nonprofit organizations to address resource impacts on the popular Alpine Loop. This grant will finalize the development of one informational video for what it means to visit the counties in these High Alpine areas, with a focus on Stay The Trail ethics and appropriate stewardship. The partnership will also develop an information kiosk and an ambassador program to further promote education, stewardship goals, and be welcoming to visitors. Grant funding will also be used for volunteer support such as tents and materials to install rock/boulder barriers that protect fragile areas of tundra impacted by increased visitation.
BLM Statewide (OHV) Law Enforcement
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will conduct law enforcement details and/or saturation patrols in key areas and times of the year where OHV management is a priority. BLM law enforcement officers will patrol areas, contacting public land users and OHV operators, focusing efforts on public education, monitoring, public safety, reporting and enforcement of OHV regulations and registration requirements.
North Zone OHV Crew
A motorized OHV crew will patrol, maintain, restore, and improve motorized routes on the North Zone. Patrol activities will include conducting visitor contacts, providing education and information, and performing enforcement. Trail work will include post-fire route restoration, improvements, and maintenance on approximately 13 miles of the North Zone’s single-track trails as well as working with youth corps crews on maintenance on the Donner Pass and Lookout Mountain trails.
Stay The Trail Education & Stewardship Alliance
Funding to continue and enhance the Stay The Trail Campaign throughout the state to promote responsible OHV recreation through educational programs, stewardship projects, direct user contacts, and resource protection/mitigation. The campaign will also work in bordering states in an effort to target and educate the many out-of-state trail users who visit Colorado.
Jones Park Renovation Project
El Paso County Parks, in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI), will make improvements and help sustain five sites along approximately 3.5 miles of Trail 667 within Jones Park. The project will repair and improve drainage and rebuild the trail tread. Trail crews will use hand tools to build rock retaining walls, create drainage structures, and perform restoration work in the five locations.
The Colorado State Trails Committee is responsible for the review process for the trail grant applications and makes recommendations to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission regarding funding for grants.
The OHV/motorized trail grant selection process follows a four-tiered review and approval protocol. All grant applications are first reviewed by CPW wildlife field biologists and regional CPW staff. This process allows CPW to flag potential wildlife issues prior to the review by the subcommittees. While concerns may be flagged during this review, CPW’s field staff attempts to resolve these concerns prior to the subcommittee’s review. Next, applications are evaluated by the OHV Grant Review and Ranking Subcommittee to score and rank the OHV competitive grant applications in order of their recommended funding priority. The ranked applications are then passed to the Committee to evaluate the applications in ranked order and recommend funding strategies to the Commission. The Commission provides the final approval to the funded projects. This process invites public review and comment at four separate stages: upon submission, before the subcommittees, before the State Trails Committee and before the Commission.