No doubt you are aware that USFS is considering closing the Bear Creek watershed (including Jones Park) to all uses in order to help save the habitat for the trout. That's the bad news.
The good news is that the alternative plans include a new trail which will connect upper Jones Park (near Lake Moraine) through Frosty's, down to Buckhorn. This could be a very cool new trail, plus it allows for the connection to the Missing Link - Lake Moraine trail project, which could then move forward.
MWTA's official position is this:
·We would like to thank the land managers involved, USFS and Colorado Springs Utilities, for including mountain bikers and MWTA in the process;
·We urge the decision makers to consider all alternatives to closing the trail and evaluate them relative to how likely they are to save the fish (some data would be nice);
·Our number one preference would be not to close the Bear Creek watershed to non-motorized uses.
·IF the watershed must be closed to ALL uses, then the construction of replacement connector trails as outlined in the draft are an acceptable alternative, provided they allow for, at a minimum, non-motorized connectivity with the proposed Lake Moriane Trail on the South Slope of Pikes Peak as well as the Frosty's Park area.
·MWTA would like to be involved with detailed trail layout, since we believe that we can bring a professional persppective to that process.
·We believe the motorized use on the proposed trail is also a good idea, since it provides a way for responsible users in this group to access the high country.
Please feel free to attend the open house this Thursday and provide the land managers with your feedback.
Below is a copy of the official announcement from USFS:
The Pikes Peak Ranger District is seeking the public's input on proposed changes to travel management and recreation activities, and proposed stream habitat improvement actions in the Bear Creek Watershed Restoration Project area.
As part of the scoping process for this project, the public can provide comments by mail, fax, or email to:
Bear Creek Watershed Restoration Project
Pikes Peak Ranger District
601 S. Weber Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
(719) 477-4233 fax
Comments will also be accepted at the Open House held on Thursday, April 4th, 2013 from 4:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Leon Young Service Center (1521 Hancock Expressway, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903).
Comments on this project will be most useful if received no later than April 30, 2013. Only those individuals who provide comment or otherwise express interest by the close of the comment period may be eligible to appeal or object to the decision pursuant to regulations at 36 CFR Part 215 or 36 CFR Part 218. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record on this proposed action and will be available for public inspection.
Please see attached documents for details on the upcoming Open House and a summary of the proposed action.