Should Salida become a motorized off road vacation destination?

There is a new proposal to open a large number of Chaffee County roads to unlicensed Off Highway Vehicle use, and it has the potential to negatively impact you, your home, and the entire county. County roads are closed to OHV use (ATVs and dirt motorcycles) by state law. Counties have the authority to modify this.

Opening county roads to OHVs will negatively impact habitat, ecosystems, all quiet users, existing uses, residents, the enviroment and safety along these routes. The proposal includes opening Spiral Drive/County Road 176 and a section of County Road 173 on City of Salida Open Space land on Tenderfoot Hill., which could shroud downtown Salida, the riverfront, the Salida  Mountain Trail system and the entire city in a cloud of noise, dust, exhaust, etc.

The proposal also includes opening County Road 185 further north off of Ute Trail/CR 175.  This action will form a new connection between Salida and very heavily used Fourmile motorized recreation area near Buena Vista.  Opening CR 185 will allow large numbers of OHVs and the OHV related problems of Fourmile (off route use, dust/erosion, dispersed motorized camping impacts, displacement of other public land users) to spread south to Salida.

This is not about access as all these roads are already open to licensed passenger vehicles.  OHV users already have over 500 miles of open and legally designated routes available to them in Chaffee County.   Its not about transportation as OHVs are recreational vehicles. It is about excess access for the convenience and fun for a small percentage of public land users (whose chosen form of recreation is very high impact and often not compatible with other uses).

Proponents of this proposal are presenting this as an economic benefit to the county. There may be limited benefits but the costs of potentially displacing our already existing economic base (the majority of locals and tourists who live here and visit to enjoy our quiet community, hike, bike, climb, boat, camp, fish, hunt etc, etc.) is far too great a risk to take for the benefit of a few.

This proposal has the potential to change the very nature of Chaffee County.

There will be a public input meeting regarding this Wednesday Feb 8 at 1 p.m. in the Commissioner Meeting room of the County Courthouse on Crestone Ave. in Salida. Anyone is welcome to comment in general or with specific reasons why specific routes should or should not be opened.

You can also submit email comments to the Commissioners and their staff at:
dgiese@chaffeecounty.orgfholman@chaffeecounty.orgdpotts@chaffeecounty.orgbchristianse@chaffeecounty.orgdreimer@chaffeecounty.org,pbaldwin@chaffeecounty.org

You can view the county memo with more information at http://gigshowcase.com/EndUserFiles/33312.pdf

The above press release was submitted by The Chaffee Running Club. We have reviewed the proposal here at The Citizen and believe Chaffee County should fight this proposal and continue its pursuit of quiet use visitors. Our experience around quads has been consistently poor. With an extensive effort by Salida Mountain Trails in recent years to develop hiking and biking trails in and around Salida, the idea of letting the notoriously fast and often out of control quads on roads with blind corners and loose gravel, (where small children hike and learn to ride bikes) is comical. If you need proof, head up Silver Creek this 4th of July. Its unfortunate for responsible OHV riders, of which there are many in Chaffee County.

The Citizen is happy to provide a forum for comments and discussion. Please be civil, truthful, and relevant. Please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. Real names are appreciated.

43 Responses to “Should Salida become a motorized off road vacation destination?”

  1. aaron w

    I sincerely hope this proposal does not pass. I spend a lot of time bicycling in the Shirley Townsite region, which seems like an ATV amusement park. I could go on and on about the craziness that I have personally witnessed in that area. It's hard for me to stay away as I love riding up there, but everytime I go I I fully understand that I need to be on high alert to prevent getting run over. I certainly avoid this region on weekends/holidays. I hate to say it, but my observations lead me to feel that ATV "recreation" is not compatible with other uses.

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  2. mark

    Another area to check out is the East Fork of the San Juan River just off Wolf Creek. Try camping there along the prestine river. All you have is non-stop ATVs running up and down the road headed toward four wheel drive trails. Its a catastrophe.

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  3. Monarchviews

    Look at the destruction of St. Elmo as a quaint quiet little town. It sounds like the Indianapolis 500 up there all summer for the last decade. Im all for the rights of everyone, but irresponsible ATV riders destroy the quality of the outdoor experience when people are drinking and riding, going 50mph and tearing up the terrain. In addition, the trees are dying from erosion and the roads are all beat up. When people used to use Jeeps and Broncos, 4++ people meant 4 tires on the ground, they were slow and fairly quiet. ATV's mean 4 people 16 tires on the ground. With ATV's they get their propulsion by roost and speed. They are also extremely noisy. This is dangerous and ridiculous to allow non hwy vehicles on a county road. Please stop this madness before its too late.

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  4. Joe Judd

    It seems that the fact that these vehicles are not licensed should by definition keep them from being used on public roads. For the same reasons they would not be allowed on highways, they should not be allowed on our county roads. If they can meet the standard regulations for safety and noise ordinances and be licensed, then let them on. Of course, then they would not be OHV's.

    Crying that this is an access issue seems ludicrous. How much access is enough? These people own trailers that they use to bring their OHVs to town. The only difference seems to be where they park the trailer.

    I'm certain that the larger benefit from 90% of our tourism base outweighs the 10% (or less) who may be enticed here by easier OHV access. The amount of financial gain seems to be insignificant when compared to the potential destruction of roads and to quality of life. Quality of life is a much larger factor in why most people visit or choose to live in Chaffee County.

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  5. Jon Fritz

    ATVs, dirt bikes, etc are a blast, but this is not Salida's base of tourism nor do we need to expand to allow this kind increasing amounts of this kind of recreation. Quiet use tourism (biking, hiking, river sports, etc) is not compatible with OHV tourism and vice versa. There is enough dust to breathe when a car rolls by that further dust will only sour a mtn biker and campers experience. Ever ridden Schofield Pass on your way down the 411 in July? Constant dust.

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  6. Jack Chivvis

    ATVers are already diregarding signs and using 173 , spiral drive (176)and Hillside rd. (177) (where there are houses) to get to downtown Salida and down along the river. This area around S mtn. with all of the trails intersecting and heavy use by runners,walkers, cyclists should be completely off limits to unlicensed ohvs. We need to send a loud and clear message to the commisioners that this area should be for non-motorized only.

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  7. Clarajo Swan

    Salida, an ATV destination? I don't think so. Spoil the quiet surroundings with noise and dust? Nechk. Please get ahold of yourselves and think this through. Salida is a hiking, biking, boating and art destination. Do we really want to change this? Just for some chump change? The loss would negate the gain in so many ways....not just monetarily.

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  8. Brad

    Seems like a no-brainer to me. OHVs are a nuisance, plain and simple.

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  9. Michael Haynes

    Just posted this elsewhere but I had to leave the OHV meeting early and after about an hour of public commentary I’d say the individual comments were running 3 or 4 to 1 FOR opening the proposed areas to use. Hope things moved in a different direction after I left.

    Anybody opposed to this better make their public officials aware soon because if this passes and it's done there'll be no going back. Better nip it now. There're more willing to speak for the proposition than I would have guessed.

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  10. Paige Judd

    I just wrote to my commissioners to let them know that I don't support OHV traffic on county roads. Please take a minute to do so as well. In my letter, I asked them to hold more public comment sessions so more people can be heard. And they should not schedule them when most of the working people in the community are working!

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  11. Friends of Browns Canyon

    The public meeting yesterday was well attended by citizens and business owners, but not county commissioners. Of the 43 speakers, 77% were opposed to opening County Roads to OHV’s. Many of the voices heard were concerned about the dangers ATV’s and dirt motorcycles would pose to moms with strollers, bikers, hikers, and walkers, especially on Spiral Drive.

    The County announced that road 173 is not a County Road and they do not have jurisdiction over it.

    It was determined that these discussions are the result of a proposal by an individual, Carl Bauer. He cites the opening of these roads as a convenience for OHV riders. The proponents also argue that other states, such as Utah, have allowed such use on County Roads.

    Tom Sobal, of the Quiet Use Coalition, rebutted that only 8 out of 50 States have made that concession.

    A thank you goes out to the City of Salida, for standing up in opposition. The city council expressed a concern that OHV use on these County Roads would negatively impact the city.

    Friends of Browns Canyon would also like to personally thank the many business owners who signed our roster in opposition.

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  12. Ryan Hughes

    There are plenty of dirt bikers that have motorcycles that are fully street legal and tagged , whose bikes are quiet and their riders are responsible and respectfull . So don't lump all OHV users into one category . We pay taxes just like everyone else and deserve access to public property that our tax dollars helped to purchase and maintain . I realize that the irresponsible weekend warriors are a problem . They should be dealt with in the proper manner .

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  13. Ryan Hughes

    On a completely different note , the residents of 629 Blake St. should be held accountable for the way they treat their animals . The pony and 2 dogs on the property are left outside 24 / 7 , no matter what the weather is . The poor dogs don't even have blankets to lay on , they just lay in the dirt or on the wooden steps . And what a great life for the pony , nibbling on a few weeds growing in the dirt . It should be a crime to treat pets like this . Does anyone want to help me break these prisoners out and give them a good home ?

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  14. Larry Lytle

    I am a Texas cotton farmer. I work hard all year looking forward to the one week I spend there. I love your state. I love your trails. I come with a group every year since 1997, to ride my four wheeler, sleep in your hotels, and eat in your restaurants. I bring 10-20 more proud Texas folks with me each year. Please consider making our lives easier and letting us have these connections without loading and unloading every day. Please consider the proposal to allow ohv's on the few selected roads noted in your upcoming agenda.
    We much prefer your scenery over the other fine places we could ride and have ridden that actually cater to us coming, such as Utah and West Virginia, which we love almost as much as Colorado.

    Sincerely,
    Larry H. Lytle
    B.a.L.L. Farms

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  15. Ryan Hughes

    This is a classic example of of people that don't want to share public lands with those who recreate in a different way than they do . Put in a strict set of rules for use of these areas and enforce them . Please dont keep bringing up the lame issues that the roads get torn up and the dust thats created by OHV use . These are dirt roads that have to be maintained on a regular basis , not just when OHV''s use them . I own and use a Jeep , a dirt bike , a 4 wheeler AND a mountain bike and I am happy to share the roads and trails with all who are there as well . You people that only want your particular group on the roads and trails need to go back and ask your mom and dad to teach you how to share. Get a grip people and dont be so selfish . And , quit complaining about the bad shape of the roads in Salida in one breathe and how much taxes you pay on the other when you dont care if the others who want to recreate here , add revenue and taxes to the local economy .

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  16. Duke Sheppard

    I'm completely with you, Ryan. I'm NOT for opening ALL the proposed county roads to unlicensed vehicles, but there are some sections (particularly in Fourmile), where OHV users have to load up into a truck just to make a short connection.

    Let the person that doesn't depend on motorized vehicles here be the first to throw stones. No one could live here without them.

    As for "disturbing hikers" on a road- it's a ROAD! Expect motorized vehicles on a road, and don't give me the stink-eye when I ride past respectfully on my licensed and street legal motorcycle.

    Most of us as children learn to share. But these days, everyone has determined that their particular form of recreation is superior to someone else's. If you don't want to share, there are already plenty of trails that are off limits to motorized, and there are more created all the time.

    I certainly hope Salida Citizen isn't trying to call itself unbiased journalism.

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  17. Duke Sheppard

    I see now that this IS in the opinion section, so I retract my statement about unbiased journalism.

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  18. Joe Judd

    Interestingly, one of the people primarily responsible for the initial piece does NOT rely on motorized vehicles. The person in question either runs, walks or bikes almost everywhere he goes in daily life. He has never owned a car nor a driver's license, by choice. He puts his money where his mouth is.

    To me, the crux of this whole debate is allowing UNLICENSED vehicles on public roads. The State of Colorado does not allow it. Why should a local municipality override that law? As the initial piece from the CCRC points out, these are not vehicles relied upon for transportation. They are recreational vehicles. Should the Federal Government allow bikes and pedestrians on the Interstate highway system for recreational purposes?

    I just don't understand how some of these changes make any sense. As an example, on Spiral Drive users would be allowed to utilize this road to access routes which are open to OHV's, like CR 173. However, users can not ride down F Street, or on CR 175 to access Spiral Drive. So what exactly is the point?

    Mr Sheppard states, "there are already plenty of trails that are off limits to motorized, and there are more created all the time." The irony of this statement is that many of these trails have been created, permitted and built primarily by those same 'quiet' users. The Salida Mountain Trail system in particular was envisioned and produced by local people stepping up and making it happen. If recreational OHV users want more trails, perhaps they should build them. The Big Bend recreation Area is a good example.

    For the same reasons that children shouldn't be allowed to roller skate on highways, sometimes sharing things just doesn't work for all parties. I support the rights of motorized users. I drive a car most every day. Most of the experiences I have had around motorized users have been fairly pleasant. I just don't want to hear and see them everywhere I go.

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  19. Cutler Derchaud

    To Larry Lytle, proud Texan: don't bother to bring your ATV's to Salida. We're not interested in making your life more convenient. ATV'S think they have the right to recreate anywhere they see fit. What they don't understand or in most cases don't care is that their mode of recreation negatively affects everyone they come in contact with. No other form of outdoor recreation has that affect. Stay in Texas or go fuck some other place up.

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  20. Duke Sheppard

    Really? Does this person hunt and gather all of his own food too? Or does most of it arrive in a truck? Get real.

    Trust me, I could get hundreds of people here to build more trails for motorized use. Would the FS or BLM approve it? Of course not! But non-motorized trails? Sure, go to it, anywhere you want to hack a trail. The bias is evident all the way up.

    Trust me, I'm not really big fan of quads, but what I see most here is hyperbole and "my recreation is better". From the above article : "..shroud downtown Salida, the riverfront, the Salida Mountain Trail system and the entire city in a cloud of noise, dust, exhaust, etc." Really? Shroud? And "This proposal has the potential to change the very nature of Chaffee County." Please.

    I don't want them everywhere I go, either. So if I really don't feel like seeing them, I go hike in Wilderness areas, with the millions of other hikers.

    Isn't it nice that we are so affluent here that our only problems are worrying about what others may do to offend our sensibilities? This whole issue should be on whitewhine.com.

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  21. Brad

    Some OHV riders are respectful and some are not. Some mountain bike riders are respectful and some are not. All mountain bikes are quiet. All OHVs are not. That's the real issue as I see it. To equate every other use of the trail/county road system with OHV use is laughable.

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  22. Duke

    No that's not the issue at all; the issue is opening a few connector roads which are already driven by cars, and not just prius's. The sound is not the issue being discussed, as much as people want to divert your attention. Stick to the topic.

    But on that note, silent, electric dirt bikes and ATV's are coming. Will they be ok, then?

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  23. tim

    ...all recreation is good, but ATV's create impact that most folks prefer to
    leave behind when we visit beautiful pristine places. For those ATV-ers that do not understand this, then perhaps they should stay on their couches.

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  24. Citizen Team

    For many people, the issue seems to be more about the experience around OHVs' (particularly quads). The experience is often negative. The idea that the quad that ran a group of us off the road recently (two shirtless teens and small child, no helmets, speeding in the wrong lane —might have been silent (ensuring a collision, possibly fatal) is chilling. The sound likely saved us.

    It is difficult and very time consuming to get the Okay to build a trail from the NFS or the BLM, regardless of your intended use. Then, you have to get the money and labor. However, with a good plan that represents a well organized user group, both land management organizations have shown a lack of bias towards the mode of travel. Hell, they'll let you open a Uranium mine. Locally, many people have spent many years creating the trail network on Tenderfoot, so it is understandable that, especially as it relates to the new "Chilipepper Trails" designed specifically for new and young bikers, that you are hearing strong opposition, even from those who have motos in their garages.

    I grew up on a lake. I grew up with ski boats. It was my life. At some point in my twenties some folks in a canoe yelled at us up in Montana. We waved back —and they flipped us off!? We had words. It was a small lake, but it was public (damn it!). We should all have access, right? However, after much rumination I decided to sell the boat. It was a big decision. I realized I was the offensive one. It was a tough pill to swallow. There are similar stories about snowmobiles in Yellowstone, where good old boys stuck in traffic jams in the park said "We have a zillion acres outside the park so what the hell are we doing?"

    It's easy to make generalizations about the gentrification of the west, but hopefully Salida is better than other places in the sense that we don't fight about it, but rather we recognize what is, and what is not appropriate. With all the access granted to OHV's in the valley and elsewhere, does it make sense to also allow them next to town in an area where thousands of hours have been dedicated to hiking and biking trails? Is it logical to allow vehicles with a record (sorry) of being often somewhat hilarious miscreants with the throttle? Should we encourage more traffic in an area that has quickly become one of the busiest areas for hiking and biking? One in which Salida as a community has progressively hung its tourism hat in terms of access to excellent hiking and biking (ya gotta love hauling ass in the summer at 15 with your bro shirtless and carefree, I get it. I am lucky to be a live after a childhood with motors).

    So, is the west just growing up? Have I? Maybe, but there are also a lot more people now, and it doesn't matter what tool you use to enjoy the outdoors as long as we recognize how others are recreating —and where.

    -BD

    Remember, The Citizen is not a newspaper. There is no staff. If it's not hurtful, we'll post anything (if it's way off base, someone will comment. That's the beauty of the format). The goal is to create some dialogue. The posted article is an opinion represented by just one user group in the area.

    We encourage the OHV lobby to send an article that represents its position. Perhaps as a community we can come up with a good solution that benefits everyone and makes sense.

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  25. Ryan Hughes

    Right on Duke . Hey Cutler , do you kiss your mother , wife , girlfriend or kids with that foul mouth . Go get back under the rock you crawled out from under until you can act like a normal person .

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  26. Ryan Hughes

    Earl has a great point . The world and Salida would be a better place if we could all agree to disagree , work issues out and just get back to enjoying the time we have here in this great area . Peace .

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  27. Luke Sustrich

    As a true local born and raised in Salida I would like to comment that this town was a much more open and friendly place to recreate 20 years ago. I don't ride ATV's, but I see no problems in allowing them on a "road" with the jeeps ect. This was once a nice little out of the way mountain town where people were respectful to each other and everyone was allowed to enjoy things in the ways they liked. For all you who have moved here and brought your new age idealism, trying to create another Boulder stop and think about what this town was, and what drew you to it in the first place. If I go for a mountain bike ride or hike and don't want to hear any motorized vehicles I go where there not allowed. Simple

    I love Salida and I don't want to leave but she is not the same town I was born in. I miss the old Salida.

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  28. Ryan Hughes

    Amen Luke , Truer words have never been spoken . I 've been coming here every year since 1994 and the attitude has changed , sadly . I am friends with several natives and they echo Luke's words . Dont change this town from what it is supposed to be , friendly , wide open and here for all of us to enjoy . While I am at it let me get this off my chest too . I have been riding a dirt bike in the woods since 1974 and before that we all rode our bicycles in the woods until we were old enough and our parents let us get dirt bikes . Way before it was ever officially called mountain biking . So to those of you mountain bikers that want to make the little bit of single track we dirt bikers have left off limits , get a grip on reality and stay off the Rainbow Trail or share it with us dirt bikers . There are several trails that are now off limits to dirt bikes that were not that way for a long time and I dont appreciate the fact that those of you that dont want to share a trail have removed my right to ride these trails. The Salida Mountain Trails organization has done a great job making trails on Tenderfoot Mountain and I ride these trails on my mountain bike . This is a classic example of a dedicated group building trails for their use .But don't keep trying to have the Rainbow Trail closed to motorized use . If I have my facts right , the Rainbow Trail was created and is still maintained by dirt bikers from Texas and other places , long before there was a sport called mountain biking . So maybe some people need an education on living and riding with groups other than themselves .

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  29. Ryan Hughes

    Salida Citizen , Thanks for giving us this forum . Keep up the good work .

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  30. Tom Sobal

    OHV enthusiasts need to realize that they are the ones wanting to open more routes to OHVs with this proposal. We are not talking about the Rainbow Trail or any of the other 500 miles of routes already open to OHV use in Chaffee County. We are not talking about the relative merits of certain forms of recreation over others. We are not talking about motorized vs. nonmotorized use.
    The OHV community is seeking to expand OHV use onto over 30 miles of Chaffee County roads where it is currently prohibited.
    These are public county roads that people use every day, and each and every road proposed for opening has someone depending on it for transportation to their adjacent residence. Each road is someone's street in front of their home.
    We are not talking about the allowed use of highway licensed cars, trucks or motorcycles on these roads: all of which require specific training to obtain a license to operate them, have easily visible identification tags displayed on them, are designed to be safely operated on maintained roads and must conform to stringent EPA emission standards. We are talking about potentially allowing unlicensed OHVs like dirt motorcycles and ATVs: which are significantly different than highway licensed vehicles in all the above aspects.
    Noise is an issue on these roads. Both BV and Salida have noise ordinances that restrict motorized vehicle sound. OHVs emit much more noise than cars and they are allowed by law to emit up to 96dBA in CO which is about the equivalent of a loud gas lawnmower. Cars have steadily become quieter because that is what most people want.
    Safety is an issue. ATVs especially do not handle well on smoother maintained surfaces and the CPSC, ATV Safety Institute and almost all ATV owners’ manuals strongly warn against using ATVs on public roads. One OHV proponent stated it would be better to get hit by an ATV than a car. Don’t know about you, but I would rather not be involved in any type collision with a powerful motorized vehicle capable of speeds over 50 mph. OHVs by law are defined as a recreational vehicle. Although many OHV riders are safe, courteous and law abiding there are enough that are not to make mixing in OHV recreational use on county roads that are used for transportation an issue.
    Part of people living together in a civilized society is having rules and regulations that restrict certain high impact activities to places where the impacts are acceptable. Chaffee County roads are not an appropriate place for OHV use.

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  31. Kristi

    I believe Duke asked if all OHV's and ATV's would be ok if they were electric? As someone who lives right downwind from Big Bend OHV Park I can assure you that my answer would be a Giant YES!! The dust would still be bothersome but not like the noise of several OHV's racing around Big Bend at 6 o'clock at night on an otherwise beautiful, peaceful, quiet evening. There is nothing quite so disturbing as the awful noise of multiple
    OHV'S that sound like they are in your backyard with you.

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  32. katherine mccoy

    The people that ride ATVs, dirt bikes, etc, are not the biggest problem. Every OHV rider could be totally trained and courteous, but the VEHICLES would still be a HUGE problem.

    OHVs go WAY faster than nonmotorized recreationists, whether it be hikers, runners, horseback riders or mountain bikers. And OHVs have WAY more mass and impact force than nonmotorized recreationists. So they can do WAY more damage in a collision. OHVs can kill.

    OHVs go WAY faster than nonmotorized recreationsists. Their dust and noxious fume can suffocate you. Their noise ruins the outdoor experience. Peace and quiet? Not.

    OHVs just DO NOT MIX with nonmotorized recreation. This is physics and chemistry, not politics.

    OHV proponents say they are happy to share the trail with nonmotorized people. But if they would get off their vehicles, they would realize they make the trails so awful that no one else wants to be there.

    Nonmotorized recreation types mix fairly well. But once an OHV is on the trail, all other types are forced off. A fact of life.

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  33. Ryan Hughes

    I agree entirely with the noise issue and that goes for street bikes as well . 96 dba is way too loud in my book . The bikes that use Big Bend are typically motocross bikes that have very loud exhaust . Dual sport / offroad bikes are much quieter . Tom made some good points as well . I brought up the Rainbow Trail as a side issue , as I realize it has nothing to do with what we are discussing . The OHV owners manuals are talking about paved roads not gravel or dirt roads as this type of terrain is what they are intended for . Most of the Ohv and Atv's I have been around are very quiet , if you've been around any hunters on these vehicles you may notice this as the intended purpose is to quietly observe the the animals they are after . Once again , the motocross versions of these vehicles are very loud as their intended purpose is to produce as much power as possible . Very similar to a street car versus a drag car . If any access is allowed for Ohv's there MUST be strict licensing , sound and operator rules that must be adhered to . Put a tag on these vehicles and let the violators be fined . We are not talking about letting every knucklehead with a 4 wheeler or dirt bike take to these proposed roads and ride like an idiot . Open a couple routes and see how it goes . Let good behavior be rewarded and bad behavior face the consequences. The responsible Ohv users will also police themselves , as being given access to these routes is a big privilege and most of us wont put up with some bad behavior . There has got to be a common sense middle ground solution to this issue. .

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  34. Ryan Hughes

    Katherine , The proposed routes already allow motorized access such as Jeeps and cars . You are right Ohv's don't belong on a hiking trail or a mountain bike trail . You are comparing apples and oranges .

    " Their dust and fumes can suffocate you " was your quote , I think this is a little off base . Leaving your car running in the garage and siting in it for awhile and the fumes will suffocate you . You won't suffocate if a motorized vehicle or vehicles rides by . Please don't let paranoia grip you .

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  35. jane lewis

    Hey Ryan, we are talking about every knuckhead with an ATV riding on these proposed roads. You wont need to be street legal to ride these roads, any ATV will be able to. The county did open a few roads in 2005. One of these roads is CR 375 right in the heart of Fourmile. If you see what it looks like now compared to 2005 you wouldnt recognize it. I live 5 minutes from it and I dont go there anymore. On a summer weekend there are 500 OHVs riding back and forth and back and forth. The noise and the dust will chase you out. Then there are the kids riding three abreast around a corner to meet you head on.

    I hope you are policing the bad apples because they know there are no consequences. There is no money for policing from the Forest Service or the County, so go ahead and start self policing, I havent seen it yet.

    Maybe if OHVs stayed on the roads that are open and not ride off the roads, we wouldnt have miles of barb wire and buck and rail fencing to look at in Fourmile. You cant mantain what you have so why should you have more.

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  36. Ryan Hughes

    Jane , It sounds like there are no rules in place or being enforced in the area you mentioned . Last summer I rode through the Aspen Ridge area several times ( I am not exactly sure if this is the same area you talked about ) and I met a Forestry Service guy on 2 occasions . He stopped me and made sure I had a license and registration on my motorcycle and the required offroad sticker . He was very curteous and said he was just patrolling the area and then he went on his way . There should never be kids riding 3 abreast in any area . I think that you are supposed to be 16 years old to ride and atv or ohv on your own , I'm not positive . I would be happy to volunteer to be a Forestry Service rep and have the ability to issue citations to all of the idiots in the area that are acting like fools . Before any county roads are opened up there has to be a process to register and educate the ohv users as to what is ok and what is not . If there are indeed 500 atvs in an area , then this is definetely a big problem and I don't know how you can address that problem . The more I think about this whole situation , the more it is apparent that it's not an easy thing ( opening roads to unlicensed ohvs ) to let happen . It just goes to show that the reckless riders ruin it for the responsible ones and you're right you can only do so much self policing . You have witnessed the worst of atv and ohv riding , no doubt . The gentleman from Texas that comes up to ride every summer and brings needed revenue to the area , is the one that ends up on the short end of the stick as I assume he is just out for a leisurely ride with his friends and probably won't see these roads opened up because of fear from people like you that most ohv users are dumbasses and are rude and reckless . It's too bad we can't get everyone to use a little common sense and courtesy while out on what ever form of recreation they use .

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  37. Don Stephens

    The main concern I got out of the City Council discussion was public safety. The road to Turret is full of blind corners with heavy car, motorcycle, and bicycle traffic. Spiral drive is in constant use by foot, bicycle, unicycle, and stroller. It was also opined that unlicensed vehicles often are accompanied by unlicensed drivers. To allow the use of unlicensed four-wheelers would be an irresponsible choice on the roads leading from Salida, and it would only be a matter of time before a serious incident occurs.

    As for economic windfall, council also felt that allowing the unlicensed four-wheelers on these roads would most definitely deplete the current economic benefits that many local folk have contributed thousands of volunteer hours and significant financial and equipment resources to develop, and more importantly, use frequently. The citizens of Salida have earned the right to take a stand against this OHV expansion on the adjacent county roads, and Council recognizes this fact. So a decision to allow access adjacent to the city would also be disrespectful.

    Most of Council also agreed with the opinion that Chaffee County has more than adequate access for OHV's, and to expand access to the Salida city limit would be a bad idea on all accounts. No Councilors could come up with any positive reasons to allow such access.

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    • Johnny

      I look fraorwd to seeing how Bicycle Colorado handles this, and will support their efforts to head off a bike ban in any way I can, whether it be by voting-in bicycle-friendly county commissioners to replace those who would deny anyone their right to use public roads, contributing to a letter-writing campaign, or other creative solution.Denver Cruisers had a great cure for the pending police crackdown by developing an easy warn-and-educate spoke card program that the DPD embraced. Maybe a similar approach is in order for the contrary folks, along with enforcement officials, in these other CO counties.

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  38. Karl Van Calcar

    Ryan, are you kidding me?? You stated: "Most of the Ohv and Atv’s I have been around are very quiet , if you’ve been around any hunters on these vehicles you may notice this as the intended purpose is to quietly observe the the animals they are after." I REALLY have to refute that statement - I have never been around a quiet ATV (some 4 stroke motor bikes, yes, but never an ATV). The type of motor installed does not allow them to be quiet - kinda like a Harley. I have sat on mountain tops watching deer feed below me with a road at the very bottom. The deer barely even looked up when a car or truck went by and I could not hear them. But every ATV that came by I knew were coming before I ever saw or heard them as the deer all looked down the mountain and watched them go by and I could easily hear every one of them. Not a single ATV went by that was even close to being quiet.

    As for an electric ATV or bike as noted by Duke, that would be awesome but we all know these will never become the norm due to the lack of power and distance they will be able to travel. No battery will ever be able to provide the kind of power most ATV riders want nor the capacity to go very long distances, park, and then come back and have the capacity to get home. I am, I will admit, VERY anti ATV (for many reasons not necessary to go into) but if a good electric ATV was to hit the market, I would likely be an owner as I don't even like driving my truck into the backcountry to trailheads because I don't like disturbing others that are camped along the way.

    I am glad to hear that the Salida Council has apparently agreed to not allow these roads to be open to OHV use!

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  39. Dan Schmidt

    I think I'll add OHV use to the list of things not to bring up around the dinner table. Such emotions! Wow! I'm glad people are caring about something now days. I'll ask this to all of those who have posted a reply. Who and what are do you really care about when arguing your point? ... yourself or others?

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  40. Ryan Hughes

    Karl , No I am not kidding about the noise . There are many brands and models of atvs and they are not noisy . And , most of these vehicles have a four stroke motor . If the atvs you have been around are noisy , well , I am sure you know what you are talking about . But keep in mind the higher performance models are much more noisy than the standard models that are meant to go to the woods and cruise on .

    Dan , The only reason I have chimed in on this particular issue is to try to refute the biased opinions of those that like to stereotype ohv and atvs riders as rude , noisy , careless and oblivious to others around them . Yes , there are those that are all of those things , but those people that lump all users into one category are just not living in the real world or are just so blind to the facts that they can't make an unbiased statement . Personally I really don't like any kind of vehicle that is making alot of noise , whether there are other people around or not . And once again I 'll say that before you can open up any new areas to ohvs and atvs there HAS to be a master plan with a complete set of rules for all to follow .

    Look , The whole reason I moved to Colorado and the Salida area is so I can go explore all that these great outdoor areas have to offer . The Wilderness Areas , the lakes and the Arkansas River , the single track for motorcycles , the mountain bike trails , the old mining towns , the jeep roads and the scenic highways and byways . My idea of fun for a day is to get on my offroad motorcycle ,with 4 or 5 friends , ride the Rainbow Trail over to Sargents , have lunch and then ride back . I am disappointed that there are so may people that want to limit my ability to do this because they don't like or agree with what I like to do . Just remember people , we are only here on this earth and able bodied for a short period of time and I for one plan on getting as much activity in , as I can . Or until the anti access groups shut me out .

    I have some friends that grew up here in the area and are also offroaders ( Jeep , atv , ohv ,motorcycle and horseback riders ) . I have heard stories of them growing up before there were so many areas lost to the Wilderness designation . They had great childhood and teen years , as they spent many an afternoon on the trails and at the high altitude lakes . It seemed to be an endless outdoor playground . Well now alot of these areas are off limits to only the few that can hike into them. Just how many people are fit enough or have enough time to actually use these areas ? The rest of us can only guess what great areas there are up there that we can't get to . Don't get me wrong , having areas that are protected is a good thing , just don't overdue it at my expense .

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