The Uncompahgre Plateau was busy the afternoon of Aug. 31, with about 100 people attending festivities for the Forest Service's ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of the new Columbine Campground and the Parallel Trail. The Public Lands Partnership (PLP) hosted the celebration and provided hotdogs, drinks and dessert to the attendees.
The Thunder Mountain Wheelers ATV Club (TMW) spent the weekend at the campground and hosted a ride on the newly constructed Parallel Trail. TMW's public liaison, Walt Blackburn, was a part of the ceremony and was recognized for his efforts to secure funding and build support for the completion of the projects. Several other clubs were also recognized for their support, including the Public Access Preservation Association (PAPA), Western Slope 4-Wheelers, the Uncompahgre Trail Riders and Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA).
According to Ouray District Ranger Tammy Randall-Parker, "This is a clear example of how the state's OHV registration fees go back into providing opportunities for the users." She went on to state that, "The construction of the parallel trail would not have been possible if not for the financial support of the State Off-Highway Vehicle Grant Funding."
Ryan Crabb, trail coordinator for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, also participated in the ceremony. Crabb complimented the clubs and Forest Service for their good working relationships and for creating new opportunities for motorized recreationists. Ralph Files, PLP, echoed the comment saying, "We want to thank the Forest Service for listening and being proactive with the community's ideas and suggestions for managing public lands."
David White, Montrose County Commissioner stated, "The local economy is dependent on tourism and the recreation opportunities in this area. These improvements will benefit the surrounding communities greatly."
Ouray Ranger District trail coordinator Krisann Wist was thanked by dozens of trail riders after enjoying the day riding the new Parallel Trail. "Kris has created a one-of-a-kind experience, she is a really hard worker and we very much appreciate all the hard work that she dedicates to the motorized trails on the GMUG," stated Kim Kokesh with Thunder Mountain Wheelers.
Dignitaries were lined up and each was handed the yellow ribbon to hold. District Ranger Randall-Parker addressed the crowd of visitors as the ribbon was cut to officially open the new facilities saying, "Thank you everyone for your help in making this happen. Enjoy the new campground and trail and enjoy this beautiful Labor Day weekend."blog comments powered by Disqus