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Input sought on trails

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Public input sessions for the county's recreational trails master plan have been held in Hotchkiss and Delta.

According to Elyse Casselberry, county economic development director, the recreational trails master plan is being conducted to run concurrently with the county's land use master plan rewrite. Both are expected to be completed around year's end or in early 2018.

Design firm DHM of Durango has been doing data gathering, speaking with user groups, and consulting with government agencies including the U.S. Forest Service, BLM, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Delta County. The firm will report on progress to the county planning commission from time to time.

Casselberry said the county was looking for a solid inventory of trails, trail connections and detailed information on existing routes. Needs for parking and other public facilities for existing trail systems are also a priority.

The Hotchkiss session (on July 31) "had a decent turnout with about 30 to 35 at check-in," Casselberry said. She said, "We are still in the early stages."

County administrator Robbie LeValley said officials are looking for all public input and especially want information about any trails they are familiar with. Issues concerning shared use of trails are important also, LeValley said.

Jason Jaynes of DHM Design said, "We want to know what the public thinks and wants. The trails system is a community asset. We are interested in what the community wants to do with it and how to manage it."

The study includes all trail types, uses and ability levels including urban trails.

"We want to hear from guides and mountain bikers and others. Should routes be formalized, should signage be added? Should trails be multi use or dedicated uses?"

He said he is open to speaking to local clubs and organizations.

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