Diana Lynn Rau
Grand County Trails

Fraser Valley trail improvements gather steam

Trails in Grand County are getting a lot of attention this summer. Led by the town governments themselves as well as federal agencies, communities are buying into the development and maintenance of the miles of trails system we have here in the Fraser Valley.

It is a sign that the economy is improving and people have more money to visit an area like the Fraser Valley and therefore the locals also have more money to spend as tourists spend their money. Our locals are thinking through the aspects that I have addressed in previous articles of environmental concerns, social concerns, and economic concerns and making trails work as a central part of the community.

I have gotten more comments this year about how good the trails are looking, how many people we have in town using the trails, and how much local businesses are enjoying the revenues and individuals enjoying the trickle down. Cooperative work projects like Headwaters Trails Alliance or the U.S. Forest Service or others writing grants to bring in work crews or other programs have been on the rise. Together we have made great progress.

These work groups join or enhance local crews of either paid staffers or volunteers like Grand County Wilderness group or Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails, increasing local buy-in. Together all have been huge in improving both the looks and flow of our trails system.

Feedback has been actively solicited and is being received graciously. Please take the time to report downed trees and other hazards or needed repairs to HTA at 970-726-1013 or hta@headwaterstrails.org. This central reporting system will then get help as needed from the different organizations. Since no one can be everywhere, organizations need reporters to help out. Think it through, report problems you see to help where you can.

Trail signs

The new trail signage system that has been in the works with HTA for several years is finally out on some 27 miles of the Fraser River Trail, Fraser to Granby Trail, Givelo Trail and Northwest Passage. Funded by a $33,000 trails grant from Colorado State Trails Program, the new signs feature elevation profiles, “you are here” maps, authorized use information, and points of interest along the trail.

With these new signs, HTA is getting out needed information for both locals and visitors alike. A recent trail-user survey determined that needed trail improvements were primarily in four categories: trailhead development, trail connectivity, trail character, and trail signage. Your comments are being addressed. Even if you can’t help with construction or funding in one of these areas of concern, please give feedback.

Vandalism

As these improvements are happening, help trails organizations by respecting these improvements. Already signs have been spotted with graffiti and stickers defacing the new signs and making them unreadable. Many forest signs become target practice for shooters as evidenced by the multiple bullet holes.

These practices just cost us money and waste the hard efforts and dollars of our trails organizers and funders. To the offenders, please find another place for your stickers and stamps – not blocking the information needed by someone lost on a trail. Each of us can report people wasting our time and money or tell them directly to go somewhere else with their destructive impulses. Again think things through and put our limited resources to better use.

Weekend tip

Join the 15th Annual Grand County Pet Pals Doggie Drag on Saturday, Aug. 30, at Grand Park starting 9 a.m. to benefit the Grand County Animal Shelter.. Visit www.GCPetPals.org for more information. Have a great holiday weekend.


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The Sky-Hi News Updated Aug 28, 2014 04:08PM Published Aug 28, 2014 11:05AM Copyright 2014 The Sky-Hi News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.