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NATO-recommended Comments – Magnolia Trails Project Proposal

Below are the comments on the Magnolia Trails Project Proposal that NATO is recommending.
Feel free to personalize as you see fit.

Comments must be submitted by, Friday, September 6, 2013. If you do not comment prior to the deadline, you will be unable to file an objection once the proposal is finalized. Also, be aware that during the objection period, you will only be able to object on items on which you commented.

Comments may be mailed to:

Boulder Ranger District
Cat Luna
2140 Yarmouth Ave
Boulder, CO 80301

or emailed to:

To be safe, I would also suggest cc-ing:

Put “Magnolia Trails Project Proposal” in the subject line.

Magnolia Trails Project Proposal

1.      I would like the final plan to explicitly state the trails need to match the character of the Nederland community and the character of the trails that exist now.  Specifically, they need to be singletrack.  They should be hand-built, not constructed with machinery, using materials found on-site – not trucked in from elsewhere.  They should be rustic and provide a feeling of being discovered.  They should not be signed with gaudy or excessive signage.  Trails should continue to provide opportunities for discovery and exploration. Signage should be minimal allowing for more of a “backcountry” experience, even times when one is not sure where they are exactly.

2.       I have serious concerns about the recent trail work completed in the West Magnolia Area (Sugar Magnolia and ReRoot trails).  The trails do not match the character of our community, have been constructed without input of locals, and are not the types of trails we want in our community (see #1).  They feel homogenized and undermine what makes Nederland and Nederland trails unique.  The final plan should include a specific process for choosing a trail design and construction company and should explicitly state the Nederland Area Trails Organization and Nederland town government will be consulted during the choosing of trail design and construction company.

3.       I am concerned that so many trails are designated for realignment – many of these trails have existed for decades and do not need to be realigned.  The final plan should state specifically why any trail designated for realignment needs to be realigned.  Making the trails “sustainable” is not specific enough.  This word should be specifically defined. Trails scheduled for realignment that cause the most concern include but are not limited to: 342.1, 342.1A, 342.1B, 357.2C, 606.1, 925.1, 925.1A, 925.1B, 925.1E, 926.1A, 926.1E.

4.       I am most concerned about the actual trail building – where the shovel meets the dirt.  Nederland citizens and the Nederland Area Trails Organization should play an integral part in designing the specific trails that will exist, including the specific flag placing and the specific characteristics of corners, etc. The final plan should explicitly state the Nederland Area Trails Organization and representatives of Nederland government will be consulted at each decision point in the process.

5.       I am concerned the proposal does not include specifics about funding, partnerships with locals, time tables, specific trail characteristics, specific details about who will design the trails, specifics concerning who will place flags, specifics about who will actually build the trails, specifics about the process for choosing a contractor.  The final plan should address each of these points.  If a decision has not been made about any of these points, then the final plan should state the specific process for reaching those decisions.

6.      I am concerned that the plan as proposed makes no mention of potential facilities in the area. Creating connections from the Town of Nederland should encourage users to begin their adventures in Town, eliminating the need for increased parking or restrooms.

7.      I am concerned that several of the proposed “New” trails aren’t necessary. Examples of new trails that do not seem necessary include but are not limited to: New 9 replacing a trail scheduled to be obliterated, and New 10.

8.      I would like to see directional trails established within the planning area, as needed. I would prefer to see trails designed/constructed to encourage directional usage, but if necessary, minimal signage would be acceptable.

9.      I am concerned with a comment made by a USFS Employee at the August 19, 2013 Open House in Nederland regarding the possibility of Boulder County managing the work east of the Peak to Peak Highway. I encourage the Forest Service to take the lead role when trails transition between Forest Service land and County Open Space.

10.  The final plan should explicitly adopt IMBA trail building best practices.  These include: trails should be hand built.  Trails should be as narrow as possible.

11.  The final plan should explicitly describe the multi-use nature of the trails, including use by equestrians, hikers, runners, bikers, skiers, snowshoers, etc.

12.  I am concerned with the lack of mention of groomed Nordic skiing in the plan. I would like to see experimental groomed Nordic skiing in the West Magnolia area. Groomed Nordic skiing can be done with light, snowmobile based equipment or heavier snowcat type equipment, and is a common use across USFS lands throughout the US. NATO would like to see grooming equipment excepted from the ban on motor vehicles and snowmobiles as mentioned in the proposed plan.

13.  I would like the final plan to stress the Forest Service’s commitment to transparency of process and decision making, including specific commitments to community involvement in each stage of the planning and building process.

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