If you extend your South Boulder ride with a loop on Rattlesnake Gulch trail or bike into Eldorado Canyon State Park (ECSP) to climb, hike or picnic it’s important to weigh in on the draft Eldorado Canyon State Park Management Plan as a cyclist. Please submit your own comments by May 25. Here are BMA’s comments:

What do you agree with or like the most about the draft plan?

We agree with the Draft statement goal (page 8) to “…envision Eldorado Canyon State Park as a place for all Coloradans to enjoy the outdoors,” and of promoting a “positive experience in nature for all users.

What SOLUTIONS to parking and access issues have we missed? Please share other ideas that are feasible for CPW to implement that you believe would help reduce traffic congestion, improve trip planning and/or the arrival experience?

The congestion in the town of Eldorado Springs and ECSP is caused by motorists and cars, and the solution to this problem cannot be car-centric. Reservations for people driving cars should be used during peak times at the park, and the number of cars allowed to drive to the park when it is at car parking capacity needs to be reduced. Multi-model solutions must not only be used, but people should be incentivized to to use them. People entering the park by bike, foot or shuttle should not need reservations and should have a lower entrance fee. ECSP should look at safer ways for people to bicycle to the park bypassing the town of Eldorado Springs, such as opening the existing Fowler Trail to people riding bicycles.

Please share any further comments you would like CPW to consider.

CPW set up a VUMP taskforce to evaluate visitor use and should continue to engage this same taskforce to evaluate the new strategies. Ongoing discussion between park user stakeholders and the residents of Eldorado Springs need to be facilitated during this implementation time.

BMA also strongly disagrees with CPW’s unilateral decision to not pursue the Eldo to Walker multi-use trail, especially before any car congestion strategies have been implemented.

The Eldorado Canyon State Park Management Plan spuriously states “the threshold for recreational opportunities has been reached,” but this is clearly not true. In reality, the threshold for motor vehicle parking and motor vehicle use has been reached, not the threshold for recreational opportunities such as hiking, climbing, bicycling, picnicking, wildlife viewing and more. As the Draft ESCP Management Plan plan states:

About two-thirds (65%) of respondents felt crowded in parking lots and almost half (48%) felt crowded along the road. Fewer (23%) felt crowded at picnic areas and only 11% felt crowded on trails.

Trail “crowding” is not the issue at ECSP, so why is limiting access to trails a stated goal of CPW? As the population and desire to visit ECSP and Colorado public lands continues to increase, CPW should be expanding trails and recreational opportunities while welcoming visitors and responsible use of our shared public lands instead of, in CPW’s own misguided words, “work(ing) toward decreasing… visitation.

Referring to CPW’s mission…

To perpetuate the wildlife resources of the state, to provide a quality state park system, and to provide enjoyable and sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities that educate and inspire current and future generations to serve as active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources” CPW’s Vision is to be a national leader in wildlife management, conservation and sustainable outdoor recreation for current and future generations.

CPW should be welcoming current and future generations to the great outdoors, not slamming the gates shut. As requested by Colorado Governor Jared Polis’, we also request that CPW and ECSP work toward a “Colorado for All.”

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