On Friday, April 23, 2021, Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) sent an email to a very small, select group of stakeholders with little fanfare that kills the long-awaited Eldo to Walker trail connection for people riding bikes. The incredibly short-sighted CPW assessment is that “Park operations cannot support building and maintaining a new segment of trail or increasing visitation for another recreational use causing exacerbated safety concerns on the (car) congested park road.” This is preposterous, as a huge benefit of such a trail is to provide a means for people to abandon their cars and travel from Boulder to a regional park (via Eldorado Canyon State Park) and back.
After decades of work by multiple agencies and trail advocates to make this trail happen, and after the 2016 Governor’s mandate to build this trail as part of the “Colorado 16” trails, we at BMA are flabbergasted that CPW would dismiss this trail simply due to a lack of ability to plan and manage recreation. Rather than implementing the plans that have been approved for decades to create regional connections between open spaces and to manage our recreation intelligently, agencies like CPW wish to keep sticking their heads in the sand and say “doesn’t fit the character of this location.”
We fear for the future of equitable access and recreation if CPW is now deciding that only those who were “here first” get to have access to our shared public lands.
We are livid. There is no other word. Boulder Mountainbike Alliance has worked for more than 15 years on this crucial connector trail. But we are not giving up! We believe there are more stones to turn, and we are going to be redoubling our efforts right away. As soon as we have an action plan, we will let you know.