The comment period for the Environmental Assessment covering multi-use (including bikes) on the East Shore Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park closes on March 3. Now is your opportunity to be heard!
How to Comment:
Making a comment is simple and can be done on line very quickly. Simply go to: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=43625 and find the box entitled “Open for comment” on the left side of the page. Click on “open for comment” and then select “East Shore Environmental Assessment.” At the bottom of this page is a list of relevant documents if you wish to familiarize yourself with the specifics of the proposal. Immediately above the list of documents is a “comment on document” button which will take you directly to an easy to fill in comment form.
Why It’s Important
This may only be two miles of trail, but there are definitely larger implications. Rocky Mountain National Park is also considering allowing multi-use on other trails. The success of this effort has significant potential to expand opportunities elsewhere in the park. If successful, this could also set a precedent for other National Parks as well as other land designations which currently prohibit mountain biking.
Each comment should be individualized, but some key themes are important. Below are a list of justifications you may wish to choose from to state your (our) case:
1. Cycling has proven to be similar in impact to hiking and less than equestrian use.
2. Backcountry cyclists share the same “leave no trace” ethos as hikers
3. All non-motorized, low-impact users should have equal opportunity to enjoy our public lands
4. Bringing mountain cyclists into the multi-use trail community will result in greater advocacy for badly needed trail maintenance and greatly expands the pool of volunteers.
5. Share what it would mean personally to you to be able to cycle this route. If you live in the area, share how often you think you may use the trail.
6. Trails like this may provide opportunities to relieve congestion by dispersing park users and allow people to move from one place to another by means other than automobile.
If you have other observations or comments as to the importance and justification of this effort, please share them below.