Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Routt County commissioners on Tuesday approved Steamboat Lake State Park's plan to add 168 acres to the park along with a temporary motorized winter recreation trail, a summer nonmotorized trail and two rental cabins.
The State Land Board has entered into a contract with the owners of the 168-acre parcel to purchase the property for the state park's trust. That deal is not final, so the purchase price has not been released.
Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger praised the state park and State Land Board for finding a way to fill a "critical need" for the community.
The winter motorized trail would link the state park to the Routt National Forest, and so would discourage the trespassing and parking problems that have grown in North Routt with the explosion of winter recreation use.
Last year, the state park tried out the trail for a few weeks at the end of the winter. It is using the trail with a temporary approval from the U.S. Forest Service again this year.
"This just shows what ... can happen when we do work together," Monger said.
Members of the snowmobiling group Routt Powder Riders said they supported the state park's proposal, especially the winter trail.
Monger said he did not support the concept of building two rental cabins on the property but understands it is necessary to make the concept work financially.
Steamboat Lake State Park manager Ken Brink said that because the property has a significant price tag, it was important for the state park to show some financial benefit related to it, hence the rental cabins.
The rental cabins will be available all year, will have three bedrooms and will have a natural look, Brink said. They will be more expensive than other options offered by the state park, he said.
Compared with having another campground or a series of cabins in the area, both of which were considered as options for the 168-acre parcel, the two rental cabins are a low-impact choice, Brink said.
State park officials are interested in the parcel because it could provide the winter linking trail and because it prevents the park from becoming landlocked by private land and is important for views and wildlife, he said.
Monger and Commissioner Dan Ellison approved the plan. Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak could not participate in the meeting because of a recent surgery.
The state park does not have to get county approval for its plans, but has done so in the past.