J.P. Pougiales cuts down a trail on Emerald Mountain earlier this summer during a Town Challenge mountain bike race.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

J.P. Pougiales cuts down a trail on Emerald Mountain earlier this summer during a Town Challenge mountain bike race.

Meetings to address parks

Public invited to discuss future of local recreational offerings

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Past Event

Findings presentation for Steamboat Springs Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services master plan

  • Wednesday, August 27, 2008, 5:30 p.m.
  • Steamboat Springs Community Center, 1605 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / Free

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Past Event

BLM & City's Final Meeting - Emerald Mtn Special Rec Mgmt Area Plan

  • Thursday, August 21, 2008, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Steamboat Springs Community Center, 1605 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / Free

More

— Two public meetings this month will help guide the future of the Steamboat Springs area's beloved recreation opportunities.

On Aug. 27, the city and consultants GreenPlay LLC will present findings from surveys and a service analysis conducted in preparation for the creation of a master plan for the department of Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services.

"Those two elements together will help point to what the community feels and needs," said department Director Chris Wilson, who added that members of the public will have an opportunity to provide input at the meeting. "If they didn't get a survey or they didn't get online (to take the survey), this is a time when they can show up in person and be heard. : We're just looking forward to having everybody come."

John Barnholt, of GreenPlay, said 315 people completed surveys, for a response rate of 14.6 percent.

"Which is good," Barnholt said.

In preparation for making specific recommendations to the city, which is the final phase of the master planning process, Barnholt said GreenPlay has identified more general "areas of focus," which will be discussed at the meeting. Those areas include defining core services, implementing a cost recovery policy, park and maintenance standards, Yampa River access and program development.

"We're at the point in the project where it's a check-in point," Barnholt said. "The floor will be open for discussion and input on what we present."

Eyes on Emerald

While GreenPlay has identified areas of focus, Barnholt said surveys show Steamboat residents are largely satisfied with the city's parks and recreational offerings.

"Steamboat's doing fine on everything," Barnholt said. "Generally, the survey states people are satisfied with the recreational opportunities that exist."

Barnholt said the master plan will help Steamboat maintain that level of service in the face of growth.

Also this month, on Aug. 21, officials with the city and Bureau of Land Management will hold their sixth and final meeting to discuss a recreation management plan for a 4,139-acre parcel on Emerald Mountain. The land became public last year through a land exchange with the Colorado State Land Board.

"This has been a good kind of clarifying public process," Wilson said of the meetings. "If you haven't been to any of these meetings as a member of the public, this is the one to catch."

Emerald Mountain is zoned for two types of nonmotorized recreation. Zone 1 is for mountain biking, Nordic skiing and other strenuous activities, and Zone 2 is for wildlife viewing, hiking, hunting, horseback riding and walking.

The BLM is interested in what recreational facilities - such as interpretive panels, kiosks, picnic tables and restrooms - the public wants to see on Emerald Mountain. The public also will be able to weigh in on rules and regulations for the property, as well as possible adjustments to the zone boundaries.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

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