Eric Meyer: Keep your trail systems | SteamboatToday.com

Eric Meyer: Keep your trail systems

Steamboat Springs is in a position few other places in the country can claim in respect to significant planned trail expansion on local and federal government lands. This has been made possible through the relationships built with local land managers and the strong majority of voters approving the capital investment in trails using a portion of the taxes collected on short term accommodations.

The item we are still missing to better control the future of our local trail systems is a consistent, long-term trail maintenance funding source. Volunteers contribute thousands of hours to help maintain the local trail systems. Routt County Riders has also worked on ways to diversify and stabilize funding for trail maintenance.

Partners in this effort have included the Steamboat Bike Park with Sponsorship Day, Adventure Maps with the local trail map and event partners, both cycling and running, that use the local trail system.

Recently, the Yampa Valley Community Foundation established a Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund. This fund will be the long-term solution to our local trail maintenance. Donations to the fund will stay in the fund indefinitely, and when the fund starts producing enough income to make an impact, the annual proceeds will be available to local land managers to maintain the local trails.

For more details on the fund, please contact the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.

If you're a trail user, consider this: If only the users of Spring Creek and Blackmere Drive (two of Steamboat's most popular year-round trailheads) were to donate $1 per user day, that would add up to more than $100,000 annually. I encourage all non-motorized trail users — cyclists, runners, hikers, equestrians and dog walkers — to help keep our trails great and donate what you can to this fund before the end of the year.  

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Contributions can be made at yvcf.org/donate. Under "Choose A Fund," pick the drop down "YVCF Funds & Initiatives" then select "Trail Maintenance Fund."

Also if you are an organization or business that benefits from trails, join this list of groups that have already committed to contributing to this fund: Orange Peel Bicycle Service; Routt County Riders; Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare; Steamboat Springs Running Series; and Wheels & Wax.

Eric Meyer

Steamboat Springs trail user

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