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Don't forget,Tom;a 225 inch winter tends to skew the average too. If you threw out the high and the low for the past ten years or so,I'll bet our seasonal average would be closer to 325-330 inches. which seems more accurate to me. In any case,we have had a very good season,and it's sad to see it come to an end.
I wouldn't expect anything less from you,Mark.
I would have to agree that the above comments are not helpful and seem to be either irrelevant or ignorant for the most part. To be fair,I wonder what sort of comments were received in favor of Alternative 3? My experience is that ignorance and arrogance runs on both sides of most arguments,particularly ones having to do with such a sensitive topic. Just exactly how "tolerant" are those that favored Alternative 3? Might have to file a FOIA request myself to find that out.
I should have given you more credit for the research work you have done as an advocate for the motorized users of the national forest. I confess that I have not read many of the comments regarding different areas in contention. (I've sent in a few myself,which you may have read;hopefully you will have found my letters to be well-reasoned and not vitriolic as some of the others you've seen.) I imagine (but don't know for sure,obviously) that there have been some pretty nasty comments from both sides of the argument,and perhaps not many that are reasoned and actually interested in a fair solution;everybody just wants to win. It IS possible that the same complaints keep coming in because nothing is being done about them,regardless of whether they are reasonable or not. I'll concede that you have a right to feel paranoid,but I doubt that you are losing the battle. It will go on and on,and you and I will still continue to ride and ski powder,just like we always have. I have to thank you for giving me some other points to think about, and although we are not likely to agree on much, I really do appreciate your point of view. Think snow!
Perhaps you could be a little more specific as to which areas that you are talking about? You are sounding a bit paranoid now.
Where to begin? First of all,regardless of what you think based on parking lot use,there is and has been plenty of skier/hiker/shoeshoer use of areas on Rabbit Ears. The number of users obviously varies with snow conditions,day of the week, and other factors. Have you been monitoring the parking lots on a daily basis to determine if these nonmotorized areas are being used? Have you been on skis or snowshoes in any of these areas to look for yourself? You imply that you have,but you have not actually said so.
You are correct in saying that nonmotorized users have taken advantage of areas where motorized grooming was done. (I had not heard of "dozens" of mtn. bikers using trails groomed and paid for by snowmobiling clubs;that's a new one to me.) The only instance that I know of where such use is widespread is on the Bruce trail,which is groomed for the use of track skiers. I rarely use any groomed trails on Rabbit Ears Pass,other than to cross them on my way to somewhere that I wish to ski. I would be very happy to break trail from my car to as far as I am going and back,if it guarentees me untracked powder skiing when I get there. So no,I don't feel any obligation to pay for any services provided by snowmobiler or anyone else's funds;I pay my taxes,and doesn't the CDOT plow the roads and parking lots on the pass? ( If there are indeed so many mountain bike users of the groomed trails on Rabbit Ears Pass,I would agree that they should help pay for the grooming and maintenance of those trails.) I think that is a very good thing that there are groups such as Search and Rescue that will go and help anyone that needs assistance in the backcountry,regardless of where they are,but that has nothing to do with recreational use of the terrain. Motorized user groups have been very good at promoting their sport,especially on Rabbit Ears Pass,and it does no good to whine that you don't have enough terrain because of it. There are so very many places that you can go,if you are willing to make the effort to get there. With a sled you can sure cover lots more ground much faster than a skier can,going to many places that skiers rarely if ever reach. I think that you just like to complain,Mark! I really don't think you've made much of a case for expanding terrain for motorized use on Rabbit Ears Pass. Try and play nice with the other users,even if you don't like them very much.
So you figure that looking at parking lots is a reliable indication of use. You don't strike me as the sort of person who would go out into the winter backcountry without some sort of motorized assist,so how would you really know whether non-motorized area are really being "underutilized"? (Is it fair to assume that you are not driving your sled out there for a better look?) How exactly do you define "underutilized"? Do you think the fields,meadows and forested areas need to be full of skier/hiker/snowshoer tracks to satisfy your definition of proper utilization? Believe me,there are skiers and other non-motorized users out there,plenty of them. You seem to think that if you can get there on your sled,that means you should have the right to be there. Is it not true that there are a number of websites that promote the attractiveness of Rabbit Ears Pass and North Routt as snowmobiling destinations? It seems that the majority of the users who show up with large trailers and multiple sleds and riders are from places like Pueblo,Colorado Springs,Wyoming and New Mexico,or even further away. Many of the riders I have encountered over the years are from those places,nice folks,generally. It's certainly true that snowmobiling (and motorsports in general) have greatly increased in popularity in recent years,and the demand for places to ride have naturally gone up as well. It is also true that non-motorized use is increasing,and those users need their space too. You have apparently decided that you "know" that non-motorized areas are underutilized,and therefore should be given to motorized users. No doubt you are unaware that many skiers tend to stay out of sight deliberately,skiing in the woods and other areas not often seen by sledders,enjoying their backcountry experience in quiet and solitude. Your opinion would mean more if it was based on something other than the lack of Suburus in trailhead parking lots. There is really no shortage of areas available legally for motorized users. As an experienced,avid local rider,I'm sure you know where those place are. Be sure and get there early.
Give it a rest,Scott.
It would be really hard to overeestimate what that photo and subsequent poster has meant to Steamboat. It has done more than anything I can think of to bring skiers and others to the Yampa Valley. It truly was marketing genius,and is an image I never grow tired of looking at. (Still have my original copy too!) Think deep!
No,didn't go to school in Hayden (maybe Ben Beall?) Brian,I hope that your're wrong,and common sense/intelligence continues to be the case here.
Last login: Monday, April 8, 2013
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