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Awesomist™
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Synopsis of the issue at hand, taken from Salida Mountain Trails website:
Hard Rock Paving & Redi-Mix, Inc., has asked BLM to approve a 62-acre expansion on BLM land, which would more than double the size of their existing rock and gravel mining operation. If this expansion is approved as proposed, one of Salida's most popular and heavily used trails would fall within the proposed expansion area and have to be moved and/or compromised.

In its Environmental Assessment (EA) of Hard Rock's proposal, the BLM has suggested three outcomes:
  1. "Alternative A - Operator Proposed Action" - BLM approves the entire 62-acre proposal. This would mean destroying and rebuilding the top third of Solstice further east of its present location, at Hard Rock's expense. Unfortunately, this will be difficult to do as much of this area is a large, long wash. The remaining two-thirds of the trail will have only a 30-foot buffer to the edge of mining operations. A rerouted trail will not maintain its existing character, and will be significantly compromised.
  2. "Alternative B - No Bike Trail Disturbance" - This would allow a 41-acre expansion, and would not require redesigning or relocating the Solstice Trail. However, the expansion footprint would parallel the eastern edge of the entire existing trail, with only a 30-foot buffer. SMT feels this would be a workable alternative only if the buffer were increased to at least 200 feet, so that trail users are protected from the noise and dust associated with the mining operation.
  3. "Alternative C - Denial of Road Realignment and Expansion Proposal" - BLM denies any expansion on BLM land, with no impact on the Solstice Trail. The EA describes how this would affect Hard Rock, future operations, and economic concerns.
A few more links for information:
The ask:
Send your feedback to the BLM! Do you ride in Salida? Have you ridden Solstice? Speak up! These are your public lands, and you have a say in what happens to them. As a Salida resident, Solstice is becoming one of my "go-to" after work trails, it's got nice flow and some fun turns and jumps. Having a gravel pit 30' from the trail would suck, and having seen the topography of the land near there I have to agree that realigning the trail is a non-starter. But whatever your take is, if you give a crap about your public lands, consider submitting a comment. There are two ways you can do this:
  1. Click over to the IMBA blog post about saving the Solstice trail, and then click through to their comment form to submit comments.
  2. Use the following instructions from Salida Mountain Trails and submit comments directly on the draft EA:
    • Go to https://go.usa.gov/xf5TN
    • Click "Documents" to read the Environment Assessment
    • Click "Participate Now" to submit your comments.
 
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