Montrose, COLO.— Montrose County received a positive step forward for the Shavano Gateway Project today: the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) informed the county that there was no significant impact noted following an environmental assessment. At this time, the BLM will move forward to consider a lease of approximately 44 acres of public land to Montrose County. Ultimately, the land will be transferred to the county following a successful lease period. This area will contain the majority of the Shavano Gateway Project to include staging areas, restrooms, picnic areas, and more. Additionally, the area includes the creation of 20 miles of new single-track trails.
“We are pleased and appreciative of the decision made by the BLM. Our thanks goes out to the staff at the Uncompahgre Field Office for helping us get to this point,” said Deputy County Manager Jon Waschbusch. “This is a great project that serves broad interests in the community. Our partners at Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Association (COPMOBA) have done an excellent job with trail design and we’re excited that they can now move forward with fundraising and construction. The additional trails will be a nice community asset and also provide Montrose the opportunity to host formal events like high school mountain bike races.”
The BLM and Montrose County have partnered with Western Slope 4 Wheelers, Back Country 4×4’s, Uncompahgre Valley Trail Riders, and the COPMOBA to design the facilities at the Shavano Gateway Recreation Area. Several groups will be applying for grants and fundraising to help construct the trails.
“This project will be an asset to both the motorized and non-motorized community. The club has been proud to be a part of this process as it will help increase ATV accessibility on the Uncompahgre Plateau and surrounding recreation areas,” said Uncompahgre Trail Riders ATV Club President Rich Jakino.
“The approval of this trail system comes after several years of collaborative work between the Montrose-Uncompahgre Trails (MUT) chapter of COPMOBA, the BLM, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Montrose County, and the OHV community. We are excited to bring a high quality, professionally designed non-motorized trail system to Montrose. Having this trail system so close to town will be a great amenity for the community for years to come,” said Renata Raziano, President of the Montrose Uncompahgre Trails Chapter of the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association.
The area proposed as part of the project contains the eastern trail-head for the Rimrocker Trail. This 160-mile dirt trail has been gaining popularity in the OHV, ATV, and mountain biking communities. The addition of the staging area will be beneficial to the riders looking to park trailers, as well as gear up for the trail.