Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Comments in Support of Chama Chile Ski Trails by TODAY (Jan 31st)!

Apparently the snowmobilers have also been writing in a lot regarding this closure, so it is very important that we get as many comments in support of it as we can. To support closure of Chama Chile Ski Trails to motorized (snowmobilers) traffic please send your comment in by end of TODAY to  amjones@fs.fed.us  (the longer email address listed below bounced for a few people). If you need a sample message to copy you may use/modify this one as you see fit:
This letter is in support of the closure of Windy Point to snowmobiling. 
Reserving this small area for xc skiing and snowshoeing will help diversify and strengthen local economy and provide recreational opportunity to a wider segment of population.
The Chama Chile Ski Classic that uses that area for their event, should have the right to limited (grooming only) motorized access as it is a historic event. It is the oldest xc ski race in the southwest and is attracting 100s of people every year (as well as non-racers who love to use the groomed tracks to ski and snowshoe for weeks after the event underlining the need and demand for this recreation and resulting need for safety in the area).
This closure would take nothing away from snowmobilers due to the modest size of this area especially when compared to the size of the adjacent spaces that are already open to motorized access.
Please close Windy Point to motorized vehicles!

see below regarding details of the closure proposal etc.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
It is requested that all comments on this closure be received by January 31, 2012 in order to be most
effectively considered

Date: January 15, 2012
To: Skiers and Snowshoers
From: Chama Valley Outdoor Club

Issue: Rio Grande National Forest Needs Your Comments By January 31
Topic: Winter Closure for Chama Chile Ski Trails Area or Windy Point (see

On January 11, the Rio Grande National Forest published a call for comment
to close Windy Point, the site of the Chama Chile Ski Classic, to winter
motorized use for up to 5 years. This is the first step in the scoping
process for our special use permit to continue grooming the trails after
the Martin Luther King race weekend. Please find attached a PDF file of
the notice from the Rio Grande website with more information.


The Forest Service needs to justify this closure, and we can provide that
justification. Please tell the Forest Service to enact the closure for
these reasons:

1. Skiers and snowshoers need a space in the Cumbres Pass area without
snowmobiles where they can pursue quiet winter sports.

2. The proposed closure goes a long way to eliminate the safety and
social conflict issues inherent in mixing winter motorized and
non-motorized use.

3. The Windy Point location of approximately 500 acres is well defined

4. Windy Point historically has been a skier area; the 39th Chama Chile
Ski Classic was just held last weekend.

To get comments in as quickly as possible, we recommend that you email to:

This is your opportunity to help make groomed trails on Cumbres Pass a
reality. Thank you for your support!
see below actual request for public comment on the closure:

Windy Point Winter Motorized Closure

Release Date: Jan 11, 2012

The Rio Grande National Forest is seeking public comment on a proposed closure order
prohibiting motorized over the snow use at Windy Point.  The proposed closure area that
we are calling Windy Point is on the west side of Cumbres Pass, adjacent to and
north/west of Highway 17. This area has been traditionally used for a cross-country ski
and snowshoe race in January for over 20 years.

The legal description is NMPM T32N. R4E. Sec. 12 & 13.

The purpose would be to provide a motorized closure for over the snow travel on the area
for up to 5 years. This would provide an area, currently not being utilized by motorized
winter recreationists, for non-motorized recreation.  There is a history of conflict between
the winter recreationists who enjoy the Cumbres Pass Area.  There is concern among the
public regarding the safety of mixed motorized and non-motorized use.  The Forest
Service will be encouraging users to come together to propose a long-term solution for
the larger scale recreation use issue.

A map and additional information on the project is available on the Rio Grande
National Forest website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/riogrande/projects 

Those wishing to comment are encouraged to submit their concerns in writing to:

Conejos Peak Ranger District
Attention: Windy Point Winter Motorized Closure
15571 County Road T.5
La Jara, CO 81140

It is requested that all comments be received by January 31, 2012 in order to be most
effectively considered.  For further information about this proposal, please contact
Jeremiah Martinez at 719-274-6320.

No comments: