March 20, 2007

BCPOS to buy Arkansas mountain?

A great opportunity to go make your voice heard for recreational access in Boulder County – this parcel of land could provide some sickeningly good mountain bike and hiking trails if enough people are clamoring for them. I am going to be out of town, but guys, if you’re around, please attend!

Here’s an MTBR thread about the issue:
BCPOS/Ark thread

And here’s the email I sent to a bunch of the powers-that-be in Boulder:

From: walt@waltworks.com
To: Will, Toor, ‘ wtoor@co.boulder.co.us Ben Pearlman bpearlman@co.boulder.co.us Ron Stewart’, rstewart@co.boulder.co.us, vjannatpour@co.boulder.co.us
Sent: Tue Mar 20 16:35
Subject: Fwd: BCPOS Purchase of Benjamin/Arkansas Mountain property

Will, Ben, and Ron –

I’ve recently been informed that Boulder County plans to purchase the Benjamin properties, adjacent to Betasso preserve and with access to Fourmile Canyon, just to the west of Boulder proper. Great! This is an excellent piece of land for BCPOS to add, as it’s contiguous with another large property (Betasso) and a striking ridgeline that would be much less striking with a passel of new houses crowded onto it.

With that said, I think the purchase of this property is an outstanding opportunity to advance the outdoor recreational opportunities available (without necessitating automobile travel) in Boulder. The parcel has access to both Betasso and Fourmile canyon, which can be reached easily by bicycle, foot, and RTD bus, and it connects to an existing recreational area that is quite popular (Betasso). A network of trails on this property, preferably open to *all* nonmotorized users (equestrians, runners, hikers, bicyclists), and connected to the excellent existing trail system at Betasso, would be of great benefit to outdoor recreation. It would also provide more opportunities for mountain biking in Boulder without driving a car, something which at this point is sorely lacking.

As it stands, it looks likely that the entire area will be declared offlimits (“preserved in its natural state”), however. I think that given the location of the parcel, this is not the best option, and I’d urge you to look into the matter more fully. I’ve attached a PDF from Parks and Open Space with the information about the upcoming meeting to discuss the purchase.

Finally, I am writing not just as a concerned trail runner and cyclist, but as a Boulder business owner and resident. I build handmade custom bicyles, and I’ve watched over the last decade as bike-accessible mountain biking access has continued to decline in Boulder County. While literally hundreds of miles of trail are available for other activities, bikes have been banned from more and more locations. This is harmful not just to the interests of the cyclists, but to the community as a whole – when riders leave Boulder by car, by the hundreds (if not thousands) each weekend to ride the relatively unrestricted (and yet tranquil and sustainable) trails of Jefferson county, tons of CO2 are pumped into the atmosphere, and thousands of dollars of bicycle-related revenue (meals, bike parts, etc) are pumped OUT of Boulder. My business and MANY others are dependent on outdoor recreation (including mountain biking) in Boulder, and unwarranted restrictions hurt our bottom line.

Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss this issue further. My daytime phone number is (303) 359-9392.

Thanks for your time.

-Walt Wehner

Waltworks Custom Bicycles Boulder, CO
www.waltworks.com 303 359-9392

-Walt