BDR has submitted the following comment which you can use as a guide for your own unique comments.
The Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route a.k.a. COBDR (https://ridebdr.com/cobdr/) passes through Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG) in several areas so we are concerned about the proposed changes to land use around the roads used in the route.
Our routes promote responsible travel through states using as many “backcountry” roads as possible and this includes national forest roads in Colorado. Outdoor enthusiasts traveling on street legal motorcycles and other vehicles follow our suggested routes across states and camp and stay in lodging where possible. The COBDR brings tourists from around the country and the world to Colorado and they spend money for food, fuel, and lodging in the small towns along the route.
In fact, in 2017 BDR conducted an economic study (available upon request) which determined that in 2017, five years after the COBDR route was launched, out of state BDR riders have spent 4.2 million in Colorado as a result of their COBDR trips. This means that BDR riders (as out-of-state visitors) have contributed over $37.8 million in new motorcycle tourism to Colorado’s economy as a result of the existence of the COBDR route.
We want to make sure GMUG keeps the roads on the COBDR open to motorized use and in the event that a road is closed for some reason in the future, we can provide an alternate route (a temporary bypass or a permanent revision) on nearby forest roads.
Here’s a list of some of the GMUG roads utilized in the COBDR:
- NFSR 611 and 618 between Dolores and Telluride
- NFSR 625 and 630 (Ophir Pass) between Telluride and Ouray/Silverton
- NFSR 886 and Road 30 (Hinco-3) between Ouray/Silverton and Lake City
- SH-149, NF 7788/7788.2E (Los Pinos Pass), 7579.2D (Razor Dome Rd) and 7579 (Home Gulch Rd) between Lake City and Gunnison/Sargents
- Gunnison County Roads 887, NF 7763, 7765, 7725 and 7209 near Pitkin, Tincup, Taylor Park, and Buena Vista
- Most at risk are Ophir Pass 630, Corkscrew Pass (886) and Engineer Pass (878) – a ROS setting of SPNM is not acceptable, we suggest they should be at a minimum SPM.
To protect the annual travel and tourism dollars from travelers on the COBDR to the towns along this route we suggest NOT adopting the Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized and Primitive categorizations in the areas near these roads as outlined in Alternatives B, C and D. Alt D specifically would have the largest impact on travel on these roads so we recommend rejecting that one.
Alt B is better for future COBDR travel in the area around Telluride and Ouray.
Alt C is better for future COBDR travel between Lake City and Buena Vista.
We are supporting Alternative C with changes because it would allow the most flexibility for use in the future such as updates to or new BDR routes.
We hope that the lands around these roads can be kept status quo (existing condition) or at least in the Roaded Natural or Semi-Primitive Motorized designations as much as possible. Since most of the travel on the Colorado BDR is June through September we are commenting on the Summer ROS alternatives.