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Input sought on Cheyenne Mountain State Park plans
What: Public Open House to discuss the Draft 2012 Cheyenne Mountain State Park Management Plan
When: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 25
Where: Foothills Room at the Crowne Plaza hotel, 2886 S. Circle Drive
State officials are solidifying plans for Cheyenne Mountain State Park and they're asking for the community's help.
They could get an earful.
A draft management plan, to be discussed at a July 25 public meeting, prohibits mountain bikers from the park's latest expansion, which includes the top of Cheyenne Mountain and the Dixon Trail. The draft plan outlines a 10-year planning framework for the 2,701-acre park and is scheduled to be finalized this fall.
Local mountain bikers, led by Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates, a nonprofit group dedicated to creating and maintaining trails for mountain bikers and others, and longtime race organizers Sand Creek Sports, say they'll push for a change in the plan. Some group members are encouraging area mountain bikers to attend the meeting and share their concerns about limiting cyclists' access to the expanded terrain.
Sand Creek sports will have a petition against the draft plan for riders to sign at its July 18 Ascent Cycling mountain bike race at Bear Creek Terrace.
Medicine Wheel and the International Mountain Biking Association began working with officials to develop sustainable multiuse trails in the park long before it opened to the public. Volunteers from the group have spent countless hours building, maintaining and improving trails in the park.
Park officials are trying to balance the desires of all park user groups, said Cheyenne Mountain State Park Manager Mitch Martin. Based on the steepness of the trail up Cheyenne Mountain and a decision to open up some of the park to horseback riders it is likely the extremes of Cheyenne Mountain will be off-limits to mountain bikes, he said Wednesday.
"We are working with Medicine Wheel" on its members' concerns, Martin said, noting that 20 miles of trails in the park are open to mountain bikers. "And mountain bikers will remain a key user group" in the park.
The draft plan was created based on recommendations from the public, knowledge and expertise of the planning team members, and park resource considerations.
Public input was gathered at a meeting in November as well as 713 surveys completed at that meeting and online. Park officials say those surveys indicate "strong support for existing park programs and recreational opportunities. Additional amenities that ranked high in terms of relative importance included additional hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails."
Users also expressed interest in adding more singletrack mountain bike trails; keeping or removing dog restrictions; and adding an archery range.
Expect all of these topics to be discussed at the July 25 meeting, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza hotel, 2886 S. Circle Drive, in the Foothills Room.
Martin said the planning team's presentation will include video taken along the Dixon trail as well as maps of the proposed trail network. Planners offer some perspective on the process online.
Concepts included in the draft management plan and meeting materials will be available for review after July 25 on the park’s webpage.
Questions about the planning process or the meeting should be addressed to email@example.com or Mitch Martin, Cheyenne Mountain State Park’s manager, at 719-576-2381.