2017 Board Letters of Interest

We need a few good men and women to join our board. If you are an outdoor enthusiast this is one way for you to give back. We have a monthly board meeting and then only other meetings if there is a good reason. Mostly, we want to be outside.

2017 Board Vacancies

Duties of the Secretary – the Secretary shall:

  • Attend all meetings of the Board, any special meetings, all general meetings and act as the clerk thereof.
  • Serve as a voting member of the Board.
  • Have custody of the records of the Council.
  • Arrange for the filing of papers and reports as required by law.
  • Turn over to his/her successor all records and property at the time of leaving office.

Duties of the Membership Secretary – the Membership Secretary shall:

  • Attend all meetings of the Board, any special meetings and all general meetings.
  • Serve as a voting member on the Board.
  • Receive and keep a record of membership.
  • Shall promote education to the membership as to the needs and benefits of area trails, trail systems, work projects and related activities and/or events.
  • Shall turn over all records and property to his/her successor at the time of leaving office.

Duties of the Public Information Officer – the Public Information Officer shall:

  • Attend all meetings of the Board, any special meetings and all general meetings.
  • Serve as a voting member on the Board.
  • Prepare all communications and articles recommended by the Council and place them in appropriate media.
  • Shall turn over all records and property to his/her successor at the time of leaving office.

Members-At Large – The duties of the Members-At-Large shall include attending all meetings of the Board, any special meetings and all general meetings; serve as a voting member on the Board; and assist with all committees and projects as assigned by the President.

Please forward your Letter of Interest to PATC President Stacy Boone at Info@StepOutdoorsColorado.com by January 1, 2017.

SJOC – Volunteer Appreciation

The Club would not be the same without these outstanding volunteers.  (I certainly hope I didn’t leave anyone out!)

We could use even more leaders in 2017.  Just think of something you would like to do, let me know, and I will put it on the calendar.  Anyone can do it, the more the better!

First off, we had 7 people who led between 11 and 17 activities.  They definitely deserve a gold star!  They are:  Steve Earle, Mary Ann Durham (hiking mastermind – even when she wasn’t leading, she was arranging all the Tuesday hikes), Brooks and Dorie Chadwick (Thursdays wouldn’t be the same without these two), Sue Fischer and Andy Butler, Susan Milford

We had 4 people who led between 5 and 10 activities.  They’re awesome in my book!  They are:  Betsy Cotton, Dean Dussell, Joseph Sinclair, Margaret Kleiner

We had 11 people who led 1 to 4 activities.  Still awesome in my book!  They are:  Jeff Reichel, Chris Johnson, Susan Dussell, Suzanne Coe, Barbara Ogletree, Bob Milford, Charleen Stipe, Gary Web, Holly Baldwin, Gregg Howard, Barry Ebersol

Let’s keep up the good work in 2017.

Big Thanks to all!!


Road Closure Fact Sheet

Here is a road closure fact sheet that explains why and how roads are closed on the Pagosa District.  This was put together in response to a road closure protest that is scheduled for today, November 29, 2016. 

Why are roads closed?

Roads are closed to wheeled motorized vehicles in the winter and spring for several reasons:

  • To protect important winter wildlife areas, the USFS coordinates with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) to identify winter wildlife areas where closures are necessary to limit disturbance to wintering wildlife.
  • To protect road surfaces from winter use when roads are not frozen after the first snows arrive. If the road is not completely frozen, the snow will insulate the road surface, resulting in a wet road surface under the snow. Warm periods during the winter result in melting of the snow, which also results in wet road surfaces. Driving on wet roads results in rutting and loss of gravel. Winter road damage impacts the condition and drivability of the roads in summer.
  • To protect closed roads used as designated winter trails for snowmobiling or skiing, which can be damaged by wheeled vehicles.

How are roads closed?

Road closures are not done arbitrarily or without public comment. The Travel Mgmt. Rule (36 CFR 212) required a travel management analysis, which the Pagosa District completed in 2008 for the entire District. This was a public process with opportunities for public comment. It prescribed the season of use for all District roads and motorized trails. The Travel Management Rule also required the creation of a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) which identifies which roads are open and when. The Pagosa District has an MVUM which is available free of charge.

Prior to 2015, road closure dates were based on condition. This was determined on a case by case basis by looking at each road in the field to determine if they could be left open beyond the Dec. 1 MVUM date. Some of the things considered included road surface conditions, snow depth, public safety concerns, forecasted weather, and wildlife concerns brought up by CPW. This proved to be too time consuming, inefficient, and confusing to the public, so in 2015 we moved to a system wherein we have road closure dates that will not be exceeded. Each road has been assigned one of three closure dates: Dec. 1, Dec. 15, or Dec. 21. This is based on anticipated road surface conditions, snow depth, forecasted weather, wildlife concerns, anticipated uses of the roads (such as popular Christmas tree gathering areas), and winter recreation use.

Do road closures affect winter activities?

Wood Cutting: Wood cutting permits are available starting May 15 and expire Dec. 31. Road closure dates may preclude cutting and removal of firewood on certain roads after Dec. 1. However, many roads are open until Dec. 21 and a few are open all winter (such as the Piedra Road and Mill Creek Road), so there are ample opportunities for firewood gathering.

Christmas Trees: Many roads that are good for Christmas tree gathering are left open until Dec. 21 to allow for this activity.

Access to winter recreation opportunities: In some cases, road closures do limit winter recreation opportunities when snow is present at higher elevations but not at the gate. However, as stated above, roads are closed in the winter and spring to wheeled motorized vehicles for several reasons, including to protect important winter wildlife areas, to protect the road surface, and because some roads are designated winter trails.

Parking and Access: Road closures and snow depth can limit parking, but there are numerous areas near closed gates that do allow for parking if snow conditions permit such as Nipple Mt., Plumtaw, Wolf Creek, Fall Creek, Eightmile, and others. There are also several designated winter trail heads that are maintained by partners at their expense (East Fork, West Fork, Fourmile, First Fork, Turkey Springs). The USFS does not currently have the resources to provide parking or plowing at every gate, or provide for the relocation of gates. We are willing to consider proposals for gate relocations and parking areas. Proposals that come from partners who are willing to provide proponent financing are the most feasible. All proposals will take into consideration resource concerns and multiple uses on the Forest, and it is likely that there are some areas where this may not be an appropriate activity due to multiple resource concerns such as winter wildlife concentration areas (Valle Seco, Eightmile Mesa, Kenney Flats, Chimney Rock).

Different Closure Dates: All ranger districts (Columbine, Dolores and Pagosa) on the San Juan National Forest have set closure dates on a majority of their roads. All closure dates on the San Juan NF range from Dec. 1 to Dec. 31.

Public input for road closures: As stated above, opportunities for public input were provided in 2008 during travel management analysis. The Pagosa District continues to operate under this 2008 decision. Additional opportunities for public input on various aspects of winter travel management will be available beginning in summer 2017 as part of the Forest-wide winter travel management analysis.

Fall Roundtable Agenda

Pagosa Area Trail Users Roundtable Agenda
PLPOA Clubhouse
Thursday, October 27, 2016
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

1. Welcome

2. History and purpose of meeting

3. Introductions (10-minutes)

4. Review of action points from April meeting (5-minutes)

* Community tool cache:  A check-in/check-out process was implemented including a worksheet to be completed by the user group representative for tool check-in/check-out. Keys were distributed to various user groups with access to the storage unit.

* User group projects and scheduling:  Various user groups completed projects but few groups utilized the marketing aspect made available by PATC and the PagosaTrails.org website.

* Trail status reporting system:  We were able to keep the trail status page updated through the spring season and there has been tremendous conversation regarding the opportunity to fully expand this information for the community. No trail summaries were provided. This project will continue but at a slower pace than originally hoped.

5. USFS Pagosa updates (10-minutes)

6. Training offerings, additional requests, for 2017 (10-minutes)

* First Aid in the Backcountry (4-hours) – February 9, 2017 – 5p to 9p
* Planning and Implementing a Trail Work Project (4-hours) – March 9, 2017 – 5p to 9p
* Leave No Trace Awareness Workshop (3-hours) – April 13, 2017 – 5p to 8p
* Sustainable Trail Maintenance = Brushing Trail Corridors, Cleaning Drainage Structures Field Practice (1/2 day) – May 6, 2017 – 8a to 1p
* Cross-Cut Training and/or recertification – date to be determined
* Chain Saw Training and/or recertification – date to be determined

7. Public Lands Day – September 24, 2016 (5-minutes)
* 2017 Committee Meeting – November 3, 2016 – 5:30 pm to 7 pm

8. Spring Roundtable meeting – Thursday, April 27th at 5:30 pm

9. New business

* 100-Mile Trail Challenge
* Accepting Letters of Interest – PATC Board – Members-At-Large (Two Vacant Positions)

  • The duties of the Members-At-Large shall include attending all meetings of the Board, any special meetings and all general meetings; serve as a voting member on the Board; and assist with all committees and projects as assigned by the President.
    Forward Letter of Interest to PATC President, Stacy Boone at info@stepoutdoorscolorado.com by December 1st.

10. Adjournment to Potluck Social

Plenty to do at Public Lands Day

This year marks the 23rd National Public Lands Day, and the first in Pagosa Springs for a very long time. The idea behind this day is to connect people to public lands in their community, inspire environmental stewardship, and encourage use of public lands for education, recreation, and general health.

For this event offering there were various games and activities for kiddos. Whether it be a bike workshop and ride with Mat W or <em>Leave No Trace</em> challenges with Brandon C – sitting still was not an option.

Mid-morning offered a CUSS’ing Your Tools – The Right Way educational workshop with the Pagosa Ranger District Trail Crew and a discussion on sustainable trail building with Salida’s Tony Boone. These in addition to an opportunity to use a cross-cut saw and then brand your very own sasquatch!

Exhibitors from various non-profit user groups in the community included the Pagosa Ranger District – United States Forest Service, Pagosa Area Trails Council, Chimney Rock, San Juan Back Country Horsemen, San Juan Outdoor Club, DUST 2, Emergency Operations/Upper San Juan Search and Rescue, Pagosa Nordic Club and the Wheel Club. You can’t say there is nothing to do with this many organizations sharing their calendar of activities and inviting you to participate.

In the afternoon, DUST2 sponsored a walk and tour with Tony Boone who has marked the new Pagosa urban trail to begin construction at a future date.

Take a peek at a few of the pictures, the smiling faces, the abundance of activity. This event would not be possible without the numerous volunteers who participated their time, shared their knowledge and expertise, and have a true passion for our public lands.