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Forest Service plans busy summer of trail work in Eagle County

June 13, 2023, 5:36 pm

The Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District recently issued the following press release on its plans for a busy summer of trail work in Eagle County:

With much of the snow on trails now clear, the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District and its partners have a busy summer of trail work ahead in Eagle County. 

One of the first projects begins this week when the Ranger District partners with the Colorado Trail Foundation to replace a bridge on the Colorado Trail south of Camp Hale.

And in July and August, funding from the Great American Outdoors Act is allowing the Ranger District to partner with the Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance and the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps to replace trail bridges on the Stone Creek/Paulie’s Plunge and Lost Lake trails, and to complete important trail maintenance including erosion control, trail corridor clearing, and tread repair on the Colorow Creek, Salt Creek, Gore Creek, Nolan Lake and Cross Creek trails.

“The Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District works with its partners to maintain a comprehensive trail network in the Vail Valley, and the Great American Outdoors Act’s Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund has been critical to helping us address deferred maintenance on these popular trails,” said Eagle-Holy Cross District Ranger Leanne Veldhuis.

Access to these trails will continue during trail maintenance.

Additionally, as part of its efforts to maintain a comprehensive trail network that’s in balance with other important resources such as wildlife habitat, the Ranger District will decommission a one-mile, user-created trail south of Eagle-Vail next week.

This unauthorized trail, sometimes referred to as the OSO Trail, traverses through important elk habitat and was previously decommissioned to lessen impacts to elk and other wildlife as part of the 2017 decision approving the nearby Everkrisp Trail. It has since been illegally reconstructed. 

“With as popular as our trail system is, there simply needs to be some areas of seclusion for wildlife,” Veldhuis said.  “We work closely with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and other partners to help ensure our trail system meets user needs while minimizing impacts to wildlife.”

“The Oso Trail runs through an area known to provide calving and winter habitat for elk, which are two of the most critical and sensitive times of the year for the species,” said CPW District Wildlife Manager Layton Stutsman. “Low elk calf survival has been an ongoing concern in this herd (the Frying Pan River Herd), so removing human disturbance in these areas is an important step in sustaining or hopefully improving the health of our local elk herd. CPW appreciates the Forest Service and their partners for recognizing the importance of areas such as this.”

One Response to Forest Service plans busy summer of trail work in Eagle County

  1. Citizen Reply

    June 13, 2023 at 5:47 pm

    Great news! The Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District and partners are working hard to improve trails in Eagle County. Bridge replacements, trail maintenance, and wildlife conservation efforts demonstrate their commitment. Let’s support these initiatives for a sustainable trail network that benefits both users and wildlife.

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