Trail work moving to Phases following Williams Fork Fire closure |

Trail work moving to Phases following Williams Fork Fire closure

This map highlights the area in the Arapaho National Forest that is closed to all use due to the Williams Fork Fire.
Courtesy USFS

Trail work that had been planned in the Arapaho National Forest has been delayed due to a closure from the Williams Fork Fire.

Fraser, along with other entities, hold a memorandum of understanding with the Headwaters Trail Alliance for the Trail Smart Sizing project. The town allocated $30,000 for work on trails including in the Arapaho National Forest.

However, Town Manager Jeff Durbin informed the Fraser Board of Trustees on Tuesday that the planned work was located in the portion of the forest that has closed down due to the Williams Fork Fire.

The Headwaters Trails Alliance asked if the town would be willing to move crews to the Phases Trail System near Tabernash. The agreement does not include Phases, which is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, so the town would have to give permission for the money to be used that way.

Trustee Andy Miller explained that that section of land had recently been converted to non-motorized and is in need of trail rehab work. He added that this section of trails is one of the first to open in the spring as it is south facing.

Miller pointed out that the town’s interest in the project was to improve trails near Fraser, and that Phases is about as far away from Fraser as the specified Arapaho National Forest trails.

“I would really like to see them keep moving,” Miller said of the work.

There was some concern that this could close down more trails in the Fraser Valley, which even before the fire was seeing a large set of closures due to construction. Miller asserted that the crews had been good about keeping trails open as they worked.

Durbin added that HTA is making a similar request to Winter Park’s government. Fraser’s board unanimously approved allowing HTA to move the trail work to Phases.

Some of the trails currently open in the Fraser Valley include those on Berthoud Pass, Jim Creek, Discovery Loop at Bonfils, High Lonesome, Idlewild Trail System, Rendevous Trail System, Little Vasquez Road, Fraser River Trail, Givelo, Northwest Passage, Devils Thumb, Caribou, Strawberry Creek, West Strawberry and Columbine Lake.

In other business:

•  The trustees held an executive session for an hour and a half regarding development infrastructure matters, but took no action resulting from the session.

• The board appointed Tara Rose and Jerilyn Suster to both the Economic Development Advisory Committee and the Public Arts Committee. They also appointed Lisa Baird to the Fraser Valley Arts Board.

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