NORWOOD – The U.S. Forest Service’s Norwood Ranger District is proposing to construct new single-track trails on a portion of the district and is seeking public comment on the proposal by Oct. 25.
Called the “Thunder Trails Travel Management Project, ” the proposal is to develop 25 miles of new single-track trails that would be open to motorcycles, mountain bikes, equestrians, and hikers. The project would occur entirely on National Forest System lands east of Naturita Canyon, beginning approximately four miles south of Norwood.
The proposal includes the construction of a one-acre graveled parking area and trailhead to be located at the north end of the trail and adjacent to Thunder Road (FSR 609). This trailhead would accommodate approximately 15-20 vehicles. Also proposed, is the development of 15-20 dispersed (non-fee) camping sites within proximity to the trail/trailhead. Each site would contain an identification post and metal fire ring with spur road access to the sites.
“We are excited about the prospect of building new trails that are close to Norwood,” Norwood District Ranger, Judy Schutza said. “We see a need to provide these opportunities for our public and these trails will provide for enhanced use of this area.”
Schutza went on to explain that these opportunities will hopefully support the local economy.
Additionally, the Norwood Ranger District is asking for comments on several changes to the 2002 Uncompahgre National Forest Travel plan. Under the proposed action, Thunder Road (FSR 609) would be open to motorized vehicles less than 50 inches in width (e.g. motorcycles) as well as to mountain bikes, equestrians, and hikers. A road closure gate would be installed about quarter-mile beyond the new northern trailhead. The objectives of restricting travel on FSR 609 include: protecting the proposed single track trails from being widened and degraded by ATV’s and full-sized vehicles; and to provide an effective means of managing motorized use in an area where previous attempts at decommissioning non-system routes have been largely unsuccessful. Forest Service Road 609 would remain open to full motorized access by persons with a Forest Service permit (for example: Forest Service grazing permittees, landowners, ditch owners, etc.) and for agency administrative use.
The Norwood District will hold a public meeting for this proposal on Oct. 6, and anyone interested is invited to stop in at the Norwood office anytime between the hours of 4-7 p.m. to discuss the proposed project with a Forest Service specialist.
Comments must be received by Oct. 25. Written comments should be mailed or hand delivered to: Norwood Ranger District, Attn: Judy Schutza, 1150 Forest Street, Norwood, CO, 81423. Written comments via facsimile or email should be faxed to 970/327-4854 or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Oral comments via telephone can be made by calling the Norwood office at 970/327-4261.