Introducing the Grand Valley Trails Alliance
The reality of reduced funding and staffing for public land management agencies means the process of managing the trail proposal and approval process has to change.
About a year ago, a group of land managers and trail user groups started looking for opportunities to address the challenges of the new reality, while also enhancing the trail network in the Grand Valley.
The Grand Valley Trails Alliance (GVTA) is a collaborative effort initiated by the BLM, Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA) and the Responsible Recreation Foundation (RRF).
The mission of the organization is to support and enhance the efforts of trail user groups to plan, build and maintain multiple-use trails. The GVTA is compiling a database of trails and trail efforts in and around the Grand Valley and will work with trail groups to expand and improve future trail efforts.
In January, I was hired as the coordinator for the organization and have been charged with both establishing the organization initially as well as leading the effort in the GVTA’s important work.
I see the Grand Valley Trails Alliance as having a unique opportunity to significantly enhance the already exceptional network of trails throughout the Grand Valley and surrounding area.
At no other time has an organization been focused on supporting trails and trail user groups of all types. Instead of focusing on hiking trails or biking trails, motorized trails or equestrian trails, the Grand Valley Trails Alliance serves all trails and all trail users.
The future of the GVTA will be very busy. There are some very exciting trail projects we are getting involved with right out of the gates and a lot more that are in the early planning stages.
The GVTA will really come into its own over the summer as the GVTA works to serve as a brain trust for the trail user community and is compiling a database of current trails, previous trail efforts and future trail ideas.
After compiling this resource, we will turn our attention in upcoming years to spearheading a multi-use trail master plan for the Grand Valley.
There are lots of opportunity to get involved with the Grand Valley Trails Alliance. There will be opportunities to serve with the organization on the board of directors or on one of the committees that will be in charge of working with trail user groups to develop high quality trail proposals.
If you already are involved with a trail user group in the valley, the GVTA wants to help you accomplish your organization’s trail goals. And if you haven’t found a trail user group to get involved with, the GVTA can help you find a local group that matches your interests.
I am leading the GVTA through setting up the organization, establishing an office, building important connections and getting down to the ultimate purpose of the organization; trails. As the organization goes through these early first steps, the primary source of information will be online at GVTrails.com.
Please check the website for those details. You can also sign up for the GVTA online newsletter at GVTrails.com/switchback.
Dave Grossman, coordinator
Grand Valley Trails Alliance