Off-highway vehicle riders oppose change

The Colorado State Parks Board was bombarded Friday with 1,574 written comments from people opposed to proposed changes to the state’s off-highway vehicle fee and grant structure, said Deb Frazier, spokeswoman for the parks board.

Conversely, there were 77 comments in support of the change, she said.

The proposal would divert 40 percent to 70 percent of the fees collected by the state from off-highway riders to law enforcement and additional signs designating proper trails. The money collected from off-highway fees is used to maintain, build and even close some trails. The fees, collected from 130,000 off-highway vehicle riders, totaled $3.2 million this year.

The meeting in Frisco lasted three hours and was attended by approximately 60 people, Frazier said. The board took no action on the proposal.

“The board wants to look at additional information and flesh out some of the issues,” Frazier said.

She did not know when the board might reconvene and take action on the proposal.

Of the 1,574 written comments opposed to changing the way fees are distributed in the form of grants for trail building and such, 1,487 of the comments were from Colorado residents, Frazier said.

The Mesa County Commission wrote a letter to the state Parks Board opposing the changes.

Steve Chapel, president of the Western Slope ATV Association, said he was not surprised by the response.

“I think the number opposed to the resolution reflect accurately (the number of people) who do not want to change a system that is not broken,” Chapel said.

“I would be shocked if state parks voted to change it based on what they are hearing from the public. That is quite a big difference on the two positions.”


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