Petition Against Proposed Signal Peak Trail In Gunnison

Bulldawg

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Hey guys,

There is a proposition made by the Gunnison Trails organization to build a new trail in the signal peak area around Gunnison, Colorado. This trail would add 40 miles of single track trails to the 750 miles of trails that Gunnison already has throughout the county. The trail is set to run through some of the most crucial winter habitat for mule deer in the area, where 50% of the herd will spend their winter in unit 55. This is also critical habitat for sage grouse and that has been a huge deal in Gunnison for the last several years because of the Gunnison sage grouse and it being an endangered species. The Gunnison Wildlife Association has put together a petition to help stop this construction of the trail. If you would please get on and sign the petition and help us let the BLM know that the sportsmen and women care about the herds first and foremost and that should be the top priority for everyone using these public lands. I will also be getting some more information on who we will be sending letters to about stopping this and making sure that our voice is heard.

Thanks guys.



Petition * Gunnison Wildlife Association: Help us Prevent the Signal Peak Trail Proposal * Change.org
 

dotman

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Is the fear that a lot of people will hike there in the winter to see or harass the deer? I guess I would need more information as to why this is bad. I don't see it effecting the grouse or the deer but I don't know the specifics either.
 

beefman

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According to the results of a 5 second Google search, it looks like the trails would be strictly closed from January 1 through March 15. And closed from sunset to 10 AM March 15 through May 15.

We've been implementing seasonal closures (for wildlife corridors) on proposed and existing trails and these closures have been well respected by the public. Granted, we don't have the winters you do but what difference does it make?
 
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Bulldawg

Bulldawg

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So the trail is set up to be a single track mountain biking trail. Our fear is that the increased traffic that these trails will bring into this habitat will add unnecessary stress to these animals during the critical months. With this trail this organization will be working to hosting races and large events that will create a large impact on the land and the fragile sage brush ecosystem that many animals depend on. This area is all sage grouse habitat so having this increased pressure on the area could have adverse effects on the Gunnison Sage Grouse. With it being so close to town this area will likely start receiving more traffic than anywhere else in the area, especially during winter where cross country skiers and snowshoeing could chase deer around during these fragile times.
 

elkduds

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Its a bike trail @ comparatively low elevation, meaning local riders will hit it in winter whenever conditions permit. It originates in town, will be heavily used by students and locals alike. Signal Peak is the high point northeast of campus. More winter use there will negatively impact wintering game herds, always deer and often elk.

I signed, thanks for the heads-up.
 
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Bulldawg

Bulldawg

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According to the results of a 5 second Google search, it looks like the trails would be strictly closed from January 1 through March 15. And closed from sunset to 10 AM March 15 through May 15.

We've been implementing seasonal closures (for wildlife corridors) on proposed and existing trails and these closures have been well respected by the public. Granted, we don't have the winters you do but what difference does it make?

The closure is good for the sage grouse who will be breeding that time of year which is why majority of roads and trails are closed during that time frame in Gunnison, but during the months of December, January, February and early March when these deer are experiencing brutal winters adding pressure to them would lead to a higher mortality rate and poorer fawn recruitment, and when we have a winter like we did this year where fawn survival was down to 15% or potentially even lower, we can't afford to put unneeded pressure on these animals.

I would hope that after the major tag cuts in the area, people would like to help keep any kind of pressure off these animals as much as possible.
 

cnelk

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Now if they made an amendment to the proposal that all users of the trail need a Habitat Stamp, that would be a step in the right direction...
 

beefman

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Right, I understand the well founded concerns about unnecessarily affecting winter range but the BLM says the proposed trail will be closed to all traffic during those times anyway.

I don't mean to argue, just looking at it from the "multi use" perspective our public federal lands are managed by.


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dotman

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To me it sounds like a lot of speculation, not to be rude or anything but I still don't see how a single track will effect the wildlife and I highly doubt anyone starts chasing game all over the place off trail. If we as hunters want respect we need to respect that other users do care about the wildlife as well. Yes maybe a few college kids will now have a trail to follow to harass wildlife but in the grand scheme I just don't think it will hurt much. Most mountain bike races are in the summer and they have to stay on the trail.
 

WV Mountaineer

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The last thing anybody needs is for a government body to further limit use of public accessed property. If for no other reason, I'd be against it. But, when you turn bikers, bikers, bird watchers, etc. onto more land use by purposely building them a trail system, you are simply in icing them further into the game by raising their stake.



I don't know a thing about that area, I don't know if hunting is allowed. I just know it likely won't be if the trail does affect herd levels.


I really don't have enough knowledge of this to say any different. I was simply pointing out to the outsider, that can't seem to reason why it might not be a good thing, there's more to it quite possibly. God Bless men
 

chindits

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The sage grouse are bound for extinction and there is nothing that is going to change that. As politicians and society accepts placing the burden of the bird's demise on ranchers shoulders everyone does not accept the historical trends. There were lots of sage grouse when there were lots of cattle and sheep all over Gunnison Country all the way up to the 1970s. There were lots of sage grouse when there was a whole sale war on predators: trapping, poison, shoot on site anytime of year. Now ranching is on a serious decline, it's the predator era, and recreationist and subdivisions make constant intrusions into the sage rather than passing through that type of country to a destination beyond. So sorry, but nobody wants to accept the inevitable. In the end, society will blame agriculture for the demise of the sage grouse because they are an easy humble target that doesn't effect our beloved toys and games we play in the sage.

The mule deer are another story. The expectation of recreationists to regulate themselves is another story. All the pirate trails around signal peak have mostly been poached in by mountain bikers as are all the pirate trails around Big Mesa and Hartmans. I have been shown trails around Carbondale by a mountain biker where they actually walk their bikes to the trail so other mountain bikers and the USFS will not find the trail. I know people that are part of this party of riding where they want and that's how the web starts. I have seen mountain bikers in the wilderness above Crested Butte. There wasn't a trail on that ridge, they were downhill riders looking to make a go-cam video riding a hairball descent. They were yelling at me because I was carrying a bow and of course they thought hunting was evil. Hartmans use to have rugged trails, but now they are groomed dirt sidewalks with hardly a loose rock to be found and sneaks around all the technical sections. Even ring dike trail is going to get buffed out to nothing in the name of a sustainable trail, what ever that means. When is the last time anyone found a brown shed in Hartmans? Just old chalks are rarely found there now. Signal Peak will end up a web of designated trails and undesignated trails, the question is how long before Cabin Creek and North Parlin meet the same end. Just one of those luxuries in this country of expendable incomes and people who spend time playing because they don't have to spend time worrying about surviving. So it goes and now hunters are the outsiders on public lands and we shouldn't decry other recreationists.

Just my humble opinion.
 
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There are a few things in life that make me laugh. One of them is the argument that we must save everything. Species come and go. That is the way it is. Man, with his infinite wisdom feels it is our duty to control all things. The second is the argument that animals go away for good never to be seen again when people come around. Apparently they have never been to Custer NP, Yellowstone NP, or rocky mountain NP. There are a lot of folks through there and critters of all shapes and sizes literally walk up to the car. I see more deer at my place than I do in the woods at any given time and I am in the woods more than most. My dog makes a game out of chasing deer out of the immediate yard, but guess what.....in 20 minutes they are back and the cycle repeats. Same with turkeys. Had one the other day that walked across my porch, pecked my dog in the melon then flew off. I have a chessie....so he is small by no means. Animals adapt and you aren't getting rid of them as easily as some would lead you to believe.
 

elkduds

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Thanks, I was really struggling w why there are no grizzlies and wild bison in CO. Relieved to know they are just hiding.
 

dotman

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Thanks, I was really struggling w why there are no grizzlies and wild bison in CO. Relieved to know they are just hiding.

You could of said that exact same comment in the 70's before Ed was mauled by a grizz as well :)
 
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Thanks, I was really struggling w why there are no grizzlies and wild bison in CO. Relieved to know they are just hiding.

No, it's because they were killed off. I'm sure they could care less about mountain bikers. I know grizzly here don't care. Because if they did....i would ride my bike more often.
 

chindits

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Shooter has a kind of a point and I am not talking about Grizz eat mountain bikers so Sage Grouse should too, or something....

I mean some species make it and some don't. He could use those points against my post by just making a few Gunni observations.

The sage grouse aren't making it and I use to hunt them at the same time as blue grouse back in the 90s. However, the blue grouse as stupid a bird as I have ever seen seems to be doing okay, but the sage grouse not so much. The turkey which was almost impossible to find in the Gunni basin in the 90s now can be found from Black Mesa to Ohio City to Powderhorn. The elk are rocking in Gunni when they aren't being thinned out with late season tags, but the mule deer which can be found in town feeding on ornamentals all winter are not making it so well in the wild. So he does have a point not counting the grizz thing. However, sage grouse and muleys aren't being killed off by hunters like other species have been.
 

406

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I once had relations on signal peak.


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I disagree with you elkduds. Animals aren't as fragile as we all make them out to be. Species adapt...come and go. You take away some of the woods, the deer move to the alfalfa field or your lawn. Look at how many bear hang out at landfills. We hunt ducks in fields here just like geese now. They adapt and overcome and if not, they are replaced by the species that do. Not saying It is right or wrong, just the way it is.
 
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