US Forest Service Looking To Close Access To Colorado Springs’ Popular Bear Creek and Jones Park Trails

I was reading through some of the forum postings over a 14ers.com and came upon this posting that really caught my attention.  Due to a lawsuit by environmentalists the US Forest Service is being forced into closing access to the Bear Creek and Jones Park areas which is one of the most popular outdoor recreation spots in Colorado Springs.

Bear Creek Trail out side of Colorado Springs.

Here are the details on why the Forest Service is looking to close access to these areas:

Greenback Cutthroat Trout

“Rediscovered” in the 1950s, the greenback once again attracted human interest, becoming Colorado’s state fish in 1994. It also was subject to more intervention, as scientists and government officials tried to save it through decades of breeding and conservation programs.

To be frank, it didn’t work. In fact, just as efforts were beginning to show progress, a new study called into question all the assumptions on which the conservation work was based. Suddenly, it was unclear where the greenback had really come from. More disturbingly, it was unclear what made a greenback a greenback, or whether any of the fish being propagated in breeding programs were actually the threatened trout.

Then came the final blow. Last week, groundbreaking genetic testing revealed that in the wild, only about 750 true greenback trout still exist — and they all swim in the sparkling waters of Bear Creek, just southwest of Colorado Springs.

“There’s some really interesting findings in this study, although some of them may be uncomfortable,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic research scientist Kevin Rogers says. “I think they tell a really compelling story and it demonstrates how science works.”

Indeed, the study is expected to forever change the way scientists work to conserve endangered and threatened species (see “Back from the dead“). But the news also created a new flashpoint in a long-running fight.

Bear Creek, at least where it runs through Jones Park, is not just a refuge for the greenback. It’s a refuge, too, for local off-road motorcyclists (to say nothing of mountain bikers, hikers and other outdoor-recreation enthusiasts).

So, while scientists have worked away in their labs, trying to figure out how best to protect the fish, a hodgepodge of environmentalists, government employees, attorneys and motorcycle enthusiasts have been furiously debating who should have access to the trails that cross the creek.  [CS Independent]

I recommend reading the rest of the article at the link.  So in response to the lawsuit to protect a fish that may not even meet the definition on an endangered species the Forest Service is very quietly proposing to close these trails.  The Bear Creek Trail has already been closed to motorbikes since December 2012.

Here is what trail system looks like now from the US Forest Service website:

The Yellow Line is the watershed for Bear Creek where the trout lives.  The Brown Line is a trail reserved for hikers and mountain bikers.  The Green Line are trails that can be used by motorbikes.  The popular Bear Creek Trail is the trail that extends off of High Drive to Trail 666 which continues to Trail 667 through Jones Park.  All these trails in the Jones Park area are the ones facing closure.

Here is what the Forest Service is proposing to do:

In the above map you can see the Forest Service wants to stop Trail 666 a short way up the trail and divert hikers over to Trail 622 above North Cheyenne Canyon. From North Cheyenne Canyon trail users then take trails deeper into the mountains, but cannot access Jones Park.  I have hiked all these trails which you can read about at the below link:

Jones Park is one of the most beautiful areas outside the city for outdoor enthusiasts to go to and it would be a shame that people are denied access to this area especially when the vast majority of people do no harm to the fish.  Why deny access to people that do not harm the fish?  The motorbikes and to a much lesser extent the mountain bikes are the ones that cause the erosion into the creek the environmentalists are complaining about.  Why doesn’t the Forest Service just build a trail around the protected area for motorbike use and leave the Bear Creek and Jones Park Trails open to hikers?

Jones Park outside of Colorado Springs.

It seems to me the environmentalists are using this issue to stick it to the motorbike riders at the expense of everyone else.  I am not a big fan of the motorbikes either because of how they drive so fast on the trails you have to sometimes dive out of the way to avoid them as they speed around a corner right at you.  They also tear up the trails pretty good.  If anyone wants to see the impact these bikes have on the environment look no further than what they have done to the base of Mt. Rosa:

Damage done by motorcycle riders at the base of Mt. Rosa.

With that all said the motorbike riders considering the amount of money they pay in permits per year that are used to maintain the trails should have access to trails that do not overly damage the environment.  Considering the current situation with the Greenback Cutthroat Trout in Bear Creek in makes sense to make an alternative route around the area for the motorbikes instead of denying everyone access.  This seems to be a compromise that should keep most people happy instead of banning anyone from accessing the area.

For people that are interested in voicing their displeasure with this plan a public open house is scheduled for Thursday, April 4, 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, at the Leon Young Service Center for Colorado Springs Utilities, Pikes Peak Room, 1521 Hancock Expressway.  The Forest Service is keeping this open house very quiet so people will need to spread the word themselves to other people that could be interested in attending.  Maybe if enough people show up to voice their disagreement with this plan something can be done to protect access to the popular Jones Park area.

Posted in Eco-loons | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Warmist Leonardo DiCaprio Sure Loves His Private Jet

The way I look at it, once the warmists start living their lives like a man made global warming catastrophe is just around the corner than maybe then I will start listening to them:

Er, isn’t Leonardo DiCaprioall about saving the planet?

He heads up an eco-charity that he named after himself, he’s best mates with Al Gore, he only drives hybrid cars …and he flies in a private jet.

Leo’s been living here in Oz for a few months filming The Great Gatsby, but he had to pop back to the states last week to launch his new movie J.Edgar.

With his promotional work done, the megastar and his entourage returned from New York to Sydney yesterday in a private jet.  [NineMSN via Tim Blair]

I’m sure he bought carbon offsets to prevent him from having any guilty conscious.  It just does make you wonder how these prominent warmists can be so blatantly hypocritical flying around in all their private jets?

Posted in Eco-loons | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

No Snow?

What the hell is this guy talking about?:

The man, dressed only in a pair of Speedos, approached the prime minister as he mingled with guests in the local RSL.

He shouted: “What are you doing about global warming? There is no snow, there is no snow”, before he was quickly bundled away by security staff into a nearby toilet.

We just had the coldest June in 50 years and today was the coldest day we have yet this year where I live.  The nearby mountains are covered in snow.  Mt. Buller which is the nearest ski resort to Melbourne where I live, is reporting the best start to a snow season in 17 years:

Mt Buller is having the best start to a snow season in almost two decades, with a resort average of 83cm of snow just four weeks into the season. 

More than 50cm has fallen in the past week, giving the resort the most natural snow on the ground at this stage of the season since 1990. The resort is only nine centimetres behind the epic 1981 season when natural snow depths peaked at 2.10 metres. 

I need to get up there to Mt. Buller soon.  I recommend this global warming idiot take a trip up there too and see the snow for himself. 

Posted in Eco-loons | Leave a comment

Coldest June in 50 Years in Australia

The global warming loons are out in force in Sydney for their Live Earth concert which has now created an estimated carbon footprint of 74,500 tons while the average person has a annual carbon footprint of 10 tons.  I find it just a tad bit ironic that someone like Madonna should be able to preach to anyone about global warming when you read things like this:

No doubt to rapturous applause, Madonna will call for mass global change to reduce carbon emissions and to tackle ‘climate crisis’.

Watching the veteran star lap up the adoration, her entourage could, however, be forgiven for exchanging slightly jaded glances – having witnessed her jet in for the concert from New York.

For her 2006 World Tour, she flew by private jet, transporting a team of up to 100 technicians and dancers around the globe. Waiting in the garage at home, she has a Mercedes Maybach, two Range Rovers, an Audi A8 and a Mini Cooper S.

To further show the ironic nature of this event Australian scientists have announced that last month was the coldest June in over 50 years in Australia.  Not only is it still cold here now, but the rain is still falling heavily here in Victoria and the mountains continue to be dumped on with snow.  You can see an updated weather forecast here.  Any bets that someone will claim all this cold, rain, and snow is because of global warming?  Maybe Madonna will let us know. 

Posted in Eco-loons, Environment | Leave a comment