U.S. Forest Service Proposes Grooming Junction Creek Road

8/9/2021

The U.S. Forest Service seeks comments about a proposal to groom Junction Creek Road for winter recreation. By Hannah Robertson. Sponsored by Tafoya Barrett and Associates and San Juan Basin Public Health

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It might be the middle of summer but winter sports enthusiasts can hope for a new cross-country ski and fat tire biking trail this winter. You're watching The Local News Network, brought to you by Tafoya Barrett and Associates and San Juan Basin Public Health. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. The Columbine Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest has proposed to groom a three mile section of Junction Creek Road, from the Junction Creek Campground up to the annual closure gate to increase winter recreation opportunities.

It's kind of come together I would say over the last year. When I originally arrived about a little over a year and a half ago, there was request from, at the time it was Trails 2000, now Durango Trails, to do the fat biking piece. Last summer, there a request also for some grooming in the Durango area for a Nordic ski area. And so me it just seemed to make sense to combine the two in the Junction Creek location. The project, which will a require an analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA, is still in its early stages of development. NEPA ensures that governmental agencies, like the Forest Service, consider the possible consequences of proposed actions and inform the public of their plans. For the Junction Creek area, part of the process to begin filing for NEPA involves getting community input about the project.

Right now we're just kind of putting feelers out to see what kind of interest there is and to determine the level of NEPA we want to do. If there's a lot of concerns and there's some potentials to have alternatives, then we might look at a different level of NEPA. And so we're just putting early feelers out to see what the sentiment is around the community. If you'd like to learn more about the proposed grooming operations at Junction Creek, you can view maps and project information at the Forest Service website under the Recreation tab. To offer input on the project, you can e-mail jessica.ramirez@usda.gov. Thanks for watching this edition of The Local News Network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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