Notes from the Field

The Dirt Diaries Blog

Musings from RMFI staff about all things related to public lands and environmental stewardship.

Public Comment: Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind

In May 2020, Colorado Parks and Wildlife began an effort to overhaul a 1998 document titled, "Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind." This document was created to support land managers in planning for trails while incorporating strategies to address wildlife impacts. While it has served as an excellent tool for trail planners throughout the state, it had not been updated in 20 years.

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Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department to pilot new electric bike policy on City trails starting May 31

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Electric bike (e-bike) access on City trails will be expanded during a year-long pilot program starting May 31. The program will allow Class 1 e-bikes, pedal-assist bicycles that can only be activated through a pedaling action, on all City trails that currently allow bicycles, rather than just urban trails. The pilot program will also allow, for the first time, Class 2 e-bikes on urban trails only. Class 2 e-bikes can be activated by pedaling or through a throttle element limited to low speeds.

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Guidelines and Procedures for RMFI Field Crews in Response to COVID-19

RMFI is authorized to complete trail and restoration work by the following public land management agencies in 2020: Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services; Bureau of Land Management Royal Gorge Field Office; El Paso County Parks; U.S. Forest Service Pikes Peak Ranger District and Saguache Ranger District. In delivering these essential services, RMFI will keep the health and safety of our employees and community as the first priority. This document was most recently updated on March 11, 2021.
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CPW aquatic biologists studying troubling decline in greenback cutthroat population

Dec. 22, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Aquatic biologists and researchers at Colorado Parks and Wildlife have launched an intensive review of data on Bear Creek after a routine survey revealed a troubling decline in greenback cutthroat trout populations.

In 2012, CPW confirmed that tiny Bear Creek, on the city’s southwest edge, was home to wild greenback cutthroat trout, which are the Colorado state fish and are native to the South Platte River in the northeast.

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In 40th year, Colorado Springs nonprofit continues legacy of outdoor guardianship

By Seth Boster: [email protected]

On a sunny, summer day in 2018, Hartley Hesse and her sister, Laurel, hiked high on Cheyenne Mountain to build a bench at a scenic overlook.

It was to commemorate their late father, the man responsible for designing long-anticipated trails around this iconic summit in Colorado Springs — and responsible for the local group leading construction, Rocky Mountain Field Institute.

Mark Hesse, the renowned mountaineer and Springs native, died in 2014 at the age of 63.

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Pike and San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands Completes Crags Land Exchange

PUEBLO, Colo., Feb 5, 2021 – The Pike and San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands and the Broadmoor Hotel completed a land exchange in El Paso and Teller Counties February 5, 2021 under the authorization provided in the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019 (Section 1001; Public Law 116-9; March 12, 2019).

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Red Rock Canyon Open Space to implement after-hour gate closures starting Feb. 5, 2021

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department will begin implementing nightly after-hour gate closures in Red Rock Canyon Open Space on Friday, Feb. 5. The gates, located at the park’s main entrance off Highway 24, will restrict access while the park is closed, 9 p.m.-5 a.m. (Nov. 1-April 30) and 10 p.m.-5 a.m. (May 1-Oct. 31).

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Section of North Cheyenne Canyon Road closed weekdays beginning Feb. 8 for bridge maintenance

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A section of North Cheyenne Canyon Road, from the main entrance of North Cheyenne Cañon Park to the parking lot at Helen Hunt Falls, will be closed weekdays (Monday-Friday) beginning Feb. 8 to facilitate the construction of a temporary bypass road ahead of a larger bridge replacement project in the park. North Cheyenne Cañon Park will remain open during the road closure, which is expected to last through the end of March. The road will be fully open on Saturdays and Sundays.

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Coloradans’ increased use of public lands during coronavirus is taking its toll

Seth Boster, The Gazette

COLORADO SPRINGS — Scott Fitzwilliams was supposed to be off work. But as supervisor of America’s most trafficked national forest,“ you’re never off work,” he says.

So there he was Fourth of July weekend, supposed to be enjoying the serenity he had always known at a lake within White River National Forest. “Popular,” Fitzwilliams had always known it, “but usually kind of a local place.”

Not in 2020.

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