Friday, December 24, 2010

Rocky Mountain National Park included in federal grants

The Federal Transit Administration today announced $27 million in grants for public and alternative transportation in national parks, forests and wildlife refuges, including $775,000 for Rocky Mountain National Park.

Of the total grant to the Colorado park, $535,000 will be spent to develop alternative transportation solutions "to direct visitors to less crowded areas of the park and encourage use at non-peak times," FTA said.

Another $240,000 will be used on studies related to a plan to build a "multi-user, non-motorized" trail in the park, the agency added.

The FTA grants also included $400,000 for a study to examine transit options "inside the fence" of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, the former Army facility that ranges over 15,500 acres north of East 56th Avenue between Peña Boulevard and Quebec Street.

Link to full article from the Denver Post below:

Matt’s Rant: Studying alternative forms of transportation and varied trail use in our National Parks is a worthy goal but this apparently can only happen with the help of federal grants as well as thousands upon thousands of dollars. I guess it is better to take many expensive looks than make a single huge mistake that is difficult if not impossible to reverse. And finding more ways to get “greenhorns” further into the backcountry is a bad idea if not one of the worst ideas yet. Hopefully the poindexter study doesn’t pitch something crazy like paved trails all over the place.

The one thing it does tell me for sure is that I desperately need a grant writer. It would not be difficult for me to take some of that proposed money and ink in; “Light rail system and a few tour buses that run on propane…or even a rickshaw outfit.” How cool would it be to see the RMNP by rickshaw?

No need to get too worked up over a study. The findings of said study and the subsequent action are definitely something to look for in the future. If you have recommendations to make our national parks better, now is a good time to speak up. Your input may be the voice of reason in a room full of analysts.

Good luck and good fishing.


Gary Thompson said...

There are plenty of things that can make the national parks better. The question is, better for who? Do we make them better for the wildlife and environment these parks were originally established to protect, or do we make them more convenient and efficient for an obese society to access in the hopes of snapping a photo of an elk without the burden of having to get out of their car, or worse yet a bus, trolley or tram.

One thing is for sure, if you expand access to more remote sections of any wildlife area, the habitat and wildlife there will suffer. There is plenty of information in the FTA Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program (5320) summary document to suggest intent and a growing economic advantage by increasing visitor capacity. It's enough to scare the crap out me, that's for sure.

I could get behind a plan to move the cattle in current high traffic areas around, but expanding their access to more remote areas of the wildlife area? That's bunk!

Stephanie and Dustin said...

I don't like this part: "to direct visitors to less crowded areas of the park". The less crowded areas are the places we want to go, and we do our research to get to there. Casual hikers, campers don't need to be in the backcountry. Leave those people in the crowded areas. Minimize the impact, don't spread it around. Paved trails...oh I hope not! -stephanie