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  #21  
Old 02-04-2014, 11:23 AM
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Great video, Marco. Thanks for posting this. It was Perlman who presented at the meetings I went to a couple of years ago who made me realize that the "roadblock" on this issue is very clearly with the Boulder County Commissioners. I wish I would win the power ball so I could fund a lawsuit against them!

I will do my best to rearrange my son's parent conference so I can come to this meeting too.
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  #22  
Old 02-04-2014, 10:05 PM
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Thanks for posting that video, Marco. And thanks to Osman who posted that on YouTube. He's, "Opie",here on the RS forum and a Boulder resident, so I hope you're planning on attending the meeting man!
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  #23  
Old 02-12-2014, 08:24 PM
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I went to the meeting tonight. Missed you all. Of course I missed everybody else too since the meeting is tomorrow! D'oh! Found a good German beer joint with happy hour right next to the Court House.
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  #24  
Old 02-13-2014, 08:24 AM
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Now that you have the place all scoped out, we can make another trip over there after the actual meeting. Anyone else up for an after-meeting discussion?
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  #25  
Old 02-13-2014, 04:03 PM
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Default Here's my letter draft, where's yours?

Boulder County Commissioners
PO Box 471
Boulder, CO 80306

RE: Rollins Pass and Vehicle Traffic

Dear Boulder County Commissioners,

I’m a lifelong resident of Boulder County, I was born and raised in Boulder, attended Fairview High School, and obtained my engineering degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Today I still reside in Boulder County where I own a home and where I’m raising my family. While living In Boulder County I have participated in nearly every form of outdoor recreation that the area has to offer including hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, fishing, backpacking, motorcycling, camping, and 4x4 travel on forest roads. All of these activities were mentored by responsible adults who instilled the importance of preserving the accessible areas and respecting other user groups.


Today, when I take my family into the many accessible public land use areas in Boulder County, our activities are much more limited than they were when I was growing up. In addition, most of the 4x4 trails that I enjoyed into my college years are closed today and I will never be able to share those areas with my enthusiastic young daughter. My daughter and I have encountered several closed county roads where the sign reads “Area permanently closed by order of the Boulder County Commissioners” or something to that affect. I think enough is enough and we need to focus on re-opening these areas and encourage mixed-use activity.


When I told my 11-year-old daughter this discussion was taking place she was taken aback as to why anyone would seek to keep us from the backcountry we know and love. She said, “But, daddy, don’t they know that we always clean up any trash we find and we never hurt any wildlife and we never pick any flowers?” To which I replied there are a few people out there who don’t behave as well and who give the rest of us a bad name. She has been well taught about conservation and appreciation of our wild lands. She has learned this respect by hands on experience and demonstration, not by laws or signs. I want to continue to share my passion for the outdoors and overland vehicle travel with her but, more and more, I have to leave Boulder County to do so.


There are many examples of responsible 4x4 and motorized trail travel for those who chose to look. Many, many user groups exist to educate people and support the ecology while promoting and participating in motorized wild land travel. Locally I look at the Middle St. Vrain area as an excellent example of a successful multi-use situation. There I find hikers, backpackers, fisherman, 4-wheelers, mountain bikers, dirt bikers, ATV riders, photographers, horseback riders, and more all out playing and enjoying the land together with great respect for the resource and for each other. The evidence I have seen first hand while enjoying my outdoor hobbies demonstrates that responsible use is the norm and that awareness is ever increasing.


The Rollins pass area is a prime location in which to continue mixed use activity due the history of the route, the availability of existing infrastructure, and the desire of the other affected counties to get it open once again for safe and responsible recreation of all types.

Thank you for your consideration,




Andy Lewien
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Last edited by AimCOTaco; 02-13-2014 at 04:34 PM.
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  #26  
Old 02-13-2014, 04:15 PM
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Awesome Thanks Andy!

I'll be headed there in a few. I am feeling pretty sick so may not make an after thing but i'll try. i'll be on the KTM or scooter to make it easier for me to park.
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  #27  
Old 02-14-2014, 09:47 AM
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Standing room only and a lot of us couldn't get in the room. Thank you to all that showed your support to work with Boulder County to reopen a route between Rollinsville and Winter Park. My unbiased summary of the hearing was that the majority would like to see the barriers removed from the Needles Eye tunnel.

Gilpin and Grand County representatives showed their support in opening a route.

The Boulder Wagon Road was brought up multiple times as an option to reduce the overall costs. It was mentioned that the only way to provide a route was to restore the trestles and that is adding to the confusion. Those that oppose mentioned that there is no route without the trestles.

The Forest Service quoted the James Peak Wilderness act as stating two wheel drive only if we open the route. Because of this, the expenses went into the tens of millions to pave the route. The majority would prefer a primitive route and view the 2wd argument invalid.

Liability is a concern for Boulder when the route is reopened. Gilpin and Grand have offered to assume the liability under a tunnel authority.

One thing I took away from the experience was that almost all who support opening the route said so and were clear with their request. Many of the voices that opposed reopening of the route brought up examples that could relate but never drew a parallel to the actual discussion. I admit my last statement is biased; however, it would benefit the opposing argument if they stated their demands in relation to the discussion.

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  #28  
Old 02-14-2014, 10:05 AM
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The turn out of supporters on our side was impressive. The arguments for opening the route were varied and showed the importance of the route to Colorado residents and family's with rich history in the area.

This was the first time I attended anything like this and I found it quite civil and productive. I'm grateful to the Boulder County Commissioners for holding the open forum and especially grateful to the commissioners from the neighboring counties for making the trip and spearheading the efforts in a professional and credible way.

I was surprised and taken aback by the Boulder county staffs presentation at the beginning which was shown to be quite jaded and likely inaccurate in several regards. It stuck me that the public and neighboring counties were much more honest and genuine in comparison to the Boulder County staffers.

It was great to see so many familiar faces in attendance and in support of opening the route. Sure made me proud to be a member of RS. Thanks to all who attended and to those who did not, e-mails and letters could still be of help.
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  #29  
Old 02-14-2014, 10:14 AM
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I want to say thanks to all the people that came out to support at this meeting. I saw several club members there (Sascha thanks for making the trek again  ).

Overall I think it was a good meeting though it did start out with what I would call a pretty deceptive presentation to the commissioners about the cost, effort, and liability of opening the route. Ill do my best to post the slides, I took pictures of them with my phone during the presentation. It focused on the issues with opening the entire Rollins Pass road and even showed a picture of the trestle at gun sight pass with mention of the need to repair it if the route was opened (obviously incorrect). Gilpin and Grand County commissioners were there and they did their best to show they deep desire to get the route open again, they also did their best to call out the misinformation in the presentation about expense and liability. I think it was actually Gilpin (maybe it was Grand, cant remember now) that mentioned theyd discussed with the lawyers and they would assume liability for any issues related to the tunnel.

Andy, Paul, Robbie, and I got a chance to present our thoughts to the commissioners during the meeting and I have to say it was intense at least for me. I hope I was able to assembly my nervous words into some sort of coherent thoughts. Being sick and tired it wasnt easy. I tried to focus on how opening the route was much easier than they proposed and that those that have been there (Cindy Domenico and Elise Jones had) had probably seen what responsible use and care looks like around the Yankee Doodle lake where our club has worked hard to fix it and keep it nice. I also mentioned to them that the images that were shown of the top of the divide that were pitched as showing off trail use by OHVs were wrong they actually show legal open routes and user created routes by hikers bypassing the tunnel and that opening the tunnel would alleviate the pressure on the wilderness area. When I mentioned this and said to Cindy and Elise that they probably know this since theyd been up there I at least got a little nod.. I wonder if the Indian Peaks Wilderness people realize its the hikers creating those visible trails.

The overwhelming majority there last night was pro opening the tunnel which was great, only about 4 people against and they were Indian/James peaks wilderness area folks with boxed speeches that were not relevant to the area. I think most of them do not realize that it is all basically open up there right now and there is no off trail use over the divide and around the tunnel which is the area they seem most concerned about. It was mentioned over and over again that it was the short segment near the tunnel that was actually closed.

At the end of the meeting there was a little bit of discussion to answer some questions. The overall cost was mentioned and even though it had been discussed that what was presented was incorrect they reiterated the 9.5M number to open the route. Ben Perlman also read the statement in the Wilderness act about the road status and mentioned that his interpretation was that BC had no obligation to open it but rather the secretary was obligated to only provide technical assistance if it were to open. So he did his best to remove responsibility there. Guess that is expected.

They did mention that they got only 9 emails pro and almost 40 against opening the tunnel, and lots of letters. Id encourage everybody here to send an quick email.. even if it reads please open the tunnel it counts as one pro. Link to BC public records with email that they had received is below:

http://bouldercountyco.suiteonemedia...le.aspx?d=1133

email to: commissioners@bouldercounty.org
Keep it cordial and to the point.

Anyways, I was very excited to see everybody there and to steal a line from the ADV rider thread I think there is a glimmer of hope.. IF you havent read over there theres some good discussion.
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  #30  
Old 02-14-2014, 10:31 AM
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