In the spirit of compromise, Grand County Roads 25, 224 and 227 will soon have a snow berm blocking the road and will have more signage.
Traditionally the roads are officially closed in the Wolford Mountain area beginning December 15 to April 15 in order to help reduce stress on wintering big game herds. Bureau of Land Management Kremmling Field Manager Stephanie Odell also cited the need to keep travelers off of the roads in muddy seasons.
Odell asked the Grand County Board of Commissioners to approve placing gates across the roads so that enforcement of the closure would be easier and the integrity of the roads would be kept in place.
The issue was two-fold – 1. to protect wildlife, and 2. to keep travelers and thrill seekers off the road when it is muddy. To make the issue even harder to enforce and regulate is that the Wolford areas are open to over the-snow-travel by vehicles that run on tracks and/ or skis are permitted when there is a minimum of 12 inches of snow.
Chris Baer, Grand County Road and Bridge superintendent, had originally suggested a jersey berm in lieu of a gate, but Commissioner Kris Manguso felt that snow berms would be less obtrusive and more appropriate for the roads to signal that they were closed. Then when the temperatures raised and the roads began to drythe berms would naturally melt.
Commissioner Manguso, who lives on CR 22, felt that closing the roads set a bad precedent and was not needed.
Kremmling town manager, Mark Campbell, also spoke out against the gates citing that CR 25 is marked as an emergency exit from Kremmling in case an evacuation is needed from a dam failure to the east.
County Treasurer, Tina Whitmer who also lives on CR 22, voiced her objections to the closure stating that when she rides her bicycle in the area in the early summer she is seeing more visitors and would hate to dissuade visitors..