Forest Service Seeking Public Input on Mad Rabbit Trails Project


Multiple platforms, including an online mapping tool, are being utilized by local Routt National Forest staff to gather public input on the projected Mad Rabbit Trails Project. The project aims to provide additional, sustainable, trailbased recreation opportunities in the Mad Creek, Rocky Peak, and Rabbit Ears Pass areas.

The District is seeking feedback on the project. Two options were derived from the Steamboat Trails Alliance proposal accepted in concept in 2013 by the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District. The first option is designed by Forest Service staff, taking into account preliminary resource concerns and input from the 2014 trails charrette, while the second option more closely reflects the original Steamboat Trail Alliance proposal. Both ideas aim to meet the project’s intent, but differ in the miles of trail proposed, proposed trail locations and uses, proposed infrastructure changes, and proposed project‐specific Forest Plan amendments.

An interactive web site has been developed to provide information and to accept public feedback for this project. The site provides detailed maps which show preliminary options for trail development. Feedback can be added by clicking on a specific map location and adding input as prompted.

Interactive web site for Mad Rabbit Trails Project:

Input will inform the development of alternatives to be analyzed for environmental effects. Feedback is most useful if concisely stated, directly related to the project, and includes supporting reasons for suggestions. Input would be most helpful in development of the project if received by Feb. 12, 2018.

The interactive web site is just one of three ways to submit feedback on the Mad Rabbit Trails Project. Input can be emailed to comments-rm-medicinebow- routt-hahns-peak-bears-ears@ with “Mad Rabbit Trails Project” in the subject line. Feedback can also be mailed to: Hahns Peak‐ Bears Ears Ranger District, Attn: Mad Rabbit Trails Project, 925 Weiss Drive, Steamboat Springs, CO, 80487.

This project is part of a larger comprehensive trail planning effort by the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District, the City of Steamboat Springs, and multiple partners. It is funded in part by the local 2A accommodation tax.

This request for public input comes early in the project process and is not required as part of the upcoming National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis. Rather, it is an opportunity for the U.S. Forest Service to obtain additional public input regarding the project options before developing a proposed action. No decisions have been made yet by the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District on this project.

It is anticipated that during early 2018 a proposed action will be developed, with a subsequent draft environmental analysis on that proposal and possibly other alternatives. A formal public comment period could take place as early as summer 2018. The analysis process is anticipated to be completed in late 2018, with project implementation starting in the spring of 2019.

For additional information contact Kent Foster, or (970) 870‐2142.