Stakeholders gathered last week to discuss the possibility and obstacles to creating a trail from the Town of Kremmling to Wolford.
Stakeholders gathered last week to discuss the possibility and obstacles to creating a trail from the Town of Kremmling to Wolford.

The Bureau of Land Management Kremmling Field Office recently met with stakeholders to discuss creating a trail from the west side of Kremmling into the popular Wolford Mountain Recreation Management Area and promoting other trail opportunities. “This was really just an initial step in getting these conversations started,” said BLM Kremmling Field Manager Stephanie Odell. “We’ll need to involve a lot of different people and interests as we move forward. A possible trail would involve more than BLM-managed lands, and more than just recreational interests. It will take some time.” Commissioner Kris Manguso said, “I am optimistic that this trail is finally going to happen and finally has the traction it needs to be completed.”

BLM manages the 25,700- acre Wolford Mountain Recreation Management Area north of Kremmling for multiple uses with an emphasis on recreation. The Wolford Mountain area has been an important area for town residents and visitors for many years. It is particularly popular for motorized recreation and hunting. The area also provides important wildlife habitat and is a traditional livestock grazing area. A key to the success of BLM’s management of Wolford Mountain continues to be the involvement of people from a variety of interests and backgrounds and the coordination with other agencies such as the Town of Kremmling and the State Land Board. “We have a variety of recreational interests such as motorcyclists, ATV enthusiasts, rock crawlers, mountain bikers and hikers – each with their own expectations for the area – and a variety of other interests like livestock grazing and wildlife,” Odell said. As the popularity of Wolford Mountain has grown, the BLM has worked to meet the recreational needs of the public while continuing to protect wildlife habitat and provide for other land uses such as grazing.

The BLM Kremmling Field Office completed the first comprehensive travel management plan for the Wolford Mountain Area in 2005, after a multiyear planning effort. This created a network of designated roads and trails, and included management actions to help reduce impacts such as seasonal restrictions to protect wildlife in the winter. “That first travel management effort was really successful because a wide variety of interests were involved in the planning,” Odell said. “Not just a variety of recreational uses, but also ranching and wildlife interests.” The Kremmling Field Office took a fresh look at the Wolford Mountain area when it conducted and revised its Resource Management Plan, which was a multi-year effort completed in 2015. This resulted in some modifications to the route network and the formal designation of the Wolford Mountain Special Recreation Management Area.

“The Resource Management Plan revision involved hundreds of people from a wide variety of interests,” Odell said. With a designated route network in place on Wolford Mountain, the BLM is seeing interest in continuing to improve the route network, including a route connecting the west side of Kremmling to Wolford Mountain.

“This is something BLM is interested in as well – improving the trail network for sustainability, resource protection and trail connectivity,” Odell said.

“Because we need to involve a number of people and interests and do the legally required environmental analysis, people just need to understand that this effort will take time.”