Additional trail proposal

Jensen-Ute Park Trail would link two parks

phRBCmapMEEKER I The Bureau of Land Management and Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District are hosting a public meeting to discuss the second phase of the Jensen-Ute Park Connector Trail on Tuesday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the ERBM District office, 101 Ute Rd. in Meeker.

The proposed Jensen-Ute Park Trail will connect two Meeker parks across approximately two miles of BLM lands. Last summer BLM and ERBM completed the first phase of this non-motorized trail, which spurs off the existing trail at Phillip and Dorcas Jensen Memorial Park and terminates at a high point above China Wall. The second phase is proposed to continue on BLM land along the ridgeline above the cliff walls down to Ute Park. Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-May. A map of the proposed trail is available online at www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/wrfo.html.
Through a cooperative agreement between the two agencies, BLM will fund the planning and design of the trail while ERBM is funding the construction.
“We encourage anyone interested in this trail to come to the public meeting to learn about the plans for the second phase and to share any thoughts they might have on this project,” said Kent Walter, BLM field manager in Meeker.
With the completion of this trail, visitors will be able to complete portions of the trail as “out-and-back” experiences or travel the entire trail as a loop. The 5-mile loop option would include traveling 3.8 miles on BLM trails, approximately 0.5 miles through Jensen Park, and then 9 blocks through Meeker. The trail system will include three trailheads with numerous options to vary the length, difficulty, and experience desired.
“This partnership between the district and BLM is great news for Meeker residents and visitors,” said Michael Weinbrecht, executive director with ERBM. “When phase two of this project is completed, the majority of Meeker residents will be within walking distance of this trail system.”
Weinbrecht said the public hearing is the first part of the process, followed by a 30-day comment period and, in addition to the public hearing, an environmental assessment will have to be completed prior to the start of construction. Weinbrecht hopes the second phase will start May 20, with a tentative completion date towards the middle of August.
“ERBM Recreation and Park District is excited to be able to provide additional opportunities for outdoor recreation to the residents of Meeker and the surrounding area,” Weinbrecht said. “In addition to providing additional outdoor recreation opportunities, this project addresses want and needs expressed by district members during last year’s community input survey.”
Written comments on the proposed second phase can be mailed to Aaron Grimes, BLM WRFO, 220 E. Market St, Meeker, Colo., 81641 or sent via email to agrimes@blm.gov. Please include “Jensen-Ute Park Trail” in the subject line for all emails. Comments will be most helpful if received by March 26.
Before including your address, phone number, email address or other personal identifying information in your comment, please be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

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