By CHRIS COLLORD
A small but vocal group has created a petition to oppose the development of a bike skill park and multi-use trail in Pueblo Canyon, and even force the tabling of all future discussions of trail construction in Pueblo Canyon .
See the final proposal here: Final proposal.
Even if the petition is only signed by 125 people in a town of 15,000 (
This must change now. We need to let councilors know that the majority of people in this town support our local trails and would like to see improvements and additions to them.
Many of the arguments of the anti-trail group are so specious that it is difficult to even begin to dissect them, and are clearly contradicted by the facts of the presentation linked above.
I have described some of these contradictions below.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Write to your advisors. Tell them why you support the skill park and improving the trails. Tell them you live here and this vocal minority does not represent our city. Explain to them why the petitioners’ arguments are false [see below for ideas].
- Show up at the county council meeting in person. Show your support for the Los Alamos trails. The vocal minority will be there… and you have to be there too!
Some examples of how the petition got it wrong:
- Degradation of Open Spaces:
- Deforestation is not depicted in the plan and appears to be mostly guesswork or misunderstanding, but appears to be extremely limited based on the map and heavy use of existing trails. Professionally constructed trails (as this trail would be) consider water drainage and do not increase erosion or create ground disturbance.
- Disturbance of wildlife species
- There are already trails and roads through these areas that see regular traffic, as well as a sewage treatment plant. The Skill Park area (Option #1) is located near a main road, apartment complex, housing, and high school. Area #2 of the skills park is located on the site of a former waste treatment plant near a neighborhood. These are not blank areas. They are very “in town” and were chosen specifically for this reason.
- The county has already identified sensitive wildlife areas and the maps clearly show that none of the proposals interfere with salamander, spotted owl or any other sensitive habitat (see page 13 on presentation).
- Native American cultural sites
- Again, this appears to be conjecture or misunderstanding. No changes are planned for cultural heritage sites. There is already a road, several trails and a sewage treatment plant in this canyon, and the “new” trail will be largely an extension of these existing trails (see page 30 of the presentation).
- Fund expenditure
- The funds for this project were allocated over 5 years ago specifically for the creation and improvement of trails. Funds cannot be reallocated to other projects.
- Moving the current area of users of all ages
- All users can use these trails. The skill park (both options #1 and #2) is located in an unused portion of county land where no one will be relocated.
- “Attractive” areas with increased litter, graffiti, noise, etc.
- A specious argument at best, not worth discussing.
- Development, at taxpayers’ expense, of equipment that serves a limited group of users.
- The funds were allocated over 5 years ago and have always been earmarked for trail improvements. The trails would be multi-user and therefore a benefit to ALL user groups. The skill park is no different in scope than the golf course, disc golf course, ice rink, stables, or any other recreation area in the city used by a small percentage of people. To oppose skill park because it benefits bikers would be to oppose stables because it only benefits horse owners, or golf because it only benefits golfers. We all live together in this city and we all benefit when others in our community benefit.
I know everyone would rather ride a bike than attend a Council meeting, but we need a lot of enthusiastic trail users to show this group that they are a minority and that we are excited to see improvements to our trail systems. These improvements benefit a HUGE part of the community. Let’s show some support!