Contact: Katie Belton, SCLT Director of Community Engagement
Phone: (307) 673 – 4702
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12/7/2016
Approval Given for Additional Red Grade Trails
Sheridan Community Land Trust receives permission for trails and trailhead.
Preferred Alternative (Alternative 3) Approved
After more than 26 months of environmental analysis, community Q&A, two formal public comment periods, and resubmittal of the proposal to reduce trail miles and eliminate the “expert” downhill bike trail, Sheridan Community Land Trust (SCLT) has been granted permission by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to move forward with construction of 3.84 miles of non-motorized trail on BLM-administered lands north of Red Grade Road as well as a single new parking area to serve 12 vehicles. Red Grade Trails represents a community investment of roughly $300,000 to-date and has experienced an outpouring of local support and enthusiasm following the creation of two miles of new trail and reconstruction of two existing parking areas.
“This project is in response to a community desire for high-quality recreation opportunities that are convenient, safe, scenic, and near existing human impacts. Trails are an essential ingredient for building and sustaining healthy communities not to mention fostering a land-ethic for future generations,” said SCLT Executive Director Colin Betzler.
In June 2014, after more than one year of research and planning, SCLT announced their intention to create a new non-motorized trail system on State, BLM, and US Forest Service lands accessed via Red Grade Road. Later that month, SCLT contracted with world-renowned professional trail designer Joey Klein of Trail Solutions to create a master plan for the Red Grade Trails system. Klein, who had recently designed trails in Curt Gowdy State Park and elsewhere in Wyoming, hiked more than 60 miles during his two-week effort, completing a design that maximizes benefits for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians while highlighting the natural beauty of the Bighorns. As part of the design process, Klein closely examined multiple factors with a focus on building sustainable trails. He took into consideration topography, scenic values, and user safety, while minimizing the impact to plants and wildlife.
On August 14, 2014, SCLT was granted a 25-year Special Use Lease for the 160-acre State Land parcel bisected by Red Grade Road. SCLT completed the first 1.8 miles (the lease allows for a total of 5.3 miles) of trails. These trails were opened to the public in fall of 2015. In summer 2016, SCLT improved the safety and function of two existing parking areas along lower sections of Red Grade Road. In fall 2016, SCLT began additional trail work on State Land and will continue work on these trails as well as future BLM trails in the spring of 2017.
SCLT now has permission to construct up to 9 miles of non-motorized trails on BLM and State lands and anticipates submitting proposal documents for environmental analysis to the Forest Service for environmental analysis on the remaining 24 miles of potential trail in 2017.
For more information about the project, please visit SCLT’s website www.sheridanclt.org.
SAVE THE DATE:
Pints for Trails!
When: Tuesday, December 20th, open to close
Where: Black Tooth Brewery
You don’t want to miss this… Thanks to the generosity of Black Tooth Brewing, Co. and some extra special friends of SCLT, we are celebrating our 10th birthday and the BLM’s approval of Red Grade Trails with a pint night to remember. For each pint purchased on December 20th, a group of generous donors will match nine dollars, with Black Tooth topping us off to raise $10 per pint for Red Grade Trails! There’s never been an easier way to do your part in building more non-motorized recreation trails to connect our community with a place it loves!
About Sheridan Community Land Trust
Mission: Sheridan Community Land Trust works to preserve open spaces, working ranches, wildlife habitat, healthy rivers and streams, and historic sites, while expanding non-motorized recreation opportunities to connect people with the places they love.