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Access Alert: Jones Park, Upper Bear Creek to be closed

Colorado 14ers access and fee issues only, please
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More Jones Park Trivia

Postby Jim Davies » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:39 pm

I started wondering why Colorado Springs Utilities owned so much land in Jones Park, as there is no infrastructure there. Then I found this in the Strunk monograph:
The City obtained a one-half interest in the remainder of Hale's land about twenty acres, in 1948, and the other one-half interest in 1952. That completed the sale of the Jones Park land to the City of Colorado Springs. One of the 1948 transactions indicated that the land was acquired for the Jones Park Reservoir. A plat of December 1948 showed that the City of Colorado Springs reservoir site in Jones Park included a dam more than 100 feet in height, to be built at a cost of more than one million dollars. But this project, along with the many others planned for Jones Park, was not accomplished.

So the greenback cutthroats were lucky again; if there had been a Jones Park reservoir, it almost certainly would have been stocked with the usual variety of trout, which led to the greenbacks being outcompeted and hybridized elsewhere.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: Access Alert: Jones Park, Upper Bear Creek to be closed

Postby susanjoypaul » Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:10 am

Jim, thanks for keeping us posted on the topic. With Waldo Canyon, Williams Canyon, and Blodgett Peak closed - and now, apparently, plans for new development on Cheyenne Mountain - the options for hiking in the Colorado Springs area are getting a lot slimmer! I don't know if I'll be able to make the April 4th meeting but if you do, please post your thoughts on the proposal and subsequent conversation.

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Re: Access Alert: Jones Park, Upper Bear Creek to be closed

Postby mattpayne11 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:34 pm

Look on the bright side... The Incline's legal now...


hahahahah

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Re: Access Alert: Jones Park, Upper Bear Creek to be closed

Postby Peakjumper » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:20 pm

Jim I will try to make it to the meeting but don't get off work until 5pm so will be running a little late. I'm new to the area but look forward to hiking around up there. See my post about Southern access to the area of "The Crater" and the cirque just south of it. Let me know if there is anything else I can do. I will see if I can still sign me and the girlfriend up for some trail work in the area also. Thanks for bringing this to all of our attention.
Joe Casedy

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Re: Access Alert: Jones Park, Upper Bear Creek to be closed

Postby Jim Davies » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:07 pm

It's an open house, so there's no fixed schedule - show up any time between 4 and 9 pm.

The Forest Service web site now has an announcement up:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5414493.pdf
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: Access Alert: Jones Park, Upper Bear Creek to be closed

Postby Peakjumper » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:51 am

Thanks Jim,
I will be there, sounds like this is possibly a pretty lopsided debate towards the utilities side. Getting as many people out there as possible is probably going to mean a lot on this one, if anyone needs a ride or anything let me know I would be glad to help any way possible.

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Re: Access Alert: Jones Park, Upper Bear Creek to be closed

Postby Jim Davies » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:03 am

There is now a longer announcement up from the FS about the issues and open house. It's very coyly worded wrt trail closures.
http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5414578.pdf
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: Access Alert: Jones Park, Upper Bear Creek to be closed

Postby ClimbStewart » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:50 am

If you can't make the meeting on April 4, then you can comment on the proposed management changes to Bear Creek environs. Review the proposal at the links that Jim has provided and then send your comments, criticism, proposals, and opinions to the Pikes Peak Ranger District of Pike National Forest. Send comments by mail, fax, or email. Addresses provided below. Comments must be recieved by April 30, 2013 and will become part of the public record. So if you care about both the proposed closures as well as the cutthroat trout, then write and make your voice heard. If enough folks comment, then their voices can't be ignored...

Bear Creek Watershed Restoration Project
Pikes Peak Ranger District
601 S. Weber Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
(719) 477-4233 fax
bcc@fs.fed.us

After reviewing the proposed action, I think it is a bit extreme to close the entire area to visitation. Surely if some trails were rerouted, we could continue to have access to Jones Park and upper Bear Creek, especially to climb Tenny Crags, Mt Arthur, Mt Garfield, and Kineo Mountain. While I can see the reasons for closing the trail along Bear Creek in lower Jones Park above Josephine Falls, an alternative trail on higher slopes above the creek could be a workable proposition although it would require new trailwork, manpower, and organization issues.

I'm also concerned that both Grand Specimen and Sentinel Rock will be closed to climbing and mineral collecting; the rocks are already closed for nesting raptors half of the year.

As another alternative to lessen human impact, the Forest Service could institute a daily permit system with a limited number of day hiking passes available that would be given on a first-come first-served basis ahead of time at the Colorado Springs office.

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Re: Access Alert: Jones Park, Upper Bear Creek to be closed

Postby Jim Davies » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:03 am

Reminder: the open house is today.
When: 4-9 pm, Thursday, April 4
Where: Leon Young Service Center, 1521 Hancock Expressway

The Gazette had an article yesterday about this issue, featuring comments and quotes from some of the involved parties. My impression is that public input will be important in influencing the Forest Service decision process.
http://www.gazette.com/articles/creek-153043-bear-fish.html
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: Access Alert: Jones Park, Upper Bear Creek to be closed

Postby Peakjumper » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:53 pm

Well I'm not going to be able to make it there tonight(involves hospital and me) so I am going to have to skip the meeting. But I'm writing up a letter to them from the supplied link to help any way I can. Hope everybody that is there is heard.

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Re: Access Alert: Jones Park, Upper Bear Creek to be closed

Postby George Kaplan » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:57 pm

Jim Davies wrote:Reminder: the open house is today.
When: 4-9 pm, Thursday, April 4
Where: Leon Young Service Center, 1521 Hancock Expressway

The Gazette had an article yesterday about this issue, featuring comments and quotes from some of the involved parties. My impression is that public input will be important in influencing the Forest Service decision process.
http://www.gazette.com/articles/creek-153043-bear-fish.html


Thanks for posting the reminder, Jim. This is the first time I've noticed the forum thread and just in the nick of time! :) I'll swing by this evening after work to show my support for keeping it open. I've only hiked on some of those trails once so far, but want to have the opportunity to do many more in the future. It's really a gorgeous area that needs to remain accessible to the public. I hope it remains open for everyone.

I just wanted to add that the Leon Young Service Center is a pretty big facility and there are not any specific room numbers listed in the announcement. I have been to this facility before, and it's a little bit of a windy route to get into the main parking lot from the interstate or downtown. The main entrance is on the west end of the building (where the flagpoles are, or the black rooftop circle on Jim's googlemap link) and that is where the main reception/security desk is located. There are some meeting spaces directly off of the main reception area and I am guessing that is where this open house will take place. The main parking lot off of Hancock has clearly marked "visitor" spaces.

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Re: Access Alert: Jones Park, Upper Bear Creek to be closed

Postby George Kaplan » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:44 pm

Just to follow up, the open house event seemed very well organized and the representatives that I spoke with seemed to agree that erosion maintenance was not exclusive of keeping existing trails open to the public. They had no idea what specific erosion control measures would need to be done, so they are really addressing the situation with broad strokes at this point. Send your comments before April 30th! Thanks again Jim Davies for keeping us in the loop!
ClimbStewart wrote:Bear Creek Watershed Restoration Project
Pikes Peak Ranger District
601 S. Weber Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
(719) 477-4233 fax
bcc@fs.fed.us

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