Draft OHV map presented Tuesday

Moffat County officials, federal agency representatives, and all terrain vehicle enthusiasts met Tuesday at the Moffat County Courthouse to review a draft off highway vehicle trail map.

The multi-county/multi-agency group first met in September 2011 with the intention of identifying and mapping OHV trails in Moffat, Routt and Rio Blanco counties, and Uintah County, Utah, in an effort to increase tourism to the region.

It was the first time since the collaborative effort began that those contributing to the OHV mapping project received a tangible example of what their efforts were going into.

“This is pretty exciting stuff,” Moffat County Commissioner Audrey Danner said. “We’re making progress and it is good to see a rough example of what this map could look like.”

Josh Lowe, owner of YampaGeo, a mapping and GIS services company based in Craig, was contracted by Moffat County to produce the map.

He said the routes visible in his first draft came primarily from what the BLM identifies as the “most popular” OHV trails in Moffat, Routt and Rio Blanco counties.

“I’m not sure if this actually means anything, but I wanted to get something down on paper as a starting point,” Lowe said. “But to me, this really isn’t a system.”

Lowe said his interpretation of the project was to map a system of OHV trails to link each county to one another and therefore provide visitors with the opportunity to tour the entire region by ATV.

To finalize the map, Lowe asked the group to help him identify where some of those “county connectors” might be.

The group agreed to reconvene March 21at Colorado Northwestern Community College to give everyone an opportunity to provide Lowe with additional trail information.

The group intends to use one of CNCC’s smart boards to make live, electronic changes to the map before it will be finalized and made public.

Kent Foster, of the U.S. Forest Service, helped identify some of the OHV trails in Routt County.

He said he was impressed with the progress.

“I think this is really good to have this done,” Foster said. “Now we can identify the gaps, loops and where we might need connectors in the future.”

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