County will keep plowing trailhead at Wilderness Ranch | CraigDailyPress.com

County will keep plowing trailhead at Wilderness Ranch

Lauren Blair

Wilderness Ranch landowner and Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club board member Joe Tonso presents Moffat County Commissioners with reasons to continue plowing a disputed two-mile section of Moffat County Road 38 to a popular trailhead used by snowmobilers and Wilderness Ranch residents. The commissioners came to consensus to continue plowing for this winter, and begin discussions in the spring with interested parties to consider alternative arrangements.

— A packed house of primarily snowmobilers and Wilderness Ranch residents celebrated a small victory Tuesday when Moffat County Commissioners consented to continue plowing two miles of Moffat County Road 38 this winter, giving snow machine users access to a favored upper parking lot.

Commissioners had considered discontinuing plowing this section of road due to budget constraints and safety concerns.

"There been a few issues going up that hill," said the county road & bridge director, Dan Miller. "Once in a while (we) have to chain up… and (we've) seen snowmobile trailers spin off going up that track."

A lower parking lot is also used by snowmobilers at times. It's leased from the Bureau of Land Management land, but it sits close to Colorado Highway 13 and regular snowmobilers expressed concern about increased potential for vandalism or theft from vehicles or snowmobiles left there. They were also concerned that the road loses snowpack earlier in the year and they'd be stuck with a partial muddy dirt road up to the upper parking lot.

"For the past 30 years we've managed to keep this road open and we're hoping we can do that same thing up to our established trailhead," said Wilderness Ranch landowner and Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club board member Joe Tonso.

Property owner Stanley Peroulis was in attendance Tuesday to voice his discontent with the heavy snow that gets piled onto his fence adjacent to the section of road in question, but was willing to work with the county and snowmobilers to find a solution.

Recommended Stories For You

Commissioners Frank Moe and John Kinkaid concurred that it was too late in the season to change the status quo, especially given the number of people affected. The decision to continue plowing this winter gives interested parties more time to come to a solution, which Moe recommends the new board address in the spring to allow time for input and discussion.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1795 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @LaurenBNews.