Dillon Ranger District Gets Off-Road Vehicle Funding Approval
The Dillon Ranger District received a grant approved by the Parks and Wildlife Commission to continue funding trails and off-road vehicle maintenance.
On Thursday, the commission met to discuss off-road vehicle grant applications for various Colorado state departments, wildlife management groups and local governments.
The Dillon Ranger District has been approved by the commission to receive the full application of just over $111,000 for the Dillon Off-Highway Vehicle Trail Crew in 2023. Currently, an estimated 100 trees are blocking the many miles of trails motorized trails in Summit County, and grant funds will go towards the continued funding of a motorized trail team.
Statewide, Parks and Wildlife has singled out 25 districts as “in good management condition,” including the Dillon Ranger District. If a US Forest Service or other federal entity crew can show excellent results in implementing recreation management plans, they receive this status, which guarantees funding for these districts each year. Fletcher Jacobs, manager of the state’s trails program, said it allows work to be planned years in advance knowing that money will always be there, and it allows for some security when it comes to hire seasonal workers.
“A good management team is something we always like to point out. It’s become a shining example of collaboration here in the state when it comes to managing outdoor recreation,” Jacobs said. “So , this program was launched in 2001 and essentially enables our federal agencies to be able to proactively manage their most heavily used areas.”
The program sells registration and use permits for use on all motorized trails in the state. The price of the permit is $25.25 for the user permit or for registration. Of these funds, 25 cents are allocated to the search and rescue fund.
The commission has also approved a series of competitive grants for groups that do not have good management status, and these grants are scored competitively. In total, the commission approved $2.46 million for stewardship grants and $3.77 for competitive grants for a total of over $7.4 million for off-road vehicle management in the Colorado.
“As we see an increase in recreation, we have seen an increase in requests for this program,” Jacobs said.
Luke Schafer, commission secretary and full member, said the partnerships between agencies to provide the scholarships and trail maintenance are something to be commended. Grant funding for all projects was passed unanimously.
“That’s where a lot of the work that’s done at the regional level that we don’t see at the commission,” Schafer said. “Often the public never sees it. It takes time to some extent, but it is invaluable work.
On June 3, the Dillon Ranger District updated the overview of current conditions for the trails it manages. Off-road vehicles must be registered by the state and users can refer to the Motor Vehicle Summer Use Map for road access and designations.