There is an exciting movement in the Grand Valley of Western Colorado. Rich in public lands and recreation trails, Mesa County has a diverse spectrum of trail users and trails organizations. Historically, these organizations have had some conflicts over trail projects, but the Grand Valley Trails Alliance (GVTA) is working to help people come together through their differences to find common ground and enhance trail recreation. Focused on the extensive and unique trails that explore the red rocks, rolling desert, twisting canyons, and high alpine meadows, the GVTA is working with trails organizations and land managers to nurture collaborative efforts on trails and public lands. Launched in 2012, the GVTA is a nonprofit created to fill a variety of roles in the trails community. The GVTA works with land managers and trails organizations on trails projects by bringing groups together and finding efficiencies and opportunities in shared projects. These efforts include spearheading collaborative trail projects, education efforts, logistic support for trail building efforts, a monthly Roundtable meeting, and outreach to highlight the efforts of trail groups and the trail opportunities in the Grand Valley. The Roundtable is a monthly meeting that brings together representatives from all the trails organization, municipalities, county, land management agencies and conservation organizations to communicate and collaborate on trail projects. The Roundtable provides an important opportunity for trail projects to be vetted and enhance, for problems to be addressed and for shared efforts to be initiated and managed. The regular interactions of the Roundtable include field trips, trail project evaluations, comprehensive response to land managers on projects and trail system management support. Lately, the GVTA has been working with the Mesa Land Trust in their efforts with the Three Sisters project, the Bookends project and the overarching Community Vision for Monument Road project. Colorado Canyon s Association has supported this effort from the beginning and we look forward to our collaborations on trail stewardship and work in the NCAs in the future. For more information contact Dave Grossman at coordinator@ gvtrails.com.
By Dave Grossman