Stay the trail and be advised of late-season closures

SAN LUIS VALLEY — With snow and mud conditions persisting late this summer season, local officials from several different organizations are urging people to “stay the trail” and to adhere to late-season road closures. Several areas remain closed because of mud and wet terrain.

While venturing out in the backcountry U.S. Forest Service officials keep areas closed to traffic for many different reasons. Whether it is to regrow lost vegetation, keep a road from washing out due to runoff and muddy conditions, or to discourage use of a secondary trail created by recreationalists to avoid muddy and wet conditions on a road, they have good reason to keep closures in place.

According to the Colorado Stay the Trail organization, its main purpose began 20 years ago when the need to promote best practices in the backcountry became apparent.

“The idea for Stay the Trail Colorado was born in 2003 when a small group of off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts decided a new approach to land management issues was needed in Colorado. This new approach was to educate the public on responsible OHV use and to develop a sense of stewardship for our public lands among OHV enthusiasts. Since our first brochure was published in 2005, the program has grown into a resource that both the public and the land management agencies can count on to educate the public and protect our natural resources in Colorado,” the organization stated.

The mission of the organization is to spread education to outdoors enthusiast in the best ways possible — “Our mission is to reinforce and highlight responsible OHV use, and to modify and mitigate irresponsible use in an effort to minimize resource damage on public land. Our goal is to create a statewide culture of responsible OHV use which will continue beyond the life of the project, effectively creating a stewardship ethic among all Colorado OHV recreationists.”

Local trail advocates such as the Shady Burro Enduro that visits South Fork every year do their part in keeping trails clean and in good condition before and after each event and ask the public to do the same. The work on local trails in the San Luis Valley is a continuing process and help from the public is not only encouraged but welcomed throughout the year.

So, while out recreating this summer, adhere to the road and trail closures as well as Stay the Trail. For more information, visit