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Phil's World Trail Expansion Navigates Eagle's Nest, Garbage Dump, and World-Class Mountain Biking

Bureau of Land Management
Creative Commons

The Bureau of Land Management is accepting comments until September 15th on a proposed doubling of the popular Phil’s World trail system east of Cortez.


Tres Rios Field Office Manager Connie Clementson says the agency encourages site-specific comments and will analyze them to see if they were addressed in a recently released preliminary environmental assessment. Depending on the responses, the BLM could issue a decision in as little as a month. The proposal put forth by the Southwest Colorado Cycling Association would add 27 miles of new trails, plus two parking areas and trailheads off county roads L and M. The environmental assessment also lists two alternatives with fewer trails, and a no-action alternative. Options also differ in the size of a buffer zone around a golden eagle nest. Trails would expand into the Stinking Springs, Cash Canyon, and Simon Draw areas, parts of which have been used for decades to dump everything from furniture to animal carcasses. BLM planner Jeff Christenson says new trails should actually lessen the amount of garbage because they would bring “more eyes” to discourage dumping. Cyclist Shawn Gregory says it was a challenge to route certain trails to avoid trash. One proposed route was even nicknamed the “Junky Trail.” Christenson says the BLM “really wants to hear from the public” about the plan.


Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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