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Interior Department Board Denies Neighbors' Request to Temporarily Stop Phil's World Expansion

Austin Cope

A long-awaited expansion of the Phil’s World bike trail system can move forward, at least for now. On Monday, the field manager for the Bureau of Land Management’s Tres Rios Field Office, Connie Clementson, told the Montezuma County commissioners that the Interior Board of Land Appeals has denied a request for a stay to delay the expansion. Clementson said the BLM can now begin work on the roughly 22-mile expansion with help from the Southwest Colorado Cycling Association and Youth Corps. She said the agency wants to work with the county to construct a parking lot on Road L.

A couple whose property adjoins the expansion area has filed an appeal of the expansion, citing concerns about its impacts on wildlife and private property. They had asked for the stay to halt work until the appeal is resolved. That appeal is still pending.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal, and was the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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