Full Send Mountain Bike Ranch a mistake for our rural community

Full Send Bike Ranch has changed its name to Shadow Mountain Bike Ranch. Don’t be confused, it is the same group helicoptering in at the expense of wildlife, and a valley never fully cultivated by a tractor, complete with riparian watershed. Today it is pristine, tomorrow it is a parking lot. I enjoy bike riding, but this project is a plague to nature.

My friends are gathering names on a petition to oppose the mountain bike development. The developers are taking similar action encouraging mountain bike enthusiasts to sign their petition. Full Send has filed their pre-application/intent with Jefferson County Planning and Zoning. The debate is on.

I don’t have anything against mountain biking but there are 1,000 miles of terrain available today with new sites opening like the Argo Mine bike venue in Idaho Springs. Why commercialize 273 acres of pristine valley and Conifer Mountain for a for profit venture? This is an extreme bike venue which only a small percentage of mountain bike riders participate in anyway.

The problem is the State of Colorado owns the land and for a small price will consider leasing it for any venture that will turn a fragment of revenue to be distributed to public education. The enabling law is part of the state constitution. The authority of the Colorado Land Trust was amended in 1996 to require some consideration for the protection of natural settings and conserve Colorado’s landscapes for future generations. The jury is still out on how responsive and accountable the CLT is to its new direction, i.e., now 26 years ago.

This bike park isn’t compatible with the character of the community. Why build a parking lot for three hundred or more cars, promote daily turnover in that parking lot for six hundred car trips, build a lodge in the valley and construct a ski lift? Sure, neighborhood kids can use the park if their parents fork over the lift cost estimated to be $50 to $70 a day.

Elk and now moose use the corridor for food and shelter. Located adjacent to Mt Evans Wilderness, the site is recognized for biodiversity. Indeed, these 273 acres are listed by the Nature Conservancy for high topoclimatic variability and low levels of human modification. This provides for species diversity worthy of protection. Furthermore, it is a calving area for elk and deer as well as nest area for birds and numerous other non-human life scurrying around the forest floor.

We continue to post signs like this one pictured above and ask everyone concerned for wildlife, biodiversity, water diversion, pollution, highway safety, and fire protection/evacuation to join our cause. Please sign the petition and stay in touch.

For the animals and our children, save something for the next generation.

David Gies

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