Mesa County Commissioners heard comments this morning from a huge outpouring of community supporters in support of S 21.5 Road and detailing their historical use of the road. Commenters related how they value the road and asked the County to reopen the road to public use.
Support of S 21.5 Road was very evident today in the old County Courthouse. In addition to the more than 80 signed affidavits already received, nearly 30 people stood up and spoke to the assembled County Commissioners in approximately two hours of comment. Represented from the community was a wide range of trail users including; motorcyclists, mountain bikers, horseback riders, hikers, jeepers and ATVers. Many of the assembled related personal use and enjoyment of the road dating back to the 1960s, 1970s, throughout the 1980’s and most of the people expressed recent and steady use up until this year. Commenters related how they loved taking guests up the road and how unique and scenic the road was. Others related how the road provided the quickest and best retreat from the summer heat of the valley. Still others expressed concern that shutting down the road created a safety hazard by eliminating an important route down from or up to the public lands of Glade Park. A former law enforcement officer commented that he had been dispatched to that road on many occasions for reports of vandalism and poaching, but never was able to substantiate any of the claims.
Commissioner Janet Rolland was outspoken in her support of the comments provided today and directed County Attorney Lyle DeChant to formally look into whether the Commissioners had enough information regarding vacating the road when it came on the consent agenda and whether the request for vacating the property had some important inaccuracies. Commissioner Steve Aquafresca agreed creating the necessary majority for action.
Continue the Support of S 21.5 Road
The efforts of the past few months have been very important in working to reverse the County’s vacating of S 21.5 Road, but we still have a long way to go. The press has caught wind of the effort and I expect to see coverage on Channels 5 and 11 as well as in the local newspapers. If you care about access to public lands and support public trails, please consider getting involved in this issue.