All posts by Butch Peterson

BLM seeks public comment about managing Sutey Ranch and Haines properties

The BLM will be hosting a public open house July 12 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Carbondale at the 3rd Street Center, 520 3rd Street, to help answer questions and take written comments.

RFMBA has been envisioning (and discussing with BLM staff + Red Hill Council members) two trails open to bikes from the new Sutey trailhead to allow for a loop experience vs. an out-and-back.

One trail to connect to Red Hill’s Big Top trail and one trail to connect with Red Hill’s Northside Loop.

We are not advocating for access to the existing ranch roads which mostly coincide with the open meadows/fields favored by wildlife.

Please come to the public open house to express your desire for these new trails.

More info:

he Bureau of Land Management announced the beginning of the public planning process for the Roaring Fork Valley properties it acquired last year through the Sutey Ranch Land Exchange.

In March 2017, after a high-profile, multi-year land exchange process, the BLM acquired the 557-acre Sutey Ranch north of Carbondale and 112-acre Haines Parcel along Prince Creek south of Carbondale in exchange for several parcels with little to no public access. The Sutey Ranch parcel provides critical big-game habitat and has the potential to provide access to significant recreational opportunities, while the Haines parcel provides trail connections to popular mountain bike trails.

“Public involvement will continue to play a critical role as we move forward with site-specific planning for the Sutey and Haines parcels,” said Acting BLM Colorado River Valley Field Manager Gloria Tibbetts. “Before we begin drafting the management plan for these parcels, we want to hear from the public about any issues or concerns they would like us to address. We welcome and value diverse views from the communities we serve.”

The BLM will be hosting a public open house July 12 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Carbondale at the 3rd Street Center, 520 3rd Street, to help answer questions and take written comments.

More information about the parcels and the planning process is available at Comments may be e-mailed to or mailed to BLM, 2300 River Frontage Road, Silt, CO 81652, Attn: Sutey/Haines Management Plan. The BLM must receive comments by Aug. 5, 2018.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Awesome volunteer spots open for Grand Traverse race September 1st and 2nd.

Here are some great options for experiencing part of the epic Grand Traverse race without racing. Why volunteer?  RFMBA is the benefitting non-profit for this summer’s event!   We’ll turn your volunteer time into dollars, cents, and better trails in your backyard.  Course sweep needed, Party People for the Aid Staion at the top of Aspen Mountain, AND MORE.


9/1: RUN – COURSE SWEEP- Leg #2 – Taylor Pass to Aspen Mt. via Richmond Ridge
Seeking team of two competent backcountry travelers (run or mountain bike) to sweep the Run course from Taylor Pass to the top of Aspen Mountain.This sweep team will depart Taylor Pass Checkpoint after 12:45 PM cut-off has been imposed. Sweep is required to follow behind last runner on course, providing race dispatch with progress updates.

Located at Ajax Park, north of the Aspen Mountain base on S. Ute Avenue. Volunteers needed to assist with- FinishLine / Expo set-up, food & beer serving, award distribution, as well as staffing Mountain Bike registration / check-in table. Finish line volunteers will be served BBQ meal and beer!

9/2: MTB – START LINE – Aspen, Ajax Park
Assistance with set up and kick off of Mountain Bike Start line at Ajax Park. May require some temporary vehicular traffic control.Location – Ajax Park, 1001 S. Ute Avenue

9/2: MTB – AID #1 – Top of Aspen Mountain
Seeking two volunteers to distribute hydration and nutritional aid to bikers summiting Top of Aspen Mountain. Volunteers will need personal transportation (4×4) to ascend the Summer Road to the aid station location. This volunteer team will also be tasked with imposing the 9 AM cut-off, recording bib numbers while turning cut-off riders around to retrace their route back to Aspen.

9/2: MTB – COURSE SWEEP- Leg #1 – Top of Aspen Mt. to Taylor Pass via Richmond Ridge
Seeking team of two competent Mountain Bikers to sweep from the Top of Aspen Mountain to Taylor Pass. Sweeper’s will be provided a lift pass to ascend Aspen Mountain via the Gondola with bike  From Aspen Mountain summit, sweep will continue out Richmond Ridge, cleaning course of all markings (flagging tape and pin flags), while not overtaking the last riders on course. Will periodically radio race dispatch with location and progress of last riders. Arriving at Taylor Pass, sweep team will descend Express Creek Road, ensuring that cut-off riders at the 11:30 a.m. MTB Aid #2 cut-off, safely make their descent to Castle Creek road.

To volunteer for any of these great spots please contact

Save the Date: New Castle Trails Summer Conference August 4th!

Good news! Due to the generosity of Russell Talbott and the New Castle Chamber of Commerce we officially have a stage for our musicians to perform on at the Summer Conference!

And did you know that if you purchase advance tickets you save a few bucks and most importantly you get 3 tickets good for food or beer, compared to 2 tickets on the day of the event.

So $15 plus a small processing fee gets you a full afternoon of amazing music from New Mamm Creek, Red Dirt River Band, Whiskey Stomp and Roots of Creation, and 3 food/drink tickets. Can’t beat that.

Visit the event page on our Facebook page or go to and search Summer Conference to purchase your advance tickets today.


New Castle Trails is comprised by local community members and volunteers with a common goal of creating the best possible trail network in and around the Town of New Castle, Colorado. Established in 2015 as a committee of RFMBA, New Castle Trail’s mission is to be both a resource and advocate for the planning, development, enjoyment, and long term care of sustainable trails. New Castle Trails performs advocacy for local trails with Federal, State and Town Agencies as well as with private landowners. NCT is focused on trail planning and development; trail care education and maintenance; and promotion of trail information.

Important C to CB Trail Meeting June 26!

Mountain bikers who support the Proposal for the Crystal River Valley Trail need to let the Pitkin County Commissioners and the Open Space and Trails Board Trustees know their thoughts on this incredible trail project.  Review the draft proposal and action items here.

While most of the mountain bike community might consider this trail a simple “no brainer,” sadly, it’s not.  There is opposition to this proposed trail, so more input from the mountain bike community is essential to help this plan move forward.  Attend June 26th 4pm+ meeting in Carbondale at the Third St. Center, or submit your comments at the survey here.

RFMBA supports the draft plan in it’s current form because:

  • The plan serves as a long term vision for the overall trail while appreciating some segments need more study and time before the ideal alignments are selected, further studied, approved, funded, and constructed.
  • The plan’s action items are not just about the trail.  The inclusion of biodiversity preservation and enhancement studies / projects are designed so that the eventual trail is not only a great place for riders to visit, but that the surrounding landscapes can continue to sustain the wildlife that make the Crystal Valley such a special place to begin with.
  • The least controversial segments of trail – soft surface singletrack from Redstone to McClure Pass – is planned to be the first to go for additional review and approval over the coming months and years.  This upper section of trail would allow for a 14 mile out and back singletrack ride all by itself!

Please attend the June 26th meeting in Carbondale.  If the Commissioners hear more people speak in support vs. against the trail, it will be very beneficial to the cycling and mountain biking community.

Two important upcoming dates:

  • June 26 at 4 PM – County commissioners and Open Space and Trails Board hear from the public at the Third Street Center (Calaway Room) in Carbondale.
  • July 27:  Deadline for survey

Please take a moment to fill out the survey.  Even if your comments are short and sweet it will make a difference.


Need some help with the 4 key survey questions?  Simply state your support for and agreement with the Recommended Action Items in each of the categories listed below.  RFMBA has reviewed the full draft plan and feels that Pitkin County Open Space & Trails’ staff and consultants have done very strong work to date on a very complex trail proposal.  If you like fancy maps, spend time on the draft trail alignment segment mapping they have provided for review.

Biodiversity Preservation and Enhancement Action Items
Recreation Amenity Action Items
Maintenance, Management, Enforcement and Outreach Action Items
Trail Alignment Action Items

Very Successful South Canyon Cleanup!

Great effort from 25+ volunteers on the South Canyon Cleanup on May 2!

Thanks especially to folks from the S. Canyon Coalition and scouts from troop 277 who made a real difference in beautifying this public park land!

In other news, progress continues on the new South Canyon trail system. First of three new trails slated for this year is nearly complete!