Greetings, OMBA members!

We’re really grateful that you submitted tons of follow-up questions to us since the Foothills Plan Open Houses occurred.  We’re also so proud of the turn-out from our community. Next steps: we compiled the list of questions we received from you and submitted it to the Fort Collins Natural Areas staff to address.  We will provide their answers as soon as we hear back from them. In the meantime, stay engaged. We’ll continue to post concrete advocacy plans & action steps. Thank you as always for the support in this.

OMBA Questions Regarding Foothills Management Plan Update

  • Reducing access will push users to other local trails that are very crowded as well.  Has the City discussed what impacts this will have to other local agencies and trails?  What are the anticipated outcomes of this?  Can we expect other agencies to also begin taking away access for cyclists?
  • Why were  onsite surveys conducted at times that clearly missed the heaviest concentration of use?  This is equivalent to doing a traffic study on College Ave but not looking at all at 7-9am or 4-6pm.
    • Do these numbers show the total percentage of actual users observed, or is this the percentage of users who completed the survey?
    • There are multiple entry/exit points at lower Maxwell…were counters in place at both?  Same with upper Maxwell?
    • Many, if not most, cyclists loop the Foothills Trail so only pass the counter once, while most hikers/runners do out-and-back and cross the counter twice.  What was done to account for this?
  • Visitor survey shows many complaints about crowding, yet the City only lists 2 questions regarding adding new trails – 1 proposed by Overland and 1 very short interpretive loop.  Why is the City not addressing the actual issue of crowding at ALL properties…not enough trails for the number of users?
    • Why is user conflict being singled out as the problem when the actual problem is crowding?
    • Can the City explain how putting more users on fewer trails over half as many days is a solution to the crowding issue?
  • Why is there no mention at all of broader connectivity of trails since this is a goal in all other City plans?
  • Since nearly all cyclists riding Maxwell are doing so to also ride ‘Shoreline’ and other area trails, the City is essentially imposing restrictions and reducing access to many more miles than simply the Maxwell Trail.  Why is this not being made public?  Or has that been considered?
  • These decisions will have a major impact on tens of thousands of people and are seemingly being done in direct opposition to the survey data that was collected.  Why?
  • What are the complete process steps and timeline for the plan update?
  • Why do each of these properties need to be managed the same/as one?  Coyote Ridge is a much different place than Maxwell or Pineridge.  Why not manage one as having a larger recreation purpose and one as having a larger conservation purpose?
  • We are being presented with broad, general guidelines about habitat fragmentation and ecological impacts…what are the real impacts we are looking at in each specific area?
  • How can the City say that wildlife and habitat fragmentation are the major issues in this area yet at the same time allow 700-800 new homes to be built in this immediate area…on top of the existing homes, man-made reservoir and dams already there?
  • How was CPW involved in this evaluation of wildlife impacts?
  • What is the process for future decisions not directly identified in this plan update? 
    • Are they purely staff decisions?  What will the public input process look like?  Will they need to be public-driven proposals?  Require Council approval?