RIDGWAY – With the third annual RAT Fest happening this weekend in Hartwell Park, the Ridgway Area Trails group has more good news to share with mountain bikers in the region. The group, through its parent organization COPMOBA (the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Association), has just learned it received a $5,000 grant from REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), the giant outdoor retailer.
For a decade now the biking group has been planning and advocating for the creation of a series of multi-use trails throughout the Ridgway area, and will use the grant to help build a world-class multi-use trail system.
“We at RAT/COPMOBA sincerely appreciate this generous grant to our organization,” said RAT board member Rodney Fitzhugh in a release. “We also appreciate the many past contributions REI has made to our projects and to the creation of outdoor recreation
opportunities in general.
“We indicated in the grant request that we expected a final decision from the Bureau of Land Management in early May regarding our proposal to build upwards of 20 miles of new single-track in Ridgway, and the BLM Uncompahgre Field Office came through. The UFO issued a final Environmental Assessment approving creation of almost 20 miles of single-track trail, along with a Finding of No Significant Impact and a Record Decision on May 10. Barring an appeal (which seems highly unlikely, given the level of support our proposal enjoyed throughout the community) we hope to begin implementation in June.”
Giving Coordinator/Public Affairs for REI Kristen Ragain wrote in a letter to RAT, the local arm of the COPMOBA, “Congratulations Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Association! On behalf of all of us at REI, I want to thank and congratulate you on the stewardship work that you’re doing.”