Residents speak out against trail closure

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Local residents teamed up today to voice their concern regarding the closure of a trail in the Glade Park area at the Mesa County Commissioner meeting. The trail has been used for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and ATVing up until this past spring.

"We moved here in 1974 and have been using that access for hunting and recreation for almost 40 years," said Mesa County resident Del Martin.

The trail was closed last spring after a public hearing, but many residents in the area say they were not appropriately notified of the meeting. Terri Schmitt said the postings were put in areas not accessible in the winter.

"So there is just no way --unless you happened to be on snowmobile-- that you might happen to pass by that sign," said Glade Park resident Terri Schmitt.

The first public hearing was a result of complaints filed by land owners whose property lines the trail. The owners say vandalism, poaching and littering was occurring. However longtime user of the path, Laurinda Conrad, said that's not the case.

"When we researched the Mesa County records and the Division of Wildlife and no warrant or tickets have ever been issued for this," said Conrad.

County Commissioners say they were not aware of all the information put forth this morning and now hope to regain jurisdiction over the issue in an effort to hear both sides.

The trail has been around for public use since 1883 and many residents at the meeting hope to get it reopened for future generations to enjoy.

The County Attorney has until Wednesday to relay the information from this morning's meeting to the courts, at which point the judge will make a decision to uphold or appeal the trail closure.

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