Land Use: Conserving our Trails for the Future

 

There are different types and levels of 4-wheeling that offer unique experiences for those involved. GMJC understands that those experiences are what drive us to explore, inspire, and recreate. 

 

For over 53 years, GMJC has encouraged members and non-members to recreate responsibly. The club works to educate its members on ethical use of public lands and supports the Stay The Trail and TreadLightly! programs. There are several members that have attended the COHVCO workshops to learn how to build and maintain trails to BLM and USFS standards. 

 

As a result, Grand Mesa Jeep Club is active in numerous land use activities from trail and toad adoption to trail maintenance and clean ups.  In fact, GJMC won the Outstanding Trails Award from BFGoodrich in 2014 for continual efforts in the Bangs Canyon Recreation Area, which includes Billings Canyon Trail.

 

Lets Talk Toad

 

In 2013 the Grand Mesa Jeep Club was informed that one of the most scenic, challenging, and important routes, used by hikers, mountain bikers, motorcycles, ATVs and full-sized rigs, 21 Road or Hunter Canyon in the North Book Cliffs, is the historical home of the Great Basin Spadefoot Toad. 

 

In 2001 the toad was placed on the Threatened Species list, just one metaphorical hop away from the Endangered Species list. While in the canyon it is difficult to imagine the toad might find this a home; with only two water-dense locations where the toad can reside, flash flooding dangers can easily decimate the larvae before they come to maturity. In fact, Bureau of Land Management Biologists have found it difficult to locate the toad, as it burrows into the mud for the duration of the cold winter and the heat of the summer. 


The Grand Mesa Jeep Club acknowledges both the importance of this habitat and the recreation opportunities Hunter Canyon provides. With the BLM working diligently on the current Resource Management Plan, the opportunity to adopt the road, which has been explored by the club in the past, is now frustrated in an indefinite timeline. 


The conclusion: the GMJC has decided that if adopting the road to help protect the toad is not an option, they will adopt the toad its self. To this end the club has established the “21 Road Toad” initiative to help raise funds to help protect these sensitive habitats, by installation of posts and signage, as well as by educating the public. Labor for the project will be donated by members of the Grand Mesa Jeep Club.

 

Keep up to date on the 21 Road Toad conservation efforts through the page on Facebook.

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