Off-highway vehicles are again being allowed on some Silverton streets through Monday, Sept. 9.
It is the third trial run this year of allowing ATVs use of some town streets.
The Aug. 12 ATV accident on South Mineral Creek Road that killed a 10-year-old Steamboat Springs boy has heightened concerns about safety and the need for patrolling the backcountry roads.
But San Juan County’s Alpine Ranger program, which enforces Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) rules in the backcountry while also protecting the delicate ecosystem, is facing funding hurdles amplified by the state of Colorado’s lack of support for the program, county officials say.
San Juan County is 88 percent public land, crisscrossed by extremely rugged, remote, and dangerous roads, even for those who are well prepared.
San Juan County Commissioner Pete McKay said San Juan and the neighboring counties of Hinsdale, Ouray and San Miguel, are committed to keeping the public land open and accessible to all backcountry recreationists.
That is why seven years ago San Juan County spearheaded the development of an Alpine Ranger program. In coalition with these three neighboring counties, the Alpine Ranger program places two seasonal rangers on the Jeep trails throughout the San Juan Mountains.
McKay said the program was implemented to “keep an eye on the safety of the traveling public as well as for resource protection. The program has been hugely successful in both areas.”
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