COLORADO SPRINGS — A new way of managing conservation and recreation on the vast expanse of Pikes Peak is in the works.
“We have many, many different landowners and land managers on this one landscape, so it does get complex,” said Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance, Executive Director, Becky Leinweber.
Because of growth managing people on Pikes Peak is getting more difficult
“As we think about how we’re growing as a region, when you think about the pressures that are currently being placed upon those natural resources, as well as the desire for you know responsible expanded recreation opportunities, there is a gap,” said NES Landscape Architecture and Planning, Principal, Chris Lieber.
To bridge that gap the Outdoor Pikes Peak Initiative (OPPI) was launched.
It is a regional colloboration including, El paso, Teller and Fremont counties which all merge at Pikes Peak.
The stakeholders include federal, state, local, and private landowners and managers.
Early information gathering sessions have already pinpointed one strong point of agreement.
“We value this place dearly and that there’s a need to really be responsible on how we’re taking care of it,” said Lieber
All of the mountain managers have been contacted and have at least expressed interest in hearing proposals.
“Many of them already have agreements for very specific purposes such as wildfire mitigation. But, what they don’t have is an agreement across one another for managing people, specifically in recreation,” said Leinweber.
The OPPI process is still in the early stages of forming a management strategy.
An example of a suggestion for recreation management is having Colorado Parks and Wildlife come in with a structure similar to what they do for recreation on the Arkansas River from the headwaters all the way to Pueblo.
“The reality is that this is but an idea that’s being explored at this point and there’s a lot more conversation that needs to happen,” said Lieber.
The right kind of collaboration is viewed as a way to potential open more recreation opportunities while also enhancing preservation practices across Pikes Peak
“We’re going to be having another set of listening sessions coming up this spring,” said Leinweber.
Click here for more information about the OPPI plan.
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