Gold Camp Road (El Paso County, CO) Comments
This letter was received on January 28, 2005 from Ray Berry:

Below is a copy of what I sent to our club asking for them to make formal comments in the club's name about the opening of the Gold Camp Road. The FS has prepared a complete Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and are now asking for comments. The closing date is March 16th for comments. I am attaching a copy of the FS Preferred Alternative E, as well as the Alternative G which is for opening the road fully to two-way traffic. Also a copy of the map for Alternative E. There are, of course, other Alternatives, A, B, C, D, and F. but for collectors, E and G are the best.

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Here are my suggestions for comments by collectors on the proposed Gold Camp Road project. Included are copies of Alternatives E and G, and maps showing E. The full EIS is over an inch thick. Comments must be in FS hands by March 16th, and the address is:

    Gold Camp Road Project
    c/o Greystone Environmental Consultants, Inc.
    5231 S Quebec St
    Greenwood Village CO 80111
    Fax: (303) 721-9298

Perhaps we can't get all we would like, but, hopefully, we can at least get unrestricted parking where we want to collect.

I talked with the project lead ranger, Frank Landis, today. He says the engineers on the planning committee insist that the road MUST be brought up to today's FS Standards for roads. He specifically asked if our club (CSMS) would be commenting. He urged us to do so on club letterhead, and I think FM and Denver clubs could appreciably add to this, as well as individuals.

The attached file is a MS Word file (31 KB) and the map is a .JPG and is a little over 1 MB in size.

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Thoughts for Comments on Gold Camp Road EIS

1] There is no rationale for having the closed section one-way traffic as in Alternative E, the FS Preferred Alternative. The road from Old Stage Road to Victor has many one-way areas fully as dangerous as that in the closed 8.5 mile section. We should prefer Alternative G, which is fully opening the road to two-way traffic.

2] Having the road one-way, north to south, forces even inexperienced drivers on the road to go down the Old Stage Road. It is steep, narrow and very crooked. Only alternative these people would have is to continue to Victor and return on CO 67, an all day trip.

3] Under the Preferred Alternative, if we, as collectors wanted to have a field trip to the Eureka Tunnel (near Tunnel 5) a morning and then collect at Fairview or Stove Mtn., we would have to go all the way down to the city and then back up the second location. Who would do that?The final plan should allow two-way traffic from Fairview south, at a minimum!

4] There are many pull-offs along the road that would allow collectors to park near a desired collecting area. The Preferred Plan only allows parking in two designated parking areas. This certainly should be changed even if they stick with the preferred plan.

5] Cost projections include bringing the road into present FS road standards, which include walls and guardrails. This changes the character of the road, which destroys its historical appeal as a railroad or as the Corley Mtn Highway. The road has been put on the National Register of Historic Places, and the proposed upgrade in standards should not be allowed.

Ray Berry