From Tod Tibbetts, WEMUC Executive Director

West Elk Multi-Use Club Annual Meeting
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
7:00 PM
Silt Town Hall

If you are not able to make the meeting, send me an email: todt@siltnet.net or give me a call 970-876-2196.

Since the West Elk Trail was started in 2003, a small but dedicated group of volunteers have prepared, marked, and maintained the trail system. The club’s financial costs were covered by voluntary donations from trail users. This model established our trail system which provides a wonderful outdoor experience for members and the public.

This basic grooming model required about 150 volunteer hours, $700 for insurance, and around $600 out of pocket cost for grooming. This model takes about 6-7 active people using their personal equipment for grooming. When this model was last in place, there were 4-5 active people. This model provided a 2 snowmobile-wide, packed trail on most weekends as volunteers and time permitted.

When I took over trails management in 2009, I put the current grooming model in place which requires about 350 hours, plus club-owned and maintained equipment, and a weekly grooming schedule. We provide a minimum 8′-wide, packed and groomed trail on the short loop and an 8′-wide smooth snowmobile packed trail on the outer loop each week for approximately 18 weeks. This model takes around 10-12 active people for the Volunteer Board and maintenance. We currently have 6-7 active people.

Over the past three seasons this current grooming model has increased the number of trail users. However a large percentage of the new users are not contributing members. Therefore we rely on annual recreational fund grants from Garfield County, in addition to member contributions to cover our maintenance costs. The reality of this model is it requires a Volunteer Board to spread the administrative workload. Both models have their pros and cons.

Last summer, I talked to the directors of Spring Gulch Trails (Carbondale) and the Grand Mesa Trails (GMNC). What was clear from those conversations is the long term success of any trail system depends on having a strong base of volunteer support and financial support from the membership.

The Club is permitted to operate for 4 more seasons. The current grooming equipment and funding sources will last 2 more seasons. You, the contributing members, need to decide which model you want to support.

Volunteer options for this season: 

Board Members – one meeting and a few conference calls and/or emails
Trail volunteers through the season – Friday or Saturday from mid-November to the end of March.

The 2012-2013 winter trail season on the West Elk trail is starting up. In mid-October, volunteers cleared downed trees from the trail in the snow. The grooming equipment is ready to go. The grooming is scheduled to be done primarily on Fridays, with some work on Saturdays as needed. If you want to have some fun in the snow, spend a few hours on a Friday or Saturday this winter driving a snowmobile, leveling the trail, or fixing the markers. Contact me if you want to participate.

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