By SUSAN BARNS
Mr. Collard’s recent letter published in the Los Alamos Daily Post (Link), unfortunately misunderstands the focus of the petition being presented to council this coming week regarding the Pueblo Canyon Trail Conceptual Plan, and does not reflect the documented interests of our community.
His characterization of the petitioners as being against maintenance of our multi-use trails is erroneous. I have read the comments given by those who signed an online version of the petition (available in the Council agenda packet), and hope to clear up some confusion.
Many of the petitioners hike and bike our trails regularly, some every day, some have done so for decades. They see and know that our trails need maintenance. They are anything but “anti-trails”; they revere our trail system and wish to see it flourish and remain accessible to all into the future. Certainly the recent Community Services Department (CSD) Integrated Master Plan Survey reflects overwhelming support for our open spaces, trails and parks. However, this statistically valid survey also shows that >90 percent of trail/park/open space users feel that “their needs are currently being adequately met”, they do not see a need for improvements and additions to our trails.
Many petitioners are concerned in general about the scale of the proposal, and about concentrating/increasing mountain biking activities in Pueblo and nearby canyons. And there are two projects that do not serve all users (Bike Skills Park and NICA Race Course), and indeed would negatively impact our canyon environment. They conflict with the LAC Comprehensive Plan and would displace other users. No alternative, less destructive locations have been proposed. Unfortunately, those were bundled in with projects to maintain and sign trails, and at CSD meetings, participants were told that if they objected to any of the projects, they needed to reject them all. This is the cause and focus of the petition.
Interested members of the public are encouraged to hear the presentation of the petition this coming 6 p.m. Tuesday night at the Municipal Building (1st floor Council Chambers or by Zoom). Los Alamos, and the petitioners, love its trail system! Please stay engaged in our open space issues — it is clear that they are important to many and need to be recognized by our County government.