◆ Proposed off road trail system would connect southwest Wyoming.
Could Lincoln County have a trails system in place for all-terrain vehicles in the near future?
Southwest Wyoming Outdoor Trails Program president Mark Tesoro argued for such a system at the Kemmerer City Council meeting Monday, April 12. Tesoro made the presentation before State Senator Dan Dockstader, representatives from Wyoming Game and Fish, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management, Kemmerer Mine, the Lincoln County Engineer, the U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Power, U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis and Lincoln County Sheriff Shane Johnson.
Tesoro said some 350 miles of trails have already been designated in Uinta County that connect a number of communities, national forest land and points of interest. He said that people with a purchased authorized sticker could travel on these routes as well as some city streets.
Tesoro said that as many as a million people will likely be moving into northern Utah over the next 15 years, and bringing their ATVs with them. Tesoro believes that these types of tourists will bring much needed new revenue to communities who are connected by a trails program. Tesoro says his group is now looking at connecting the Uinta County trails program to communities in Lincoln County as their next step. Tesoro said the program would almost exclusively use the existing county road system to connect communities.
Chris Floyd of the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Commission also spoke at the meeting. He pointed out that there was a surge in ATV use last year due to the Covid Pandemic. He said sales of motorized equipment was up 50% in 2020. He said with this expected growth in ATV use and population, we must protect and manage what we have now.
Floyd said that in 2013 off road recreation brought in about 244 million dollars to the state of Wyoming. He said that amount of revenue has probably doubled since then.
Tesoro then touched on how rules could be enforced, grants available to communities to cover costs of the program and how communications in more remote areas could be improved. He then showed a 3 minute video of a trail ride.
There was general agreement that an outdoor trails program for Lincoln County was something that should be further investigated.