5/20/04 Incline Meeting
Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 3:30 P.M.
Colorado Springs Utilities - Blue River Conference Room on the 5th floor - So. Tower Plaza of the Rockies
Bill Nelson, Jeff Hovermale, and Frank Landis (Forest Service)
Vic Ecklund and Kristin Bricker (Colorado Springs Utilities)
Kyle Hybl and Spencer Wren (COG Railway)
Marcy Morrison (Mayor, Manitou Springs)
Matt Carpenter (Friends of the Peak)
Paul Cohen (Community Member)
Ken Jaray (Facilitator)
- Review reports from Forest Service and CSU
- Consider viable options
- Review draft of recreation use plan
- Discussion of next steps - Consider creation of subcommittees
- Public relations - approval for press representatives to attend meetings
- Next meeting
- Review of reports from April 15, 2004 site inspection: The Forest Service distributed a draft of a report from several staff members who inspected the Incline on April 15th. It should be noted that this report has not been adopted or approved by Forest Service management. The general impression was that the Incline is in much better condition than had been anticipated. It appears that some people have been doing informal maintenance on the property which appears to have contributed to the stability of the property, although some concern was expressed that improper work might at some point be a problem. The staff report indicated that after considering the social and recreational value of the trail, that it may be more practical to work towards making the Incline safe and environmental stable rather than decommissioning it. The Forest Service indicated that this conclusion has not been adopted or approved by Forest Service management. CSU reported that the pipeline appears to be in stable
condition and that use of the Incline property does not appear to have had any negative impact on the property. The A copy of the Forest Service report will be posted on the Incline web site.
- Review of viable options: The group confirmed that there are still two viable options to be considered: (1) partial reclamation and stabilization of the sides of the Incline consistent with recreational use. (2) total reclamation of the property.
It was discussed that although there is an easement agreement between the COG and Forest Service concerning Barr Trail, this agreement could not simply be amended to include the Incline. A new agreement would need to be drafted and approved. It was noted that this agreement might be a good starting point for drafting a new easement but that since the Incline is not part of the FS trail system, that a new easement might need to go through the NEPA review process and be approved by the Office of General Counsel of the Forest Service. It was also noted that the existing operating agreement between FOTP and the Forest Service concerning Barr Trail, would be a good model to consider for the Incline as well.
- Review of draft Upper Ruxton Canyon Recreation Use Plan prepared by Ken Jaray. The plan contains three specific goals: (1) To reduce traffic and parking in and around the Cog Railway, the Iron Springs Château and upper Ruxton Canyon. (2) To provide management, maintenance and stabilization of the Mt. Manitou Incline. (3) To provide public access to the Mt. Manitou Incline. The group briefly reviewed the 11 strategies presented dealing with the parking and liability issues.
- Discussion of next steps: The group decided that is would be best to have two groups study various issues involved with the possible recreational use of the Incline. One group, consisting of Vic Ecklund, Bill Nelson, Jeff Hovermale, (Tim Grantham), Kyle Hybl, Paul Cohen and Ken Jaray will consider the legal/ownership issues. The other group consisting of Matt Carpenter, Paul Cohen, Spencer Wren and other appropriate individuals from Manitou Metropolitan Parking District and/or the City will consider parking issues. These groups are expected to report back to the full group in approximately 60 days with specific recommendations.
- Next meeting: Ken will facilitate setting up a meeting of the full group during the week of July 19th.