Report on Vandalism of Skyline & Nature Trails By Chase Pierson

You may have read in the paper recently about the vandalized Nature Trail. Someone removed a railroad tie from the trail which will result in erosion and require future trail maintenance. What they did was not ethical. Another trail where this has occurred, on a much greater scale, is the Skyline Trail located at the north end of the Skyridge neighborhood. When Trails 2000 and the BLM collaborated on the new trail ascending to the ridge, it was conditional on closing the pre-existing, unsustainable “social” trail that runs straight up the hill. Hundreds of volunteer hours built the new sustainable, multi-use trail and closed the old trail with brush and rocks. The problem that has been occurring on Skyline is that someone or a group of people have been opening up the old trail, encouraging use of the highly erodible trail and damaging the new trail in places. Last fall, the old trail was re-filled with brush and rocks, staked with closure signs, and roped off. Again, the old trail was re-opened and the signs and stakes disappeared. Like on the Nature Trail, it’s vandalism. This is where I came in. For my Boy Scout Eagle Scout project, I am educating trail users on sustainable, ethical trail use and 20 volunteers and I closed the Skyline Trail short cuts with brush, trees and rocks, and installed sign closures again – hopefully keeping the old trail closed permanently. What I’m asking of you is to be a trail steward on Skyline and all of our single track trails in Durango. If you see anyone removing signs, stakes or closure material – just short-cutting trails – ask them to stop, do the right thing, and be a sustainable trail user. Thanks!

Chase Pierson
[email protected]
BSA Troop 538