2017 Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund Grant Cycle – Press Release
Yampa Valley Community Foundation
The Yampa Valley Community Foundation announced the second grant from the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund (TMEF). A grant of $4,290.74 will be awarded to the US Forest Service for work on the Uranium Mine Project, NFSR 322.1 near Fish Creek Falls Recreation Area and the Wyoming Trail, NFST 1101 near Summit Lake in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area.
Decisions on how to spend TMEF revenue are made by a board comprised of four land managers, one representative from the Steamboat Springs Chamber Association and two community members at large. Trail maintenance grant applications are requested and received annually in September. This year, the board vetted more than five grant applications from the US Forest Service and the City of Steamboat Springs.
The board decided to grant $2,000 for the Uranium Mine Project based on the amount of users, impact, and diversity of the user groups. The USFS estimates this trail sees more than 5,000 year round users. In 2018, the Forest Service plans to add this trail to be an official trail in the NFST system. The needs for this trail include signage and overall maintenance at an estimated cost of $3,000. The USFS will be able to find the additional funding to complete this project.
The TMEF board also allocated $2,290.74 towards the Wyoming Trail, NFST 1101 near Summit Lake in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area. Before Wilderness designation, this section of trail was used as a jeep road. The project will reduce the braided trial to one path and rehabilitate the unused portion. The committee felt strongly about funding this project because of opportunities to leverage the funding with other organizations. A segment of the trail is designated as the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST). The Steamboat Springs community, led the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and the local USFS office, is currently seeking designation as a CDNST Gateway Community. Funding is also leveraged with support from partner organization Friends of Wilderness, which is currently seeking external grant funds to repair this braided segment.
TMEF grants will be distributed by the end of this year. The USFS will determine whether to use a contracted entity or internal crews to perform the requested trail maintenance projects.
The purpose of the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund, held by the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, is to provide a permanent endowment to support specific non-motorized trail and trailhead maintenance projects on public lands in Routt and Moffat counties. The TMEF fundraising goal is $1 million to $1.5 million in the next eight years. This would provide at least $60,000 for trail maintenance projects each year. As of Nov. 21, 2017, the fund had a balance of $203,146.
The TMEF board meets every October to review grant applications and make recommendations for the Yampa Valley Community Foundation Board of Trustees to approve in November. The amount distributed is based on the endowment spending policy set by the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.
For more information about the TMEF, visit yvcf.org/trails.
The Yampa Valley Community Foundation provides leadership in raising funds, in partnership with community members, to support innovative programs benefiting the Yampa Valley community.
For more information visit: yvcf.org