Survey of Small Businesses Along Continental Divide Trail Finds that Trail Users are an Economic Boon to Communities


One-of-a-Kind Survey of Small Businesses Along Continental Divide Trail Finds that Trail Users are an Economic Boon to Communities

Continental Divide Trail Coalition surveys small businesses in four states—including Colorado—and 16 rural communities to assess trail’s economic impact. Business owners say trail users play an important role in their economic well-being

A one-of-a-kind survey of small business owners in 16 communities near the Continental Divide Trail throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho and Wyoming shows the trail, the public lands it travels through and the hikers that use it are a vital and growing part of the economic activity in those towns.

The survey of 71 small business owners, conducted by the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC)—a nonprofit organization committed to constructing, promoting, and protecting the trail—during the fall of 2017, shows that small business owners see a strong correlation between the success and promotion of the trail and their bottom lines. The survey—the first of its kind to poll small business owners in small, often remote communities along the trail that runs from Canada to Mexico—unequivocally shows that business owners feel the trail puts their communities on the map as an outdoor recreation hub and draws trail users who spend money at restaurants, hotels, gear shops, grocery stores and other places of business in their communities:

  • 77 percent of small business owners who responded to the survey say trail users spend money at their business and have had a positive impact on their business
  • 88 percent say that trail users spend money in their community and have a positive impact on business in general

“The Continental Divide Trail and the hikers that use it are vital to my business. We are able to get through the winter because of the massive number of hikers coming through in the summer,” said Melanie Garr, the owner of Simple Lodge & Hostel in Salida, Colo., one of the communities surveyed. “Considering the positive impact the trail and the people who use it have on my business and our community, it is alarming to see the president roll back protections for public lands in the West. This is our livelihood and decisions like that threaten it.”

Business owners also report economic benefits since their towns gained the Continental Divide Trail Community designation from the CDTC. The designation recognizes communities that have committed to promoting and protecting the trail and providing an inviting environment for trail hikers:

  • 67 percent report seeing an increase in trail users coming through their communities
  • 42 percent report seeing an increase in traffic from trail users in their businesses
  • 39 percent report an overall increase in business in their community
  • 61 percent see an increase in awareness of their community as an outdoor recreation hub

“Small businesses keep local communities and economies thriving by providing jobs, financial stability and valuable services, and their collective activity boosts our national economy. The decision to reduce protections for the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments sent shockwaves through communities that rely on public lands for their economic wellbeing,” said Teresa Martinez, executive director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. “Small business owners in these towns are consistent in their belief that the Continental Divide Trail stimulates the economies of their communities. Our leaders must pursue policies that help these small businesses maintain and grow a healthy bottom line by preserving and enhancing the trail and the public lands it traverses.”

The survey provides a first-hand account of what economic reports on recreation have found—such as the 2017 Outdoor Industry Association report that shows the recreation economy drives $887 billion in consumer spending every year and supports 7.6 million jobs. As the popularity of the trail increases, Martinez expects the economic impact to grow.

“We have documented an exponential increase in the number of long-distance hikers attempting to hike from one end of the trail to the other over the past four years,” Martinez said. “In the first year, we documented 50 thru-hikers. In 2017, there were more than 300. We expect the numbers to keep growing and the positive economic impact on communities to grow with them.”

Seeing the positive economic impact the trail has on their businesses, it is not surprising that the survey also reveals that small business owners in trail communities believe protecting their region’s natural assets will enhance local economies.

A vast 88 percent of small business owners say that protecting, promoting and enhancing the Continental Divide Trail is important to the well-being of businesses, jobs and their community’s economy. An overwhelming 95 percent say that protecting, promoting and enhancing public lands in general is important to the well-being of businesses, jobs, and their community’s economy.

The entrepreneurs owned a variety of businesses: 36 percent own a hotel or motel; 28 percent own a restaurant, bar or similar business; 22 percent own an outdoor clothing or gear store; 6 percent own an outdoor guide service; 4 percent own a grocery or convenience store; and 4 percent own an RV park or campground.

The vast majority of respondents are small businesses with 98 percent reporting 50 or fewer employees during the peak season. Indeed, 71 percent have 10 or fewer employees.

Click here to ready the survey report.



2017 Pathways Conference presented by Colorado State University, US Fish & Wildlife Service and Rocky Mountain National Park

Pathways Conference 2017

Join us for the Pathways 2017 conference hosted by Colorado State University, in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado!

Abstract due date: April 24, 2017 (Call for abstracts Dec. 1)

Theme: Futures




Mark your Calendar: September 17 – 20, 2017

Location: This year we return to the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Nestled in the outskirts of the beautiful town of Estes Park, the YMCA of the Rockies is surrounded by Rocky Mountain National Park on three sides. This venue provides a fantastic setting with abundant wildlife viewing opportunities at your doorstep.

US Forest Service job in the SW Region: Outreach notice – Cooperative Education Specialist (Conservation/Environmental)

Regional Conservation/Environmental Education Specialist

Interdisciplinary – Natural Resource Specialist / Environmental Education Specialist 0404/1701 – 11/12

The Southwestern Region is seeking a dynamic, creative candidate to serve as the Regional Cooperative Education Specialist (Conservation/Environmental) in the Office of Public & Legislative Affairs.

The Office of Public & Legislative Affairs coordinates media relations, congressional affairs, conservation education, internal communications, graphic design, printing, audio-visuals and visitor information services for the Region. Specialist provides program leadership and expertise for the conservation education and community relations efforts of the Southwestern Region.

Marie Therese Sebrechts
Regional Director, Public & Legislative Affairs
Forest Service

SW Region

p: 505-842-3290

c: 505-220-6774

333 Broadway Blvd. SE
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Caring for the land and serving people

New Wrinkle in the skiing out of bound’s odyssey. Douglas County Nevada law prohibits it, even though US Forest Service says it is not illegal.

Man skiing out of bounds, missing & SAR goes looking for him. When he shows up, he is issued a ticket for violating an out of bounds skiing law in Douglas County, Nevada.

A skier a Tahoe NV resident, ducked a rope at Heavenly Ski Resort and ski out of bounds. When he did not come back after two hours, and the resort had closed his friends called the sheriff’s office.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s office and Douglas County Search and Rescue (SAR) team started a search. Four hours later, the missing skier contacted the sheriff’s office and notified them he was OK.

Soon thereafter, the sheriff’s office met the individual and issued him a ticket for skiing out of bounds. Bail was $640.00.

Nevada has a Skier Responsibility Code, which specifically allows counties to enact their own codes if they do not conflict with the Nevada state skier responsibility code. Consequently, Douglas County has added to the responsibilities with its code, which affects Heavenly.

(How the civil requirements and prohibitions are applied from a criminal code is confusing.)

The main difference between the state statute and the county ordinance is the skiing out of bound’s section.

9.08.030 Skier duties

11. A skier, having used a ski lift or surface lift of a ski area, must no ski under a manmade barrier that is designed to prohibit a skier from entering a closed portion of the ski area or from leaving any part of the ski area. For the purpose of this section, a barrier may be designated by roping off an area. Any skier that violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor.

In this case, based on the facts from various articles, the skier probably should have been fined ducking a rope by himself and disappearing for four hours.

However, several other news stories reported the US Forest Service side of the story which says skiing on US Forest Service land is not illegal. See the article in the local paper, The Record Courier: Skiing out of bounds is not a crime. It is a fairly well written article.

The article states that three people needed rescued after exiting through ski area gates.

Every ski area concessionaire’s contract I’ve seen requires at least one gate allowing access from the ski area to US Forest Service land. Consequently, the ski area cannot say the person violated any of their rules about ducking a rope or going out of bounds because it is required.

At the same time, it is legal to be on US Forest Service land unless the US Forest Service closes the land. So far, the US Forest Service only closes land to certain types of vehicles or for the land to recover. No winter closures have ever occurred to my knowledge.

California does have a statute that allows law enforcement to close land based on Avalanche risk. However, the actual authority to close US Forest Service land vests only with the US Forest Service. Here is the California Statute:

§ 409.6.  Power of peace officers to close area after avalanche; Unauthorized entry

(a) Whenever a menace to the public health or safety is created by an avalanche, officers of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, police departments, or sheriff’s offices, any officer or employee of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection designated a peace officer by subdivision (g) of Section 830.2, and any officer or employee of the Department of Parks and Recreation designated a peace officer by subdivision (f) of Section 830.2, may close the area where the menace exists for the duration thereof by means of ropes, markers, or guards to any and all persons not authorized by that officer to enter or remain within the closed area.

If an avalanche creates an immediate menace to the public health, the local health officer may close the area where the menace exists pursuant to the conditions which are set forth above in this section.

(b) Officers of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, police departments, or sheriff’s offices, or officers of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection designated as peace officers by subdivision (g) of Section 830.2, may close the immediate area surrounding any emergency field command post or any other command post activated for the purpose of abating hazardous conditions created by an avalanche to any and all unauthorized persons pursuant to the conditions which are set forth in this section whether or not that field command post or other command post is located near the avalanche.

(c) Any unauthorized person who willfully and knowingly enters an area closed pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) and who willfully remains within that area, or any unauthorized person who willfully remains within an area closed pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b), after receiving notice to evacuate or leave from a peace officer named in subdivision (a) or (b), shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. If necessary, a peace officer named in subdivision (a) or (b) may use reasonable force to remove from the closed area any unauthorized person who willfully remains within that area after receiving notice to evacuate or leave.

(d) Nothing in this section shall prevent a duly authorized representative of any news service, newspaper, or radio or television station or network from entering the areas closed pursuant to this section.

So if you are not in California where the land was allegedly was closed, and you duck a rope to ski US Forest Service land can you be criminally charged? Yes. However, only if a specific set of facts have occurred, and this can probably never happen.

If the ski area boundary rope is on the boundary of the concessionaire’s permit with the US Forest Service then ducking the rope is not illegal. You can legally gain access to the US Forest Service land. However, the boundary rope must be on the US Forest Service land or right on the border.

However, ski areas do not place their boundary ropes on the US Forest Service land. The boundary ropes are always offset from the boundary. If you duck a rope and enter closed ski area land, then you have committed two crimes under most state statutes.

You have ducked a rope, and you have trespassed onto closed land.

More importantly don’t be an idiot. You ski or board out of bounds, that triggers a search for your butt; I hope they do find you and fine you. The hard-working VOLUNTEER men and women of county Search and Rescue units have enough idiots to find every year. Don’t add your name to their list.

See Tahoe man cited for skiing out of bounds

What do you think? Leave a comment.

clip_image002If you like this let your friends know or post it on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn

Author: Outdoor Recreation Insurance, Risk Management and Law

To Purchase Go Here:

Copyright 2015 Recreation Law (720) Edit Law


Google+: +Recreation

Twitter: RecreationLaw

Facebook: Rec.Law.Now

Facebook Page: Outdoor Recreation & Adventure Travel Law


Mobile Site:

By Recreation Law         James H. Moss

#AdventureTourism, #AdventureTravelLaw, #AdventureTravelLawyer, #AttorneyatLaw, #Backpacking, #BicyclingLaw, #Camps, #ChallengeCourse, #ChallengeCourseLaw, #ChallengeCourseLawyer, #CyclingLaw, #FitnessLaw, #FitnessLawyer, #Hiking, #HumanPowered, #HumanPoweredRecreation, #IceClimbing, #JamesHMoss, #JimMoss, #Law, #Mountaineering, #Negligence, #OutdoorLaw, #OutdoorRecreationLaw, #OutsideLaw, #OutsideLawyer, #RecLaw, #Rec-Law, #RecLawBlog, #Rec-LawBlog, #RecLawyer, #RecreationalLawyer, #RecreationLaw, #RecreationLawBlog, #RecreationLawcom, #Recreation-Lawcom,, #RiskManagement, #RockClimbing, #RockClimbingLawyer, #RopesCourse, #RopesCourseLawyer, #SkiAreas, #Skiing, #SkiLaw, #Snowboarding, #SummerCamp, #Tourism, #TravelLaw, #YouthCamps, #ZipLineLawyer, Out of Bounds, Boundary, Ski Area Boundary, Backcountry, Side Country, Heavenly ski area, Heavenly,


Rulemaking for Colorado Roadless Areas SEIS Comment Period Extended

You are subscribed to Rulemaking for Colorado Roadless Areas Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

USDA granted an 11-day extension of the comment period in response for adequate time to review documents and provide input on the proposed rule and the supplemental draft EIS over the holiday season. Notice will be published in the Federal Register.

Your comments are requested by 1/15/2016.

Comments on the SDEIS can be submitted electronically through:

  1. Web:
  2. Mail:

Colorado Roadless Rule

740 Simms Street

Golden, CO 80401

  1. Fax: 303-275-5134



Outreach Notice – Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

Outreach Notice – Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

Natural Resource Specialist (Recreation/Wilderness)

This is a permanent position with a duty station of Ely, Nevada


The Ely District Recreation Specialist provides expertise and advice in the administration of recreation program and projects, including developed and dispersed recreation, wilderness and recreation special uses. The Recreation Specialist is responsible for managing and maintaining recreation facilities; compiling and developing information for the recreation management database; providing expertise and advice on current recreation use, type and standards; and participating as a specialist in planning and implementation of projects on the District. The position reviews proposals for new recreation facilities or activities and recommends action; advises on recreation management plans; and coordinates activities between units and among other specialists to ensure consistency in program emphasis, development and between resource units.

The Recreation Specialist also provides input into the Forest-wide recreation budget and manages the District recreation budget. The position develops proposed natural resource management activities and coordinates and/or implements these approved management activities. The Recreation Specialist is responsible for environmental analysis reviews, reports, evaluation and preparation of environmental impact statements. The incumbent also seeks and establishes mutual working relationships with outside entities, such as Federal, State, Tribal and local agencies who partner with the Forest Service, as well as non-profit entities and recreation interest groups.

This position is zoned with two other ranger districts on the Forest, and the incumbent will have responsibility for the recreation program over nearly 3.2 million acres, including 12 wilderness areas, numerous campgrounds and picnic sites, and many miles of motorized and non-motorized trails. Duties of the position include 20% or less time supervising.

The Humboldt-Toiyabe (H-T) National Forest:

At over 6.3 million acres, the H-T is the largest National Forest in the contiguous United States. The Forest spans the entire state of Nevada, with an additional one million acres of land in the eastern part of California, along the Eastern Sierra Front.

Ely Ranger District:

The Ely Ranger District is one of the original National Forests in Nevada, before being incorporated as a Ranger District. The District covers about 1 million acres with elevations ranging from valley floors around 5000 feet to above tree line, over 12,000 feet. The District has about 20 permanent employees and about 15 seasonal employees. The District hosts a multitude of treasures to explore related to outdoor activities.

For additional information about the forest:

Contact Information:

For more information about the position, the community, or assistance working through the application process please contact:

Martina Barnes
Acting District Ranger
Ely Ranger District
(775) 289-5100
(801) 757-7757 (cell)

If interested, please request an outreach interest form and email with your resume to Martina Barnes by August 14, 2015.

Once a vacancy announcement has been created, a notification will be sent to those that expressed interest as well as be posted in the outreach database.

The vacancy announcement for this position will be posted on the U.S. Government’s official website for employment opportunities,

Oregon Recreational Use Statute used by US Forest Service to stop claim by injured snowmobiler

Case does an excellent job of explaining the requirements that must be met to support a motion to dismiss.

Stringer v. United States Department of Agriculture, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150168

State: Oregon, United States District Court for the District of Oregon

Plaintiff: Daniel T. Stringer

Defendant: US Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture,

Plaintiff Claims:

Defendant Defenses: Recreational Use Statute

Holding: For the Defendant

Year: 2014

The plaintiff was with a group of people who rented snowmobiles and then drove them to the Deschutes National Forest. The plaintiff started to go snowmobiling with a group. On their way there the plaintiff took off across a field that was not with the other members of the group.

The plaintiff’s snowmobile went over a 15’ embankment where he suffered injuries.

The plaintiff sued the defendant US Forest Service for his injuries. This is the motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint because of the Oregon Recreational Use Statute.

Analysis: making sense of the law based on these facts.

The court started by explaining in detail the steps necessary to dismiss a complaint on a Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss.

To begin with a “complaint must contain sufficient factual matter that “state[s] a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” A claim is plausible when “the factual allegations allow the court to infer the defendant’s liability based on the alleged conduct.” The factual allegations must present more than the “the mere possibility of misconduct.”

While considering a motion to dismiss, the Court must accept all allegations of material fact as true and construe them in the light most favorable to the non-movant. However, the Court is “not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.” If the complaint is dismissed, leave to amend should be granted unless the court “determines that the pleading could not possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts.”

Consequently the court can dismiss a claim when the court finds the facts, even if pleading more than simple claim of injury do not support the necessary steps to prove the plaintiff’s claim. The plaintiff’s complaint requires more than mere allegations.

The first issue was whether the United States could use a state statute as a defense to a claim.

The liability of the United States is determined “in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual in like circumstances.” Because plaintiff’s accident occurred in Oregon, this action is governed by Oregon law.

The court then looked at the Oregon Recreational Use Statute, ORS § 105.682. Like most recreational use statutes, a landowner is not liable for injuries if they do not charge for the use of their land.

The plaintiff argued that because the defendant charged for use of the land at other locations in the Deschutes Forest the defendant, Forest Service could not rely on the recreational use statute. Here the US Forest Service charged to use the land to ski and to camp. However, the plaintiff was not camping or skiing, nor whether they are engaging in an activity at the location where fees are charged to ski or camp.

A fee charged at one end of the Deschutes National Forest cannot, as a matter of public policy, waive immunity at the other end of the same forest, thousands of miles away, simply because the government made a charge.

There must be some relationship between the fee charged and the activity which the plaintiff engaged in which caused his injury.

So Now What?

This case lays out an easy analysis to understand the requirements to win a motion to dismiss. Motions to dismiss are usually filed prior to the answer of the defendant being filed and are done so when the plaintiff’s claim fails in all respects to present any evidence which the court can find to support the claims of the plaintiff.

If the motion to dismiss is not granted the defendant is instructed to file their answer and discovery begins. After or during discovery, one or more of the parties can file a motion for summary judgment. A motion for summary judgment is normally how a case is dismissed prior to trial. Motions to dismiss are rarely granted.

In this case, the next motion would have probably been based on the fact the plaintiff assumed the risk by taking off, off the trail when he crashed.

This is also instructional in showing the defendant United States through any of its land-management agencies, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, US Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation or US Fish & Wildlife Service.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

If you like this let your friends know or post it on FaceBook, Twitter or LinkedIn

Copyright 2015 Recreation Law (720) Edit Law


Google+: +Recreation

Twitter: RecreationLaw

Facebook: Rec.Law.Now

Facebook Page: Outdoor Recreation & Adventure Travel Law


Mobile Site:

By Recreation Law              James H. Moss

#AdventureTourism, #AdventureTravelLaw, #AdventureTravelLawyer, #AttorneyatLaw, #Backpacking, #BicyclingLaw, #Camps, #ChallengeCourse, #ChallengeCourseLaw, #ChallengeCourseLawyer, #CyclingLaw, #FitnessLaw, #FitnessLawyer, #Hiking, #HumanPowered, #HumanPoweredRecreation, #IceClimbing, #JamesHMoss, #JimMoss, #Law, #Mountaineering, #Negligence, #OutdoorLaw, #OutdoorRecreationLaw, #OutsideLaw, #OutsideLawyer, #RecLaw, #Rec-Law, #RecLawBlog, #Rec-LawBlog, #RecLawyer, #RecreationalLawyer, #RecreationLaw, #RecreationLawBlog, #RecreationLawcom, #Recreation-Lawcom,, #RiskManagement, #RockClimbing, #RockClimbingLawyer, #RopesCourse, #RopesCourseLawyer, #SkiAreas, #Skiing, #SkiLaw, #Snowboarding, #SummerCamp, #Tourism, #TravelLaw, #YouthCamps, #ZipLineLawyer,  Recreational Use Statute, Recreational Use, Snowmobiling, Deschutes, Deschutes National Forest, US Forest Service, USFS, Motion to Dismiss,