Approximately 2.27 million visitors recreate on the Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG) annually, based on 2014 data – and that number has most assuredly grown in recent years. However, the trail system suffers from neglect due to competing priorities, limited capacity and funding, plus the enormity of the trail system. Trails in the Colorado Rockies are highly erodible due to severe weather, steep gradients, and a variety of recreational use.
The NFF helps to identify trails for clearing accumulations of down trees, repairing failed drainage structures, and rebuilding lost tread where weather and use has reduced trail quality. To implement trail restoration, the NFF works with Forest Service recreation staff, local trail organizations, volunteer stewardship groups, youth conservation corps and contractors to ensure project completion. More than 40 trails and 220 miles are identified for deferred maintenance over the next 5 years.