I preface this letter by stating that I am not in favor of the Paths to Mesa Verde Trail.
My reasons are both personal and economic. Personal because I enjoy my privacy and do not welcome the potential for numerous trail users interrupting that privacy; economic because with the continued reduction in country revenues, any expenditure could be put to better use in projects that serve a broader segment of Montezuma County residents.
The presentations made by James Dietrich, representing Montezuma County, and Peter Loris, the consultant hired to develop the trail plan, were informative and provided some insight into the initial planning being performed to develop the trail. The environmental assessment alone is a big task and shows the significant effort the consultant and his staff have done in the development of potential trail paths.
Since it is still early in the planning process, there were no potential paths provided and this limited the ability to assess the impact on me personally. The two areas of concern where I feel attention was lacking fall within the responsibility of Montezuma County, which at this time appears to be the lead governmental agency for the Paths to Mesa Verde Trail.
The first area of concern was no intended plan to perform a cost benefit analysis or ROI (return on investment). The other area of concern was there was no plan for the management of the trail during the development, construction and usage phases.
While the trail is nowhere close to the complexity of a hospital, school or water district, I do believe that some type of “trail district” should be established. Representation in this district should include all stakeholders, including potential users, and should not be dominated by one governmental agency. In this way all stakeholders have an equal say and the trail will then benefit all equally.
In my old life as a program manager we had an axiom that said “a failure to plan is a plan to fail.” At present there is a plan to fail.
I look forward to the upcoming meeting in January.