The following is the TMCF Position Statement on planning for public use of North Table Mountain...

Help to Preserve the Natural Values of North Table Mountain Open Space

North Table Mountain was acquired as open space in large part because of its natural values. The mesa is home to a delicate balance of flora, fauna and wildlife representative of the mountain-plains transition zone. NTM provides prairie-like sweeping vistas high above the surrounding terrain, creating a quiet refuge, a perfect space for contemplation, introspection and inspiration for hikers and equestrians.

However, the experience of North Table Mountain could change soon. As part of an overall park management plan, Jefferson County Open Space (JCOS) is developing a Trails Use Plan for North Table Mountain, to be finalized by November 2005. They have formed and endorsed the Trails Use Task Force - which represents diverse user groups including hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers. The expressed purpose of this task force is to provide input and direction to the JCOS regarding the public use of North Table Mountain, but it is not clear whether JCOS will actually follow this direction and input. 

The Table Mountains Conservation Fund (TMCF) has been engaged in the acquisition process for North Table Mountain as well as the planning process for its use as open space. Subsequent to acquisition of North Table Mountain, TMCF organized and participated in public forums on appropriate uses for the North Table Mountain open space. Citizens expressed a strong opposition to allowing bicycles on the mesa because of its unique natural values. Despite this opposition, JCOS has chosen to allow mountain bikers full access to North Table Mountain. 

Due to the fragile ecosystem of the mesa, the TMCF Board of Directors respectfully advises that North Table Mountain be open to pedestrian and equestrian use only. We have all seen the types of damage that mountain bikes cause to delicate terrain, and once that damage occurs on NTM, it cannot be reversed. TMCF and members of the public have expressed these views to JCOS and have been ignored, so we are encouraging the public at large to insist that Jefferson County Open Space act on their concerns for the protection of North Table Mountain. 

TMCF urges you to advocate for the preservation of the natural values of North Table Mountain. Please make your views known to JCOS and the Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC) at their monthly public meeting. Call or write JCOS director Ralph Schell to let him know your opinion as regards the appropriate uses for North Table Mountain. It is up to all of us working together to ensure that North Table Mountain remains a peaceful sanctuary along the Front Range. 

Please contact the following to voice your opinion on the management of North Table Mtn Open Space : 

Ralph Schell, Director, Jefferson County Open Space, (303) 271-5931, rschell@co.jefferson.co.us

Jefferson County Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC) meets 7 PM, first Thursday of each month at JCOS offices, 700 Jefferson County Parkway Suite 100 Golden, CO 80401-6018. Public comment welcome. 

Any questions, comments or suggestions contact: Elliot Brown, Table Mountains Conservation Fund (303) 279-0664, ebmet@comcast.net

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