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Mountain bikers awarded REI trail grant

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Photo submitted Jason Love accepts a $5,000 check from REI's Dennis Poirier, while REI store staff looks on.

Delta County Area Mountain Bikers will receive $5,000 from REI for trails in Dominguez Escalante National Conservation Area west of Delta. The Delta chapter of COPMOBA, DAMB, plans to use the money for the design of a proposed non-motorized trail system in the NCA known as the Escalante Triangle.

"REI Grand Junction is proud to support local organizations, such as COPMOBA, who are fantastic stewards of our public lands and community trail systems," said REI spokesman Dennis Poirier. According to REI, DAMB's proposal fits into the company's mission of promoting outdoor recreation for the general public.

The project also fits into the BLM's management objectives to provide for recreational opportunities in the D-E NCA. "We are very fortunate to have partners in the Delta community working to help us provide great recreation opportunities," said BLM NCA manager Collin Ewing.

Both REI and BLM expressed an interest in this award serving as a stimulus for DAMB's plans to create a non-motorized trail system, accessible to walkers, hikers, equestrians, mountain bikers, and other local users. It is also expected that the project will help the economic vitality of the community, by helping the Delta area be more attractive to businesses and recreationalists that are considering locating to Delta, and for tourism.

"We recognize that this is just a first step in creating the stacked loop trail system that we are envisioning for the Escalante Triangle," said Jason Love, DAMB president. "This grant will provide us with the general conceptual system of trails, which will include easy trails, as well as expert trails, and trails that are usable by adaptive recreationalists."

According to Love, additional funds from various sources will be needed to complete necessary environmental clearances, as well as for actual trail construction. "We are very appreciative of REI for helping us get the ball rolling on this project," said Love.

To keep up with DAMB's progress on this and other mountain bike projects and activities in Delta County, readers are invited to visit DAMB's Facebook page at DAMBikers.

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