SAN Luis Valley Great Outdoors (SLV GO!) is seeking input on the use of local trails. The  survey measures frequency of trail usage and satisfaction with the local trail system, among other questions that will help guide the nonprofit in its conservation and outdoor recreation strategies.

Funded through a Colorado Parks & Wildlife grant, SLV GO!’s Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Survey takes about 15 minutes to complete. There is both an English and Spanish version to accommodate the bilingual population of the six-county San Luis Valley.

SLV GO! plans to use the survey data to build its next phase of strategies aimed at connecting local residents and visitors to the outdoors of the San Luis Valley as well as protecting the natural habitats.

“How can we be proactive and work together amongst public land management agencies, recreationalists, agriculture, all different sectors in the outdoor industry and figure out a way to ensure that our natural resources are being protected even amidst this new emerging increase in people recreating on our public lands,” says Dani Robben of SLV GO!.

SLV GO! first gathered the viewpoints of Valley residents with a 2014 survey that led to the nonprofit’s initial master plan and the development of local trails in cities and counties around the Valley.

Its work has led both to trail development in the communities of San Luis, Del Norte, Monte Vista and Alamosa and a vision for greater non-motorized options to pursue outdoor recreation in the Valley.

The popularity of outdoor recreation in Colorado and the mountain west has spurred concerns in other areas of the state around overcrowding on trails and in communities that cater to outdoor recreational tourists.

While SLV GO!’s trail work has spurred more usage and spawned local events like the upcoming Rio Frio and summer companion, Rio Trio, the Valley’s outdoor recreation scene hasn’t created too much burden on local trails, says Robben.

“We’re going to see more impact, we are,” she said of trail usage. “But we’re still in that unique situation to get a jump on it and be proactive and ensure that we’re looking at different land management solutions to provide exceptional recreation opportunities and preserve our natural resources.”

She adds, “Our end goal isn’t necessarily to build more trails, it’s to provide equitable inclusive outdoor recreation opportunities to the San Luis Valley.”

Take the survey and let SLV GO! know what you think. Your viewpoint is important to the planning of outdoor recreation in the San Luis Valley. The survey is open until Jan. 9.

trail scenery

Take the survey:

Prizes: The survey prizes include two Kristi Mountain Sports gift cards for $25 each; two gift certificates to 8200 Sports in South Fork for a ski or snowboard rental; and a half-day raft trip on the Rio Grande with Mountain Man Rafting out of South Fork.

The Valley Pod logo

Out Now: Dani Robben and Mick Daniel talk more about the work of SLV GO! over the past decade in this episode of the Valley Pod. In addition to the survey to help plan forward, SLV GO! recently was awarded a grant by the state to plan for a Heart of the Valley Trail. Listen in as we talk about outdoor recreation and conservation with SLV GO!

Photo Credit: Andrew Parnes