Royal Gorge Field Office Partner Wins National Award

Fremont Adventure Recreation (FAR), a nonprofit partner of the BLM Colorado Royal Gorge Field Office, received the Local Leadership Award from the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) on October 27. The award honors mountain biking organizations who “turn a big vision into reality.”

During a ceremony held at the Outerbike Expo in Bentonville, Arkansas, FAR was recognized for “their outstanding efforts in creating a mountain bike destination in Cañon City, Colorado. In less than a decade these trail enthusiasts changed their riding options from a few doubletrack roads to 50 miles of singletrack, by being committed to the goal of making Cañon City a great place to live, work, recreate and visit,” according to a news release issued by IMBA. Representatives from FAR were on hand to receive the award

About the Local Leadership Award, FAR Director Brian VanIwarden said, “It is exciting to be recognized by IMBA as their top organization this year. It really speaks to the power of our board's vision, the enthusiasm of our volunteers, the support of sponsors, and the commitment of our local government representatives. We are honored to be a part of such an incredible community and look forward to what we can accomplish in the future.

Over the past eight years, Royal Gorge Field Office staff have worked closely with FAR, investing time, labor, and funding to work towards common recreation goals. Many of the Royal Gorge Region trails lie on BLM lands and as such, BLM staff have contributed to NEPA development, trail master planning, trail design, volunteer training, and obtaining grants with their partner organization

As FAR has grown, the organization has developed the capacity to do these same things, including developing a dedicated funding stream for trail development through collaboration with local businesses in a voluntary “1% for Trails” program. The funds from this program allow the organization to directly hire trail contractors, provide grant support, match grant funds, and be responsive to trail maintenance needs.

“Congratulations to FAR on this significant achievement,” said Keith Berger, BLM Royal Gorge Field Manager. “We are grateful to have a strong partnership and look forward to working together in expanding outdoor recreation opportunities in the community.”