BLM and partners break ground on Palisade Plunge trail
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that it will break ground on the Palisade Plunge, a new 32-mile single-track trail, on July 24. The new trail will feature a nearly 6,000-foot descent for mountain bikes and other non-motorized recreation uses, from the top of Grand Mesa to the Town of Palisade.
The Palisade Plunge will connect with miles of existing trails and offer access to stunning backcountry terrain. The BLM estimates that this project could infuse $1.9 million annually into Palisade’s economy and $5 million annually into the broader Grand Valley economy.
“By listening to the local communities, expanding outdoor recreation and access, and infusing an estimated $5 million annually into the local economy, the Palisades Plunge project furthers several important priorities established for the BLM by Secretary of the Interior Bernhardt,” said Interior’s Senior National Advisor for Recreation Rick May, who participated in the groundbreaking ceremony today. “I look forward to the completion of this unique single-track trail and joining fellow mountain bikers on the 6,000-foot plunge.”
Partners including the Town of Palisade, Mesa County, the City of Grand Junction, the Orchard Mesa Irrigation District and the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association collaborated with the BLM, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Reclamation to design and implement the Palisade Plunge trail project. The trail was developed as part of Governor John Hickenlooper’s “Colorado’s 16” initiative to support trails and promote outdoor recreation in Colorado.
“This project is the result of multiple partners listening and working with local communities to expand and improve outdoor recreation,” said Wayne Werkmeister, BLM Grand Junction Acting Field Manager.
The BLM’s Grand Junction Field Office will sponsor the event, which recognizes the many partners involved in planning, funding and implementing this successful project.
Last year, recreation on BLM-managed lands in Colorado generated $618 million and supported more than 5,000 jobs.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $111 billion in economic output across the country in fiscal year 2019—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 498,000 jobs.